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Six Minor Prophets through the Centuries

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Six Minor Prophets Through the Centuries is the work of highly respected biblical scholars, Richard Coggins and Jin H. Han. The volume explores the rich and complex reception history of the last six Minor Prophets in Jewish and Christian exegesis, theology, worship, and arts. This text is the work of two highly respected biblical scholars. It explores the rich and complex reception history of the last six Minor Prophets in Jewish and Christian theology and exegesis.

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This contribution investigates the lion metaphor in Nahum 2:11–14 [Hebrew 2:12–14]. Informed by the general theoretical considerations on the working of metaphors, two questions are asked in this contribution: The first question put to the text is to ask whether the portrayal of lion behaviour in the text is correct. The investigation revealed that the description of lion behaviour in the text of Nahum 2:11–13 [Hebrew 2:12–14] differs from what is known about lions. The answer to the first question prompted a second question. The second question is to ask whether the king is portrayed as a lion or is it perhaps the other way around: is the lion seen as a king? Finally, the implications this interpretation will have in understanding this passage will be discussed.
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Resumo: O objetivo do presente artigo é apresentar duas hipóteses explicativas para o fato de o culto do deus outsider Yahweh ter sido introduzido em Israel. A moderna historiografia considera Israel um povo distinto de Judá, originalmente politeísta e, como atesta o elemento teóforo que constitui o seu nome, praticante do culto ao deus cananeu El. Por sua vez, Yahweh é um deus outsider, cujo culto se desenvolveu nos territórios de Edom e Midiã. Não tão cedo, mas não depois do século IX, o culto de Yahweh foi introduzido no território e na cultura israelita. Num primeiro momento, Yahweh é assimilado ao panteão de El, mas, com o passar do tempo, El e Yahweh acabam sendo identificados. O artigo analisa duas hipóteses para a introdução do culto de Yahweh em Israel: ou o traditivo grupo do êxodo o introduziu ou isso se deve a relações diplomáticas entre Israel e Edom. Palavras-chave: Yahweh; Israel; Edom; Seir; Temã. Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to present two explanatory hypotheses for the fact that the Yahweh's cult had been introduced in Israel. The modern historiography considers Israel a distinct people in relation to Judah, originally polytheistic and, as shown by its name, practitioner of the cult to the Canaanite god El. In turn, Yahweh is an outsider god, whose cult was developed in the territories of Edom and Midian. Not so soon, but not after the ninth century, the Yahweh's cult was introduced into Israeli culture. At first, Yahweh is assimilated to the pantheon of El, but over time, El and Yahweh end up being identified. The paper examines two hypotheses for the introduction of the Yahweh's cult in Israel: or the traditive group from exodus introduced it or this is due to the diplomatic relationship between Israel and Edom.
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Trauma is left, right and centre in the whole book of Nahum. The book reflects the oppression and hardship that Judah had experienced at the hands of the imperial power Assyria. For many a reader, the violent and derogative content of this book is in itself a traumatic experience. In this article, the focus is on Nahum 2:2–11 (Masoretic Text [MT]), which depicts the downfall of Nineveh and its traumatic effects on its citizens. Besides the analysis of the text, a reading from trauma theory is made to enhance insights into the text. It is argued that the text served the purpose of offering hope to the people of Judah who relied on Yahweh for relief from their own traumatic experiences.
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Compilaciones de artículos exegéticos sobre el Antiguo Testamento desde una perspectiva histórica-lingüística escritos por estudiantes de teología.
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The text of the book of Nahum poses many challenges to exegetes and readers of the text. Nahum 3 in particular, challenges modern readers with its violent imagery and the derogatory language towards women. The article attempts to propose cultural sensitive readings of two different ‘cultures’, namely, reading Nahum in its historical context and from a perspective of feminist interpretation. Most serious exegetes agree that the reading of texts, in this case, a prophetic text, should first and foremost be interpreted in its historical and social context. It is also true that readers or hearers of the text react to and give meaning to the text. Our cultural embeddedness plays a major part in the process of ‘meaning-giving’ to the texts we interpret. The argument put forward in this article is that interpreters should be accountable for the meaning they ascribe to and promote of a particular text.
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The passage Nahum 3:15-17 operates within a context in which the theme of destruction is expounded. Various references of locusts as part of simile are used to speak about the threat and downfall of Nineveh, the symbol of Assyrian power, and some of its influential people. The article aims not only to to discuss the various applications of the locust metaphor in the designated verses, but also to argue how this metaphor is used effectively to speak mockingly about the dreaded power of Assyria, symbolised by Nineveh, her officials and people. In this article, the effective use of the locust 'marked metaphor' is discussed in an attempt to illustrate to the vulnerability and fleeting nature of the power of the once dominant Assyria. The oracle functions to encourage the people of Judah to envisage a display of Yahweh's power to cause the downfall of the enemy.
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This article presents some perspectives about Yahweh and ethics from Malachi's criticism of the rituals of the temple. Malachi's theological and ethical uniqueness is observed somehow most clearly in the preponderance of negative emphasis the prophetic book places on temple rituals and the way the language of the cult dominates its analysis of malpractices. Prophetic criticism of temple rituals, as this article demonstrates, lies at the heart of the controversy between the prophets and the priest; namely the role of cult and ethics in the religion of Ancient Israel. While scholars have yet to explain fully the phenomenon of criticism of the cult in prophetic writings, this article brings the prophets and the priests closer by proposing that the one way to explain the discrepancy is to advocate that these prophets could not see the importance of rituals for the improvement of ethical life. If the cult is understood to be the vertical dimension of the Law and ethics its horizontal dimension, one would notice that these dimensions go together, both are expressions of God' s will. When the vertical dimension (worship, offering, sacrifice) is experiencing some degree of dysfunction, the horizontal dimension (social justice, etc.) will be affected. Malachi' s emphasis on the temple obviously helps one to see that there was nothing wrong with the cult unless it was not used appropriately and effectively to enhance the ethical life of the people as an essential component of the larger framework of the covenant relationship that Yahweh had with them as his people. The article thus emphasizes some underlying theological reflection on the uniqueness of Malachi's oracles about Yahweh and ethics for faith communities.
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The theme of the Day of Yahweh is regarded as a central feature of the prophets' message to their contemporaries. It is the most striking and prominent theme in the Book of the Twelve. While Isaiah focuses on Zion, Jeremiah on the rhetoric of lament, Ezekiel on the Glory of Yahweh, so are the Minor Prophets on the theme of the Day of Yahweh. The Day of Yahweh as envisioned by Malachi is an eschatological day of judgement with a future day of renewal and restoration of the fortunes of those who fear the Lord. Malachi's vision for restoration includes a covenantal messenger, who will cleanse Yahweh's people and restore true worship and obedience to the ethical standards of the law thus giving room for a community of reverence who will enjoy righteousness and healing. Earlier Mala-chi had castigated the priests and people for their attitude and actions toward sacrifices and the altar. Now in the light of the lawlessness alluded to in 2:17, the corruption of the priesthood in 3:3, the inadequacy of worship in 3:4 and the corruption of personal and civil morality in 3:5, readers are introduced to three urgent issues: the need for messianic intervention, the need for the day of judgement and the need for social justice. In the discussions that follow, this article examines eschatological hope in the OT, the eschatological peculiarity of the discourse of Malachi's Day of Yah-weh, the identity of Malachi's eschatological covenant messenger, the roles of the eschatological messenger: namely, cultic restoration and Yahweh's righting of past wrongs and the reversal of sinful societal order in the overall context of the eschatological day of Yahweh.
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This article demonstrates the vindictive tone of Malachi’s final sermon by highlighting the amazing reversal of fortunes of the righteous and shocking end of the wicked. Such a reversal or antithesis this article proposes, serves as a climax to the literary motif and artistic brilliance of reversal noticeable in the book of Malachi. The substance of Malachi’s message is that of triumph of Yahweh’s justice over obvious inequalities of life. Malachi 3:13–21 reveals that beyond the horizon of lived reality lies a judgement moment in which good and evil are still criteria of what is acceptable and unacceptable to Yahweh. The article examines the literary structure and content of the this unit of Malachi’s oracle, provides detailed exegesis of the cynicism or antithesis in the text and concludes by synthesising the result in an attempt at reconciling Yahweh’s supposed justice with obvious life’s inequalities. Malachi’s prediction of the ultimate restoration of the fortune of the righteous and shameful end of the wicked, stands as a refutation of the insinuation that to serve Yahweh is worthless. Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article not only focuses on the synchronic dimensions of this text, but also the diachronic perspectives. The literary analysis is combined with a historical embeddedness of this text. This text poses a challenge to the reader of the 21st century and invites the modern reader to a explore life, and specifically fullness of life amidst circumstances not conducive to fullness of life.
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This article focuses on Malachi’s distinctive claims that guarantee a well-ordered community, namely the validity and feasibility of a Torah-compliant community. Since Torah compliance is a fundamental core of Israel’s life, in the book of Malachi, Yahweh’s Torah functions as the reliable and invariable authority for the community well-being as a whole. Community well-being as pictured by Malachi is created not only by Yahweh but also as the consequent contemplation and action of community. Malachi notes clearly that it is the sins of the community as a whole that renders it inconceivable that Yahweh’s blessings should attend to them as they are now, and Malachi demands certain definite and substantial actions as preconditions to the manifestation of the desired expectations. To him the secret of creating and maintaining a healthy, viable community and living as people in covenant relationship with Yahweh, is by ‘remembering’ (upholding and practicing) Yahweh’s Torah. Accordingly, Malachi enjoined his audience to remember the Torah of Moses, which constitutes the fundamental dimensions of their relationship with Yahweh. This article is thus an attempt to understand Malachi’s concept of a Torah-compliant community and its associated blessings of happiness and shalom.
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In the 175 years since his death, Walter Scott has regularly been hailed as an influence by politicians. Amongst the poet-novelist's nineteenth-century political admirers, William Ewart Gladstone was possibly the most ardent, genuine, and significant. Scott's poems and novels were amongst the earliest texts Gladstone read; he read no works (in English), except the Bible, so consistently or completely over such a length of time. They offered him a plethora of inspirations, ideas, and language, which he imbibed and appropriated into his public and private lives. His concept of self, his understanding of family, and his sense of home, were all forged and conducted within a Scottian frame of reference. Scott's life and works also crucially influenced Gladstone's political understanding of the Scottish nation and its people, and his conception of how he could best serve their political interests. This article casts new light on an important and influential relationship in Gladstone's life, establishing that it was neither the superficial and recreational association some have described, nor simply a ploy of an astute politician. The article falls into three parts. The first elucidates how Gladstone's consumption of Scott's writings was seminal in the formation of his private identity, both individual and familial. The second explains how Gladstone's readings of Scott fitted into the specific and serious character of his other reading and knowledge-gathering, and the third shows how the details of Gladstone's response to Scott related to the broader intellectual and cultural context of his public life. By placing Gladstone within his Scottish context, this article shows how frequently and significantly his private and public worlds intersected.
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Using an alternative form of scholarship, issues concerning how meaning is determined when reading an ancient text, the development of monotheism with the resulting need to reinterpret older Yahwistic texts, and how to understand divine motivations are explored. The piece is cast as a class action suit brought by modern humans against Yahweh in the heavenly court for murdering his wife, Asherah, citing Zech. 5:5-11 as evidence to support the accusation. Yahweh is defendant, self-appointed counsel and judge, whose cross-examination highlights all three issues. The case remains unresolved, as do answers to the issues.
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