King Saul’s story is not simply a tool for justifying Yhwh’s decision to promote David in his place; it is a narrative of trauma that demonstrates how biblical hegemonic masculinity normalizes sexual violence perpetrated by men against men. Saul is the victim of repeated and sexualized assault by a controlling, coercive deity. After such attacks Saul loses control over his speech, his mind, and his body. He experiences dissociation, helplessness, terror, and rage. In abusing Saul, Yhwh is aided and abetted by Samuel and by David. The sexualized violence Saul experiences marks him and silences him; just before he dies, he a makes a single allusion to the trauma he long endured by invoking the rape he fears at the hands of the Philistines. In fact, after his death, Saul is metaphorically raped, his body stripped, decapitated, impaled, and displayed. He is no trauma survivor, but its victim.
This article examines the request for prayers ὑπὲρ βασιλέων in 1 Timothy 2:1–2 by focusing on three exegetical questions: (1) Who are the βασιλεῖς? (2) Are prayers for βασιλεῖς distinguishable from prayers to βασιλεῖς? And (3) to whom is this exhortation directed? The article argues that the rhetorical construction of this passage emulates and internalizes imperial ideology, but the very act of imitation has the potential to cause colonial anxiety by obscuring the colonial subjects behind this document and by disrupting any attempt at fixed interpretation.
Regarding the creation account in Genesis 2–3, D.M. Carr observes that this text freely repurposes prior cosmological traditions, and so it is a case of a ‘fluid adaptation of its Near Eastern precursors…’ (Carr, , 52–53). Building on his discussion, this article analyzes an ane motif that has not been linked to Genesis 2–3 yet, i.e., the formation of humanity from divine tears or in the wake of divine laments. Known in various configurations from Egyptian, Mesopotamian, and Greek sources, this motif includes tears of a god or gods either as a generative substance in the making of humans or as a driving force for their origins. In light of these traditions, this article considers the pronouncement ‘It is not good for the human to be alone’ (Gen. 2:18), arguing that it is a variation on the ‘divine tears’ myth. As such, this pronouncement addresses a multi-faceted form of ‘aloneness’ in the emerging cosmos.
Commentators have long struggled to make sense of the role that ravens play in the story of Elijah, questioning why these predatory birds with a reputation for cruelty would be recruited to share their food during a time of scarcity. This essay takes up the reception history of biblical ravens, considering how various interpreters have drawn upon observational knowledge of ravens to explain the mysterious role ravens play in the feeding of Elijah in 1 Kings 17 and Noah’s commission of the raven in the wake of the flood in Genesis 8. The essay both recalls and reenacts this interpretive tradition by assembling together pieces of this reception history together with the work of modern ornithologists on the corvus corax to provide some insights for how we might understand the particular significance of ravens in the care and feeding of Elijah.