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2010, Vol.16, No.2

  • 1.

    Studies on the Meanings of “the Assembly, Israel, and the Sojourners” in 2 Chronicles 30: 25

    Lee Hee Hak | 2010, 16(2) | pp.10~29 | number of Cited : 4
    Abstract PDF
    The purpose of this research is to identify the characters of "the Assembly of Judah, and the priests and the Levites, and the whole assembly that came out of Israel, and the sojourners" in 2 Chronicles 30:25. They were the participants of the Passover festival that Hezekiah, king of Judea, held. This indicates that all the classes of people in the North and the South Kingdom attended the nationwide festival. The reference to the various groups of people reveals that the Passover festival, that king Hezekiah held, was the highest and largest one among all other ones in the nation. Hezekiah was a special king to the writer of Chronicles. He was the king who purified the temple of Jerusalem, Yahweh worshipper who reformed the Yahweh rituals, and an idealistic ruler who resembled David and Solomon. The writer of Chronicles emphasized that Hezekiah was the first one who reunited the South and North Kingdoms - because the two kingdoms had been vanished from the historical scenes - after the reign of David-Solomon. This means that Hezekiah was a great king who reunited Israel, so, during his rule, Israel again had only one king and one temple, and had a vast territory, extended from Beersheba to Dan. The word, "assembly"( ), several times appearing at 2 Chronicles Chapter 30, was commonly related to the Passover festival of Hezekiah, and the continuing and repeated uses of Hebrew adverb, "all"( ), may indicate totality and unification of the festival participations. "The whole assembly of Judah" and "the whole assembly that came out of Israel" in the verse 25 mean that the two different groups legitimately participated in the Passover festival, and formed a whole festival community with other three additional groups, which were socially special. Since 2 Chronicles 30:25a was referring to Judea, "Israel"( ) of 2 Chronicles 30:25a definitely signified the territory of the old Northern Kingdom. The purpose of the writer of Chronicles, using "Israel and Judea" complementarily, was to emphasize the wholeness of Israel. For that purpose, king Hezekiah also wrote letters to "Israel and Judea" to discuss the celebration of the Passover festival(30:1) and sent messengers to "Israel and Judea" to encourage the participation of people at the festival(30:6). "The sojourners"( ) might have been "the converted Gentiles" who were at those days living in the northern territory or in the southern area, after having moved down from the north. The authority to participate in the Passover festival was also given to those who were the foreign immigrants to Israel and, giving up their identities as non-Israelites, converted to the Yahweh religion. This indicates that not only Jews but also all the Gentiles attended the Passover festival of king Hezekiah. The writer of Chronicles describes king Hezekiah as a great ruler who reconsolidated whole Israel. To him, Hezekiah was the third greatest king only after David and Solomon.
  • 2.

    Dual Functions of Manasseh's Sin (2 Kings 21: 1-18) in the Deuteronomistic History

    정석규 | 2010, 16(2) | pp.30~52 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    This is an exegetical paper on the final form of 2 Kings 21: 1-18. This paper attempts to expose the freedom of YHWH in punishing against His people as well as the theological justification for the destruction of Jerusalem by YHWH based upon Manasseh's sins as the double theological intentions of the final form of 2 Kings 21: 1-18. In order to disclose the intentions of the text, this paper examines the final form of the text by a synchronic approach rather than a diachronic approach. First, this paper analyzes the structure and texture of the final form of the texts. The extant form of 2 Kings 21: 1-18 is portrayed in the rhetorical scheme of inclusio of the typical regnal introduction(21: 1) and the concluding regnal resume(21: 17-18). In this outer framework, the main block concerning the reign of Manasseh(21: 2-16) is described in terms of a five-part concentric design as follows: a. Explanation of Manasseh's sins(21: 2-9)b. Cause for YHWH's punishment(21: 11)c. YHWH's announcement of punishment(21: 12-14)b'. Cause for YHWH's punishment(21: 15)a'. Explanation of Manasseh's additional sins(21: 16). This concentric structure shows theological function of Manasseh's sins as the cause for YHWH's punishment against Judah as well as the final form of 2 Kings 21: 1-18 as a legitimate unified literary unit. Second, this paper shows a close relationship between YHWH's punishments against Samaria and against Judah by comparing the sins of Manasseh with those of Ahab and Samaria. This relationship shows that the reference of Manasseh's sins is intended to reveal theological justification for the destruction of Jerusalem by YHWH. Third, this paper tries to expose an another function of the final form of the text by comparing Manasseh's sins with the reforms of Hezekiah and Josiah. In relation to the reforms of King Hezekiah and King Josiah of Judah, Manasseh's sins depicted in the final text of 2 Kings 21: 1-18 are intended to show YHWH's sovereignty or the freedom of God in destroying Jerusalem and Judah and reneging the eternal promise to the house of David(cf. 2 Sam 7: 12-16). The reason why Manasseh's sins, which nullify the reform of the formal king Hezekiah(2 Kings 18-20), cannot be nullified by the righteous reform of the latter king Josiah(2 Kings 22-23) is that YHWH freely made the decision to punish against Jerusalem. Therefore, the narrative of Manasseh's sins in 2 Kings 21: 1-18 functions to expose the freedom of God in punishing against His people as well as theological justification for the destruction of Judah by YHWH.
  • 3.

    Ho Prophets and other religions - Focusing on Isaiah 19:16-25

    정중호 | 2010, 16(2) | pp.53~70 | number of Cited : 2
    Abstract PDF
    Isaiah 19 includes remarkable passages. Egypt and Assyria, symbols of oppression and brutal tyranny, are united in harmony with Israel and blessed by the Lord of hosts; "Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing... Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands ..."(Isa. 19: 24-25). The purpose of this paper is to uncover the views of the Prophetic Books towards other gods and other religions while interpreting Isaiah 19: 16-25. During his 720-719 B. C. campaign, Sargon II, the king of Assyria, began a policy of cooperation and mutual alignment with the Delta Egyptians. And at that time, Jews were living in Egypt, especially in five cities including 'Sun city.' Also there were altars of Yahweh in Egypt like the temple in Elephantine. This situation is the background of Isaiah 19: 16-25. Although monotheism is dominant in the Old Testament, we can find polytheism and henotheism easily. In Deuteronomy 32: 8-9 and passages of Psalms(Ps. 82: 1, 6-7; 97: 7, 9), polytheism is apparent. In the story of Naaman(2 Kg. 5: 17-18) and prophecy of Micah(Mic. 4: 5), we see henotheism. Sometimes, for example the passage of 1 Samuel 2: 2, originally concerned henotheism, is revised as a passage of monotheism. In oracles against foreign nations, prophecies of judgement are announced based on common ethics rather than religious reasons. Although Cyrus was a pagan and the king of Persia, he was announced as "my(Lord's) shepherd"(Is. 44: 28) and "his(Lord's) anointed"(Is. 45: 1). God called peoples of Egypt and Assyria as well as Israel as 'my people' without regard for the differences of religion. God rules all nations and all peoples as the Lord of universe, as the Creator of the earth and heavens. This is a clue to solve problems of religious conflict.
  • 4.

    Old Testament Ethics in Job 31

    Keun Jo Ahn | 2010, 16(2) | pp.71~91 | number of Cited : 8
    Abstract PDF
    This paper explores the concept of morality in Job 31. Job 31 has been regarded as a consummating point in the Old Testament ethics, which is compared to Jesus' teachings on the Mount. This study has proved why it is so and has found ethical principles that integrate both legal and sapiential morality. First, genre problems of the text is literally discussed. Apart from the dominant literary form of oath which starts with (if), the first mention of Job in the text takes the form of covenant making. This clash of disparate genres is intentional in order to maximize Job's claim of self-innocence. Second, the problem of the disposition of the text is settled by canonical criticism. The last oath(31: 38-40a) is arranged separately from the main body of the innocent oaths. Canonical reading of the text renders the verses in question as a dramatic conclusion of Job's innocence by which we should recollect the curse of the ground(Gen. 3: 17-18) from the sin of covenant-breaking. Third, "Job's covenant with eyes" is theologically entertained. Ethical integrity of Job emerges from this inward act of self-examination. Through analyses of the text, we discover that Job 31 has a schematic structure concentrating on radical sense of morality. There are 16 oaths of innocence consisting of 12 ethical items. Each item includes legal morality such as reverence of God, resistance to lasciviousness, prohibition of stealing, ban on perjury. Yet, wisdom morality elaborates genuine spirit of legal regulations such as purity in heart, equality of human beings under Creator, vulnerability to inner immorality, relatedness to the land. The critical point of Job 31 is to discover original meanings of legal teachings by stressing inwardness and intention of moral being. As a result, we have four principles of the Old Testament Ethics in Job 31: principles of 1. inwardness, 2. relatedness, 3. integrity, and 4. piety. The study of Job 31 in the perspective of biblical morality has excavated the spirit of the legal imperatives of the Old Testament and highlighted the genuine character of the Law. We have discovered that the sapiential touch of the ethical elements of the Law facilitates the bridge between the Old Testament morality and the Sermon of the Mount in the New Testament.
  • 5.

    Understanding the Addition of the Psalm-headings in the Psalms

    손세훈 | 2010, 16(2) | pp.92~115 | number of Cited : 4
    Abstract PDF
    There are several distinguishable elements in the Psalm-headings. Some are relatively easy to define, while others get steadily more obscure. Psalms are not only poetical but musical. Several musical instruments are mentioned in the Psalms. Musical directions are given in the headings of many psalms, especially in the first three books: often the directions simply say 'for the chief musician', but some times they are considerably fuller, though difficult to be understood. And the situational context(Sitz im Leben) of final form can reasonably be placed between the time of the Chronicler and Maccabaean period. The intention of this study is to show the correlation between Psalm-headings and the Psalms' main text. Until now, most of scholars have not concerned about the meaning of the Psalm-headings in the Psalms. It is because the Psalm-headings in the Psalms had been edited in the latter period, while other versions were explaining the historical situation in the texts. Nevertheless, there is a reason to have a total of 116 headings in the Psalms (in its own way). Although the Psalm-headings in the Psalms had been edited in the latter period, it could catch a glimpse of the editor's theological perspective. It seems that the editor wanted to have readers understand deeper meaning. The writer came to a result as following:1) The concern to the tune- When compared the tune with text, the tune of Psalm-headings became a source of understanding the Psalms' text. (Pss. 7, 9, 16, 22, 32, 42, 44, 52, 53, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 74, 78, 81, 84, 88, 89, 142). 2) The concern to the figures and historical context -In the Psalm-headings the figures and the historical context greatly helped to understand the psalmist's context(Pss. 3, 7, 52, 57, 59, 60). As a result, Psalm-headings of the Psalms give a clue to the understanding on the text and a particular figure or a historical context in it.
  • 6.

    The Theological Reading of Ecclesiastes 5: Exegesis and Message

    차준희 | 2010, 16(2) | pp.116~135 | number of Cited : 5
    Abstract PDF
    It is not new that there is a gap between the theological education at school or seminary and the teaching in church. Now, biblical scholars at seminary should avoid pedantic studies of the Scripture. Also, pastors in church, who close their mind to the teachings from theological schools have to stay away from subjective and arbitrary misinterpretation of the Scripture. Mutual respect and understanding between theology(academic field) and the teaching of pious life(church) are the most urgent tasks to achieve. This essay will try to find a clue of this problem in the theological exegesis of the Scripture. Theological exegesis is a hermeneutic attempt not only to investigate and reveal the original meaning of the text(the final editor) at the historical time, but also to draw messages for today, focusing on the final form of the text rather than its formation process. This essay will interpret Ecclesiastes Chapter 5 which includes particularly incomprehensible concepts and paragraphs. Furthermore, this essay will derive a message that can be used for preaching in church. The contents of Ecc 5: 1-7 is about 'the criticism of the existing religious reality.' Verse 2 stresses on the absolute sovereignty of God rather than indifference of God. Verse 6 is interpreted as the prohibition on the abuse of 'mistake (Schegaga) of worship.' The word, 'fear of God,' in verse 7 acknowledges that God is not controlled by human beings. Ecc 5:8-9 is notorious for its barely understandable text (crux interpretum). The essay interprets verse 8a as 'Qoheleth's observation,' and verses 8b-9 as 'a response of a supporter of the established order.' Particularly, verse 9 is regarded as a slogan for supporting legitimacy of the government structure at that time. This paragraph, especially, is analyzed as the criticism of social reality, pointing to the mechanism of concealment that can be found in the leadership. Ecc 5:10-12 deals with 'the double-sided wealth' or 'dangerousness of wealth.' This verses show a concept different from 'the concept of the joy of idleness'(dolce far niente). This means that 'wealth without labor' is no value to seek. Ecc 5:13-17 concerns 'the sudden loss of wealth.' The word, "to their hurt,"(leraato) in verse 13 is interpreted as 'for their hurt'(the preparation for unhappiness) and "to their hurt"(the loss of wealth). Also, as many scholars insist, verse 15 is analyzed as 'the loss of one's whole fortune' rather than 'the sudden death of the rich.'Ecc 5:18-20 deals with 'the present of God and enjoyment' in response. "Enjoyment" (happiness) in verse 18 is not in 'possession of property,' but in 'enjoying property.' "Their lot" in verse 19 does not mean 'acquisition of property,' rather 'the experience of enjoyment.' Also, 'God's response' in verse 20 is regarded as 'God's revelation.' The four times mentioning of God's name in this paragraph could reveal the characters of God: First, God is the giver of limited life(Ecc 5:18). Second, God is the granter of property and wealth(Ecc 5:19a). Third, God is the one who can enable enjoyment(Ecc 5:19b). God is the one who works in certain ways for the sake of human beings' experience of enjoyment(Ecc 5:20).
  • 7.

    Jewish royalty and priesthood in the early post-exilic period

    So Hyeong-Geun | 2010, 16(2) | pp.137~152 | number of Cited : 3
    Abstract PDF
    Man says often the word 'post-exilic period' in the study of the old testament, but it is very difficult to define the period of the post-exilic. Nevertheless, the purpose of this article is to define the terminology 'early post-exilic'. This article methodologically separates the earlier post-exilic period from the latter with the transition of leadership in the post-exilic society. The post-exilic begins, of course, at 538 BCE after the conquest of Babylon by Cyrus. When is the end of the early post-exilic? This period can be supposed through the transition of leadership in the jewish community of the post-exilic period, and this time is around 500 BCE. Jojachin, who is released from prison in Babylon, is called as the king of Judah in the exilic period, Sheshbazzar is also called as the king (or prince, hebrew word ' ') in the post-exilic period, and Zerubbabel is accepted by prophets(Haggai and Zechariah) as the king of Judah in the post-exilic period. In addition, in all over the Ancient Near East, kings acted as temple-builders and the building of a temple was a royal initiative. The Second temple is not an exception to this rule. The builder of the temple in 515 BCE was Zerubbabel, a king of Davidic origin and a vassal king of the Persians, so namely the second temple was a royal building, as had been the first temple before. This period is the time to be reinforced by royalty. But after the death of Zerubbabel jewish community was frustrated by the delay of restoration of the Davidic Dynasty, and a new leadership appeared in this time. Therefore the time of the death of Zerubbabel, around 500 BCE, is the end of the early post-exilic period. With the end of the early post-exilic period the power of the priest appeared all over the surface in the jewish community. Resultingly the political and religious authority of the early post-exilic period in Jehud community was known by this article, and it is said in this article that the authority of the priesthood and the theocracy thought were reinforced after the early post-exilic period.
  • 8.

    Old Testament and the 21th century Korean Culture

    Sung Yul Kang | 2010, 16(2) | pp.154~178 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    The 21th century Korean society, firstly, will have the bisection of social stratum and the winner-take-all culture caused by neoliberalistic economy as the primary characteristic of itself. Secondly, the aging of population which is made by the advancements in scientific technology and medical science would be an important keyword dominating the 21th century Korean society and culture. Thirdly, the destruction of the environment or the ecological crisis going along on the worldwide global level, as a very important social issue related to the survival of the entire human race, would be a main theme of the 21th century Christian culture to which Korean churches must respond properly in faith and theology. And, fourthly, the multicultural phenomenon, which comes from the ethnical and cultural diversity of Korean society as a result of increasing influx of foreigners and immigrants, would also be a main theme calling for a swift and healthy response of Korean churches. Facing these characteristics of the 21th century Korean culture, Korean churches must have a deep concern for the formation of the desirable Korean Christian culture. Especially, Korean churches, on the one hand, must be able to react positively and creatively to the rough waves of Information Age and the rapid diffusion of Digital Culture through the prophetic insight towards the structure and nature of modern industrial society. On the other hand, Korean churches, from the perspectives of faith and theology, must be able to deal with the devastation of value system and the destruction of human dignity with the expansion of industrial society, the destruction of the environment and the ecological crisis, the growing number of people living in poverty caused by the neoliberalistic economy, the social structure of rapidly becoming an aging society and its attendant problems of generational conflicts and social disharmony, the survival and human rights of the weak foreign people, the task of social integration, and so on. To solve the above-mentioned various problems, it is required to make the Christian life style take strong root within the lives of Korean churches and Korean Christians, and to make creative development and diffusion of Christian culture possible in Korean society. In addition, Korean churches and Christians must devote their best efforts to express universal Christian values fit for the 21th century Korean sentiments in their lives and to practice and diffuse them in all their life situations-including their family lives, their workplaces, politics, economy, culture, art, and so on-with a sense of mission.