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2012, Vol.18, No.2

  • 1.

    Ecological Ethics in the Rhetoric Structure of Genesis 1:1-2:4a

    Eunwoo Lee | 2012, 18(2) | pp.10~34 | number of Cited : 7
    Abstract PDF
    The entire ecosystem is now confronting a serious crisis as a consequence of environmental pollution and ecological destruction. The critics of the Christianity argue that the anthropocentric world view in the Bible brought about environmental crisis. The purpose of this paper is to focus on Genesis 1-2 which, according to the critics of the Bible, justifies evironmental destruction and suppression, and to study the feasibility of their argument. For this purpose, the present writer investigates the rhetoric structure in Genesis 1:1-2:4a and finds symbolic instructions given to maintain the balanced harmony and beauty of the created world. The present writer also attempts to make lexical and exegetical analysis on the verbs as ‘conquer’ and ‘subdue’, which the critics of the Christianity maintain as one of the most environmentally destructive terminologies. The writer stresses the democratic concept of Imago Dei which is given to the human being. The writer examines the ecological meaning in the concept of the Sabbath and dietary culture which is emphasized in Creation story. In conclusion, the writer argues that the contention of Christian critics is resulted from the misunderstanding or deficiency of knowledge on the biblical texts and expressions. At the same time, the writer insists that biblical scholars should make more efforts for ecological Bible reading and meet the demands of the times to preserve the ecosystem.
  • 2.

    The Plague Fallen Upon the Land

    Chang, Sok-chung | 2012, 18(2) | pp.35~57 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    Why do we have the account on the plague of locusts? In what sense the swarm of locusts becomes the plague at the time of Exodus? This study intends to analyze the narrative of the eighth plague, the plague of locusts in Exodus 10:3-20. The usage of the words denoting ‘the land’ indicates that the main target of the plague is directed to the land itself, not the plants on the land. The locusts made the land of Egypt desolate and barren, so that the people of Egypt and Israel could not live there. Especially many locusts made the land dark and covered the ‘eye of the land’. This resulted in the consequence that the Egyptians could not see the land at all. Also instead of the expression such as ‘the plants’, the author uses the phrase ‘the plants in the land’ in the text in order to indicate that the focus of the text is ‘the land’. When Moses prayed, those locusts were removed. The text maintains that “not a single locust remained in all the land of Egypt”. To the author the purpose of the plague is the complete destruction of the locusts, especially from the land of Egypt. Many thought that the real victims of this plague were the plants and trees. However, a close analysis of the narrative of the plague shows that there is only one victim, that is, the land of Egypt. This land became desolate and the locusts did make it happen. Of course, the plants and trees were needed because the locusts wanted something to consume. But eventually the locusts were those which made the land of Egypt uninhabitable. Thus, the plague of the locusts was “the plague fallen upon the land”.
  • 3.

    Theological meaning of Ezek 47:13ff. as the Finale of the Book of Ezechiel

    임시영 | 2012, 18(2) | pp.58~85 | number of Cited : 13
    Abstract PDF
    The research begins with the study on the literary structure of Ezek 47:13ff., which will be expected to clarify that the section forms the climax of the whole book. Through this analysis of Ezek 47:13ff. it will answered to the questions: what are the characteristics and symbolic meanings of the descriptions of land's boundaries as well as the land distribution, and what kind of theology can be shed to the whole book of Ezekiel? This study proves that Ezek 47:13ff. is not the results of editorial activities. Rather it is appropriate, realistic, and meaningful conclusion which embraces the whole book. In the circumstances of the land distribution which is made for the tribes of Israel under Yahweh's initiative, Ezek 47:13ff. develops three endings: the first, the finale of the systematic draft(Verfassungsentwurf) of Ezek 40-48; the second, the end of Ezek 33-48(declaration of salvation); the third, the end of the whole book of Ezekiels. Yahweh himself restores Israel and leads Israel to that land which regains vitality once again. Also, Yahweh himself distributes this land to the twelve tribes of Israel. Yahweh's sanctuary will stand at the center of the land. However, the center of the ideal and restored Israel is not the geographical location. Yahweh himself stands in the center(theologcal location). This city is named ‘Yahweh Shammah’. Thus, Yahweh appears as the new center of Israel.
  • 4.

    The Image of Abraham in the Prophetic Books of the Old Testament

    Cha, Jun-Hee | 2012, 18(2) | pp.86~109 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    This article analyzes the Abraham related passages in prophetic books of the Old Testament. In the prophetic books of the Old Testament, Abraham is mentioned only seven times. According to the result of analysis, several conclusions are drawn:First of all, the image of Abraham is the product of the exilic and post-exilic period. Abraham is not mentioned in the prophetic books which are written before the exilic period. Following verses are assumed to be written in the post-exilic period: Isaiah 29:22-24; Micah 7:18-20; Jeremiah 33:23-26. Abraham does not appear in the biblical texts which are considered to have been written before the exilic period. It is not by chance that the accounts regarding Abraham are concerned with the exilic and postexilic period, even though the tradition of Abraham itself is old one. Restatement of the father Abraham emerges in the era of crisis, in the dark generation. Secondly, the image of Abraham represented in prophetic books is, in general, the symbol of hope. Especially, Abraham appears to be the hopeful symbol of the land ownership to those who do not own the land(Ezek 33:23-29); Abraham is ‘the symbol of restoration’ to Diasporas who were scattered in the world(Isa 41:8-13); Abraham is ‘the symbol of prosperity of descendants’ to those who do not have descendants(Isa 29:22-24); Abraham is the representative symbol of interceding God’s will for salvation(Mic 7:18-20); Abraham is the exemplary symbol of reinforcing the covenant of David(Jer 33:23-26). In short, it is concluded that Abraham is the foundation of hope. Thirdly, the image of Abraham described in the prophetic books has been reinterpreted in connection with reality. In two out of the seven prophetic books which mention Abraham, Abraham tradition is evaluated negatively. Ezekiel 33:24 and Isaiah 63:16 is the best example showing this. The former shows a critical view about the Abraham tradition which appears in the confession of people who violate the commandment(Torah) and in the context of disputation. On the other hand, throughout the petitionary prayer, the latter shows that Abraham tradition also has a limit in desperate situation which is derived from the sin of mankind. The Abraham tradition is reinterpreted diversely according to the context of the community which uses it. At any rate, Abraham, who is represented in the prophetic books, is the incarnation of God’s promise for the Israelites: the Israelites include not only the people who already became his people, but also the people who would be his people. Furthermore, they encompass those scattered as well as those who would stand together. And Abraham continues to be the promise which, through the mediation of Israel, will be given to the nations in this world. For Abraham, it seemed that to find the evidence of achievement was impossible according to contemporary thoughts of the world. In this doomful situation, putting someone’s faith in God’s will and having a firm trust to him could be a mockery. Or, according to pathologic view point, Abraham’s behaviors could be interpreted as denying ‘the understanding of the reality’ that he had to give up. Nevertheless, Abraham was the person who demonstrated a right attitude toward God’s sincere promise as well as an exemplary witness of God.
  • 5.

    The Urim and Thummim, the Ephod, and the Ark of the Covenant: Tools for Priestly Divination

    SEUNG IL KANG | 2012, 18(2) | pp.112~135 | number of Cited : 5
    Abstract PDF
    The Urim and Thummim were sanctioned as the official means of divination in ancient Israel. Whereas many studies have delved into the meaning and nature of the Urim and Thummim, there is a significant lack of studies on the possibility that other tools of the priests were used in divination. This essay argues that the Ephod and the Ark of the Covenant along with Urim and Thummim once functioned as tools for priestly divination in the early history of ancient Israel. It is worth noting that Deuteronomy and the Priestly source remain silent on the divinatory function of the Ephod and the Ark. It is suggested that the Ephod was originally a garment for the cult images of the divine used in divination, but later reduced as one of the priestly garments due to the aniconic tendency of normative Yahwism. In a similar fashion, the Ark of the Covenant became simply an wooden receptacle in which the tablets of the covenant were kept. We do not know for sure how these divinatory tools were used. It appears that the Urim and Thummim were used to determine one's culpability. As for the use of the Ark in divination, the earlier strata clearly show that the Ark was once a war oracle. It is more difficult to articulate the way the Ephod played a role in divination. Chances are that the divination through the Ephod was employed in some general questions that can be answered ‘yes’ or ‘no.’
  • 6.

    Sennacherib’s Campaign and Judah: From the Perspective of the Annals

    Kim, Yoo-ki | 2012, 18(2) | pp.136~157 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    Sennacherib’s Palestinian campaign has extensively been studied by Old Testament scholars because it was recorded in the Bible as well as in Sennacherib’s annals. Most works on the campaign have focused on the historical issues related to the biblical and annalistic accounts. This article, however, aims at examining the nature of Assyrian annalistic account and applying the findings to a reconstruction of the historical events that it describes. For this purpose, it analyzes some grammatical forms and expressions that reveal Assyrian way of thinking. It also looks into some historical statements regarding the invasion of Judah, and by comparison with biblical accounts elucidates what really happened during the campaign. Therefore, this article bridges the gap between literary and historical approaches. Beginning with the review of historical background of the text, this article offers a translation of the original Akkadian text into Korean. Then it gives a summary of the text and covers some of its literary features, especially with regard to its propagandistic elements. Then it looks into some points in the texts which are important in the reconstruction of the events that took place around Judah. This article shows that neither the annals nor the Old Testament accounts can be considered history in its modern sense. Rather, the analysis of the Assyrian record highlights the author’s effort to conceal military setbacks as well as his theological assumptions and world-view. It also reveals that careful and critical analysis of the Assyrian text along with other related texts could contribute to a better historical reconstruction of the events in question.
  • 7.

    Understanding of the Gentiles in the Chronicler's Historical Books

    So Hyeong-Geun | 2012, 18(2) | pp.158~177 | number of Cited : 8
    Abstract PDF
    The purpose of this study is to understand the gentiles in the Chronicler's Historical Books. Compared to the previous era, members of the Judaean community in the postexilic period lived in the global period. Most of them experienced not only the Babylonian period, but also the Persian, therefore it is obvious that they were generous to gentiles. But on the contrary, they expressed hostility toward the gentiles in order to protect the identity of the Judaean community. In this paper the meaning of the hebrew words(‘ger’, ‘toshab’, ‘zar’, ‘nokri’[or ‘nekar’]), which were mentioned on the Chronicles and Ezra-Nehemiah in relation to the gentiles, are studied. As a result of the study, it is proved that the hebrew words ‘ger’, ‘toshab’, and ‘nokri’ were used in the Chronicles Books, but only 'nokri'(or 'nekar') in Ezra-Nehemiah. The understanding of the gentiles in the Chronicles remains consistent. All gentiles (‘ger’, ‘toshab’, ‘nokri’), who were living in the area of Judah, could be united with the israelite people according to the perspective of the Chronicler. The author of the Chronicles opened the way that all gentiles live in the land of Juda under the ideal of ‘all Israel’. In contrast, the gentile in Ezra-Nehemiah, who observed the Torah, were guaranteed to participate in the Passover festival; they were so called ‘ger’. However, the families of the ‘nokri’(or ‘nekar’), who did not obey the Torah and the law of Sabbath, had to be dissolved. It was because they were regarded as those who threatened the holy community of Judah. This paper argues that all gentiles in Ezra-Nehemiah were not rejected from the community of Judah, since the gentile ‘ger’ were accepted as members of the community. On the other hand, ‘nokri’(or ‘nekar’) were the target of the reform for Ezra and Nehemiah.
  • 8.

    Emancipation of the king Zedekiah and strengthening of the throne

    정중호 | 2012, 18(2) | pp.178~201 | number of Cited : 4
    Abstract PDF
    The purpose of this paper is to analyze and compare cases of emancipation involving king Zedekiah in the Hebrew Bible and king Gwangjong of the Goryeo dynasty, so that the present writer may find what is the motivation and purpose lying behind the events. Particularly in this paper, the present writer concentrated on the factors of social integration and strengthening of these kings' respective thrones. In the case of emancipation of Jeremiah 34:8-22, the king initiated emancipation by contracting with the influential slave owners, the influentials. Although they comply with the contract, their minds were reluctant to accept the act of emancipation. According to the result of analysis and comparison between the cases of emancipation under king Zedekiah and Gwangjong of Goryeo dynasty, it is assumed that the king Zedekiah and the slave owners had knowledge of the Covenant Code (Exod 21:2-11), the Code of Deuteronomy (Deut 15:12-18). However, they did not fully comply with the laws of the codes. It seems that they freed the slaves out of complex motivations along with with other factors. Meanwhile, in the case of king Gwangjong, the king liberated slaves wholly for strengthening the royal throne. From the beginning onward king Gwangjong strengthened the throne. On the basis of the strengthened power of the throne, the king liberated the slaves owned by the nobles. According to the analysis of Zedekiah's e,ancipation event, the goal of strengthening the throne was an important factor along with the factors of the military power and the religion. It is because the king Zedekiah's power was weak from the beginning of enthronement. To liberate slaves owned by the nobles was a golden opportunity to enhance the power of throne. And the king Zedekiah found the ground of emancipation in the Exodus, while king Gwangjong did it in the general consensus that debt slavery was illegal. Actually both grounds were used for liberating debt slavery.
  • 9.

    Studies of Women’s Seals in Ancient Israel

    MiYoung Im | 2012, 18(2) | pp.202~217 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    Although there are 41 known seals of women in Hebrew, Ammonite, Aramaic and Edomite, with additional five seal impressions in Hebrew, all of which are mostly dated to the 8-6th centuries BCE, these have been largely ignored by scholarship except in the context of larger epigraphic and iconographic studies. Women's seals are categorized to four types based on indication following their names; according to her father “X daughter (bt) of Y” including Y as the king, her husband “X wife (’št) of Y,” “X maidservant (’mt) of Y,” or just a personal name itself. This article reviews these seals by examining how they were used by their owners. Because of the Bible’s focus on male leadership and dominance characteristic of its time, very little is revealed about the status of women. Fortunately, these epigraphic sources shed light on certain aspects of the women’s role in society, highlighting that at least certain women had sufficient legal rights to have the necessary authority to sign official documents with their own personal seals as the men did in the Old Testament period. It would appear, therefore, that they enjoyed higher social positions in society than what can otherwise be deduced from the Bible. However, one may still ask why we have minor number of women's seals in comparison with men's. Indeed, the percentage of women’s seals discovered is about 5%. The answer can be suggested by the famous Wilbour Papyrus dating to the 4th year of Ramses V (ca. 1145 B.C.E.). This document gives us only 131 women who were the owners of the lands in the tax list of fields. This number is only 10.8% of the land owners in this list. It is well known that Egyptian women held better legal rights than Israel during the Old Testament period. Even contemporary societies where we think that women have better conditions to work than ancient times, the percentage holding administrative position in modern times is quite similar. Thus, the number of seals can not be questionable.