본문 바로가기
  • Home

Understanding the Bible within the Multi-Cultural Society - A Study on Hospitality in the Old Testament -

Pong Dae Im 1

1감리교신학대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study addresses the topic of hospitality in the Old Testament, particularly in an attempt to respond to the steadily increasing rate of multi-cultural families in our society and the subsequent need to understand how to treat them hospitably in our community. Hospitality, a practice of receiving and extending friendship to strangers, is a highly esteemed virtue in the Old Testament. The concept of hosting originated with the need for aid when being away from home. A stranger is welcomed into an encampment, village, or town and is given a new status as a guest, thereby removing the hostile overtones associated with the different and the unfamiliar. While Gen 18:1-8 provides an example of hospitality, the stories of Sodom(Gen 19) and Gibeah(Judg 19) accuse violations of the communities’ obligations to provide hospitality. In Gen 19, the Sodomites treat Lot as an alien and disregard him, in Judg 19, old man which treats the Levite hospitably is a resident alien just as Lot was in Sodom. Resident aliens - or ‘sojourners’ - were not qualified to function as hosts. In both instances the host, who is responsible to protect the guest, is a resident alien, while the citizens from the community attempt to rape the guest. The tragedy comes in making resident aliens serve as a community’s hospitable party, which is not respected by the men of the city. As a result, the inhabitants of Sodom and Gibeah violate the law of hospitality by harming the guests. Many similarities between Gen 19 and Judg 19 suggest that Israel is always in danger of becoming like Sodom(cf. Isa 1:10; 3:9) and hence liable to a punishment like that of Sodom(cf. Deut 29:23-24). These biblical cases help us to understand the fact that we need to treat the multi-cultural families increasing in number in our society, not as the marginal groups, but as the full members of our community.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.