Exile and Suffering

A Selection of Papers Read at the 50th Anniversary Meeting of the Old Testament Society of South Africa OTWSA/OTSSA, Pretoria August 2007


At the fiftieth anniversary of the Old Testament Society of South Africa a conference was organized on the theme Exile and Suffering. This volume contains a selection of the papers presented. Focal questions are such themes as: What do we really know about the Exile? To what degree did suffering take place? How did the Ancient Israelites cope with the disaster? Where the ancinet traditions sufficient to deal with the Exile? Or did this period produce new forms of 'theology'? The significance of the Exile as a matrix for understanding suffering until this day is also dealt with.
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Biographical Note

Bob Becking, Ph.D. (1985) in Theology, Utrecht University, is Ordinary Professor of Old Testament Study at Utrecht University. He is the author of Nahum (Verklaring van een Bijbelgedeelte), 1987; The Fall of Samaria: An Historical and Archaeological Study (SHANE 2), 1992; Between Fear and Freedom: Essays on the Interpretation of Jeremiah 30-31 (OTS 51), 2004; From David to Gelaiah: The Book of Kings as Story and History (2007). Dirk Human, D.D. (1993) in Theology, University of Pretoria, is Ordinary Professor of Old Testament Study at the University of Pretoria. He is the editor/ author of Psalms and Liturgy, 2004 (JSOT SuppS 410); Psalms and Mythology, 2007 (LHBOTS 462); Liefde is die grootste. Oor erotiek en seksualiteit, 2007. He is furthermore editor of the theological journal Verbum et Ecclesia (earlier Skrif en Kerk).

Table of contents

• Dirk Human, Preface


• Gerda de Villiers, Sin, Suffering, Sagacity: Genesis 2-3
• Jurie Le Roux, Suffering and Hope during the Exile
• Matthias Köckert, Suffering from Formlessness: The Ban on Images in Exilic Times


• L. Juliana M. Claassens, Interrupting God-language: Rethinking the Image of God as Liberator in Isaiah 42
• Hendrik Bosman, Myth, Metaphor or Memory?
The Allusions to Creation and Exodus in Isaiah 51: 9 – 11 as a Theological Response to Suffering during the Exile
• Eric Peels, The Assassination of Gedaliah (Jer. 40:7 - 41:18)
• Raymond de Hoop, Perspective after the Exile:
The King, עבדי ‘My Servant’ in Jeremiah – Some Reflections on MT and LXX
• Gert Kwakkel, Exile in Hosea 9:3-6: Where and for What Purpose?
• Klaas Spronk, Perverse Delight:
Some Observations on an Unpleasant Theme in the Old Testament
• Eep Talstra, Exile and Pain: A Chapter from the Story of God’s Emotions


• Bob Becking, Does Exile Equal Suffering? A Fresh Look at Psalm 137
• Yehoshua Gitay, The Poetics of Exile and Suffering: Memory and Perceptions a Cognitive-linguistics study of Lamentations
• Louis Jonker, The Exile as Sabbath Rest: The Chronicler’s Interpretation of the Exile

Ancient Near Eastern and Contextual Perspectives

• Frances Klopper, Lamenting the Loss of Lament, the Language for our Times
• Gerald West, Interpreting ‘the Exile’ in African Biblical Scholarship:
An Ideo-theological Dilemma in Post-colonial South Africa


All those interested in the interpretation of texts from the Hebrew Bible and the history of Ancient Israel.


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