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In: Psalms and Prayers
In: Exile and Suffering
In: Tradition and Innovation in Biblical Interpretation
The Meaning of the Root NQM and the Function of the NQM-Texts in the Context of Divine Revelation in the Old Testament
Author: Eric Peels
This book deals with the Old Testament theme of the vengeance of YHWH, discussing both the exegetical and theological aspects of a biblical notion that until now has received far too little attention in scholarly research.
After an exploration of the Umwelt use of the root NQM (vengeance/avenge), in the main part of the study all relevant Old Testament texts are dealt with in a thorough exegetical investigation. This leads to a theological outline which stresses the important place and positive function of God's vengeance in the Old Testament revelation.
The theories of G.E. Mendenhall, P. Volz and K. Koch with regard to the theme of vengeance are criticized. Of special interest are the additional sections on the issues of blood vengeance and the imprecatory prayers.
Author: Eric Peels

Abstract

Among the “texts of terror,” the oracles against the nations stand out as documents which vehemently attest human and divine violence. In the collection of these oracles in the book of Jeremiah, the prophecy concerning Moab (Jeremiah 48), with its extraordinary length and its remarkable accumulation of reused prophetic material (from, i.a., Isaiah 15–16), proclaims a merciless divine judgment. No future is left for Moab; a total annihilation is envisaged (v. 42).

An intriguing feature in this chapter, however, is that this oracle, much more than the others in the section in Jeremiah 46–49, has a theological interest. The prophetic announcement of Moab’s destruction shows an idiosyncratic alternation of judgment and lament. Both fierce divine anger and divine regret, divine judgment and wailing over Moab are part of the oracle. A detailed analysis shows that in several texts in Jeremiah 48, Yhwh is most probably the subject of weeping. This chapter points out that this language of divine grief is not to be interpreted in a figurative sense, as an “ironic inversion of the lamentation” (Brian C. Jones), but as a sign of divine compassion (Terence E. Fretheim). The theological significance of this oracle in Jeremiah 48 is far-reaching.

In: Violence in the Hebrew Bible
Author: Eric Peels

Abstract

Among the “texts of terror,” the oracles against the nations stand out as documents which vehemently attest human and divine violence. In the collection of these oracles in the book of Jeremiah, the prophecy concerning Moab (Jeremiah 48), with its extraordinary length and its remarkable accumulation of reused prophetic material (from, i.a., Isaiah 15–16), proclaims a merciless divine judgment. No future is left for Moab; a total annihilation is envisaged (v. 42).

An intriguing feature in this chapter, however, is that this oracle, much more than the others in the section in Jeremiah 46–49, has a theological interest. The prophetic announcement of Moab’s destruction shows an idiosyncratic alternation of judgment and lament. Both fierce divine anger and divine regret, divine judgment and wailing over Moab are part of the oracle. A detailed analysis shows that in several texts in Jeremiah 48, Yhwh is most probably the subject of weeping. This chapter points out that this language of divine grief is not to be interpreted in a figurative sense, as an “ironic inversion of the lamentation” (Brian C. Jones), but as a sign of divine compassion (Terence E. Fretheim). The theological significance of this oracle in Jeremiah 48 is far-reaching.

In: Violence in the Hebrew Bible
In: Biblical Hebrew in Context
Author: Eric Peels

Abstract

In this article it is argued that the phrase ‘before Pharaoh seized Gaza’ in Jer 47:1 is not a mere chronological precision, pointing at the (ultimate) fulfilment of the prophecy against Philistia, but a heading with its own proper function and purpose. The superscription of Jer. 47:1 refers to Pharaoh Neco’s capture of that city in 601/0 BCE, whereas the oracle of 47:2-7 itself is to be dated ca. 604. Neco was able to take Gaza after he had beaten the Babylonian army at the Egyptian border, so that the Babylonians had to withdraw to their homeland. In this time of political upheaval, the heading was added to the oracle of Jer 47 in order to warn the people of Judah that YHWH’s judgment through the sword of Babylon was still to be expected, notwithstanding Pharaoh’s recent success.

In: Vetus Testamentum