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The foreign Peoples in the Book of the Twelve: A Study of the Composition of the Book of the Twelve in consideration of the prophetic Address against foreign Nations

  • Korean Journal of Old Testament Studies
  • Abbr : KJOTS
  • 2019, 25(1), pp.54-91
  • DOI : 10.24333/jkots.2019.25.1.54
  • Publisher : Korean Society of Old Testament Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Christian Theology
  • Received : January 15, 2019
  • Accepted : February 3, 2019

Cha-Yong Ku 1

1주안대학원대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study aims to examine the 'descriptions of the foreign nations' in the Book of the Twelve by using a new methodology which is currently applied in this field, that is, ‘a diachronic and synchronic approach.’ In particular, it tries to find out how the descriptions of the foreign nations in the compositional aspect are arranged in the Book of the Twelve and which role they play there. The word of judgment against the foreign nations there, whether it is related to the judgment or salvation of Israel, or to their salvation itself, is first referred to in the frame of ‘Amos-Obadiah-Jonah’/‘Micah-Nahum-Habakkuk’ and also in the frame of the consecutive order of Jonah-Nahum in the LXX. The remaining six books are separately analysed into pre-exilic and post-exilic books, namely ‘Hosea-Joel and Zephaniah’ and ‘Haggai-Zechariah-Malachi.’ When we consider the meaning of the descriptions of the foreign nations, firstly, we recognize that there is the repeated pattern of ‘Israel-nations-nations’ in the frame of 'Amos-Obadiah-Jonah'/'Micah-Nahum-Habakkuk,' and that the messages focus much on Israel. Secondly, we know that the judgment and salvation of God goes beyond not only the national dimension but also the periodical one and encompasses the whole nations of the world. Besides, the intentional arrangement of the ‘Jonah-Nahum’ in the LXX is seen as an expression of God's absolute freedom of sovereignty in judgment and salvation. In the pre-exilic and post-exilic books, Hosea as the introduction to the Book of the Twelve shows the Israel-centric character, and all the other books contain the motif of ‘the day of YHWH.’ This motif confirms not only that both Israel and the nations are the object of YHWH's judgment and salvation, but also that the last part of the Book of the Twelve more strongly emphasizes YHWH’s eschatological dominance. This study is an academic try to keep pace with current trends in the research on the Book of the Twelve. God's attitude toward the foreigners shown in the Book of the Twelve may teach us how we should behave toward them under the social situation rapidly changing toward a multicultural society.

Citation status

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This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.