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Author: Ellen VAN WOLDE

Abstract

This article reflects upon intertextuality or the dialogue between texts. After a survey of various views of intertextuality, a procedure for studying the intertextual relationships between biblical texts is presented. An extensive study of the dialogue between the Ruth and Tamar narratives concludes the article. The large amount of shared semantic and narratological features in these stories enable the reader to discover how Ruth and Tamar turn out to be the instruments by which Judah, Naomi and Boaz perceive and attain knowledge. As foreigners they are able to confront the insiders and to hold a mirror up to their faces. But in both stories, Ruth and Tamar disappear at the end and become ellipses in their own stories. Tamar made Judah see, Ruth made Naomi change and Boaz become aware, but their revealing activities eventually lead to their own disappearance. The mirror intended to unveil the audience has lead to the emptying of the foreigners, who do not confront, but confirm the Judahite identity.

In: Biblical Interpretation
Author: Ellen van Wolde

Abstract

A cognitive web with different layers of emotion spreads over the text of 2 Samuel 12, in which the sun plays an important role. The unique linguistic combinations in vv. 11-12 show the sun's personified role. Iconographic study clarifies the sun as an image loaded with strong emotional feelings. Thus, it becomes understandable why the sun could function for the contemporaneous reader as a metonym which activates the contiguity between the character of David and a material object, possibly the sun emblem on the royal throne. It is before the vigilant eye of this sun, as the all-seeing judge, that Yhwh 's verdict will be executed. Every reader since, all those who know of the sun's cultural and religious power as well as of Yhwh 's, all those who read in the textual context about desire, lust and murder and about the king's devotion to the royal throne, can experience the sparks of thrill and fear in this text.

In: Biblical Interpretation
Author: Ellen van Wolde

Abstract

This article explores the language of the sentiments of anger and love in biblical Hebrew, English and Japanese, where sentiments are defined as emotions that are culturally defined and organized. Its leading questions are: To what extent do people in different societies experience the same and different emotions because of their cultural backgrounds? And what does language reveal about emotional thought and its cultural construction in the Hebrew Bible? It is argued that anger in biblical texts is related to the mouth, nose or face and expresses an uncontrollable fury in someone's head that leads prototypically to retributive actions. It is also argued that the love between a man and a woman in the Hebrew Bible is conceptualized as love of a man for a woman. The semantic values of both sentiments seem to materialize in a hierarchical framework of thinking. Emotions may break in into generally accepted hierarchical structures: anger may get hold of someone and love can defy determined positions. Nonetheless, cultural conventions are developed and used to defend the hierarchical order as a natural order. This explains why women are never said to be angry in the Hebrew Bible, and why it is only rarely expressed that a woman loves a man.

In: Biblical Interpretation
Author: Ellen Van Wolde

Abstract

The widespread opinion that the verb 'innâ in the Pi'el refers to "rape" or "sexual abuse" is not acceptable. It suffers from a lack of analysis of all the biblical material and of the distribution of 'innâ with a female object in the Hebrew Bible. A semantic analysis of the lexical collocations, of the word order and of the textual occurrences in which 'innâ functions shows that this verb is used as an evaluative term in a juridical context denoting a spatial movement downwards in a social sense and should be translated as "debase". By implication, the verb 'innâ in Gen. xxxiv 2 does not describe Shechem's rape or sexual abuse of Dinah, but evaluates Shechem's previously described actions as a debasement of Dinah from a social-juridical point of view.

In: Vetus Testamentum
In: Creation Stories in Dialogue: The Bible, Science, and Folk Traditions
Author: Ellen van Wolde

Abstract

Because Gen. 9:8-17 uses the word qĕšĕt in relation to the deity and to the clouds, the inference has been made in biblical scholarship that the text refers to a rainbow. The plausibility of this inference is tested in this article. Attention is given to the various linguistic aspects of this word in the Hebrew Bible and to the specific textual composition of Gen. 9:8-17 as well as to the broader ancient Near Eastern framework established by comparative literary and iconographic evidence. The conclusion is reached that the word qĕšĕt designates in Gen. 9:8-17 a warrior’s bow which represents both the deity’s might and power as well as his willingness to transfer his power over the earth to those living on it.

In: Vetus Testamentum
A Semiotic Theory and Method of Analysis Applied to the Story of the Garden of Eden
Author: Ellen van Wolde
In: One Text, Thousand Methods
In: Congress Volume Leiden 2004