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Abstract

This paper evaluates the attitudes toward the contemporary Jerusalem priesthood and cult on evidence in the Visions of Amram. To the extent that this issue has been treated, scholars have generally argued that the Visions of Amram originated among groups that were hostile to the Aaronid priesthood. Such treatments, however, have left some of the most germane fragments unexamined, several of which deal directly with matters pertaining to the cult, Aaron, and his offspring (4Q547 5 1–3; 8 2–4; 9 5–7; 4Q545 4 16–19). My study incorporates these fragments into the larger discussion, and in so doing demonstrates that many of the views expressed in the secondary literature require revision. My analysis shows that, though the social location of the Visions of Amram is difficult to determine, we should not be too quick to dismiss the possibility that the writer was a supporter of the contemporary status quo in the temple, given the elevated status afforded to both Aaron and his eternal posterity throughout the text.

In: Dead Sea Discoveries
The Textual History of the Bible (THB) brings together for the first time all available information regarding the manuscripts, textual history and character of each book of the Hebrew Bible and its translations as well as the deuterocanonical scriptures. In addition, THB covers the history of research, the editorial history of the Hebrew Bible, as well as other aspects of text-critical research and its subsidiary fields, such as papyrology, codicology, and the related discipline of linguistics. The THB will consist of 4 volumes.

Volume 2: Deuterocanonical Scriptures. Editors Matthias Henze and Frank Feder
Vol. 2A: overview articles
Vol. 2B: to Ezra
Vol. 2C: Jubilees to 16 Appendix
Targum Chronicles and Its Place Among the Late Targums heralds a paradigm shift in the understanding of many of the Jewish-Aramaic translations of individual biblical books and their origins. Leeor Gottlieb provides the most extensive study of Targum Chronicles to date, leading to conclusions that challenge long-accepted truisms with regard to the origin of Targums. This book’s trail of evidence convincingly points to the composition of Targums in a time and place that was heretofore not expected to be the provenance of these Aramaic gems of biblical interpretation. This study also offers detailed comparisons to other Targums and fascinating new explanations for dozens of aggadic expansions in Targum Chronicles, tying them to their rabbinic sources.

Abstract

Scholarly interpretation of the encounter between the prophet Amos and Amaziah, the priest of Bethel (Amos 7:10-17), has thus far focused on the issue of prophetic authority and legitimization. This paper seeks to shed light on the issues at the heart of the dispute between Amaziah and Amos—issues of boundaries and identity, insiders and outsiders; belonging to and being banished from Israel, the land and the people. Amaziah insists that Amos is an outsider who may speak freely, but only “there”, not “here”. Amos counters by predicting the priest’s own loss of social framework, in life and in death. The fact that, unlike many other reports of prophetic confrontations, this story does not indicate the consequences of the dispute—whether the expulsion of the prophet from the Northern Kingdom or the fulfillment of the curse of Amaziah—is another indication that the issue of prophetic authority is neither the only, nor the major concern of this showdown.

In: Vetus Testamentum

Abstract

This paper deals with the use of lunar imagery in the book of Ben Sira. The scribe of Jerusalem refers to the moon on four occasions: Sir 27,11; 39,12; 43,6-8 and 50,6. With the exception of Sir 43,6-8, in the other texts he refers to it metaphorically. While in Sir 39,12 and 50,6 he shows a positive image of the moon, in Sir 27,11 it serves a negative one. From the analysis of these texts the author draws the following conclusion: lunar imagery, which at first sight might seem a mere ornamental embellishment of the text, constitutes a powerful tool used by the sage to transmit his teaching convincingly and to enhance his authority as a teacher of wisdom.

In: Vetus Testamentum

Abstract

This article argues that Song of Songs 3:7-11 is a mocking song about King Solomon and was not originally connected with 3:6. After presenting aspects of 3:7-11 that might convey criticism of Solomon, the thesis is further substantiated by observations showing that taking Solomon as a cipher for the nonroyal human lover or a divine lover does not work in this passage. The article concludes by pointing out some consequences of this analysis for the overall understanding of the Song.

In: Vetus Testamentum

Abstract

Amongst Hebrew Bible scholars the question of the understanding of biblical key terms and concepts pertaining to the human condition has attracted a fair amount of interest. And amongst those key terms and concepts it is the concept of nefeš that has proved to be particularly attractive and challenging. New light is thrown on the biblical concept by the recent discovery of the Katumuwa stele in Zincirli. The present article examines the evidence and draws conclusions with regard to the history of the concept of nefeš in the Hebrew Bible and in North-West Semitic literature and religion generally.

In: Vetus Testamentum

Abstract

This paper examines various ways in which ancient Israelite texts speak of the relationship of divine spirit to human bodies. Methodologically, it takes its cue from recent work in cognitive anthropology, specifically the study of cultural cognitive models. This approach pays attention to keywords, metaphors, and aspects of syntax and grammar to attempt to elicit implicit assumptions that lie behind and enable the discourse itself. With respect to divine spirit and human bodies the texts reveal a particular focus on the modalities of the relationship. Although the two major models are “wind-against-object” and “breathwind-in-container,” a surprising number of expressions featuring spirit-as-liquid are attested. Moreover, certain aspects of how death is modeled become clearer when one distinguishes a rûaḥ model of vitality from a nepeš model. Implications for further research in the areas of selfhood and personal agency are suggested.

In: Vetus Testamentum
In: Vetus Testamentum

Abstract

The first three words of Isa 13:18 have never been satisfactorily explained. The problems (especially semantic) that they raise are discussed before the proposal is made that their content fits much more closely with vv. 15-16. It is thus probable that they are some form of misplaced gloss or comment on those verses, now reworked (even if unsuccessfully) to try to make them fit their new setting.

In: Vetus Testamentum