31st March 2007
There are some new articles in the Journal of Hebrew Scriptures, as well as a number of book reviews.
The articles are as follows:
Mark Sneed, “‘White Trash’ Wisdom: Proverbs 9 Deconstructed”
Journal of Hebrew Scriptures - Volume 7: Article 5 (2007)
Though Woman Wisdom has often been viewed as a positive figure for feminism, I will show that the picture is much grimmer. The article has two parts. First, I will demonstrate that the personification of wisdom reinscribes the typical ideology of the time along gender, social class, and racial lines. The eroticization of wisdom as female actually excludes the woman from the search for truth and knowledge because it assumes its adherents are male. Woman Wisdom is shown to be upper class, while Folly is poor. And Woman Wisdom is shown to be xenophobic in her preference for Jewish boys. Second, wisdom/folly, the dominant dichotomy of these chapters, will be shown to deconstruct, showing how both Woman Wisdom and Folly are inextricably connected and partake of each other’s identity. The boundary between the two begins to blur.
Scott B. Noegel, “â€˜Word Playâ€™ in Qoheleth”
Journal of Hebrew Scriptures – Volume 7: Article 4 (2007)
This study offers a comprehensive treatment of the subject of â€œword playâ€? in the book of Qoheleth. After discussing the problematic nature of the term â€œword play,â€? and explaining my preference for the word â€œpunning,â€? I examine six different types of punning found in Qoheleth. The first, focuses on alliteration, or the repeated use of consonants. The second section collects examples of assonance, or the repeated use of vowel patterns. The third section focuses on illustrations of polysemy; cases in which words bear more than one meaning in a single context. The fourth section, which is related to polysemy, details cases of antanaclasis. Antanaclasis occurs when a word is used multiple times, but with different meanings. In the fifth section, I provide examples of allusive punning, i.e., the use of words or forms that imply by way of similarity of sound another word that does not occur in the text. The sixth section is devoted to instances of numerical punning. After providing the data for each of these devices, I offer some general observations on punning in Qoheleth.
Lisbeth S. Fried, “Did Second Temple High Priests Possess the Urim and Thummim?”
Journal of Hebrew Scriptures – Volume 7: Article 3 (2007)
According to TB Yoma 21b, the urim and the thummim and the spirit of prophecy were among the things missing from the Second Temple. According to Ezra 2:61-63 (Neh.7:63-65), they were missing from the time of the return. Josephus suggests, however, that the urim and thummim stopped shining, that is they ceased to function, only around 104 BCE, about the time of John Hyrcanusâ€™ death. According to Josephus, then, second temple high priests consulted urim and thummim. To decide between these two claims, we examine second temple texts dated to the period before Hyrcanusâ€™ death. These texts confirm Josephus and suggest that the contemporary high priest may have used urim and thummim as an oracular device.
The book reviews may be accessed here.