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

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pISSN : 1229-0521 / eISSN : 2799-9890

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2015, Vol.21, No.1

  • 1.

    The Meaning of the ‘Kareth’ Penalty in the Priestly Tradition

    Roh, Se Young | 2015, 21(1) | pp.9~32 | number of Cited : 5
    Abstract PDF
    This article aims to study the meaning of the ‘kareth’ penalty in the Priestly tradition. For this study, a history of research and the theology of the cultic material in the Priestly tradition were, first of all, discussed. Then the author tried to understand the meaning of the ‘kareth’ penalty and how the penalty is related to the theology of the cultic material by analyzing the kinds of punishments that appeared in the text of the kareth penalty formula. ‘Kareth’ penatly can be divided into three different types. The first type is death related to excommunication from the covenant community. Violating the Sabbath(Exod 31:14-15), divination(Lev 20:6) and blaspheming God(Num 15:30-31) belong to this type. The offender who committed these sins had to be put to death. Death here means the absence of God and destruction through excommunication from the covenant community. The second type is death related to the destruction of the nation. Illicit sex and idol worship belong to this type. The offender who committed these sins had to be put to death like the first type, or at least to die without children. Death here also means more than physical death. It means excommunication from the Promised Land and the complete destruction of Israel. Interestingly, a typical clause such as “I am the LORD your God(who makes you holy)” always appears with the ‘kareth’ formula in the context of these two kinds of penalty. This means that God gave the sentence, “I am not the LORD your God any longer, in case you are an offender.” The third type are cases in which the meaning of the ‘kareth’ penalty is not clearly known. Most cultic uncleannesses belong to this type. In these cases, the offender has been given opportunity to remove his/her uncleanness. But if he/she does not remove his/her uncleanness, he/ she loses his/her right to go the temple/tabernacle and to be a member of the covenant community. Accordingly, the ‘kareth’ penalty means that the offender loses God’s sustenance and salvation caused by extirpation from the holy community where God is present. Through this study we come to know how to keep Israel, as a kingdom of priests, was kept holy, and to understand more correctly the texts where the ‘kareth’ penalty is mentioned.
  • 2.

    “A land flowing with milk and honey” in Deuteronomy

    Mi-Sook Lee | 2015, 21(1) | pp.33~59 | number of Cited : 5
    Abstract PDF
    “A land flowing with milk and honey” is one of the most famous descriptions of the land of Israel. As a symbol of Paradise, the description has been properly interpreted as the special land that God gave the Israelites. Does it mean, however, the ideal condition of the best productive land? This question arises when we consider Israel’s geographical condition. Because, although Israel was more suitable to stock farming and honey was recorded as a main export(Ezk 27:7), it was not an ideal, fertile land. Then, can we interpret the description of “a land flowing with milk and honey” as symbolic or realistic? This study aims to find another explanation for this controversial question. The study seeks, first, to find in the Old Testament the distribution and pattern of the land formula, “a land flowing with milk and honey,” and then to determine its hermeneutic meaning through an exegesis of the passages in Deuteronomy where it occurs. The exegesis shows, first, that the formula was used as an image of the fertile land that was the foundation for the flourishing of the offspring of the Israelites and their longevity. Then the formula is discussed in a theological reflection, since it is premised on the land that was promised to the forefathers, with Yahweh as the giver of it. Second, because the formula in Deuteronomy shows a feature used in a ceremony and a liturgy, it recalls a redemptive meaning linked to the Exodus. This study uncovers a theological meaning that has been overlooked in previous studies on the land formula, “a land flowing with milk and honey.” This formula in Deuteronomy must be an image of the land of Israel as fertile or having other qualities. Nonetheless, a writer(or an editor) of Deuteronomy took a step forward and described it thoroughly in relation to Yahweh. The redemptive meaning connoted in the formula in Deuteronomy seems to influence the subject of the restoration of the land in Jeremiah 32, Ezekiel 20, and Nehemiah 9, which will be studied in the future.
  • 3.

    Magic and its Socio-religious Function in the Ancient Israel Religion

    Heesook Bae | 2015, 21(1) | pp.60~92 | number of Cited : 6
    Abstract PDF
    Magic is usually treated as a primeval form of religion. Thus far, magical practices in the Old Testament have been generally regarded as those of the Canaanite religion, and it was widely accepted that the YHWH religion of ancient Israel overcame magical rituals. However, the Old Testament reveals that the official religion of ancient Israel had never been separated from the magic. This study shows, with literary analyses of the stories of Elijah and Elisha and with parallels from the Ancient Near Eastern traditions, that magical rituals existed in the official religion of ancient Israel and that they performed a social and religious function in ancient Israelite society. The Elijah and Elisha narratives reflect the historical activities of the men of God. These stories show that the troubles which individuals (2 Kgs 5:1-27), families (1 Kgs 17:8-24; 2 Kgs 4:1-37), small social communities (2 Kgs 4:38-44), a city (2 Kgs 2:19-25), and a king and his kingdom (1 Kgs 22:10-12; 2 Kgs 13:14-19) underwent, were overcome through the magic which was performed by the men of God. In this regard, the magical actions are accompanied in some cases by the words of God and the prayers of the men of God, or by their symbolic actions or only by words of the men of God without any specific magical actions. To sum up, resistive magic, which prevents the causes of disasters that have already happened, comprises most of the magical rituals of Elijah and Elisha. It confirms that the purpose and the function of the magical ritual in ancient Israel was to eliminate all the social, economic, and political disorders which were detrimental to the existence of the people, and to establish the basic conditions of life for them.
  • 4.

    The Jubilee Community and Korea: Slave Emancipation, Debt Relief, and Land Reform

    정중호 | 2015, 21(1) | pp.93~120 | number of Cited : 6
    Abstract PDF
    Discussions regarding the Jubilee have constantly evoked doubts as to its feasibility. With this in mind, I analyse the Jubilee in terms of slave emancipation, debt relief, and land reform, with special focus on the case of Korea. In conclusion, I propose a new direction for building a Korean Jubilee community Regarding the case of slave emancipation, I analyse emancipations by King Wanggun, King Gwangjong, and Sung-ge Lee and find out that they emancipated debt slaves. Although the system of slavery has long been abolished, our society still faces the problem of people struggling with debt and a poor working environment. I suggest a resolution based on the manumission laws of the Old Testament. Concerning debt relief, I study the cases of King Munmu of the ancient Shilla dynasty and Jeongtoe(停退) in the Hwangok system. I find out that the debt relief law of the Old Testament is still operable and can be used to create a healthy community. Regarding land reform, I analyse the Gwazeonze(科田制) of Sungge Lee and the land reform after the Korean liberation. I conclude that the Jubilee system is a key to establishing a fundamental life value and to restoring health of an entire community, including the poor as well as the middle class. T he Jubilee was not a temporary solution for the poorest, but it recurred periodically and reformed the basic economic structure of the entire community. The Jubilee opens a way to life for the community and avoids its being destroyed. The Jubilee community is a community of God initiated by Him, with the land obeying and awaiting the choice of humans. And further, the community can also be connected to the kingdom of God. As participants in the kingdom of God we should be involved in the construction of the Jubilee community, and share, most importantly of all, a firm belief that the Jubilee can be carried out.
  • 5.

    Shalom in the Messianic Prophetic Texts

    Hong, Seong Hyuk | 2015, 21(1) | pp.121~152 | number of Cited : 7
    Abstract PDF
    What is the meaning of shalom? The use of the word is quite varied and c omplicated in the Old Testament. Although the basic meaning of shalom is ‘wholeness,’ the derivatives of the word are very comprehensive: welfare, completeness, reward, prosperity, satisfaction, health, and so for th. So it is not easy to set its meanings in orde r. Moreover, scholars vary in their opinions of the meaning of the word. Nevertheless, the interpretations given it by most scholars can be generally classified into two categories. One way to understand the various meanings of shalom is in terms of ‘relationship,’ and the other is in terms of ‘state.’ The meanings of shalom, therefore, can be grasped in terms of both ‘relationship’ and ‘state.’ On the basis of the two categories, this study intends to analyze the meanings of shalom and its theological significance in the prophetic texts. First, the various opinions of scholars are reviewed in order to set out the g eneral meanings of shalom and their categories. Then, the meanings of shalom are deciphered within the selected prophetic texts. Finally, two selected messianic texts (Isa 9:6-7 [MT 9:5-6]; Zech 9:5-10) are analyzed. I seek to analyze whether the definitions and theological significance of shalom changed through time, based on what is emphasized in these two messianic texts, one of which is from the 8th century BCE, while the other is from the post-exilic period. In the course of exegesis, first of all, I will show that shalom in the messianic texts refers increasingly more to ‘wholeness’ in relationship with God, which can be completed only through His intervention. I propose that, although shalom refers to ‘state,’ ‘health,’ ‘prosperity,’ it is de fined more w ithin a relationship w ith God, and t hat it s accomplishment rests upon God. This is supported by the fact that righteousness (hqdc) and justice (jpvm), representing the relationship with God, are closely related with shalom. I suggest that, although the messianic texts predict the coming of a human messiah for bringing shalom to fr uition, his role is limit ed in ope ning the age of God’s shalom. Nevertheless, I assert that his participation in bringing shalom to fruition is necessary, because his limited role functions as a lens through which God’s shalom can be anticipated. Finally, I will str ess that we should make every effort to accomplish a harmonious ‘relationship’- oriented shalom in a world full of persecution and injustice resulting from self-interest.
  • 6.

    Applications of Biblical Values to the Local Communities for Conflict-Solving - Management of Social Issues through Principles and Values -

    Han, Dong-Gu | 2015, 21(1) | pp.153~184 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    The present study aims at exploring the biblical values witnessed in the various cases of conflict and strife in the Bible, and extending their applicability to the realm of actual lives. For this, this article mainly deals with the Pentateuch, especially the book of Genesis, in order to seek biblical values for conflict-solving. 1) Familial union 2) Mediators between two parties for settling conflicts 3) Principle-oriented resolution 4) Problem-solving on the basis of values 5) Concept of God as for all human beings and establishment of a community for serving others We may add more biblical values to these if we continue to look into other places in the OT besides the Pentateuch, and also the NT. For the purpose of implementing biblical values in present situations, this study delves into the AGREE model, which is used for conflictresolving in the are a of leadership. We were able to confirm, in conclusion, that this model, with slight modification, is applicable as an important tool for conflict-solving. However, we could not apply this model to an actual situation for conflict-resolving. Nonetheless, we found a test case for this model. Over the issue of building a power transmission tower, there arose a conflict between residents in Gunsan Cit y - both the emergency body and the Christian association working as its representative - and the parties to the construction (Korean Electric Power Corp. and the Gunsan municipal office). In the mean-time, a committee for citizens’ interests, known as the Anti-corruption & Civil Rights Commission of Korea, played an important role in solving the problem peacefully. The present writers have applied the AGREE model to the ongoing process, and tried to find out how biblical values worked in the process of conflict-resolving. In doing so, we were able to testify that biblical values for conflict-resolving can also be used in the context of everyday life. The present writers wish that an individual church or a local Christian union might play a practical role in addressing various issues arising from every corner of society in this country. By doing so, the Korean church would accomplish an effective expansion of the gospel.
  • 7.

    The Spirit of Creation in the Old Testament

    Cha, Jun-Hee | 2015, 21(1) | pp.185~211 | number of Cited : 8
    Abstract PDF
    Among the texts where <ruach> is used, this study focuses on those in which <ruach> means the Spirit of God. It particularly analyses the meaning of the creation of God among the activities of the Spirit of God. The represented texts in which <ruach> is regarded as the Spirit of Creation in the Old Testament are Genesis 1:2, Psalms 33:6, 104:29- 30, and Isaiah 32:15. The first two texts deal with the Spirit shown in the original creation (creatio prima), and the last two are mentioned in the continuing creation (creatio continua). In Genesis 1:2, the Spirit of God is allusively described as ‘the Spirit of Creation’ that creates the world, cooperating with the Word of God. The Spirit of Creation is the co-worker of the creative Word. Psalm 33:6 clearly shows what is alluded to in Genesis 1:2. The psalmist here elucidates that the Spirit concretely actualizes the creativity of the Word. That is, the Spirit is the power to make the Word an event. In Psalm 104:29-30, the Spirit of God as the power that creates life, continuously creates and renews all lives in the world. That is, the Spirit is the Spirit that consistently creates life. In Isaiah 32:15, the Spirit of God works not only within human beings but also in the natural world. The Spirit of God is the power that renews history, and it is the Spirit that restores the first world, which God saw as very good.
  • 8.

    Recent Debates on the Linguistic Dating of Biblical Texts: A Survey of Scholarship

    DONG-HYUK KIM | 2015, 21(1) | pp.213~243 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    The present study is a survey of scholarship on the linguistic dating of biblical texts. Avi Hurvitz has sought to establish a dating method for biblical texts on the basis of linguistic data. He has argued, first, that linguistic change in Biblical Hebrew (= BH) during the exile was so decisive that Early Biblical Hebrew (= EBH) of the pre-exilic period is clearly distinguished from Late BH (= LBH) of the post-exilic period; and, second, that, since EBH and LBH are distinct both in form and chronology, one can date biblical texts by using linguistic data only. Hurvitz’s method soon became a standard in the scholarly guild, and Hurvitz himself and other younger scholars produced studies that attempt to date biblical books/texts on linguistic grounds. These studies have treated, for example, the J source, the P source, Ezekiel, individual psalms, the prose portion of Job, Qoheleth, Esther, and so forth. Since 2003, a challenging voice crystallized through a succession of publications: an essay collection entitled Biblical Hebrew: Studies in Chronology and Typology (2003), volumes 46 and 47 of Hebrew Studies (2005-2006), and Ian Young, Robert Rezetko, and Martin Ehrensvärd’s Linguistic Dating of Biblical Texts (2008). The challenging voice, represented by Young, Rezetko, and Ehrensvärd, has argued the following: first, EBH and LBH are not completely distinct in form and chronology, though it is true that they are not identical. Second, EBH and LBH should rather be considered stylistic options from which the post-exilic biblical writers were free to choose. Third, accordingly, it is impossible to date biblical texts on the basis of linguistic data only. The present study, first, introduces Hurvitz’s method of linguistic dating and surveys the studies of Hurvitz himself and his followers; second, it examines the challenging voices against Hurvitz’s method; and, third, it discusses two of the most recent attempts published in 2012, Diachrony in Biblical Hebrew, edited by Cynthia Miller-Naudé and Ziony Zevit, and Dong-Hyuk Kim’s Early Biblical Hebrew, Late Biblical Hebrew, and Linguistic Variability, and probes their significance in the debate.