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2016, Vol.22, No.3

  • 1.

    The Riddle of the Fourth Year of Jehoiakim's Reign in the Book of Jeremiah

    Jae Gu Kim | 2016, 22(3) | pp.12~40 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    Mentions of the fourth year of Jehoiakim's reign in the book of Jeremiah have long perplexed Old Testament scholars. Not only the fact these appear in the text, but also their corresponding literary contexts, are vexing problems. Thus, many scholars have hastily concluded that the book of Jeremiah has no coherent literary structure. This paper proposes that the book of Jeremiah has a coherent structure and that the seemingly unplanned appearances of the fourth year of Jehoiakim provide a key for understanding the book. The fourth year of Jehoiakim appears four times (25:1; 36:1; 45:1; 46:2) at strategic places in the book. The first two occurrences are in passages that warn of Judah's downfall (chaps. 21-33; 25:1) and that show the fulfillment of the warning (chaps. 34-44; 36:1). In these two occurrences, the year functions as a notice of the certainty of Judah's downfall and of the seventy-year exile (25:1; 36:1). Specifically, the literary structure twice has the frame "Zedekiah (chaps. 21-24; 34)- Jehoiakim (chaps. 25-27; 35-36)-Zedekiah (chaps. 28-33; 37-44)." This frame emphasizes that the downfall and exile of Judah is due to the fourth year of Jehoiakim. The next appearance of Jehoiakim's fourth year is in Jeremiah 45. This time it completely breaks the flow of the chronological order. Judah has already been destroyed, the people have been exiled to Babylon, and the remaining people has voluntarily gone into Egypt in order to avoid Babylonian vengeance. Thus the occurrence of Jehoiakim's fourth year in 45:1 seems to be unreasonable. But in actuality it is the right place, in that it occurs after the remaining people in Judah have failed to revitalize the restoration program (chaps. 40-44). God had already proclaimed in the fourth year of Jehoiakim that the period of the exile would be seventy years and that restoration would occur after the seventy years of exile (chap. 25). Nonetheless, God gave the remnant His word that they could live in the land of Judah and be fruitful in that land without undergoing the seventy year exile. Unfortunately, however, they failed to grasp that opportunity given by God, who graciously changed His mind. Right after their failure, the fourth year of Jehoiakim appears, with the lament of Baruch. This appearance of the year is meant to give an answer to Baruch, who lamented the severe punishment of the seventy-year exile. The remnant's failure at that time can be considered God's answer to Baruch, who lamented over the long period of seventy years of exile prophesied in the fourth year of Jehoiakim. For it is after their failure that Baruch was able to understand why God could not help but let them undergo the long and severe exile of seventy years. The reason is that restoration does not come quickly but takes time, until the word of God is written on people's minds. The last occurrence of the mention of Jehoiakim's fourth year comes right after Baruch's lament (46:2). The oracle against the nations from Egypt to Babylon was proclaimed in the fourth year of Jehoiakim. The fourth year of Jehoiakim can be a sign of both the downfall of Judah and the beginning of Judah's restoration, in that Egypt began to be destroyed in that year (46:2). And at the end of the seventy years Babylon would also fall. The seemingly displaced appearances of the fourth year of Jehoiakim, therefore, can be seen as taking their proper places, and helping to unravel the story of the book of Jeremiah.
  • 2.

    A Study on the Covenant Promise to Abraham in its Canonical Setting

    오원근 | 2016, 22(3) | pp.41~75 | number of Cited : 3
    Abstract PDF
    Through this article I try to see the purpose of the covenant promise to Abraham from the canonical perspective of the Pentateuch in order to show that the argument that the Abrahamic covenant focuses on 'the prosperity of descendants' and 'the conquest of land' results from the misunderstanding of the purpose of the covenant. For this purpose I first see Genesis 12:1-3 as constituting the themes of the Pentateuch as given in the structural characteristics of Genesis, and interpret two passages in the canonical context of the Pentateuch that give a significant hint on the understanding of the purpose of the covenant, that is, Genesis 15:6 and Numbers 15:14-16. In the literary context of Genesis as a whole, it is with Abraham that God restores the divine-human relationship which had been lost by people turning away from God in Genesis 2:4-11:26. This restored relationship begins with the initial divine command "go" that places conditions upon Abraham for the covenant relationship (12:1-3). From this initial announcement onwards, the Abraham narrative structurally develops the idea of holy in a repeated form of 'command-compliance' pairs, until it is proclaimed that Abraham is finally determined to meet the command to holiness laid on him, "walk in fear of God," and thus determined to be "blameless" in relationship with God. In this respect, the Abraham narrative views holiness as a life-long response of faithfulness to the divine command in the context of the covenant promise. Furthermore, Abrahamic holiness, which is to be realized by a God- fearing walk in the divine-human relationship, is the nature of the blessing that God wants to bring upon all the families of the earth, which forms the theme of the Pentateuch as a whole. This theme is further elaborated when the God of Abraham commands Israel to be holy as He is holy (Lev 19:2), so that the people of Israel function as a kingdom of priests and a holy nation among all nations (Exod 19:6). Therefore, other elements of the covenant promise, no matter how significant they may look, should be interpreted in the context of this overarching theme of the Pentateuch. Taking the primary purpose of the covenant promise promulgated in Genesis 12:1-3 as the hermeneutical key, a fresh meaning of Genesis 15:16 can be discerned. The role that the Israelites play in the realization of the covenant promise, as they enter the land of the Amorites, is not simply as warriors enlisted to mete out God's punishment on the sinful nation, but more as holy priests to bless those who are doomed to perish because of their sins. Numbers 15:14-16 sheds further light upon the scope of the covenant people by including the sojourners among the Israelites. When the whole covenant promise is up in the air because of the disobedience of the covenant people, a reversal is announced as God confirms that the new generation will enter the promised land despite the sins of the old generation. Numbers 15:14-16 is significant in that the sojourners as well as the native Israelites are equally commanded to keep the same law. Considering that the covenant relationship is presupposed to the observance of the law, this inclusion of the gentiles may show a possibility of the expansion of the scope of the covenant people. In conclusion, the purpose of the covenant promise is made clear, that God's desire is to bring blessing upon all the families of the earth through a people who live a life of holiness in covenant relationship with God. For Christians obsessed with such elements of the promise as descendants and land, the current study will give a fresh understanding of the primary purpose of God's calling and of His giving the covenant promise.
  • 3.

    A Study on the Translation/Interpretation of Genesis 2:5-6 and Its Function

    Lee Choong Ryeol | KyeSang Ha | 2016, 22(3) | pp.76~104 | number of Cited : 3
    Abstract PDF
    Korean Bible versions, foreign language Bible versions, and Old Testament scholars do not agree on the translation/interpretation of Genesis 2:5-6, and their translations/interpretations are even contradictory. Thus, this paper first aims to translate/interpret Genesis 2:5-6 more correctly through a terminological study on ś○aḥ haśśāḏeh (hd,F'h; x;yfi) and 'ēśeḇ haśśāḏeh (hd,F'h; bf,[e) in verse 5 and 'ēḏ (dae) in verse 6, a close study on the text of Genesis 2:5-6 itself, and an inter-textual interpretation of the text done in association with other related texts. Further, most studies have provided little or no help in understanding the function of Genesis 2:5-6. Therefore, the second goal of this study is to perceive the function that Genesis 2:5-6 has in the broader context, as well as in its immediate context. Keeping these two goals in mind, we proceeded with this research from a synchronic/ literary perspective, paying close attention to the Hebrew text in the BHS (Biblia hebraica stuttgartensia). Taking Genesis 21:15 and Job 30:4, 7, where ś○aḥ (x;yfi) occurs, into account, even though ś○aḥ haśśāḏeh (hd,F'h; x;yfi) in Genesis 2:5 is used only once in the Old Testament, we identified the meaning of ś○aḥ haśśāḏeh (hd,F'h; x;yfi) through the parallelisms in Genesis 2:5a and 3:18, and in Genesis 3:17bα-bβ, 18a, and 19aα. We identified the meaning of 'ēśeḇ haśśāḏeh (hd,F'h; bf,[e) in Genesis 2:5 in relation to Psalm 104:14, first taking into account its usage in Genesis 3:18, Exodus 9:22, 25[2x], and 10:15. Attention was then paid to the significant expression la'abōd 'et-hā'adāmāh (hm'd'a]h'-ta, dbo[]l;), where the Hebrew verb 'ābaḏ (db;[', "till") is first used (in Gen 2:5). It appears once more, in 3:23, these two verses being its only occurrences in the Old Testament. In addtion, we took notice of the parallelism which Genesis 3:18, where 'ēśeḇ haśśāḏeh (hd,F'h; bf,[e) occurs right after 2:5, forms with 3:17b, 19aα. The term 'ēḏ (dae) in Genesis 2:6 occurs once more (in Job 36:27) in the Old Testament, but its translation/interpretation there is nothing but a deduction from its context. Thus, the information for the exact translation/interpretation of 'ēḏ (dae) in Genesis 2:6 seemed to have to be obtained from the predicate which corresponds to 'ēḏ (dae), the subject ofGenesis2:6,andfromcomparativelinguistics. However,theexisting views, based on comparative linguistics, were proven to be unconvincing by Gerhard F. Hasel and Michael G. Hasel, and even the view that they newly highlighted and reinforced is not clearly persuasive. The reason is that they neither meticulously read Genesis 2:6 itself, nor carefully did inter-textual interpretation of it in association with other related texts. The Hebrew verb 'ālāh (hl'[', "go up"), which is one of the two Hebrew verbs in the predicate of Genesis 2:6, is used for the going up of a well in Numbers 21:17, and the other Hebrew verb レāqāh (hq'v' Hiphil: "cause to drink water, give to drink") is also used for the water supply of a spring in Joel 4:18[H 3:18]. A much more decisive fact is that, in the context corresponding to the third day of the Creation week in the so-called "Creation epic" (Ps 104), God's activity separating the dry land from the waters and the situation in which the separation is completely done is vividly portrayed in verses 9-10 (ESV): "You [God] set a boundary that they [the waters] may not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth. You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills." In regard to the text of Genesis 2:5-6 itself, verse 5a is differentiated by the conjunction k○ (yKi) from verses 5b-6, but verse 6 is a clause which is dominated by the conjunction just as verse 5b is. And it is logically proper to regard the clause of Genesis 2:5b, which starts with the conjunction k○ (yKi), not as a causal clause but as a temporal clause for verse 5a, since ś○aḥ haśśāḏeh (hd,F'h; x;yfi), that is, "thorns and thistles" can grow and propagate on the earth which is watered from below without rain. Besides, Genesis 2:6, which, as for its meaning, has a disjunctive relation with 2:5, must be seen to be in line with the k○ (yKi) clause. As for the function of Genesis 2:5-6, we paid attention to the change of the situation from verse 5aβ (no man) to verse 7 (man's coming into being), to the transition from the pre-Fall situation in Genesis 2 to the post-Fall situation in Genesis 3, and to the fact that, especially compared with Genesis 7:4a ("I [Yahweh God] will rain on the earth"), Genesis 2:5bα ("Yahweh God did not rain on the earth") is clearly related to the Flood by the same Hebrew verb māṭar (rjm Hiphil) and the apparent similarity of the syntax. Through this study, we have come to the following conclusion in regard to the translation/interpretation of Genesis 2:5-6, as well as its function. First, ś○aḥ haśśāḏeh (hd,F'h; x;yfi) and 'ēśeḇ haśśāḏeh (hd,F'h; bf,[e) in Genesis 2:5 should be translated/interpreted as "thorns and thistles" and "grain/cereals" respectively. Second, 'ēḏ (dae) in Genesis 2:6 should be translated/interpreted as "fountain." Third, it is logically proper to regard the clause in Genesis 2:5b, which starts with the conjunction k○ (yKi), not as a causal clause but as a temporal clause, and Genesis 2:6, which, as for meaning, has a disjunctive relation with 2:5, to be in line with the k○ (yKi) clause.
Fourth, Genesis 2:5-6 should be translated/interpreted: "When Yahweh God did not rain on the earth and there was not a man to till the ground but a fountain went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground, none of thorns and thistles were yet in the earth and no grains yet sprouted up." Fifth, Genesis 2:5-6, following the order of the Hebrew text, can be schematized as follows. A noneofthornsandthistleswasyetintheearth(2:5aα) A' and no grain yet sprouted up (2:5aβ) B when Yahweh God did not rain on the earth (2:5bα) A'' and there was not a man to till the ground (2:5bβ) B' but a fountain went up from the earth
and watered the whole face of the ground (2:6) Sixth and last, in Genesis 2:5b-6 which makes a chiasm, its chiastic center 2:5bβ (the motif of tilling) corresponds to 2:5a ("thorns and thistles" and "grain") and is linked by the term 'ādām (~d'a', "man") to 2:7, which is the story of man's creation, whereas the 'motif of tilling' in 2:5bβ, along with "thorns and thistles" and "grain" in 2:5a, is ultimately connected with the story of man's fall in Genesis 3 (see vss. 17a-19aα, 23). The 'situation in which God did not rain' and the going up of a "fountain" which are the outer wings in the chiasm of Genesis 2:5b-6 is connected with the story of the Flood in Genesis 7 which is related to the 'situation in which God rained' and the explosive gushing of "all the fountains of the great deep." Genesis 2:5-6, therefore, functions in its immediate context as the introduction to the story of man's Creation in Genesis 2:7, and in its wider context as an advance hint of the story of man's Fall in Genesis 3, and further of the story of the Flood.
  • 4.

    A Study on the Prophetic Phenomenon in the Context of the So-called "Murmuring" Stories: Focusing on Historical Contextualization in Numbers 11

    Choi Jong-Won | 2016, 22(3) | pp.105~136 | number of Cited : 2
    Abstract PDF
    The Purpose of this article is to trace and examine deuteronomistic theology in Numbers 11:4-35 and to reconstruct the final form of the Pentateuch. The text plays the role of a bridge between the Sinai pericope (Exod 19—Lev 26) and the Moab pericope (Num 22-25). The two pericopes are closely related to the formation of the Pentateuch. In this literary structure, Number 11:4-35 consists of two basic strata (J and E) just like an artistic tapestry, but they are found to be unrelated to each other. For the two independent stories intimately communicate with each other through a literary expansion of an extremely high degree. Certainly this aspect suggests that the canonization of Torah came to be in the later fourth century B.C. From the deuteronomistic perspective, Deuteronomy 1:9-18, which is closely related with this text, reenacts Exodus 18, but the method of electing the head of each tribe and the source of the thought of a presiding judge are expressed differently. The leadership of those who are elected is authorized by the spirit of God, but the fundamental activity of prophecy was expanded to all the people of Israel. Although the sphere of prophetic activity became wider, the sin of the Israelite people ended negatively in punishment. Therefore, the key to the intention of the text is Numbers 11:25-29, in which are given traces of a reconstruction of the original account and of expanding it to the whole area of greed and punishment. The key lies in ‘the rest of God’s spirit upon them’ and ‘the prophecy.’ As a result, the activity of prophecy is not in relation to prophets, but the problem that caused the social struggle. The social problem arose because of the complaints of the people. If we see this problem from a synchronic perspective, the content of the text is revealed not to be related to the Sinai pericope, but rather to the ‘wilderness wandering’ story in an independent tradition. This feature supports the position of the “hypothesis of story loop” (Erz hlkranzhypothese), which has been recently studied and actively used. Besides, it shows that the situation of the times in the text reflects the early and middle fourth century B.C., rather than the theory of “empire authorization” (Reichsautorisation) of Persia.
  • 5.

    The Meaning of the Spirit of Yahweh and the Spirit of God in the Book of Samuel

    Han, Samuel | 2016, 22(3) | pp.137~166 | number of Cited : 5
    Abstract PDF
    The purpose of this paper is to complement the problems of previous researches on rûaḥ (x:Wr/spirit) in the book of Samuel. Previous studies on rûaḥ in the Old Testament have regarded the two different expressions, the Spirit of Yahweh (hw"hy>-x:Wr) and the Spirit of God (~yhil{a/x:Wr), as synonymous. However, this is a misunderstanding due to the fact that the scholars have disregarded out the situation of the early monarchy of Israel. This paper does not focus on the lexical meaning of rûaḥ but rather on the role of the concept rûaḥ at a specific time, namely, the early monarchy of Israel. The alternation between the Spirit of Yahweh (hw"hy>- x:Wr) and the Spirit of God (~yhil{a/ x:Wr) must be understood in the light of the rivalry of the two early kingships. David’s followers emphasized that the Spirit had departed from King Saul in order to crush the spiritual base of Saul’s kingship. And they created the new concept that the Spirit came upon David in order to show the superiority of David’s kingship over Saul’s. This study points out a lack in previous interpretations of rûaḥ in the book of Samuel and proposes a new interpretation as an alternative. According to this study, the alternation between the Spirit of Yahweh and the Spirit of God is political propaganda used to justify David’s kingship. This new interpretation is possible if the political situation of the early monarchy of Israel is considered.
  • 6.

    Leadership in the Prophets Seen from an Understanding of the Exile: Centered on the Major Prophets

    Chong Hun Pae | 2016, 22(3) | pp.168~195 | number of Cited : 3
    Abstract PDF
    The purpose of this article is to study the leadership of prophets in the major prophetic books in the context of exile. Exile is the result of judgment against the people who did not obey God’s commandments. Once exile begins, it continues for a while, and after it is over, a new life is given through restoration. Thus, the scenario of judgment-exile- restoration, which the subject of exile includes, appears variously in the prophetic literature. This article is interested in various phases of the exile that appear in the prophetic books. The proclamation of the exile as a judgement historically came from the prophets of Israel in the North, and from Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel of Judah in the South. The proclamation often included messages of hope, including previews of the new covenant and the temple vision. The exile is transformed into a message of restoration to the communities who would finish the historical exile. The exile is a necessary step for the identity of the remnant. What kind of leadership was accomplished by the prophets in the various phases of the exile? Just before the critical point of sin which causeed the exile, the prophets, as agents of God, criticized the kings and advised them to govern their empire with justice and righteousness. When the kings did not play their role properly, the prophets emphasized a Messianic vision and helped them understand their role as God’s agents. Encountering an imbalance between worship and ethics, the prophets proclaimed repentance in order to be delivered from God’s imminent judgment, and radical judgment after the chance of repentance was over. Prophets adhered to God’s promise of restoration in the midst of their proclamations of judgment. Hope is given in Jeremiah’s new covenant, Ezekiel’s vision of the priestly nation, and Isaiah’s remaining stump. The second Isaiah (Isa 40-55) proclaimed the promise of restoration as the exile was close to an end, understanding his time as the time when the restoration was being achieved. With the difficulties accompanying a new start being faced with difficulties, the theological concept of the exile gave hope not only to the remaining people in Palestine but also the Diaspora community, so that they would wait for the eschatological day of God’s return and endure the exile as part of their lives. From the various responses of the prophets to the event of the exile, today’s leaders can learn how to deal with the crises of people and how to give hope to them.
  • 7.

    A Calling for Serving “the Others” and the Gentiles, and Formation of Such an Identity: Implications and ‘Sitz im Leben’ of a Kingdom of Priests, the Servants of Yahweh, and Yahweh's Priests

    Han, Dong-Gu | 2016, 22(3) | pp.196~222 | number of Cited : 2
    Abstract PDF
    In this study I trace the texts that present a thought unique to the history of Israel, that is, the calling and identity of serving“ the others” and the Gentiles. The texts are Exodus 19:3-8, to which Exodus 19:6 ("a kingdom of priests") belongs, and Exodus 24:3-8, Isaiah 42:1-4, 49:1- 6, 50:4-9, and 52:13-53:12, which are 'the songs of Yahweh's servant' in the second Book of Isaiah, and Isaiah 61 ("the priests of Yahweh" and "the ministers of Yahweh"). First, I organize the mentions that are made of“ the others” and the Gentiles in these texts, and provide their theological messages. Furthermore, I explore the texts in terms of the history of literature so that the traditional 'Sitz im Leben' that formed such a theological thought can be defined. I try to find the 'Sitz im Leben' of the historical factor that brought about the new insight by piecing these relative chronologies together. The ultimate purpose of this study is to trace which historical motive helped form such a thought, knowing that, in their history of suffering, a history in which they exhausted themselves searching for a way to survive, it was not an easy road, but rather a path that required a great resolution for Israel to care for and serve“ the others.” Each of the three texts examined in this study was formed by different authors (or editors), but they all see a way for Israel to survive in the light of relationship with the nations of the world, and find the reason for their existence especially in a path of serving the nations of the world, and thus set the identity of the Israelites as“ Yahweh's priests who serve the nations of the world.” The event that brought about such a transition was the removal of Zerubbabel from Persia in 486 B. C., which thwarted the hope of David's family for the Messiah to appear in the second generation of the second temple community. At that time the event caused a socio-political change in the history of Israel. Owing to this event, their political Messianic movement was transformed into an ideological Messianic one, and they even came to define their calling and identity as the people who serve the nations of the world.