1.2 (2012)

Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament 1.2 (2012)

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“The Election and Divine Choice of Zion/Jerusalem” by DAVID B. SCHREINER

ABSTRACT: This essay examines the fourteen passages in the Old Testament that mention that the Lord chose (בחר) Zion or Jerusalem. After briefly discussing the ideas of Zion/Jerusalem’s election throughout the Old Testament, this essay discusses each of the fourteen passages to determine the semantics and nuances. This essay concludes that these fourteen passages constitute a distinct ideological thread within the larger idea of Zion/Jerusalem’s election. Thus, scholars should exhibit more precision when invoking the passages of the Lord’s choice in discussions of Zion/Jerusalem’s election. In the second half, this essay discusses the historical-critical issues that surround each occurrence. Ultimately, this essay suggests that the demise of the ideology of the Lord’s choice of Zion/Jerusalem may be linked to the dissolution of the Davidic dynasty as a viable political option. This essay closes with a few thoughts on how this phenomenon testifies to the progressive nature of God’s revelation. 

KEYWORDS: choice, election, Davidic dynasty, Zerubbabel, centralization

“Wisdom Incarnate?: Identity and Role of אשׁת־חיל (“the Valiant Woman”) in Proverbs 31:10-31″ by JISEONG KWON

ABSTRACT: Understanding the identity of אשׁת־חיל (literally, “a woman of strength”) in Prov 31:10–31 presents various exegetical and interpretative issues. What is the rational way to look at the business woman’s characteristics? Should the life of the ancient successful woman which the Hebrew acrostic pragmatically portrays be recognised as speaking of social activities in ANE culture or should it be limited to religious virtues relevant to an Israelite community? Or perhaps, we can make an interpretive decision looking at it from both sides? Employing textual and literary approaches to find the persona of אשׁת־חיל (“woman of strength”), I argue that all the activities of the woman in the poem indicate the model of virtuous woman as well as of the mundane woman in a particular historical period and that אשׁת־חיל (“the valiant woman”) is used for a symbolic figure of personified Wisdom.

KEYWORDS: אשׁת־חיל (“the valiant woman”), Hebrew acrostic, hermeneutical model, personified Wisdom

“Abraham’s Tamarisk” by MATTHEW UMBARGER

ABSTRACT: Genesis 21:33 states that “Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba” without giving any explanation for this act. One possible explanation for the tamarisk’s significance, based on religious and magical uses of tamarisk in other ancient Near Eastern cultures, is that Abraham plants the tamarisk to zone off the area around his altar in Beersheba as an outdoor shrine.

KEYWORDS: Abraham, Tamarisk, Purity, Shrine, Magic, Ancient Near Eastern religion

“The Gibeonite Revenge of 2 Sam 21:1-14: Another Example of David’s Darker Side or a Shrewd Monarch?” by BRIAN NEIL PETERSON

ABSTRACT: Second Samuel 21:1–14 records the Gibeonites’ ritualistic execution of the seven sons of Rizpah and Merab. Many scholars insist that this account illustrates David’s brutality in his securing of the throne from the Saulides. Furthermore, chapters 21–24 appear to be chronologically disruptive to the Succession Narratives of 1 Sam 16–1 Kgs 2 with no real purpose other than to offer a few closing remarks on David’s kingship. However, David’s actions in 2 Sam 21:1–14 must be understood not so much as acts of wanton brutality and carpe diem but rather as the actions of a wronged man at the hands of Saul. What is more, David’s actions must not only be appreciated in light of ANE treaty-curses and their reversal, but also in light of the motifs of “settling scores” and of throne preparation and transition. In keeping with this latter motif, 2 Sam 21:1–14 fits thematically within the appendix of 2 Sam 21–24 and the greater rhetorical purposes of the complier of 2 Sam 21–1 Kgs 2:12. The picture that emerges from this material is one of a shrewd monarch righting past wrongs and preparing his kingdom for his successor.

KEYWORDS: Gibeonites; Second Samuel 21:1–14; Curse reversal; Succession Narratives; Merab

“Correlation of Select Classical Sources Related to the Trojan War with Assyrian and Biblical Chronologies” by RODGER C. YOUNG and ANDREW E. STEINMANN

ABSTRACT: Archaeological findings have added greatly to the credibility of Josephus’s citations of Tyrian records, in particular the list of Tyrian kings and their lengths of reign from 1000 to 786 B.C. and then from 593 to 532 B.C. Considerable skepticism remains, however, regarding the accuracy of another chronological datum that Josephus found in the Tyrian records, namely that Tyre was (re)founded 240 years before construction began on Solomon’s temple. The present study cites Pompeius Trogus/Justin and other classical authors that placed the refounding of Tyre immediately before the end of the Trojan War, thus bringing into harmony the date given in the Parian Marble for the fall of Troy, 1208 B.C., with the date for Tyre’s refounding as calculated from Josephus. Essential to this reasoning is the argument for the independence of the various sources that date these two events to the last decade of the 13th century B.C. Their independence, yet essential agreement, is compared to the weakness of the reasoning for the traditional date of 1183 B.C. for the end of the Trojan War. The precision of these various arguments is based on the firmness of the regnal dates of Solomon and his successors, as derived from biblical texts.

KEYWORDS: Old Testament Chronology, Josephus, Solomon, Hiram of Tyre, Tyrian King List, Trojan War

Book Reviews

Biblical Hebrew Grammar Visualized by Francis I. Anderson and A. Dean Forbes (Reviewed by M. J. Hamilton)

Blood Expiation in Hittite and Biblical Ritual: Origins, Context, and Meaning by Yitzhaq Feder (Reviewed by S. J. Park)

Human Consciousness of God in the Book of Job: A Theological and Psychological Commentary by Jeffrey Boss (Reviewed by J. E. Stewart)

Isaiah 40–55 by R. Reed Lessing (Reviewed by P. J. Long)

Key Questions about Christian Faith: Old Testament Answers by John Goldingay (Reviewed by I. German)

The Message of Kings: God Is Present by John W. Olley (Reviewed by G. Galvin)

Old Testament Wisdom Literature: A Theological Introduction by Craig G. Bartholomew and Ryan P. O’Dowd (Reviewed by J. M. Philpot)

Rethinking Rewritten Scripture: Composition and Exegesis in The 4QReworked Pentateuch Manuscripts by Molly M. Zahn (Reviewed by A. R. Meyer)

Right in Their Own Eyes: The Gospel According to Judges by George M. Schwab (Reviewed by D. S. Diffey)

Soundings in the Theology of the Psalms: Perspectives and Methods in Contemporary Scholarship by Rolf A. Jacobson (Reviewed by R. J. Cook)

Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, 3rd ed. by Emmanuel Tov (Reviewed by J. Squirrell)

Writing and Literacy in the World of Ancient Israel: Epigraphic Evidence from the Iron Age by Christopher A. Rollston (Reviewed by D. B. Schreiner)

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