A prevailing need in biblical studies is a comprehensive set of valid arguments for determining the direction of dependence once a literary relationship between two texts in the Hebrew Bible is reasonably established. This study takes a step toward addressing this lacuna by inductively cataloguing, illustrating, and evaluating eight criteria used to substantiate a proposed direction of borrowing in cases of inner-biblical allusion in Isaianic scholarship. These criteria provide a working list of plausible arguments that can be used when claiming the direction of influence in other cases of inner-biblical allusion throughout the Hebrew Bible. Such a list encourages both methodological clarity due to the increased precision of defined categories and scholarly creativity by suggesting multiple viable means to argue for the direction of dependence.
This article argues that the depiction of Amos in 7:10–17 reflects the post-exilic scribal turn in prophecy and was meant to legitimize this new mode of prophecy for Yehudite audiences. Much of the scholarship on 7:10–17 focuses on what Amos’s words meant to Amaziah and vice versa, but the addressees within the text are not the same as its actual audience. Within the text Amos’s words are addressed to Amaziah, but this article argues that their real audience consisted of rural Yehudites, who were meant to “overhear” the conversation and accept its new scribal version of Amos.
The so-called Succession Narrative abounds in references to locales and architectural structures used by royals and their aides to their advantage in matters of private and national interests. This article considers two episodes, which feature individuals lamenting near entrance ways: in 2 Sam 13:1–20 Tamar, David’s daughter, laments on either side of the door to Amnon’s private quarters; and in 2 Sam 18:33–19:1–4, David laments over the city gate. Using studies on the intersection of place, ideology, and behaviour and analysing the bolted door and the chambered gate within their immediate contexts and a wider narrative space (i.e., the Absalom crisis), this article discusses the role these structures play in the construction of David’s reign.
“Magic” is a term that continues to feature in popular and scholarly circles, yet scholars continue to disagree vehemently about its definition and utility. This article uses the various definitions of magic as lenses through which to compare the ritual texts of the Priestly Pentateuch, ancient Egypt, and ancient Mesopotamia. The results offered illumine both the texts and the scholars who interpret them. Regardless of the definition employed, the biblical and other ANE ritual texts are quite similar, leading to the conclusion that magic should not be used as a dividing line between biblical Priestly and other ANE ritual texts.
The goal of this article is to address introductory issues concerning the origin, function, and relevance of the Masoretic accentuation. First, it describes the recent scholarly attitude towards Masoretic accentuation. Then it clarifies some of the terminology involved and shows in which texts the Masoretic accents were used in addition to the Hebrew Bible. Finally, it offers a discussion of the original purpose and function of the Masoretic accentuation.
The expression lip̄nē, literally "to the face of," is commonly translated as "before." In combination with the root ngp ("inflict/defeat"), this leads to awkward English translations; e.g., "Israel was defeated before the Philistines" (1 Sam 4:2). What exactly is the role of the Philistines in this event? In recent years, some scholars have used grammaticalization theory to argue that lip̄nē in this context is an Agent marker: "Israel was defeated by the Philistines." However, this view is untenable in the face of arguments from narratology, syntactic-semantic restrictions, grammaticalization theory, and language typology. In present-day English, the near-literal translation "in the face of" is a better alternative: lip̄nē is a simple Locative prepositional expression, but the element "face" has the connotation that Israel is threatened by the Philistines. In other words, Israel is in the "realm of influence" of the Philistines. The actual Agent of ngp is Yahweh, who determines the result of battles, as can be seen in the active voice: "Yahweh defeated Benjamin in the face of Israel" (Judg 20:35). In fact, the meaning of the Hebrew expression is cross-linguistically common; the only problem is that the meaning of the English preposition "before" has shifted, so that the original translation came to be misunderstood.