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The Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies: 2016 (25 vols.)

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Over the last 40 years this pioneering series has established an unrivaled reputation for cutting-edge international scholarship in Biblical Studies and has attracted leading authors and editors in the field. The series takes many original and creative approaches to its subjects, including innovative work from historical and theological perspectives, social-scientific and literary theory, and more recent developments in cultural studies and reception history.

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  • Leading scholarship from a diverse field of disciplines
  • Thorough examination of key Old Testament passages
  • Deepens your study of the Old Testament with all new volumes from 2016

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In the Logos edition, these volumes are enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

An Intertextual Analysis of Zechariah 9-10: The Earlier Restoration Expectations of Second Zechariah

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This book conducts an in-depth study on the ideas about future salvation in Zechariah 9-10. In accommodation of the allusive character of the text, Lee uses the methodology of intertextual analysis to examine the markers in the text. Having established the moments of intertextuality, Lee investigates the sources and their contexts, analyzing how the intertexts are used in the new context of the host and exploring how the antecedents shape the reading of the later text.

Thus, Lee argues that Zechariah 9-10 leverages earlier biblical material in order to express its view on restoration, which serves as a lens for the prophetic community in Yehud to make sense of their troubled world in the early Persian period, ca. 440 B.C. These two chapters envision the return of Yahweh who inaugurates the new age, ushering in prosperity and blessings. The earlier restoration expectations of Second Zechariah anticipate the formation of an ideal remnant settling in an ideal homeland, with Yahweh as king and David as vice-regent, reigning in Zion. The new commonwealth is not only a united society but also a cosmic one, with Judah, Ephraim, and the nations living together in peace.

In this revised Ph.D. dissertation Lee examines the restoration expectations of Second Zechariah. She employs a synchronic intertextual approach to demonstrate how chapters 9 and 10 of Zechariah use earlier material to express this expectation. The book has all the characteristics of a dissertation: careful and extensive analysis of pertinent and related biblical material; support from current scholarship in the field; a clearly argued defense of conclusions; a final synthesis of all the findings achieved through this intertextual analysis. The author ends her work by showing how her findings throw light on other sections of the Old Testament and how they relate with other restoration themes. Though the book will find a small, well-defined audience, those readers will appreciate both the methodical approach and the final insights.

Bible Today

Dr. Suk Yee Lee is Director of Christian Education at Tai Po Baptist Church in Hong Kong and Assistant Professor of OldTestament at Hong Kong Baptist Theological Seminary.

‘And He Will Take Your Daughters...’: Woman Story and the Ethical Evaluation of Monarchy in the David Narrative

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April Westbrook explores the intentional inclusion of woman stories (those displaying significant female presence) within the David narrative in the books of Samuel. These stories are made prominent by the surprisingly high number of their occurrences as well as the sequentially progressive literary pattern in which they occur in the larger narrative. Westbrook shows that the dramatic and detailed accounts within the story repeatedly challenge the reader to consider the experiences of women and their contribution to the purpose of the larger narrative. When viewed collectively, these woman stories serve to stir the reader’s responses in ways which systematically call into question the nature of the monarchy itself as a power system-both its impact upon the nation and upon the kings who rule.

Although King David is often held up as a paragon of virtue, the experiences of the women in his life frequently reveal a different side of his character, and the reader must wrestle with the resultant ambiguity. In the process, the reader must also think deeply about the inevitably negative aspects of hierarchical social structures and why this biblical text is apparently designed to press the reader toward unavoidable and uncomfortable personal confrontation with these realities concerning the use of power within community life.

Quite absorbing.

—Dianne Bergant, Catholic Theological Union, USA, Bible Today

Concerning the Nations: Essays on the Oracles Against the Nations in Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel

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Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel share much in common. They address the pivotal times and topics associated with the last stages of the monarchical history of Israel, and with the development of new forms of communal and religious life through exile and beyond. One important structural component of all three books is a substantial section which concerns itself with a range of foreign nations, commonly called the “Oracles against the Nations,” which form the focus of this book.

These chapters together present the most up-to-date scholarship on the oracles - an oft-neglected but significant area in the study of the prophetic literature. The particular characteristics of Isaiah, Jeremiah (both Masoretic Text and Septuagint versions), and Ezekiel, are discussed showcasing the unique issues pertinent to each book and the diverse methods used to address them. These evident differences aside, the Oracles Against the Nations are employed as a springboard in order to begin the work of tracing similarities between the texts. By focusing on these unique yet common sections, a range of interrelated themes and issues of both content and method become noticeable: for example, though not exhaustively, pattern, structure, language, comparative history, archaeology, sociology, politics, literature, imagery, theme, theology, and hermeneutical issues related to today’s context. As a result this collection presents a range of cutting-edge approaches on these key prophetic books, and will provide a basis for further comparative study and reflection.

There are some fascinating and stimulating essays in this collection....[A]n important and suggestive collection for those in the field of the OANs.

Reviews in Religion and Theology

Andrew Mein is Lecturer in Old Testament at the University of Durham, UK.

Else K. Holt is a Lecturer in the Department of Old Testament at the University of Aarhus, Denmark.

Constructions of Space III: Biblical Spatiality and the Sacred

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Constructions of Space III engages with the great variety of sacred spaces set out and given meaning in the texts of the Hebrew Bible, early Jewish literature and the New Testament. Spatial-critical, as well as anthropological, philosophical and narrative perspectives are interacted with in creative ways and brought to bear on the spaces encountered within the texts. Among the concepts and themes explored are oppositional aspects such as holiness and danger/the profane, fear and hope, utopia and dystopia, and purity and impurity. The social and mythological significance of more ‘grounded’ places such as Jerusalem and Egypt, temples, burial places and threshing floors is considered alongside more ethereal and symbolic spaces like those of heaven, the last judgement and the kingdom of God. What emerges is a dynamic and lively set of perspectives that illuminates relationships between texts, spaces and communities.

Jorunn Økland professor of Gender Studies in the Humanities, Centre for Gender Research, University of Oslo (formerly Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies, University of Sheffield). Author of Women in Their Place: Paul and the Corinthian Discourse of Gender and Sanctuary Space (2004).

J. Cornelis de Vos PhD (2002) in Theology (Old Testament), is lecturer in New Testament and Judaism at the University of Münster. He has published on land in the Bible and Early Judaism.

Karen J. Wenell is Lecturer in New Testament and Theology at the University of Birmingham, UK.

Covenant Continuity and Fidelity: A Study of Inner-Biblical Allusion and Exegesis in Malachi

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The core of Malachi’s covenantal imagination is shaped by his reflection on an authoritative collection of source texts in the Hebrew Bible. The mention of people, nations and places, Deuteronomic terminology, and rare words and unique word/root combinations exclusive to Malachi and only a few other texts encourages the book to be read in the context of received biblical traditions and texts.

The diversity of methodologies used previously to analyse Malachi has resulted in confusion about the significance of the inner-biblical connections in the book of Malachi, which Gibson clarifies. His reading frees the text of Malachi from being overburdened by too many “intertexts,” and allows its central message of covenant to arise with greater clarity and force. Gibson reveals how Malachi’s connections to earlier source texts are neither random nor causal; rather, they have been strategically employed to inform and shape his central theme of covenant continuity and fidelity.

The detailed exegetical study adds to extant scholarship a focused discussion of inner-biblical allusion. The chapters are well structured and take the reader step-by-step, following Gibson’s rationale, from an in-depth text-critical analysis through to interpretation....Gibson’s work will serve the research community well for its comprehensive and engaging investigation.

Journal for the Study of the Old Testament

Jonathan Gibson (Ph.D., Cambridge University, UK) is Assistant Professor of Old Testament, Westminster Theological Seminary, USA.

Elohim within the Psalms: Petitioning the Creator to Order Chaos in Oral-Derived Literature

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The issue of the so-called Elohistic Psalter has intrigued biblical scholars since the rise of the historical-critical enterprise. Scholars have attempted to discover why the name Elohim is used almost exclusively within Pss 42–83, and in particular they have attempted to identify the historical circumstances which explain this phenomenon. Traditionally, an original Yhwh was understood to have been replaced by Elohim.

Frank-Lothar Hossfeld and the late, Erich Zenger propose that the use of the title Elohim is theologically motivated, and they account for this phenomenon in their redaction-historical work. Wardlaw here builds upon their work (1) by integrating insights from Dell Hymes, William Miles Foley, and Susan Niditch with regard to oral-traditional cultures, and (2) by following the text-linguistic approach of Eep Talstra and Christof Hardmeier and listening to canonical texture as a faithful witness to Israel’s religious traditions. Wardlaw proposes that the name Elohim within the Psalms is a theologically-laden term, and that its usage is related to pentateuchal traditions.

His reading of these Psalms in their canonical form is coherent and persuasive, if not comprehensive ... and he has made a valuable contribution to the debate.

Journal of Theological Studies

Terrance Randall Wardlaw, Jr. is a linguist and translator with SIL International.

First-Degree Incest and the Hebrew Bible: Sex in the Family

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‘Incest’ refers to illegal sexual relations between family members. Its precise contours, however, are culturally specific. Hence, an illegal incestuous union in one social context may be a legal close-kin union in another. First-degree sexual unions, between a parent and child, or between siblings, are most widely prohibited and abhorred. This book discusses all overt and covert first-degree incest relations in the Hebrew Bible and also probes the significance of gaps and what these imply about projected sexual and social values. As the dominant opinion on the origin of first-degree incest continues to be shaped, new voices such as those of queer and post-feminist criticism have joined the conversation.

It navigates not only the incest laws of Leviticus and the narratives of Lot and his daughters and of Amnon and Tamar but pursues subtler intimations of first-degree sexual unions, such as between Adam and his (absent but arguably implied) mother, Haran and Terah’s wife, Ham and Noah. In pursuing the psycho-social values that may be drawn from the Hebrew Bible regarding first-degree incest, this book will provide a thorough review of incest studies from the early 20th century onward and explain and assess the contribution of very recent critical approaches from queer and post-feminist perspectives.

This monograph is necessary for any and all persons exploring the topic of sexual relations in the biblical text or for those who are interested in applying the aforementioned methodologies in their research and are looking for a framework from which to operate moving forward.

Reviews in Religion and Theology

Johanna Stiebert is Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at the University of Leeds, UK.

Heroines, Heroes and Deity: Three Narratives of the Biblical Heroic Tradition

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Kamrada’s study analyses three narratives concerning the greatest heroic figures of the biblical tradition: Jephthah’s daughter, Samson and Saul, and includes a consideration of texts about King David. All three characters are portrayed as the greatest and most typical and exemplary heroes of the heroic era. All three heroes have an exceptionally close relationship with the deity all die a traditionally heroic, tragic death. Kamrada argues that within the Book of Judges and the biblical heroic tradition, Jephthah’s daughter and Samson represent the pinnacle of female and male heroism respectively, and that they achieve super-human status by offering their lives to the deity, thus entering the sphere of holiness.

Saul’s trajectory, by contrast, exemplifies downfall of a great hero in his final, irreversible separation from God, and it also signals the decline of the heroic era. David, however, is shown as an astute hero who founds a lasting dynasty, thus conclusively bringing the heroic era in the Deuteronomistic history to a close.

With the help of comparative materials from the Bible, from the Ancient Near East, and from Greek and Roman Classics, [Kamrada] disentangles older heroic tales from the given biblical record.

The Expository Times

Dolores Kamrada (Ph.D., University of Vienna) is currently lecturer in Religious Studies at Pázmány Péter Catholic University (Budapest). She is the author of articles in the area of biblical heroic tradition and reception history of biblical texts.

History, Politics and the Bible from the Iron Age to the Media Age

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As biblical studies becomes increasingly fragmented, this collection of essays brings together a number of leading scholars in order to show how historical reconstruction, philology, metacriticism, and reception history can be part of a collective vision for the future of the field.

This collection of essays focuses more specifically on critical questions surrounding the construction of ancient Israel(s), ‘minimalism,’ the ongoing significance of lexicography, the development of early Judaism, orientalism, and the use of the Bible in contemporary political discourses. Contributors include John van Seters, Niels Peter Lemche, Ingrid Hjelm, and Philip R. Davies.

These essays create a broad and challenging volume and, in their questioning of paradigms and the diversity of their approaches, they create a fitting tribute to Keith W. Whitelam.

Journal for the Study of the Old Testament

James G. Crossley is Professor of Bible at St. Mary’s University Twickenham, UK. His most recent publications include Harnessing Chaos, published in paperback by Bloomsbury T&T Clark in 2016.

Jim West teaches Biblical studies and Reformation History at Ming Hua Theological College, Hong Kong

‘I Lifted My Eyes and Saw’: Reading Dream and Vision Reports in the Hebrew Bible

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This volume addresses the function and impact of vision and dream accounts in the Hebrew Bible. The contributors explore the exegetical, rhetorical, and structural aspects of the vision and dream accounts in the Hebrew Bible, focusing on prophetic vision reports. Several contributors employ a diachronic approach as they explore the textual relationship between the vision reports and the oracular material. Others focus on the rhetorical aspects of the vision reports in their final form and discuss why vision reporting may be used to convey a message. Another approach employed looks at reception history and investigates how this type of text has been understood by past exegetes. A few chapters consider the inter-textual relationship of the various vision reports in the Hebrew Bible, focusing on shared themes and motifs. There are also papers that deal with the ways in which select texts in the Hebrew Bible portray dream/vision interpreters and their activities.

This collection of essays on dream and vision reports is a welcome addition to the relatively scarce scholarship focusing on the topic ... I am confident that the reader will find his/her own favourites in this valuable volume.

Journal of Theological Studies

Dr Elizabeth R. Hayes is Affiliate Professor of Old Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary. She has written on Jeremiah and Ezekiel, with special interest in reception history and in cognitive linguistics as a hermeneutical strategy.

Dr Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer is Senior Lecturer in Hebrew Bible at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK. She has written widely on the prophetic literature, including two full-length monographs, on aspects of Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Zechariah.

Image, Text, Exegesis: Iconographic Interpretation and the Hebrew Bible

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Images from the ancient Near East are an important though generally underutilized source of data for interpreting the Hebrew Bible and the cultural context from which it emerged. The essays in this volume highlight the ways that ancient Near Eastern iconography can inform exegesis. This aim is accomplished through case studies in iconographic exegesis that exhibit sound methodologies for relating images and texts.

Since the 1970s, biblical scholars have been turning increasingly to iconography as a source for understanding the religion, history and literature of the ancient Near East. The essays in this volume tackle two thorny issues: 1) how images reflect the cultures that produce them and 2) the nature of the relationship between images and texts, both within discrete cultures and among different cultures. Until now, there have been relatively few methodologically self-conscious treatments of ancient iconography and its relationship to the biblical text. So this volume addresses a clear need for demonstrating transparent and consistent methods for iconographic work among biblical scholars.

Another important contribution to the use of the visual imagery in the study of the Hebrew Bible.

Bibliotheca Orientalis

Izaak J. de Hulster is working as post-doctoral researcher at the Georg-August-University Göt­tingen (Germany) as part of the Alexander-von-Humboldt foundation sponsored Sofja Kovalev­skaja Project "Unity and Diversity in Early Jewish Monotheisms." He holds an MA in theology from Utrecht University and an M.Div. from the Seminary of the Baptist congregations in The Netherlands.

Joel M. LeMon is Assistant Professor of Old Testament,Candler School of Theology, Emory University, USA

Imagining the Other and Constructing Israelite Identity in the Early Second Temple Period

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This volume sheds light on how particular constructions of the ‘Other’ contributed to an ongoing process of defining what ‘Israel’ or an ‘Israelite’ was, or was supposed to be in literature taken to be authoritative in the late Persian and Early Hellenistic periods. It asks, who is an insider and who an outsider? Are boundaries permeable? Are there different ideas expressed within individual books? What about constructions of the (partial) ‘Other’ from inside, e.g., women, people whose body did not fit social constructions of normalness? It includes chapters dealing with theoretical issues and case studies, and addresses similar issues from the perspective of groups in the late Second Temple period so as to shed light on processes of continuity and discontinuity on these matters. Preliminary forms of five of the contributions were presented in Thessaloniki in 2011 in the research programme, ‘Production and Reception of Authoritative Books in the Persian and Hellenistic Period,’ at the Annual Meeting of European Association of Biblical Studies (EABS).

[This] book contains 16 clearly written essays ... [which] cumulatively make a valuable contribution to an ongoing conversation within the field.

Journal of Theological Studies

Ehud Ben Zvi is Professor of (ancient) History at the University of Alberta, Canada.

Diana V. Edelman is at the Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo, Norway, and the Center For Advanced Study, Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Norway.

Jeremiah Invented: Constructions and Deconstructions of Jeremiah

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In the first half of the 20th century there was immense scholarly interest in the biography of the prophet Jeremiah as the background for understanding the development of the book of Jeremiah. Around the turn of the century this interest disappeared, but it has now resurfaced in a transformed configuration as work seeking to analyze the creation of the literary persona, Jeremiah the prophet.

This volume examines the construction of Jeremiah in the prophetic book and its afterlife, presenting a wide range of scholarly approaches spanning the understanding of Jeremiah from Old Testament times via the Renaissance to the 20th century, and from theology to the history of literature.

This collection of essays on dream and vision reports is a welcome addition to the relatively scarce scholarship focusing on the topic ... I am confident that the reader will find his/her own favourites in this valuable volume.

Journal of Theological Studies

Else K. Holt is a Lecturer in the Department of Old Testament at the University of Aarhus, Denmark.

Carolyn J. Sharp is Professor of Hebrew Scriptures at Yale Divinity School, USA.

‘Perhaps there is Hope’: Reading Lamentations as a Polyphony of Pain, Penitence, and Protest

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Bier proposes here a strong new understanding of the Book of Lamentations, drawing on Bakhtinian ideas of multiple voices to analyse the poetic speaking voices within the text; examining their theological perspectives, and nuancing the interaction between them. Bier scrutinises interpretations of Lamentations, distinguishing between exegesis that reads Lamentations as a theodicy, in defense of God, and those that read it as an anti-theodicy, in defense of Zion. Rather than reductively adopting either of these approaches, this book advocates a dialogic approach to Lamentations, reading to hear the full polyphony of pain, penitence, and protest.

Miriam J. Bier is lecturer in Old Testament at London School of Theology, UK. She is co-editor of Spiritual Complaint: Theology and Practice of Lament (2013).

Reading Ruth in the Restoration Period: A Call for Inclusion

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Most scholars of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament recognize Ruth’s simplicity and beauty, yet there has been little consensus in critical scholarship related to the book’s origin and purpose. Opinions on the text’s date range from the early monarchic period down to the Post-Exilic period, and interpreters argue over whether the narrative served to whitewash David’s lineage, or if it held Ruth out as a positive example of Gentile inclusion in the Judean community.

With an eclectic approach drawing on traditional exegesis, analysis of inner-biblical allusions, comparisons of legal and linguistic data, and modern refugee research, Edward Allen Jones III argues that Ruth is, indeed, best understood as a call for an inclusive attitude toward any Jew or Gentile who desired to join the Judean community in the early Post-Exilic period. Within the narrative’s world, only Boaz welcomes Ruth into the Bethlehemite community, yet the text’s re-use of other biblical narratives makes it clear that Ruth stands on par with Israel’s great matriarchs. Though certain segments of the Judean community sought to purify their nation by expelling foreign elements in the Restoration period, Yhwh’s loving-kindness in Ruth’s life demonstrates his willingness to use any person to build up his people.

Provides many fresh insights into the book [of Ruth], especially with regard to characterization in Ruth … I recommend this volume as a cogent presentation of one way of thinking about the purpose and setting of this fascinating biblical book.

Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

Edward Allen Jones III is Assistant Professor of Bible at Corban University, USA.

[Re]Reading Again: A Mosaic Reading of Numbers 25

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Guided by the metaphor of the art form known as a mosaic, this book advocates a pluralistic approach to biblical studies. Rees argues that the text itself can be described as a ‘mosaic’, with each new reading adding to the mosaic. Interpretation is therefore both observation and invention, or contribution. When [re]reading the text, one cannot but be aware of what has been seen before, even if it at first may seem unfamiliar. He thus rejects the idea of a definitive reading.

Examining Numbers 25, Rees argues that the various methods employed to interpret this text (narrative, feminist, postcolonial as well as a more ‘traditional’ historical-critical reading) enable us to see different things as we read from different places. A further analysis of the book’s interpretative history, including the rewritten histories of Josephus and Philo, allows us to discover that creativity has forever been a part of the reading process. Moving on to explore the contributions of more recent commentators, Rees concludes that an embrace of diversity, of collegiality, may well point to a new future in Biblical Studies.

Anthony Rees is Research Fellow at the Centre for Public and Contextual Theology of Charles Sturt University, Australia.

Responding to a Puzzled Scribe: The Barberini Version of Habakkuk 3 Analysed in the Light of the Other Greek Versions

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In part one of this book Joshua L. Harper is able to demonstrate the following aspects of the Barberini version: when compared with the other Greek versions, it appears that the Barberini version was originally independent of the Septuagint but has been influenced by it in transmission. The Barberini version was probably translated no earlier than the later books of the Septuagint (that is, around the first century BC), and no later than the mid-third century AD. The style, methods of translation, and exegetical affinities suggest that the translator was primarily concerned with producing stylistic, understandable Greek rather than with conforming closely to the Hebrew source text. The translator was probably Jewish, particularly since some readings resonate with Jewish exegetical traditions. The relatively polished Greek suggests that the translator had received some formal Greek education, perhaps in a Hellenistic Jewish community.

In the second part of this work Harper provides text, translation, and notes for the major Greek versions. The Barberini version has been analysed in particular detail, with regard to lexical and syntactical translation technique, as well as matters of style.

Individual text witnesses are presented in detail, and this is the particular value of the work.

Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft

Joshua L. Harper is Lecturer in Old Testament and Biblical Languages at Africa International University, Nairobi, Kenya.

‘Sit At My Right Hand’: The Chronicler’s Portrait of the Tribe of Benjamin in the Social Context of Yehud

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Benjamin is portrayed in Chronicles differently from how he is portrayed in the Deuteronomic History. In the latter, Benjamin’s relation to Judah is shown as varied and complex, incorporating both highs and lows. The Chronicler, by contrast, smooths over these difficulties by emphasizing the historically close relationship between the two tribes.

Benjamin D. Giffone sees in this evidence that the Judah-Benjamin relationship reflects the socio-political situation of late Persian Yehud, in which the relatively poor Jerusalem cult struggled to maintain material support from landed nobility in the region. Material evidence shows that the historically Benjaminite regions prospered during the Neo-Babylonian and early Persian periods. The Jerusalem cult competed with cultic locations known for their alliances with either Benjamin or Joseph for the support of wealthier landowners. It is within the context of this struggle for support that the Chronicler rewrote Israel’s narrative—partly to garner Benjaminite support. Giffone synthesizes observations that are literary and historical to reveal a literary phenomenon—the differing portraits of Benjamin—and situate this within the historical context of Persian Yehud. In so doing, Giffone offers a new understanding of Yehud during this period, and elaborates an important motif in these two sections of the Hebrew Bible.

A thorough study of Benjamin in Chronicles, and a useful overview of Benjamin elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible … A very welcome contribution to the field.

Journal for the Study of the Old Testament

Benjamin D. Giffone is Assistant Professor of Theology at LCC International University, Lithuania, and Research Associate at Stellenbosch University, South Africa.

The Binding of Isaac: A Religious Model of Disobedience

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Traditional interpretations in both Judaism and Christianity argue that the Akedah presents not only an ethical question but also an ethical reply. But for the intervention of the angel, Abraham would have killed his son. Obedience to God take precedence over morality as humanly conceived. Yet, the angel of YHWH that appears to Abraham is a later addition to the text; thus, in the original narrative Abraham actually disobeys the divine command to slay his son, and sacrifices a ram instead.

The first part of the book shows how the “original” version of the narrative did not contain the angelic figure. The second part of the book re-examines various religious interpretations of the text to show that exegetes such as Maimonides and his followers did point out Abraham’s disobedience. According to these writers the esoteric layer of the story in fact declares that disobedience to God’s command was Abraham’s true affirmation of faith. In the third part of the book, Boehm re-opens the philosophical debate between Kant and Kierkegaard. Boehm concludes the book by contending that the monotheistic model of faith presented by Abraham was actually a model of disobedience.

Boehm offers a fresh and sometimes disturbing reading....This is a rich and thought-provoking book that definitely deserves to be read. It can be argued that its message lies right in time: we are today more prone to accept a reading of disobedience than ever before, and it fits well into much contemporary research in the fields of the prophets (of resisting prophetic metaphors) and of Lamentations (of picking up the counter-voices of the lamenters).

—Svensk Exegetisk Årsbok (Swedish Exegetical Yearbook), vol. 74 (2009)

Omri Boehm is a doctoral student in the Philosophy department at Yale University who has published articles on the Akedah in various Hebrew Bible journals.

The God Ezekiel Creates

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This powerful collection of essays focuses on the representation of God in the Book of Ezekiel. With topics spanning across projections of God, through to the implications of these creations, the question of the divine presence in Ezekiel is explored. Madhavi Nevader analyses Divine Sovereignty and its relation to creation, while Dexter E. Callender Jr and Ellen van Wolde route their studies in the image of God, as generated by the character of Ezekiel. The assumption of the title is then inverted, as Stephen L. Cook writes on ‘The God that the Temple Blueprint Creates’, which is taken to its other extreme by Marvin A. Sweeney in his chapter on ‘The Ezekiel that God Creates’, and finds a nice reconciliation in Daniel I. Block’s chapter, ‘The God Ezekiel Wants Us to Meet.’ Finally, two essays from Christian biblical scholar Nathan MacDonald and Jewish biblical scholar, Rimon Kasher, offer a reflection on the essays about Ezekiel and his God.

Paul M. Joyce is Samuel Davidson Professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, King’s College London, UK. He is author of Divine Initiative and Human Response in Ezekiel (Sheffield, 1989) and numerous articles on Ezekiel, and volume co-editor of The God Ezekiel Creates (2014).

Dalit Rom-Shiloni is Senior Lecturer of Hebrew Bible at Tel Aviv University, Israel.

The Substance of Psalm 24: An Attempt to Read Scripture after Brevard S. Childs

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This book contributes to the theory and practice of Biblical interpretation by engaging in an interpretation of Psalm 24 inspired by a particular understanding of Brevard Childs’ “canonical approach”: an understanding centred on the concept of “theological substance.”

Sumpter shows how the literary, historical, and theological dimensions of Psalm 24 cohere into a single vision by reading the text according to the previously discussed dialectic. An initial “synchronic” analysis of the psalm’s poetic structure related to a “diachronic” reconstruction of the tradition history that lead to the final form. The question is then posed concerning the primary forces at work in this history of composition, a question which leads to reflection on the Trinity, first in se and then pro nobis. This latter dimension takes us back to the text, as its “Davidic” nature is further analysed in relation to the books of Samuel, the Psalter, and Isaiah. Finally, Patristic exegesis is turned to for further stimulation concerning the mysterious subject matter of the text.

Philip E. Sumpter did his PhD in Old Testament under Gordon McConville at Gloucestershire University, UK. He currently works at Akademie für Weltmission, Stuggart, Germany. He also holds visiting lectureship at the University of Bonn.

War in Chronicles: Temple Faithfulness and Israel’s Place in the Land

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Taking on the established view of Chronicles, which uses retribution theology—the view that the author of Chronicles re-worked the texts in Samuel-Kings to demonstrate that Yahweh rewards the good and punishes the wicked—Troy Cudworth argues that this cause-effect relationship is maintained primarily through the treatment of the themes of war and temple-faithfulness. Cudworth identifies a division of kings into categories, with the immediate exception of David, who belongs in his own category as he pioneered the two most foundational elements of the temple cult. For this reason, he also won many battles to secure Israel’s place in the land. The next two groups of kings can be dichotomised in the following way: those who show faithfulness to the temple cult and its practices, and those who neglect it.

Based on their attitude to the temple, the Chronicler illustrates how the kings either prosper in the land through military victory or suffer attack. Although many kings begin as faithful in supporting orthodox temple practices, and thus prosper on the battlefield, none of these kings are consistent and persevere in their faithfulness and so their success either stops immediately, or they suffer attack. Conversely, other kings are illustrated who, despite committing some of the worst sins in Israel’s history, repent immediately after their swift punishment. Across all of these cases, it is shown how temple faithfulness always ultimately guarantees peace and security for Israel.

A useful investigation of what is clearly a very important aspect of the Chronicler’s thought.

Journal for the Study of the Old Testament

Worlds that Could Not Be: Utopia in Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

The idea of Utopia was first made current and popular by Sir Thomas More with the publication of his book by the same name in 1516. The ‘no-place’ that was created has had a fantastic reception history, which makes its application to the biblical books of Nehemiah, Ezra and Chronicles as vibrant as the current scholarship which is ongoing into the Renaissance term and its implications. The essays in this collection take different approaches to the question: are there proto-utopian elements in the three books from the Hebrew Bible? Methodological considerations are to be found, but each essay also moves beyond the methodological constraint to raise the hypothetical question of ‘what if?’ in different ways.

The essays evaluate the potential, and pitfalls, of reading Biblical books as (proto-)utopian. Topics include how utopia construct intricate counter-realities, and how to tell whether a proposal diagnosed as ‘utopian’ from a modern point of view is meant to motivate its audience to political action. Case studies which read aspects of Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah as potential utopian traits include the restoration project of Ezra-Nehemiah and the rejection of foreign wives, utopian concerns in Chronicles, as well as the empire’s role in writing a putative utopia, and King Solomon as a utopian fantasy-king.

The quality of the contributors’ arguments greatly benefit this work.

Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft

Zechariah and His Visions: An Exegetical Study of Zechariah’s Vision Report

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Did Zechariah really see visions? This question cannot be definitely answered, so the idea must remain a hypothesis. Here, Tiemeyer shows that this hypothesis is nonetheless reasonable and instrumental in shedding light on matters in Zechariah’s vision report that are otherwise unclear.

Tracking through each verse of the text, the key exegetical problems are covered, including the topics of the distinction between visions and dreams, dream classification, conflicting sources of evidence for dream experiences, and rhetorical imagery as opposed to dream experience. Further attention is focused on the transmission of the divine message to Zechariah, with the key question raised of whether a visual or oral impression is described. Tiemeyer’s study further demonstrates that Zech 1–6 depicts a three-tier reality. This description seeks to convey the seer’s visionary experience to his readers. In a trance state, Zechariah communicates with the Interpreting Angel, while also receiving glimpses of a deeper reality known as the ‘visionary world.’

Dr. Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer is Senior Lecturer in Hebrew Bible at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK. She has written widely on the prophetic literature, including two full-length monographs, on aspects of Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Zechariah.

Zechariah’s Vision Report and Its Earliest Interpreters: A Redaction-Critical Study of Zechariah 1-8

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

If Zechariah’s vision report (Zechariah 1.8–6.8) reflects the seer’s visionary experience, how does that impact our understanding of the gradual growth of the text? Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer builds on the work done in her previous book Zechariah and His Visions (Bloomsbury-T&T Clark, 2014), to demonstrate that the visionary material forms the primary textual layer. The oracular texts constitute chronologically later interpretations. Zechariah and/or later authors/editors sought guidance in the earlier vision accounts, and the oracular material reflects these endeavours. Tiemeyer’s investigation is guided by the question: what is the latter material doing with the former? Is it enforcing, contradicting, or adding to it?

Using a ratio composed of the difference between the intratexts and intertexts of Zech 1–8, Tiemeyer shows how this ratio is higher in the oracular material than in the visionary material. This difference points to the different origin and the different purpose of the two sets of material. While the earlier vision report draws on images found primarily in other biblical vision reports, the later oracular material has the characteristics of scribal interpretation. By drawing on earlier material, it seeks to anchor its proposed interpretations of the various vision accounts within the Israelite textual tradition. It is clear that the divine oracles were added to give, modify, and specify the meaning of the earlier vision report.

An interesting hypothesis that warrants further debate.

Journal for the Study of the Old Testament

Dr. Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer is Senior Lecturer in Hebrew Bible at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK. She has written widely on the prophetic literature, including two full-length monographs, on aspects of Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Zechariah.

About Andrew Mein

Andrew Mein is Lecturer in Old Testament at the University of Durham, UK.

About Claudia V. Camp

Claudia V. Camp is Professor of Religion at Texas Christian University, USA and was on the steering committee of the Seminar. She is currently co-general editor of the LHBOTS series, as well as the author or editor of 4 books and numerous articles.


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