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Robert Jones


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.

Jelle Verburg


The “libations of blood” in Ps. 16:4 have been interpreted as a reference to Canaanite cultic practice. This short note suggests it is better understood against the background of Greek literature on necromancy.

Abram’s Journey as Nexus

Literarkritik and Literary Criticism

Ronald Hendel


A plea for the complementarity of Literarkritik and literary criticism in biblical scholarship, with a partial genealogy of recent developments, followed by a detailed study of Abram’s journey in Gen 11:27-12:9 in the non-P and P texts. Particular attention is paid to stylistic repetitions and implicit links to other texts, yielding a nexus of foreshadowings and backshadowings in each of the component texts. Conclusions include the viability of this non-P text (formerly known as J) and the P text as continuous sources in the Pentateuch, each with a distinctive poetics.

Moshe Bar-Asher


In the phrase yom haqqahal, used three times in Deuteronomy, qahal functions as a verbal noun. The correct translation is “the day of assembling.”

Christine Mitchell


This note examines the use of the term “daric” in 1 Chr 29:7 for its ideological purposes, concluding that the anachronism was deployed purposely to signal resistance to imperial rule.

Niek Arentsen


Poetry complicates the diachronic study of Second Isaiah. However, the possibility of such a study is demonstrated through a diachronic explanation of the distribution of the prepositions את and עם in the Hebrew Bible. On the other hand, the Aramaisms in Second Isaiah are shown to be conscious and for poetic purposes and therefore labeled as single-word switches that do not prove the lateness of Second Isaiah.

Ken Brown


Job 18 depicts the destruction of the wicked as a kind of ambush by “the firstborn of death.” Much of the discussion of this passage has centered on this figure’s identification, and whether one should look primarily to Ugaritic or Mesopotamian mythological traditions for its background. Yet the passage as a whole concludes with a reference to a single “God,” knowledge of whom is determinative for human fate. This raises a basic question concerning the relation between “God” and the “firstborn of death.” Through a close comparison with the Ugaritic Baal Cycle and the Neo-Assyrian Underworld Vision on the one hand, and Job 5 and Deuteronomy 32 on the other, this paper argues that “the firstborn of death” most likely does represent a chthonic deity, but that such powers have been subordinated to the one God whom Bildad presumes to bear sole authority over life and death.

Atar Livneh


Two poetic passages in 1 Maccabees depict historical circumstances via the use of apparel. 14:9 portrays the young men as wearing “glories and garments of war” as a marker of the peace and prosperity characterizing Simon’s reign. These contrast with the “shame” that shrouds the people following Antiochus Epiphanes’ desecration of the temple in 1:28. This paper explores the biblical background of the dress imagery, suggesting that the Maccabean author transformed the “robe of righteousness” in Isa 61:10 into “garments of war” on the basis of a gezerah shava with Isa 59:17. The biblical metaphor of “being clothed with shame” in 1 Macc 1:28, on the other hand, refers to the “putting on of mourning dress”—a practice also alluded to in v. 26.

Robert D. Holmstedt


Michael O’Connor (whose 1980 opus, Hebrew Verse Structure, provides a compelling linguistically grounded description of the poetic line) has called the endurance of Lowthian parallelism a “horror” that wreaks havoc on lexical semantics and “is beyond the comprehension of any sensitive student of language.” Why does a model known to be a descriptive failure for a century persist in teaching resources and commentaries? It is because nothing compelling has risen to replace it. O’Connor’s linguistic analysis of the line offered the first piece to replacing the traditional model, but O’Connor’s model was more compelling for the structure of the poetic line than for the relationship of lines. In this study I take up interlineal syntax and offer an analysis that compliments and completes O’Connor’s approach, allowing us to provide a proper burial for the admirable but ultimately unworkable Lowthian parallelism.