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

Korean | English

pISSN : 1229-0521 / eISSN : 2799-9890

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2022, Vol.28, No.1

  • 1.

    Language Variation in Biblical Hebrew

    DONG-HYUK KIM | 2022, 28(1) | pp.8~33 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    The present study explores language variation in Biblical Hebrew from a sociolinguistic perspective. Language variation refers to the situation in which the same linguistic or grammatical meaning is realized by two or more forms (e.g., both mamlākāh and malkût in Biblical Hebrew mean “kingdom” or “reign”). So far, language variation in Biblical Hebrew has been studied mainly in the context of the Documentary Hypothesis of the Pentateuch. However, a field that focuses primarily on this phenomenon is sociolinguistics. Thus, upon defining language variation, the study surveys how linguists of the past regarded it as unimportant and arbitrary and how contemporary sociolinguists consider it foundational in understanding language. Language variation includes historical (or chronological) variation, regional variation, and social variation. The study examines the cases in Biblical Hebrew which represent these three kinds of language variation. First, mamlākāh and malkût (“kingdom”, “reign”) are an exemplar of historical variation, the choice of which in the Hebrew Bible is best explained by chronology. Second, the two relativizers ’ăšer and še- and the near homonyms šibbolet and sibbolet each illustrate regional variation. The first pair shows the contrast between the southern Judahite Hebrew and the northern Israelian Hebrew. The second pair discloses the difference of the consonant repertoire between the Gileadites and the Ephraimites. Last, in referring to oneself, the Biblical Hebrew speaker could choose from the first person singular pronoun and ‘abdĕkā/’ămātĕkā/šipḥātĕkā (“your servant”). The choice is conditioned by factors such as situation and the social statuses of the speaker and the addressee. Through studying language variation from a sociolinguistic perspective, we will have a deeper understanding of the language of Biblical Hebrew, the literary strategies of biblical writers, and the world of the Hebrew Bible.
  • 2.

    Methods to Solve the Problems of a Childless Couple in the Old Testament: A Case Study of Seeking Abraham and Sarah’s Heir (Genesis 11:27-25:11)

    Jun Kim | 2022, 28(1) | pp.34~65 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    Several childless couples appear in the Old Testament: Abraham and Sarah(Gen. 11:27-21:5), Isaac and Rebekah(Gen. 25:21-26), Jacob and Rachel(Gen. 29:31-30:24), Manoah and his wife(Judg. 13:2-24), Elkanah and Hannah(1 Sam. 1:2~20), Shunem woman and her husband(2 Kgs. 4:8-17). These couples have various problems. They face the misery of having no children to take care of in their old age, no children to inherit, and no children to carry the paternal name in Israel. What methods did childless couples use to work through their infertility? Until now, research has been conducted on infertility in the Old Testament with a major interest in the social reality of infertile women and God’s role in the stories. However, childless couples’ attempts to solve this problem have not received much attention. This paper highlights an underexplored part of ancient Israelites’ lives using Abraham and Sarah as a case study in addressing the problem of childlessness(Gen. 11:27-25:11). This story best depicts the problems and solutions to childlessness in the Old Testament. As believers, Abraham and Sarah trust and wait for God’s promises, while attempting to solve problems through the societal methods of the time. In the story of Abraham, God's promise begins with the promise of a great nation(Gen. 12:2), the promise of Abraham's descendants(Gen. 12:7), the promise of descendants to be born in Abraham's body(Gen. 15:4), the promise of Sarah's son(Gen. 17:15-19), and the time Sarah gave birth(Gen. 18:10). As God’s promise concretizes, Abraham and Sarah try to conceive through institutions and customs available at the time. This paper suggests Abraham and Sarah used social methods such as adoption (relative adoption, alien adoption), the concubine system, and an inheritance decision in conjunction with religious methods of trusting God to solve their problem. This case study reveals that ancient Israelites used both social and religious methods to solve childless couples’ problem.
  • 3.

    Dialog oder Monolog? Eine neue Interpretation von Ex 3:4

    Kyunggoo Min | 2022, 28(1) | pp.66~92 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    Dieser Artikel untersucht die Subjektzuschreibung des Ausdrucks “Hier bin ich” (הִנֵּנִי) in der Berufungsgeschichte Mose durch linguistische Analyse. Die Formulierung gilt oft als die rasche Antwort des Mose auf den Anruf Gottes. Exemplarisch ist die Übersetzung der “New Korean Revised Version”, hier folgt auf den göttlichen Anruf “Mose, Mose” dessen Antwort, da das “Hier bin ich” (הִנֵּנִי) Mose zugeschrieben wird. Seine Antwort gilt als Höflichkeitsgeste, wodurch Mose als ihr Subjekt verstanden ist. Diesem Verständnis folgen viele Bibelübersetzungenn (“New Standard Version”, “Korean Catholic Bible”, “Korean New Revised Version”, LUT, ELB), gelegentlich taucht zudem zur Betonung der Personennamen “Mose” auf, wodurch die Übersetzer zeigen, dass Mose Subjekt von הִנֵּנִי ist. Der Ausdruck וַיֹּאמֶר in Ex 3:4 ist sehr auffällig. Er ist eine Narrativ-Form als PKו und erscheint in der Passage viermal. Mit Ausnahme des strittigen zweiten Belegs ist Gott immer dessen Subjekt. Theoretisch wäre es möglich, dass sowohl Mose als auch Gott als Subjekt dieser Stelle zu verstehen ist, da die Verbform 3. m. sg. beide Zuschreibungen ermöglicht. Allerdings findet sich im Kontext jedoch kein Hinweis über einen Subjektwechsel, weswegen Gott auch hier Subjekt des Verbs sein müsste. Aus diesem Grund ist Ex 3,4-6 anders als bisher zu interpretieren. Ex 3,4-6 ist eben kein Dialog zwischen Gott und Mose, sondern einzig Wiedergabe der Selbstoffenbarung Gottes. Diese Auslegung ergibt sich sowohl aus der Textlogik als auch aus dem Stil ähnlicher Texten wie z.B. Gen 22; 46.
  • 4.

    A Narrative Reading of the Open Ending in Jonah 4:10-11

    kyung-Sik Park | 2022, 28(1) | pp.93~123 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    This article identifies and examines the prophetic rhetoric in Jonah 3-4 in an attempt to assess their significance. It argues that the point of view in Jonah 3-4 works as a rhetorical device to situate readers in the narrative plot. Verbal parallels in chapters 1 and 3 forge symmetrical structure, make tones, and interact one another to convey meaning. Characters of the story such as the saliors, Jonah, and the Ninevites also depict corresponding points showing a symmetrical structure. The narrative comprises two different sets of the scenes (Jonah 1-2 and Jonah 3-4), pointing symmetrical characters to allude its purpose and focus. Some scholars aver that the intention of the final form of chapters 3-4 is to convince its Judean audience to adhere to the covenant with God, promoted by the reforms of Ezra and Nehemiah. Other scholars assert that based on the last question of Jonah, this is relevant to the postexilic community of Jerusalem where they were agonizing about the nonfulfillment of solemn prophecies concerning the advent of eschatological conditions with the restoration. Based on the analysis of narrative devices of Jonah 3-4, the intention of the open ending question clearly connects with Jonah 3:9-10 as my narrative analysis shows the plots of Jonah 3-4. In particular, the last question from God is not aimed to Jonah, but to readers along with the need of the statement of Jonah 3:9-10. Rhetorical devices in the text lead the readers to the final question directly addressed to them. The intention of the book seems simple enough in a certain way and it is all in the final question, “what are you going to do now, be faithful or not?”
  • 5.

    A Narrative Critical Study for the Threat of Death by God : Focus on the Story of ‘the bloody bridegroom’ (Exo. 4:24-26) and the Story of ‘Balaam and his donkey’ (Num. 22:21-35)

    Lee, Hana | 2022, 28(1) | pp.124~155 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    The goal of this study is to attempt a narrative critical interpretation of the story of the ‘bloody bridegroom’ in Exodus 4:24-26 and the story of ‘Balaam and his donkey’ in Numbers 22:21-35 in order to offer a new answer to the question ‘Why did God seek to kill Moses and Balaam?’ By this critical interpretation, it can be found that the two stories have a lot in common, such as the position of the text in the narrative, the structure of the text, and the literary elements. Due to this interpretation, a mutual comparative reading of these two texts was attempted and the story of Moses was reconstituted through the story of Balaam. The two stories have a distinguishing form, that is, the ‘structure of a death-threat’. The structure of a death-threat offers the answer to of the main question of this study ‘Why did God sought to kill Moses and Balaam?’ The structure of death-threat has the following elements: 1) The principal character has a sin that he is ignorant of; 2) God seeks to kill the principal character; 3) The principal character’s blindness and the mediator’s godly wisdom; 4) The mediator’s process of awakening and his repentance. The goal of the structure of the death-threat is to guide the principal character towards repentance. This study shows a possibility of a mutual interpretation based on a literary comparative reading between the biblical texts.
  • 6.

    Animals, the protagonists of radical change in social ecosystems - Approaching Exodus 23:4-5

    Minsu Oh | 2022, 28(1) | pp.158~187 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    The term ecology was first used by the German biologist E. Haeckel in 1866. Haeckel defines ecology as “the study of the interdependence and interaction between living organisms (animals and plants) and their environment (non-organic beings)”. Today, the concept of ecology has been expanded even further, expressing the relationship, interaction, and dialogue of all beings, not only with themselves but with each and every thing that exists. So today's ecology includes not only nature, but also human culture and society. While acknowledging the existential diversity of all beings, it acknowledges the dynamic unity. Therefore, it is required to recognize a new level of consciousness, namely the common destiny of nature and man. Exodus 23:4-5, in the context of pointing out the vulnerability of the Israeli legal community, shifts the interest of stakeholders from the courtroom to the common property of animals (livestock). The courtroom, which is easily exposed to absurdity and manipulation due to collective selfishness and the intervention of financial power, creates a rift in community ties and is in danger of destroying solidarity. The animal protection regulations in this text are out of context. It shows that the crisis of division in the legal community can be actively resolved by rescue of endangered animals. The text puts the crisis of the animal kingdom side by side with the crisis within the social community. And it suggests that people can restrain their own desires and take active actions toward cows and donkeys that are in danger of being neglected as a ‘place of community restoration’. In addition, through this, animals as individuals in a human-led society are highlighted as the protagonists of radical social change. A change in the perception of animals or a change in the way humans behave toward animals is forming the basis for a better human or personal society. The human and animal kingdoms are autonomous but interdependent. When affirming interdependence, the right to anthropocentric superiority is denied.
  • 7.

    A Study on Collaborators of Rapists: centering on Judges 21, 2 Samuel 13, and 16:20-23

    Hyo Myong Lim | 2022, 28(1) | pp.188~230 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    Cultural assumptions and androcentric ideologies held by the general public are often blamed for ever-increasing sexual violence. Those assumptions and ideologies lie hidden in narratives. I analyzes three narratives from the Hebrew Bible, in which collaborators of rapists are featured. The purposes of examining the stories are threefold: first, to uncover the narratological and theological strategies that lessen the criminality of sexual aggression against women, second, to warn readers and story-tellers, which include preachers, journalists, teachers and parents, against the toxicity of certain elements in stories, third, to necessitate the story-teller’s self-scrutiny. Utilizing feminist criticism, ideological criticism, deconstruction criticism, and narrative criticism, I attempt a close reading of the selected texts, focusing on their plot developments and characterizations. I argue that in terms of plot development and theology the stories are constructed in ways that make sexual violence be read as inevitable and unavoidable. This inevitability is forged as collaborators in the stories move the plots with androcentric cultural assumptions and ideologies combined with customs, laws, and systems. The collaborators are presented as benefactors, officials, or leaders who endeavor to preserve the status quo for the benefit of male protagonists. Anonymous female victims are objectified and silenced to the effect that readers find it hard to perceive them as persons and sympathize with their sufferings. Their characterization explains why their point of view is completely excluded. From these observations I aver that the author (historian) himself, who is standing outside the stories, collaborates with the rapists, which constitutes a grim warning to contemporary story-tellers. I build my reading upon readings of other scholars who read rape stories in the Hebrew Bible against the grain. I utilize the findings of my reading to further the argument for a responsible story-telling.