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Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament 3.2 (2014)

 

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“Was Elihu Right?” by MARTIN A. SHIELDS

ABSTRACT: The major difficulty facing any suggestion that Elihu provides a possible explanation for Job’s suffering is that nothing he says comes close to describing the events described in the book’s prologue. This paper builds on the suggestion that the account in the prologue is not meant to provide a comprehensive rationale for Job’s continuing suffering, freeing the reader to review Elihu’s contribution in a new light. Furthermore, I argue that Elihu’s contribution presents a non-retributive rationale for Job’s suffering which does not fall under the same condemnation as that of his friends. Ultimately, then, Elihu’s account might be correct. This serves the author’s purpose by allowing an alternative to retributive justice while, by not affirming Elihu’s explanation, ensuring the reader understands that the true cause of Job’s suffering must remain a mystery.

 KEYWORDS: Job, Elihu, theodicy, wisdom, wisdom literature

“Queens, Widows, and Mesdames: The Role of Women in the Elijah-Elisha Narrative” by JOSHUA JOEL SPOELSTRA

ABSTRACT: The Elijah-Elisha narrative cycle (1 Kgs 172 Kgs 13) features a higher density of women than usual in the Hebrew Bible. What do these women contribute to the narrative unit(s)? Through semiotic analysis, this paper presents a complex of three socio-religious and theological themes: food-famine, life-death, and orthodoxy-idolatry. These semiotics do not come into sharp focus, it is argued, without the analysis of the women of 1 Kgs 172 Kgs 13. The semiotic axes of food-famine, life-death, and orthodoxy-idolatry are, further, interwoven into and indicative of the miraculous and prophetic activity of Elijah and Elisha.

KEYWORDS: Elijah, Elisha, Narrative, Semiotic/s, Women

“Prophet and Patriarch: Abraham’s Prophetic Characteristics in Genesis” by JAY TODD

ABSTRACT: In Gen 20:7, YHWH refers to Abraham as a prophet, thus distinguishing Abraham as the first person explicitly identified as a prophet (נביא) in the Hebrew Bible. Unfortunately, the relevant secondary literature (prophetic introductions, biblical theologies, and theologies of the Pentateuch) has given minimal attention to Abraham’s prophetic role. This article attempts to correct this oversight by examining Abraham’s prophetic characteristics in the Abrahamic narrative (Gen 11:27–25:11). After outlining general prophetic characteristics given in the Pentateuch and the rest of the Hebrew Bible, this article highlights Abraham’s prophetic characteristics in order to demonstrate Abraham’s role as a prophet in the biblical text. The article’s final section compares and contrasts Abraham with two other prophets in the Pentateuch, Balaam and Moses, in order to identify possible implications for the theology of the Pentateuch.

KEYWORDS: Abraham, prophet, prophetic characteristics, Balaam, Moses

“The ‘Seventy Sevens’ (Daniel 9:24) in Light of Heptadic Themes in Qumran” by RON HAYDON

ABSTRACT: Daniel 9:24 is fraught with puzzling language, particularly the meaning of the “seventy sevens.” Rather than add to the relevant commentaries, this paper approaches the phrase in light of the heptadic language we find in select Qumran sources. Jubilees, 1 Enoch, and related scrolls portray these heptadic structures as primarily theological expressions, with chronology either set in the background or absent altogether. I suggest this context casts the seventy sevens in a new light, wherein it serves a mainly theological function instead of a rigid temporal one. Beginning with a brief examination of each major extracanonical source, we will consider two theological implications that come as a result of these texts’ reception of Daniel: first, Daniel’s seventy sevens may need to be considered a theological image; second, the image likely paints a picture of exile and restoration in its fullness, spanning all epochs, not just the Babylonian, Media-Persian, and Seleucid-Hasmonean crises. The conclusion notes how such literary and theological moves may also point to a deliberate shape inherent to Dan 9, one that includes subsequent, interpretive communities, such as Qumran and its sects.

KEYWORDS: Daniel 9, seventy sevens, Qumran

Book Reviews

The Theology of the Book of Amos by John Barton (Reviewed by A. King)

Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: More Noncanonical Scriptures edited by Richard Bauckham, James R. Davila, and Alexander Panayotov (Reviewed by T. Willoughby)

Obadiah: The Kingship Belongs to YHWH by Daniel I. Block (Reviewed by T. J. Finley)

Reading Genesis 1–2: An Evangelical Conversation edited by J. Daryl Charles (Reviewed by A. Knapp)

Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs by Edward M. Curtis (Reviewed by S. J. Bennet)

1 & 2 Chronicles by Louis C. Jonker (Reviewed by B. G. Youngberg)

Writing Up Jeremiah: The Prophet and the Book by Jack R. Lundbom (Reviewed by J. D. Hays)

Rediscovering Eve: Ancient Israelite Women in Context by Carol Meyers (Reviewed by H. Dallaire)

Jeremiah among the Prophets by Jack R. Lundbom (Reviewed by L.-S. Tiemeyer)

La alegría en Isaías: La alegría como unidad y estructura del libro a partir de su epílogo (Is 6566) by Miguel Ángel Garzón Moreno (Reviewed by N. J. Moser)

God’s Word Omitted: Omissions in the Transmission of the Hebrew Bible by Juha Pakkala (Reviewed by J. F. Quant)

Die Nachtgesichte des Propheten Sacharja. Eine einzelexegetische Untersuchung zur Bestimmung ihrer Eigenart by Zoltán Rokay (Reviewed by M. Rogland)

Jesaja 1–23 by Konrad Schmid (Reviewed by E. Jones)

Warfare in the Old Testament: The Organization, Weapons, and Tactics of Ancient Near Eastern Armies by Boyd Seevers (Reviewed by M. A. Hassler)

 Job 1–21: Interpretation and Commentary by C. L. Seow (Reviewed by E. Ortlund)

Wisdom and Torah: The Reception of ‘Torah’ in the Wisdom Literature of the Second Temple Period edited by Bernd U.Schipper and D. Andrew Teeter (Reviewed by R. P. O’Dowd)

Jonah: God’s Scandalous Mercy by Kevin J. Youngblood (Reviewed by J. K. Bruckner)

David Remembered: Kingship and National Identity in Ancient Israel by Joseph Blenkinsopp (Reviewed by D. B. Schreiner)

David, King of Israel, and Caleb in Biblical Memory by Jacob Wright (Reviewed by D. B. Schreiner)

Deuteronomy: A Commentary by Jack R. Lundbom (Reviewed by J. G. Audirsch)

The Old Testament and Ethics: A Book-by-Book Survey edited by Joel B. Green and Jacqueline E. Lapsley (Reviewed by J. R. Kelly)