Strictly speaking, Geo Widengren was not a biblical scholar. He never held an academic position within an exegetical discipline. Nevertheless, he made several important contributions to the field of biblical studies in general, and to Old Testament/ Hebrew Bible exegesis in particular. In this chapter, I discuss some key factors that enabled Widengren, being an expert within history of religion, to attain a rather prominent position within the exegetical guild, such as the academic milieu in Uppsala and the discovery of ancient Ugarit. Arguably, though, the most important factor was Widengren’s ability to combine these two disciplines in a fruitful way. In all the works discussed in this chapter, he consistently applied comparative methodology from the history of religion in order to throw new light on biblical texts. As regards the latter, he tended to prefer laments from the book of Psalms.
This article explores the semantic resources of biblical Hebrew, when it comes to speaking about silence. The aim is to reach more clarity concerning the sense and function of pertinent lexemes, and to contribute to a better understanding of the “semantic field” of silence. It is demonstrated that biblical Hebrew had several verbs with the sense “to be silent” (= abstain from speech), but no noun corresponding to the English word “silence” (denoting a situation characterized by the absence of speech or by the complete lack of audible sounds). However, the domains of silence and stillness overlap. Thus, when the biblical writers wanted to describe a situation of “silence”, they could choose one of several words associated with the wider concept of stillness.