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2019, Vol.25, No.4

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    In Search of God, Identity and Home with/in Others: A Reflection on Korean Diaspora and Old Testament

    URIAH Y. KIM | 2019, 25(4) | pp.59~81 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    Since the expulsion of Adam and Eve from their home, we are in some sense all living in diaspora. But calling a town, city, state, or country as one’s home and cherishing the sense of belonging to it have left us inattentive to our diasporic conditions. The Old Testament reminds us that no matter how comfortable we may feel in our homeland, or wherever we may be living, we need to pay attention to our diasporic situation in order to fully understand our lives on earth and one’s relation to God and to those who are different from ourselves. Abraham and Sarah left their home and lived their life as strangers and residents and experienced the state of being both guests and hosts, a paradox of being diasporic people. Korean living in North America are keener to this theme in the Old Testament and to stories like that of Abraham and Sarah than Koreans living in their homeland. The author reflects on his research in the last ten years, which engages with the positionality of Korean Americans and argues that the politics of othering are used to designate Korean Americans and other minoritized groups as “perpetual foreigners” who can never be permanent hosts in their own land. Although such rhetoric used to legitimatize the majority group’s position and identity as permanent hosts may bring material and political benefits, they have forgotten their diasporic situation, resulting in searching for God from the position of the Self (host) that impedes their access to God whenever they encounter the Other (guest). There is another approach to knowing God, the Self, and the Other that comes from those who have experienced being in the position of the Other (guest; foreigner; stranger) and understand the paradox of being both hosts and guests in their own residence that enabled them to see God when they engaged with others. Korean American biblical scholars are developing hermeneutical strategies that are being forged from their diasporic context and follow closely to this tradition when they read the Old Testament.
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    Council and Lot Casting the Peace-Making Institutions in the Old Testament.

    Kee, Min Suc | 2019, 25(4) | pp.84~107 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    The present study examines the social arbitrating mechanisms achieving the settlement of the conflicts in society to make peace; especially those attested in the literatures of ancient Israel and its neighbouring nations. Though primitive the societies were, they consciously struggled to preserve the human rights and justice in community. This spirit seemed to be advanced to institutionalise a kind of ‘democratic’ decision-making process in the ‘council’ (assembly). It was the elders who were responsible for the enactments in the council, both in the cities and the royal palace. In the former, they were conciliating conflicts, and, in the latter, advising for policy making. As for the former, the institution of the ‘city of refuge’ in the Old Testament is the best example to witness the conciliating mechanism. It was the authority of the elders in the council that actually made the process of conciliating be carried out. Usually discussion and counselling were initially made in a council by a number of members; and, afterward, the head of the council made an ultimate decision. Unlike today, decision by majority was not what commonly carried out to make a decision in the council. The reverence for the authority of the head of the council, therefore, was the key for conciliating the troubles in society. Furthermore, the divine authority was employed to sort out more complicated and hardly-soluble problems. The mechanism for it was ‘lot drawing’, of which institution was resorting to ‘chance’. In the primitive and ancient world, chance was not understood as accidental happening but as an intervention of the divine will. In conclusion, it was the authority of the elders, which is of tradition, and the divinity, which is of religion, that could possibly facilitate the arbitrating and conciliating process to settle conflicts in the ancient Israelite society.
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    The Rich as Moral Agents in Proverbs

    Yong Hyun Cho | 2019, 25(4) | pp.108~135 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    The purpose of this paper is to clarify the confusion of the logical status of the rich with wealth as a material reward for following wisdom’s way in the act-consequence nexus. Since Klaus Koch suggested the act-consequence nexus, many scholars have regarded the negative descriptions of the rich as an inherent ambiguity of the nexus or as an exception to the nexus. In this paper, however, I argue that in Proverbs the rich designated as ʿāšîr do not just signify individuals who possess economic wealth. The term also points to social-political leaders and those who are moral agents. In Proverbs, the rich are consistently described as moral agents who regularly fail to choose and act for the good. As the sages uncover the rich’s illusion that their wealth can protect them like a fortress (10:15; 18:11), they show that the rich overestimate the value of wealth and, thus, put too much confidence in it. Because of this misguided trust in wealth, the rich seek their own advantage rather than embody virtues in social relations (14:20; 19:4). The rich’s pursuit of their own advantage consolidates the hierarchy between the rich and others by controlling relations with the purpose of increasing their own profits (19:6-7). Especially in their relationships with the poor, the rich increase their wealth and strengthen control over the poor by oppressing them (22:16). These immoral characteristics serve as evidence of the rich’s intellectual and moral hubris: they overestimate their own knowledge and wisdom (28:11). This paper contributes to the scholarship of Proverbs by clarifying the role of the rich in the book and, more importantly, in the act-consequence nexus. In Proverbs, the rich are moral agents whose way of life can be morally evaluated by the moral standards the instructions themselves articulate elsewhere.
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    Reconsidering Noah’s Drunkenness and Its Relevant Event (Gen 9:20-27)

    KyeSang Ha | 2019, 25(4) | pp.136~159 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    Reconsidering Noah’s Drunkenness and Its Relevant Event (Gen 9:20-27) Kye Sang Ha, Ph. D. Professor, Sahmyook University Various interpretations have been presented in regard to the event of Genesis 9:20-27, that is, Noah’s drunkenness, Ham’s sin, and Canaan’s being cursed, due to its intractable causality. The main issues of the study/debate on it are “What was the specific sin of Ham in relation to Noah?” and “Why was Canaan cursed in spite of having nothing to do with it?” The interpretation that has been getting more convincing lately is that of Ham’s sexual crime, and the interpretation of the joint sexual crime has most recently been offered in regard to Cannan’s curse. The fact that Noah, who awoke from his wine, knew what his youngest son had done to him (Gen 9:24), is presented as a key reason for interpreting Ham’s crime as a sexual offense crime. ‘‘āśâ-lô/Al-hf'['’(“did to him”) here means that Ham actively did something to drunken Noah, and the fact that Noah, who became sober, knew it and cursed Ham is because of Noah himself recognizing that he had become a victim of the act, and it was a sexual act. The expression ‘Ham saw the nakedness of his father’(verse 22) is regarded as an idiomatic expression of sexual relations, and Ham’s crime is interpreted as incestuous to his father, and Leviticus 20:17, which uses ‘see the nakedness’ and ‘uncover the nakedness’ as synonyms by parallelism, is presented as a conclusive evidence. Besides, it is asserted that Noah ‘uncovered himself’ means a sexual relation, that the Hebrew verb hl;';G'/gālâ (“uncover”) is used in combination with the Hebrew noun hw"r>[,/‘erwâ (“nakedness”) to describe illegal sexual relations in many verses in the Old Testament, and that its most representative case is Leviticus 18:6-19 and 20:11, 17-21, which is the prohibition law against incest. It is argued that hl;';G'/gālâ is used with the meaning of sexual relations in every verse of these passages, that the Hebrew verb is used in combination with @n"K'/kānāp(“wing, end, skirt, nakedness) and interpreted into “uncover the nakedness” in Deuteronomy 22:30[H 23:1] and 27:20, which prohibit incest especially between parents and children, and that it is used in the same way in Ezekiel 16:36-37, 22:10, and 23:10, 18, 29 and so forth. Therefore, Noah’s uncovering himself is not considered as uncovering himself simply but as a sexual act. I reconsidered the interpretation problem of Genesis 9:20-27 not only by closely reading the Hebrew text of Genesis 9:20-27 as the final form from a synchronic/literary perspective but also by taking into consideration an inter-textual interpretation of the text done in association with other texts that have been claimed to be relevant. First of all, I especially paid attention to the context in which the Hebrew expressions “uncover the nakedness”(gālâ/hl;';G' Piel active+‘erwâ/hw"r>[,) and “see the nakedness” (rā’â/ha'r' Qal active+ erwâ/hw"r>[,) are used in relation to sexual crimes in the texts of the Old Testament. I did not overlook the expressions to be juxtaposed or combined which the texts of the Old Testament themselves intend to clarify the two Hebrew expressions. Leviticus 18:6-19, where the expression “uncover the nakedness”(gālâ/hl;';G' Piel active+ ‘erwâ/hw"r>[,) is most frequently (12x) used in the Old Testament, makes its beginning (verse 6) and end (verse 19) an inclusio, where the sexually suggestive expression ‘br;q' /qārab Qal active+lae/’ēl (“[sexually] approach”) is placed just before ‘hl;';G'/gālâ Piel active inf. cstr.+hw"r>[,/erwâ’. Thus the inclusio not only binds the verses 6-19 as a unified section but also provides the context for the interpretation of the verses 7-18 as a whole. Therefore, the expression “uncover the nakedness”(gālâ/hl;';G' Piel active+ ‘erwâ/hw"r>[,) cannot help but mean sexual crime (verses 7[2x], 8-13). Verse 14 places the expression “uncover the nakedness”(gālâ/hl;';G' Piel active+ ‘erwâ/hw"r>[,) just before the expression ‘br;q'/qārab Qal active+lae/’ēl (“[sexually] approach”), making a chiasm with the beginning (verse 6) and end (verse 19) of this section, and thus the whole section forms a solid literary structure. After verse 14 the expression “uncover the nakedness”(hl;';G'/gālâ Piel active+hw"r>[,,/‘erwâ) is used again (verses 15 [2x], 16, 17a), and thus it cannot help but mean illegal sexual relations. Besides, verses 17b and 18 places another sexually connoted expression ‘xq;l'/lāqaḥ Qal active’ (“take”) just before the expression ‘hl;';G'/gālâ Piel active inf. cstr.+hw"r>[,/‘erwâ), and thus the combination form means “take and uncover the nakedness,” which is sexual crime. Leviticus 20:10-21, where the expression “uncover the nakedness”(gālâ/hl;';G' Piel active+ ‘erwâ/hw"r>[,) occurs frequently next to Leviticus 18, has its beginning (verse 10) and end (verse 21) which provide the context for the interpretation of the expression, and also juxtaposes it with another sexually connoted expression “lie with” (bk;v'/šākab Qal active, verses 11, 18, 20). In Ezekiel 22:10 it is juxtaposed with still another sexually suggestive expression, and even the expression ‘hl;';G'/gālâ Piel active+@n"K'/kānāp of his father (Deut 22:30[H 23:1]; 27:20), which means “uncover the nakedness of his father,” occurs in juxtaposition with other sexually connoted expressions (“take” or “lie with”). Therefore, it is made clear that the expression “uncover the nakedness”(gālâ/hl;';G' Piel active+ ‘erwâ/hw"r>[,) comes to have the meaning of sexual crime only through its context of illegal sexual relations and its juxtaposition and combination with other sexually connoted expressions. The same is with even the expression “the nakedness is uncovered”(hl;';G'/gālâ Qal passive+hw"r>[,/erwâ, Isa 47:3). In the case of Genesis 9:21, neither the expression “uncover the nakedness” nor the expression “the nakedness is uncovered” occurs, and the verb hl;';G'/gālâ is not coupled with the noun hw"r>[,/erwâ, and ‘hl;';G'/gālâ Hithpael’(uncover himself) with its subject Noah occurs. It is not to ‘uncover other people for sexual relations’ but to ‘uncover himself without any intentions of sexual offense.’ Even the context itself is not the context which neither hints nor specifies. Thus, as the text clearly states, Noah must have uncovered himself because he drank of the wine and got drunk, and as a result, he was so stuffy. The expression “see the nakedness”(ha'r'/rā’â Qal active+hw"r>[,/‘erwâ, Gen 9:22) occurs in Leviticus 20:17, and that not only in the context of sexual crime of the chapter but also in juxtaposition with the expression “take”(xq;l'/lāqaḥ Qal active) and the expression “uncover the nakedness”(gālâ/hl;';G' Piel active+ ‘erwâ/hw"r>[,), and thus it means the sexual crime of incest. However, neither the expression “see the nakedness”(ha'r'/rā’â Qal active+hw"r>[,/‘erwâ) in Genesis 9:22 does have the context of sexual crime nor is it used in juxtaposition or combination with other expressions of sexual offense. Naturally Genesis 9:23 (cf. Ezek 16:8) should be literally interpreted. Therefore, from these close studies, it is clear that the event of the latter part of Genesis 9, Noah’s intoxication, Ham’s crime, and Canaan’s curse, is one that must be understood in a literal way, regardless of sex crimes. Noah’s “drinking of the wine, becoming drunk, and uncovering himself in the tent”(verse 21) was certainly his mistake and fault. What’s more, it provided the very beginning of the case. However, it was Ham who amplified Noah's error into the situation. Noah, who became sober, came to “know what his youngest son had done to him”(verse 24). What Ham did to him here was to ‘see the nakedness of his father and to tell his two brothers outside’ (verse 22), and thus to undermine and tarnish his honor and authority, although it was so natural that he covered up his father’s fault and mistake out of his love and respect for his father who is a spiritual authority. Ham’s behavior in this regard was in stark contrast to the actions taken by his older brothers Sam and Japheth in verse 23. This very act of Ham unfortunately led to the curse of his son, Canaan. Because God blessed Noah and his sons (Gen 9:1), Noah could not curse Ham who God blessed. It is so also in light of God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 12:2-3a and the prophet Balaam’s words in Numbers 23:9 and 24:9b. Therefore, Noah ‘prophetically’ cursed Ham’s son, Canaan who would inherit the character of Ham.
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    A Reflection of Women’s Rights based on the sexual regulations in Pentateuch

    Minsu Oh | 2019, 25(4) | pp.160~190 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    The purpose of this paper is to examine women's rights in the typical regulations of the adultery prohibition among the Pentateuch. The regulations are divided into the casuistic law and the apodictic law. In Exodus 22: 16-17(MT 22: 15-16) and Deuteronomy 22: 28-29 there is observed a tendency to protect women's rights within the "casuistic law". The regulations were not intended to justify male domination of women, but rather to coordinate disputes among male families who were undergoing a women's protection duty. The apodictic laws(Ex 20:14, Deut 22:22, Lev 20:10; 18:8) prohibit adultery and incest with strict and threatening tone. However, there are no bylaws or enforcement rules that can be found in the casuistic law. This law places emphasis on internalizing the contents of the existing regulations to the members of society, and maintains the fundamental order of the patriarchal family system and 'stabilizes' it. It is meaningful in the cultural anthropological perspective - By tying the 'female sex' to the head in the family, not only optimizing the family production capacity of the agricultural society, but also preventing the extinction of the family and surviving. For this purpose, only one "patriarchal right" of 'social self' was requested. The prohibition of adultery and incest are in agreement with the confession of the Yahweh faith, which is beyond the individual dimension, a 'social great self'. The rule of the dimension declares liberation of value. This result suggests useful looks for the women's discourse. - Above all considering the social framework and the socio-historical dimension of women's rights. In the end, it is necessary to discuss 'meta - value system' for the consistency of values of social members.
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    “We accept always the good from God, don’t the bad as well?” (Job 2:10): A Biblical Theological Study on Job's Theodicy

    Cha-Yong Ku | 2019, 25(4) | pp.191~220 | number of Cited : 2
    Abstract PDF
    The problem of theodicy is an important issue to be discussed in the history of human beings over time and space, but it is very difficult to find an appropriate answer for it. Nevertheless, the book of Job discusses the problem of theodicy, especially the suffering of a righteous person, as the most important subject. The book of Job has a frame structure composed of the prose section of the front and back and the poetic section of the middle, which is to clarify the debate on the theodicy. Inside this frame structure is a hermeneutic premise that prevents readers from misunderstanding this subject. In other words, Job is a righteous man, and Job's suffering is determined by God in the heavenly council. At the same time, in the frame structure an answer is implied to the problem of theodicy. The broad spectrum of the poetic dialogue shows what human nature is and what ideal a man can have in front of God, and it especially examines all kinds of possibilities of a suffering righteous. Although it cannot be said that it is providing the right answer, it can nevertheless recognize the value of being a set of common ideas that mankind can have on the subject. The clear answers and conclusions of the endless discussion are already implied throughout the whole plot, but they are ultimately evident in the utterances of God and in Job’s last confession of 42:1-6. It is that the problem of theodicy is never solved in human knowledge and wisdom. Because the problem of theodicy is the question of God's work in the human aspect, but the solution can be presented only from God. It is as if this discussion were beyond the wisdom of a two-dimensional human being, and therefore can never be answered here, but can only be solved by expanding the dimension of discussion through the intervention of God as the Creator. It is concluded that human beings can finally achieve the solution of this problem only by acknowledging these facts.
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    Literary Structure of Isaac’s Family Narrative (Gen. 25:19-37:1) and Its Storytelling

    Dohyung Kim | 2019, 25(4) | pp.221~252 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    The phrase ‘God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob’ is a typical expression in the patriarchal narrative of the Old Testament and even in the New Testament. In this patriarchal triad, however, Isaac the second patriarch’s name has been less considered compared to his father Abraham and his son Jacob. This article is to ascertain the text reading as ‘Isaac’s family narrative’ rather than Isaac narrative through the related materials of the patriarch Isaac in the biblical narrative. According to the toledoth-formula in the book of Genesis, it should be accepted that Isaac’s family narrative begins with the genealogy of Isaac in Genesis 25:19 and its range continues to the first verse of chapter 37 before the genealogy of Jacob the next generation in Genesis 37:2. The Isaac’s family narrative consists of eight units and four themes (genealogy – loss – travel – anxiety) and indicates a structural composition of chiastic pattern (ABCDD′C′B′A′). It also presents a dynamic storytelling with the five step development of narrative such as Exposition – Complication – Crisis – Climax – Ending. The position of Isaac’s family narrative has no obscure without any problem although the contents of Isaac character are shown partly and quite widely dispersed in many places and these can be evaluated as crisis conditions. Furthermore, Isaac’s family narrative reflects the difficult real things which the exile lost and wandered from their country or the people who returned to their homeland in the perspective of the Primary Narrative (Genesis ~ 2 Kings). The Isaac’s family narrative also plays a pivotal role in a crisis situation to overcome the difficulties to the modern readers as mental grounds and psychological consensus. It is the indispensable link between the patriarch Abraham and the patriarch Jacob in the Genesis narrative.
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    Whose story is Exodus 4:24–26? - A Textual Comparative study of the Masoretic Text(MT), Septuagint(LXX) and Samaritan Pentateuch(SP)

    Kim Jin Myung | 2019, 25(4) | pp.253~281 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    Exodus 4:24–26 shows 'Moses and family's journey back to Egypt' in the entire story of Moses' vocations in chapters 3-4. The ambiguous personal pronouns are used in this text can be difficult elements for interpretation of the text. This study focused on the ambiguity of the third-person personal pronoun “he” or “him” in Exodus 4:24–26, which implies the possibility of being translated as Moses or the Son of Moses or even as a presumption of Zipporah. However, this ambiguity is a difficult problem, but at the same time it can be interpreted as an element that provides possibility for various interpretations for the text. Because LXX focuses on the Son of Moses, and SP focuses on Zipporah and each of them describing the text as not simply a story centered on Moses, but a story in which the son or Zipporah had an important meaning or role. If the differences between MT, LXX, and SP are evaluated as features that show the versatility of the texts, not the superiority criteria, and in parallel, the ambiguity of the personal pronouns in MT is rather can function as a possibility to reflect diverse emphasis points.  Through the comparative study of the three texts, Exodus 4:24–26 shows that Moses' son (LXX) and wife Zipporah (SP) were closely related as family members in the calling process of Moses described in MT 3-4. It is possible to reflect the viewpoint and contents of each text, and to recognize the story with the possibility of highlighting various emphasis points for each character. The comparative study of the diversity of traditions of the three texts(MT-LXX-SP), and at the same time, the parallel work of comparing various final texts can help to understand the ambiguity and difficulty that can occur when studying each text individually.
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    A Study of Over-encoding in Biblical Hebrew Narrative: 1 Samuel 1-7

    Seong-Kwang Kevin Kim | 2019, 25(4) | pp.282~312 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    In the Biblical Hebrew narrative, the names of the participants can be generally referred by pronouns or verbs after they have first been introduced. However, we often see instances where characters are given semantically redundant information, such as renaming them. This paper tried to find out the author’s intention through a study on such redundant information. For this purpose, I introduced Runge’s recent study which is the most comprehensive and systematic study about participant reference encoding. Then, I investigated the function of over-encoding in 1 Samuel 1-7. I defined the default encoding value in the narrative, based on the results of cognitive linguistic studies. The use of redundant full noun phrase, where minimal encoding is expected, is to mark the over-encoding of participants. The use of redundant full noun phrase by participants is recognized by the reader as discontinuity. The functions of over-encoding are (1) marker of the beginning or ending of a unit, (2) highlighting action/event, (3) emphasizing the contents of speeches, (4) marker of countering moves, (5) marker of the significance of surprising or unexpected events, (6) marker of change in action pattern, (7) marker of focus shift, (8) marker of climax, (9) marker of contrast. All the other functions except marker of the beginning or ending of a unit are to highlight an element of the text. And they are recognized as pragmatic prominence by the reader through over-encoding intended by the author. That is, an element is highlighted by over-encoding, and more prominence is given to that element, as compared to other elements in the text. Over-encoding is a device, and prominence is the purpose for the use of over-encoding. As for the author, over-encoding is a device used for the production of the text, while, as for the reader, prominence is the result of recognition after the processing of the text. The significance of this study may be said in two. First, I synthesized scholars’ discussions so far on participant reference encoding in the Biblical Hebrew narrative as much as possible. As a result, the functions of over-encoding are divided in two: (1) marker of the beginning or ending of a unit, (2) highlighting an element. Second, I connected the highlighting function of over-encoding with prominence dealt with in pragmatics. For the reader, the over-encoded part of the text is recognized as more prominent than other parts. To find out over-encoding intended by the author will help the reader to interpret the text.
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    Early Achaemenid Yehud: Boundaries, Settlements and Populations

    Ji-Hoon Kim | 2019, 25(4) | pp.314~341 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    Early Achaemenid Yehud: Boundaries, Settlements and Populations Ji-Hoon Kim, Ph.D. Lecturer at Hanshin University This paper deals with the boundaries, settlements and populations of the early Achaemenid Yehud province. As the rule of the Yehud region changed from Babylonia to Achaemenid, the stronghold of the Yehud region was moved from Mizpah to Jerusalem. Even before the time of captivity, the territory of Yehud was reduced by about 70 percent, and the areas of Mizpah, Bethel, Gibeah and Gibeon were used as production-oriented areas in Benjamin. Through the end of the Iron Age II and the early Achaemenid period, the population of Benjamin began to decrease and the population began to increase around the Jerusalem and environs. Charles E. Carter and Oded Lipschits estimate the population at the time of the early Achaemenid to be about 20,000 to 30,000. This study aims (1) to deals with the boundaries of the Yehud region and also deals with the settlement areas of the Yehud region (2) to compares and explains the population of Yehud, with the claims of Carter and Lipschits. This study is that Jerusalem, which was an important stronghold before the time of captivity, began to grow again, although the Yehud region at the time of the early Achaemenid decreased its territory and population compared with the end of the Iron Age II.
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    Difficult Problems in the Study of Ezra-Nehemiah and Their Solutions

    So Hyeong-Geun | 2019, 25(4) | pp.342~364 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    The purpose of this paper is to deal with three difficult subjects and their solutions for the study of the Ezra-Nehemiah. Firstly, the texts of Ezra-Nehemiah regarded mixed marriage as the object of reform in terms of community purification, but this gentile was not hebrew ‘ger’, but ‘nokri’(or ‘nekar’). In other words, ‘ger’ participated in the Passover celebration(Ez 6:21), and he was authorized to seal the covenant(Neh 10:28). Secondly, it was an interpretation of the incident that Zerubbabel disappeared during the temple construction. After Ez 5:2 the leaders of temple building were replaced by elders of Judah no more Zerubbabel, and he no longer existed in the golah community. The reason was that the messianic and Davidic dynasty restoring expectations that have occurred within the golah community have stimulated the Persian Empire. Therefore he was most likely summoned from the royal court or assassinated. Thirdly, it was debate about the period of appointment for governorship of Nehemiah. His original mission was to rebuild the broken walls of Jerusalem(Neh 2:5), and after his mission he nust return to Persia. But he was governor of Judah from the twentieth year that Artaxerxes was king until the thirty-second year(Neh 5:14). Therefore, he was appointed as a governor of Judah after completing the temple construction, later Judah became independent from Samaria district. This can guess from the fact that the enemies of Nehemiah no longer appear in the texts of Nehemiah.