2.1 (2013)

Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament 2.1 (2013)

 

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“Sacred Time in West Semitic Festival Calendars and the Dating of Leviticus 23” by BRYAN BABCOCK

ABSTRACT: The Bible records several versions of the Israelite festival calendar, including accounts in Exod 23; 34; Lev 23; Num 28-9; Deut 16; and Ezek 45. The festivals, as depicted in the various texts, have many commonalities; however, there are also differences. Some of the often cited differences in the festival calendar texts include fixed dates versus dates based upon the harvest, the combination of two named
rites into a larger ritual complex, the mention of simultaneous rites in different locations of the same text, and some festivals are named in one text and unnamed in others. Scholars have explored these similarities and differences arguing that the various calendars were written by different sources (authors/redactors) at different times in Israelite history. The current project provides a comparative analysis between Lev 23 and the second-millennium Akkadian multi-month festival calendar from Syria (Emar 446). After a review of each text and the contextual material, this study argues that Lev 23 preserves an early second-millennium West Semitic ritual tradition.

KEYWORDS: sacred, ritual, Akkadian, Leviticus 23, Emar, Festival Calendar

“Gazelles, Does, and Flames: (De)Limiting Love in Song of Songs” by ANDREW E. STEINMANN

ABSTRACT: Some of the most commented upon and enigmatic passages in Song of Songs are the adjuration refrains (Song 2:7; 3:5; 8:4) and the comparison of love to a flame (Song 8:6). This paper proposes that these verses serve to delimit and define love in Song of Songs while also limiting the expression of that love. In each context there is a reference to God—often by clever circumlocution (Song 2:7; 3:5)—thereby defining the legitimate expression of love according to divine intent. This use of circumlocution and its omission at Song 8:4 build suspense for the punch line at Song 8:6 which finally reveals the involvement of God in love and its expression between the
Shulammite and her beloved

KEYWORDS: Adjuration; circumlocution; oaths; Shulammite

“The Story of Torah: The Role of Narrative in Leviticus’s Legal Discourse” by JOHN G. FERCH

ABSTRACT: For years, source critics have proposed a broad two-part structure for Leviticus, based on two independent sources that are presumed to underlie the book. This approach, coupled with a popular perception of Leviticus as nothing more than a long list of sundry Israelite laws, has caused the book’s narrative unity within the broader story of the Pentateuch to be neglected. By applying narrative criticism to the often-forgotten stories in Leviticus 10 and 24, crucial literary links are revealed which suggest a three-part outline to the book, supporting a united message that presents the giving of the Law as an act of divine grace designed to prepare Yahweh’s people to live in His presence.

KEYWORDS: narrative, Leviticus, structure, Pentateuch, Law

“An Examination of Northwest Semitic Divine Names and the Bet-locative” by SPENCER L. ALLEN

ABSTRACT: Four separate inscriptions from Kuntillet ‘Ajrûd (ca. 800 b.c.) invoke the divine names Yahweh-of-Teman (HI KAjr 14, 19A, and 20) and Yahweh-of-Samaria (HI KAjr 18), which reopened the debate about Deut 6:4’s declaration that “Yahweh is One” and the possibility of distinct, localized Yahwehs in the Israelite pantheon. In the biblical texts, the name Yahweh never appears in a construct chain with a geographic name (e.g., there is no Yahweh-of-Jerusalem), so alternative divine name formulas have been sought as additional evidence for an ancient poly-Yahwism. The most commonly suggested alternative involves a divine name followed by a geographic name in a bet-locative phrase: DN-b-GN. Thus, Yahweh-in-Zion (Ps 99:2) and Yahweh-in-Hebron (2 Sam 15:7) have been proposed as two additional localized Israelite deities. Comparable evidence from Ugaritic, Ammonite, Phoenician, and Punic texts containing the formula DN-b-GN has been offered in the past to support this claim (e.g., Tannit-in-Lebanon, KAI 81:1). This paper examines the relationship between divine names and geographic names as they pertain to potentially localized Yahweh deities and other Northwest Semitic deities. The formula DN-b-GN is carefully examined and rejected as a means of identifying any distinct deity in the various Northwest Semitic pantheons, including those of biblical Israel, for syntactical and other methodological reasons.

KEYWORDS: bet­-locative, divine names, Kuntillet ‘Ajrûd, poly-Yahwism

Book Reviews

Adam as Israel: Genesis 1–3 as the Introduction to the Torah and Tanakh by Seth D. Postell (Reviewed by S. Emadi)

The Archaeology of Israelite Society in Iron Age II by Avraham Faust (Reviewed by D. B. Schreiner)

Birth Annunciations in the Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near East: A Literary Analysis of the Forms and Functions of the Heavenly Foretelling of the Destiny of a Special Child by Scott Ashmon (Reviewed by R. W. Neff)

The Concept of Canonical Intertextuality in the Book of Daniel by Jordan Scheetz (Reviewed by D. R. Watson)

Deuteronomy by Daniel I. Block (Reviewed by G. McConville)

First and Second Samuel: A Commentary by Graeme Auld (Reviewed by J. G. Audirsch)

From Paradise to Promised Land by T. Desmond Alexander (Reviewed by P. Landis)

The Gospel According to Moses: Theological and Ethical Reflections on the Book of Deuteronomy by Daniel I. Block (Reviewed by J. M. Philpot)

He Has Shown You What is Good: Old Testament Justice Then and Now by H. G. M. Williamson (Reviewed by J. R. Kelly)

In God’s Shadow: Politics in the Hebrew Bible by Michael Walzer (Reviewed by J. Spencer)

Introducing the Old Testament: A Short Guide to its History and Message by Tremper Longman, III (Reviewed by I. J. Vaillancourt)

An Introduction to the Psalms by Alastair G. Hunter (Reviewed by J. E. Stewart)

Isaiah 40–66: A Commentary by Shalom M. Paul (Reviewed by J. Oswalt)

The Fate of Saul’s Progeny in the Reign of David by Cephas Tushima (Reviewed by D. S. Diffey)

Job by Tremper Longman III (Reviewed by A. H. Konkel)

Law, Power, and Justice in Ancient Israel by Douglas A. Knight (Reviewed by C. R. Bechtel)

The Legacy of Israel in Judah’s Bible: History, Politics, and the Reinscribing of Tradition by Daniel E. Fleming (Reviewed by S. L. Allen)

Logos 5 and BibleWorks 9 (Reviewed by R. L. Meek)

Pentateuchal Traditions in the Late Second Temple Period: Proceedings of the International Workshop in Tokyo, August 28–31, 2007 by Akio Moruya and Gohei Hata (Reviewed by P. J. Long)

Revisiting the Days of Genesis: A Study of the Use of Time in Genesis 1 – 11 in Light of its Ancient Near Eastern and Literary Context by Bryan C. Hodge (Reviewed by S. J. Park)

The Senses of Scripture: Sensory Perception in the Hebrew Bible by Yael Avrahami (Reviewed by W. K. Bechtold III)

Sex, Wives, and Warriors: Reading Old Testament Narrative with its Ancient Audience by Philip F. Esler (Reviewed by M. Sneed)

Studies on the Text and Versions of the Hebrew Bible in Honour of Robert Gordon by Geoffrey Khan and Diana Lipton (Reviewed by S. L. Byun)

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