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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)

  • Korean Journal of Old Testament Studies
  • Abbr : KJOTS
  • 2022, 28(1), pp.124-155
  • DOI : 10.24333/jkots.2022.28.1.124
  • Publisher : Korean Society of Old Testament Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Christian Theology
  • Received : January 25, 2022
  • Accepted : February 17, 2022

Lee, Hana 1

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Accredited

ABSTRACT

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.

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