Korean Journal of Old Testament Studies 2021 KCI Impact Factor : 0.42

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2009, Vol.15, No.2

  • 1.

    Theology of the Book of Psalms - Sinai and Zion

    왕대일 | 2009, 15(2) | pp.10~29 | number of Cited : 8
    Abstract PDF
    This paper is intended to show that the Sinaitic experience of divine presence, which was described as the Mosaic faith in the Pentateuch, especially in the Sinai Pericope (Ex 19:1-Num 10:10), was re-enacted in the Davidic Temple at Zion that was conceived as the cosmic mountain in the book of Psalms. Sinai is the mountain where Israel's formative years launched. Mt. Sinai, which is understood as “YHWH's home in no man's land,” is a sacred place where Yahweh, the liberator, encountered Israel who was liberated out of the bondage of Egypt. The experience of Israel at Mt. Sinai passed on to us meta-historical or transcendent reality of the presence of God. It showed an essential, normative relationship of YHWH to his people Israel first, the covenantal relationship, second, the tabernacling presence of God in the tent of meeting. Sinai gave Israel the world in which Israel should become a witness to the legitimate Jewish way of living. Theologically speaking, Israel was a sacral kingdom before she became a political state. The final editing of the Psalter was made with a great interest in perceiving Zion as the successor to Sinai. The present form of the book of Psalms, by which prayers, hymns, and songs were to be read as a form of Torah, had integrated the Zion tradition to legitimate the temple as sacred space reenacting the Sinaitic experience at Jerusalem. It shows the presence of God in Zion, which appears as a crucial constituent not only in the texts where the word Zion is prevalent. It also functions within each of the five books of the Psalter as a deliberate feature whereby the Zion tradition is given a central place. It would be surprising, if the one who was in responsible for editing the final form of Psalms belonged to the same Levitical circles as those who compiled the Book of Chronicles: They shared the same vision for restructuring that Zion was the central locus for Judaism, both for the individual and the community as a whole. Theology of the book of Psalms puts its emphasis on the fact that the tradition of YHWH's theophany at Mt. Sinai was transferred to Zion. God was no longer seen as dwelling in an extraterritorial no man's land. He is seen as abiding in the temple, the primarily visual vehicle for the knowledge of God, which was standing within the borders of the Israel's community. The fact that temple was built by Solomon is now hermeneutically transferred: it was built by God. It describes the divine choice of Zion before the rise of David. By way of the psalmistic understanding, visionary experiences at Mt. Sinai and the temple on Mt. Zion appear as entries into the faith of Israel that could coexist in the end.
  • 2.

    Current Trends in Psalms Study

    Yoo,YoonJong | 2009, 15(2) | pp.30~62 | number of Cited : 19
    Abstract PDF
    Up to 1980, form criticism has dominated Psalms study. Following Gunkel and Mowinckel, many scholars tried to categorize genre of Psalm and find Sitz im Leben of individual psalms. But unfortunately it is found that there were so much limitation in defining specific structure of each genre and Sitz im Leben. But basic concept raised by form criticism cannot be ignored. In 1985, Gerald Wilson opened macro-approach to Psalms study. He tried to find final redactor's theological intention behind order of Masoretic Psalms 150. A lot of scholars joined in this trend of Psalms study. Thus extent of Psalms study became broadened. Currently Psalms study has been conducted in very diverse areas. In this study, the author pursues to categorize current Psalms study into five different trends. First, there are descendants of form/historical criticism in which H. Gunkel and S. Mowinckel had contributed a lot. C. Westermann criticized H. Gunkel, developed his own idea on genre of psalms, and tried to group differently from what Gunkel did. Gerstenberger has interest in Psalms' liturgical function. He categorized regular ritual (like festivals) and irregular ritual (like victory of war), supposed that ritual could be revised by socio-political change. He connected even wisdom psalms with ritual. He recognized that there were a lot of pre-exilic psalms without ritual connection, but later the ritual significance increased. Goulder, in his four books, attempted to answer historical questions raised by historical criticism. He tried to find proper date of some Psalms. He argued that prayers of David (Psalms 51-72) were written during David period, Psalms 120-134 during Nehemiah period, and Psalms 135-150 during Ezra period. Second, it was G. Wilson who opened the issue of shape of the psalter. Wilson maintained that an editor of psalter arranged MT Psalms 150 not arbitrarily, but intentionally. He tried to find theological intention laid behind order of MT 150 Psalms. After comparing ancient Sumerian and Qumran texts, Wilson argued that there was explicit editorial activity in the order of Psalms. He noted Psalms could be divided into two by books 1-3 and books 4-5. He argued that Psalm 89 accused God of not keeping the covenant between God and David, asked God to keep the covenant faithfully (Ps 89:46-51). It intended for getting hope of recovering the fate of Judah. The last two books were added later. They function as an answer to the question raised in books 1-3. He pointed out that in books 4-5 only God appeared as a king. He also noted that wisdom Psalms 1, 73, 90, 107 were placed in the head of books 1, 3, 4, 5. These wisdom Psalms led readers to read the book of Psalms in the perspective of torah. After Wilson, there were a lot of disputes on division of the Psalms, function of Psalm 1, theological intention of Psalms 1-150, and so on. Third, theology of Psalms has been a traditional topic in Psalms study. Kraus pursued various theological themes in the book of Psalms. Brueggemann, borrowing from Paul Ricoeur, categorized psychological status of human experiences into three steps: orientation, disorientation, and reorientation. Creation psalms, torah psalms, wisdom psalms, retribution psalms were originated from orientation, individual and communal lament psalms from disorientation, and praise and thanksgiving psalms from reorientation. While McCann sets basic concept of Psalms into torah “instruction,“ Mays puts the most important concept into 'YHWH reigns.' Fourth, the study on relationship between ancient Near Eastern texts and the book of Psalms has been a dominant topic. The most interesting psalm between Egyptian text and Psalms is psalm 104. Dahood and Craigie pointed out the differences of two psalms as well as similarities. Knigge tried to fill the gap of time between two psalms. In Mesopotamia, a lot of prayers appeared from 2500 BCE to 539 BCE. The contents of prayers consist of laments and praises. Longman III explained differences and similarities between Mesopotamian prayers and Psalms. Ferris, Arneth, Hilber, and Otto compared individual psalms with Mesopotamian prayers. There were a lot of fascinating studies between the Ugaritic texts and Psalms. Avishur compared word pairs between the Ugaritic texts and Psalms, and found some fixed word pairs in Canaanite literature. Fifth, there are various trends in Psalms study such as socio-political approach, christological interpretation, post-colonial approach, rhetorical criticism, reader-response, feministic, deconstructive, and ecological reading. In sum, the Psalms study since 2000 became broader than before. It reflects current trends of the Old Testament study. If there is a time to expand its territory, and a time to categorize and rearrange for expanded territory, now it is time to expand the territory of Psalms.
  • 3.

    Zion Theology of Psalm 46 in Its Literary Context

    김창대 | 2009, 15(2) | pp.63~82 | number of Cited : 9
    Abstract PDF
    This work is an synchronic attempt to explore the theological intention behind the location of Psalm 46 in Book II, then in the entire Psalter. This study is based on the assumption that the entire book of the Psalms had been canonically shaped by means of an editorial activity which arranged the entire Psalter as a coherent whole. By using the composition method, this study first has dealt with the implications of Zion theology of Psalm 46 in the wider literary context of Book II and in the narrower literary context of Psalms 46-48. Our special attention is drawn to the fact that Psalm 46 is strategically located in Book II for the purpose of conveying the idea that Zion theology of Psalm 46 is presented as a response to the laments of the post-exilic community. In other words, Psalm 46, with its surrounding psalms (especially Psalms 46-48), highlights that Zion where Yahweh is enthroned as eternal king is a secure refuge which cannot be shaken; and, however, it suggests that the recipient of the blessings from that Zion is only the one who behaves according to the moral principles of Yahweh's rule, which are justice, righteousness, and Hesed. In doing so, Psalm 46 serves the function of encouraging the post-exilic community to trust in Yahweh's rule on Zion with an ethical committment to Yahweh's Torah. This finding is more evident when we look at the way that psalms with Zion markers are arranged in the whole Psalter. Due to the constraints of the study, we have called attention to a few important psalms which display the main characteristics of Zion theology of the Psalms. Psalms 1 and 2 contain Yahweh's torah and Zion respectively in such a way that Zion theology of affirming Yahweh's unstable kingship should be understood as connoting human obedience to Yahweh's torah. Also, an overview of Psalms 93-100 (the so-called Yahweh enthronement psalms) lends more credence to our suggestion that Yahweh's rule on Zion demands human moral conduct represented by obeying Yahweh's law with heart. What is noteworthy in the latter psalms is that Book IV of which Psalms 93-100 are part is composed by the Mosaic framework with Mosaic traditions occurring at its beginning and end. This framework entails that Yahweh's rule on Zion as king should be accompanied by human obedience to Yahweh's law. The relationship between Yahweh's kingship in Zion and human responsibility is further supported by the adjacency of Psalm 119 to Psalms 120-134 (Zion pilgrimage psalms)
  • 4.

    Psalm 89 in Light of the Strategically Positioned Royal Psalms: Is the Davidic Covenant a Failed Mission?

    Jinkyu Kim | 2009, 15(2) | pp.83~110 | number of Cited : 19
    Abstract PDF
    It is well known that royal psalms 2, 72, and 89 are strategically placed at the seams of Books I-III because of Wilson's pioneering work on their strategic arrangement. He observed there is a thematic development among these royal psalms. The key issue is how the Davidic covenant is to be viewed in light of their arrangement. The Davidic covenant is positively viewed in Ps 2. It is transferred to his son Solomon in Ps 72. However, it is negatively evaluated in Ps 89. According to Wilson the heart of the message of Ps 89 is the Davidic covenant failed. He sought to find the answer to this failed mission from Books IV-V. He called the YHWH MALAK psalms (Pss 94-99) the theological heart of the expanded final Psalter. Wilson's negative evaluation of Ps 89 derived primarily from his failure to observe the strategic arrangement of the royal psalms in Books IV-V. The method he employed for the study of Ps 89 also involves a logical problem by overlooking the theme of the Davidic covenant from the royal psalms in Books IV-V. The royal psalms that are strategically placed in Books I-III should be compared to those in Books IV-V, not to the YHWH MALAK psalms in Book IV. The goal of this paper is to unravel that the Davidic covenant in Ps 89 is not a failed mission. This study utilizes my previous research on the royal psalms in Books IV-V(“The Strategic Arrangement of Royal Psalms in Books IV-V,” WTJ 70 [2008], 143-57). The present study will show how the theme of the Davidic covenant develops from Ps 89 to the strategically positioned royal psalms in Books IV-V (Pss 110, 132, and 144). The hope for the anointed of YHWH did not evaporate in the air; it reappears as a new form of the Messianic hope matched with the eschatological hope which appears in prophetic writings in the postexilic period(e.g., Zech 9-14, Joel 3-4[MT], etc.). In Ps 110, the Messiah triumphs in the warfare and sits at the right hand of YHWH. In Ps 132, the Messiah rules on Mount Zion. In Ps 144, the Messiah will finally win the victory over the enemies in the eschatological warfare and there will be abundant eschatological blessings. In light of this thematic development, the message of Ps 89 will be identified as the Davidic king's temporary suffering, humilation, and rejection. The living hope for the anointed of YHWH in Ps 89 is vividly expressed in the psalmist's exclamation, “How long, O LORD?”(v. 46/H47).
  • 5.

    Psalm 82: Ugaritic Voice, Israelite Song

    Kee, Min Suc | 2009, 15(2) | pp.111~130 | number of Cited : 6
    Abstract PDF
    In the article Psalm 82 is illuminated with the Ugaritic texts. It is concluded that the specific term naming the heavenly council in the psalm, ל-ת is the one manifesting its seriousness and authority, as the corresponding words in its Ugarit usages mark the same. This understanding is made when the relevant references such as Psalm 82: 1; Isa 14: 13; KTU 1.2.i (m‘d); and and KTU 1.15.ii (‘dt) were all read in comparison. Another conclusion revises the traditional rendering of verse 7, in which the unjust gods are punished like a man and one of chiefmen. However, in the light of KTU 1.23, the two could be understood as ‘Adam' and 'Shining One,’ who is also known as ‘Lucifer’ or ‘Morning Star,’ the fallen divine being. Adam and Shining One are the ones who were outcast from their privileged home, and it is apt to the sentences fallen to the unjust gods in the Psalm. This rendering is made when Is 14, which seems to have a close association with the Ugaritic ideas, sheds a supporting light to the interpretation of Ps 82: 7.
  • 6.

    Abraham's Sacrifice of Isaac: A Redaction Criticism of Genesis 22:1-19

    Woo, Jin-Hyung | 2009, 15(2) | pp.132~150 | number of Cited : 5
    Abstract PDF
    This paper examines Genesis 22: 1-19, 'Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac', to read a self-understanding of Israel, particularly by means of redaction criticism. In the redactional examination Genesis 20-22 is a consistent one layer: especially the chapter 22 is a conclusion of the ideas that begun in 20. Through the story, it seems that the redactor wanted to present a new value and norm of life required by the Israelite in the face of a new era. In the paper the historical significance of 'Isaac as a son' to the Israelite is sought for; telling the early literary layer and the revised layer in the analysis of Genesis 22: 1-19, it is studied what 'God's test and Abraham's obedience' in concern of sacrificing Isaac means to the Israelite. The redactor employs the story as an example to argue that, in the world where God sovereigns, Israel has to resign from building up a 'great nation' by power but come up as an 'intercessor of blessing' by way of the fear of God.
  • 7.

    A Study of Scholarly Views on the Historical Identity of Abraham

    Samuel Cheon | 2009, 15(2) | pp.151~166 | number of Cited : 3
    Abstract PDF
    The purpose of this article is to deal with Abraham's historical identity presented by recent scholars who have studied his story in the Book of Genesis through archaeology and historical criticism. To do so, it critically reviews their presentations which have been discussed for the last 60 years. First of all, in the perspective of Palestine archaeology, Abraham was placed in the early second millenium, B.C.E. by W. F. Albright and N. Glueck, in the 19th-16th century B.C.E. by R. de Vaux and J. Bright, in the period of Amarna (15th-14th century B.C.E.) by C. H. Gordon and O. Eissfeldt, or in the early Iron Age (1200-1000 B.C.E.) by B. Mazar and P. K. McCarter, Jr. However, their views were criticized by T. L. Thompson and J. Van Seters, who argued that Abraham's story in the Book of Genesis included anachronism such as Philistines and camels, and later traditions. It means that ‘historical Abraham’ cannot be reconstructed by archaeological data. In the perspective of historical criticism, Yahwist's Abraham was presented as the intermediator of promise, but it has been discussed whether J was in the 10th century B.C.E. or exilic period. Priestly writer's Abraham was also presented as a model of the faithful or righteous in the exilic or post-exilic Jewish community, but it has been discussed whether P was in the Babylonian Period or Persian. In spite of these previous studies, the historicity of Abraham still remains unsolved, because it is difficult to deny Abraham as a historical figure. Abraham presented by J or P should be also reconsidered with each writer's socio-historical situation, which needs a study of Abraham described in other Pentateuchal books and prophetic ones. It means that the study of Abraham is related with other texts in the Old Testament as well as the story of Abraham in the Book of Genesis.
  • 8.

    A Comparative Study on Sexual Prohibitions in Lev. 18 and the Ancient Near East Code

    Cho, Mi-Hyoung | 2009, 15(2) | pp.167~191 | number of Cited : 6
    Abstract PDF
    This paper compares the sexual prohibitions in Leviticus 18 and the Ancient Near East (ANE) Code. It focuses on the sexual prohibitions in consanguinity and affinity. It examines the sexual prohibitions in Lev. 18 and the ANE Code based on the intertexuality. The sexual prohibitions in Lev. 18 and the ANE Code have many similarities and differences in terms of their contexts, forms and functions. Although the ANE Code does not treat the incest laws as in detail as Lev. 18 does, it provides a number of cases and the daughter's list which are not listed in Lev. 18, and thus it is beneficial in understanding the sexual laws of Lev. 18. Leviticus 18 describes the most organized and systematized laws on incest in the Old Testament. Leviticus 18, included in the Holiness Code (H), covers sexual matters in consanguinity and affinity (Lev. 18: 6-18) and a variety of sexual unions (Lev. 18: 19-23). The sex laws of the ANE Code are addressed either in the criminal law dealing with adultery and rape or in the civil law dealing with marriage and family matters. They focus on maintaining the order of property, the right of possession, the right of inheritance, the patriarchy, and the hierarchical society. However, unlike the ANE Code, Lev. 18 is described as the form in which the narrative and law are weaved into Torah, Sinai traditional narrative, and the Holiness Code. Also, it defines the incest as the sexual crime which pollutes and destroys the family system. The Israel's strong concerns in the Holiness Code in punishing the immoral sexual conducts with the fatal death penalty are to prevent individuals and community from being confused and to define the boundaries in the household. According to Lev. 18, Israel must protect the purity of the land which is based on the pureness of the families in order to get their right to subsist. For Israel to permanently live in the land and to become the YHWH's holy community, they would have to prevent the immoral sexual behaviors and keep all of the ordinances against the forbidden sexual conducts.
  • 9.

    Zur Fastenpolemik in der nachexilischen Zeit

    박경철 | 2009, 15(2) | pp.192~210 | number of Cited : 4
    Abstract PDF
    Das Ziel dieser Arbeit richtet sich auf eine Antwort nach der folgenden Frage: Wie ist das Verhältnis der Problematik zwischen Kultus und sozialer Gerechtigkeit? Diese Frage liegt auch bei uns, in dem es gefragt wird wie die heutige Kirche für ihre religiöse und soziale Rolle spielt. In dieser Arbeit geht es besonders um die Fastenpolemik in der nachexilischen Zeit. Bei der Forschung über die nachexilischen Prophetenbücher ist es sinnvoll, die prophetischen Begriffe oder Themen ‘Kultus’, ‘Tempel’, ‘Eschatologie’ und ‘soziale Gerechtigkeit’ aufeinander zu beziehen; denn diese Begriffe oder Themen zeigen sowohl wichtige Charakteristika der prophetischen Theologie als auch die soziale Lage der nachexilischen Zeit und nicht zuletzt die theologische Absicht der Endgestalt des Prophetenbuches, in dem die oben genannten Begriffe oder Themen einander begegnen. In dieser Arbeit handelt es sich vor allem über die zwei nachexilischen Texte Sach 7 und Jes 58, worum unsere Frage nach dem Verhätnis der Problematik zwischen Fastenkult und sozialer Gerechtigkeit sich widmet. Wie von den meisten Auslegern akzeptiert, wird sich die Fastenfeier in der nachexilischen Zeit als institutionalisierte, öffentliche Gedenkfeier anläßlich der Ereignisse um die Zerstörung Jerusalems im Jahre 587 v.Chr. charakterisiert. Bemerkenswerterweise geht es in den nachexili- schen Texten Sach 7 und 8 und Jes 58 um die Problematik zwischen Fastenfeiern und sozialer Gerechtigkeit. Der Hauptgrund der Fastenfeiern liegt bei Sacharja nicht in der Zerstörung des Tempels, sondern in den Gründen, aus denen der Tempel zerstört worden ist. Nach ihm verursachte die soziale Ungerechtigkeit in Juda/Jerusalem die Zerstörung des Tempels und die Katastrophe des Exils. Daher haben die Fastenfeiern in seiner Zeit keinen Sinn, so weit es in der Gegenwart keine soziale Gerechtigkeit gibt. Die Problematik der Fastenfrage hängt also nicht von dem Wiederaufbau des Tempels ab, sondern vom Tun sozialer Gerechtigkeit. In Jes 58 geht es vor allem um die Problematik zwischen Kultus und sozialer Gerechtigkeit für das Gottesvolk Israel. Dabei geht es auch darum, daß im Sinne der Endgestalt von Jes 58 als Ganzes die Themen „Fasten(Kult)“, „soziale Gerechtigkeit“, „Eschatologie“ und „Halten des Sabbats“ auf keinen Fall voneinander zu trennen sind. Also gibt es keine Frömmigkeit gegenüber Gott ohne eine befreite Solidarität mit den Nächsten, die die an den Rand gedrängten Armen und wirtschaftlich schwächsten Glieder der betreffenden Gesellschaft sind. Es gibt keinen rechten Gottesdienst ohne Menschendienst. Diese Forderung entspricht besonders der konkreten sozialen und wirtschaft- lichen Verhältnisse der nachexilischen Zeit. In dieser Arbeit wird es versucht einen wissenschaftlichen Beitrag zur Diskussion über das soziale Problem besonders um das Verhältnis der Problematik zwischen Kultus und sozialer Gerechtigkeit in der nachexi- lischen Zeit zu geben.
  • 10.

    A Study of Texts Relevant to Exorcisms Latent in the Old Testament

    Chang, Kwang-Yong | 2009, 15(2) | pp.211~227 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    In the present day Korean churches are facing the big problems whether they have to practise exorcistic ritual or not in their worship service. In such spiritual circumstances it is very necessary for us to pursue the identity of warding off evil/unclean spirits for healing the sick in Israel and its surrounding countries. Thus, it is very important and worthwhile to investigate and discuss the exorcism narratives in both the Old Testament and the ancient Near Eastern texts just before the Medo-Persian period. This, however, is proving increasingly difficult because we lack precise knowledge for an adequate study on the subject. So the author took an inter-disciplinary approach to attempt to suggest possible solutions to these problems through an examination of the literature of relevant texts. To achieve this goal it is essential to recognise that the Judeo-Christian inheritance on the subject in question should be related to similar beliefs found amongst the neighbours of Israel, with whom, at various periods, the Hebrews came into close cultural contact. For their beliefs in demons or evil spirits and angels were very intimately related to both primitive animism and the necromantic (spiritistic in the present day) belief in the survival of departed human spirits. However, the Old Testament does not explicitly state much about the apotropaic accounts while the New Testament shows us exorcism narratives as more than one third of Synoptic Gospels is in regard to healing the sick. It can be argued that this is mainly because we have lost the relevant texts in the Old Testament that dealt with the various exorcism accounts in the pre-Exilic period. Therefore, one can only treat the assumption or hypotheses put forward by these scholars with some misgivings for there is no documented evidence to support their theories. The problem can be solved if we try to pursue the relationship between Yahwism, the ethical monotheism of Israel and the family worship in Canaan and the ancient Near East. It is where we discover lots of exorcism accounts written on the basis of the sympathetic magic since the Old Babylonian period. In an attempt to solve this issue that exorcism narratives do not appear in the Old Testament, one can draw the conclusion that the Jewish religious authority concerned ruled out exorcisms accounts because spiritism threatened Yahwism in a matter of redaction of the Hebrew Bible since Josiah, the king of Judah.