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New Articles in the Journal of Hebrew Scriptures

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, “‘Word Play’ in Qoheleth
Journal of Hebrew Scriptures – Volume 7: Article 4 (2007)

This study offers a comprehensive treatment of the subject of “word play� in the book of Qoheleth. After discussing the problematic nature of the term “word play,� and explaining my preference for the word “punning,� 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 Hyrcanus’ 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 Hyrcanus’ 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.


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Latest in the Journal of Hebrew Scriptures

27th October 2006

Some new articles and book reviews have been uploaded to the Journal of Hebrew Scriptures. The following article has been added:

William K. Gilders, “Why Does Eleazar Sprinkle the Red Cow Blood? Making Sense of a Biblical Ritual,” Journal of Hebrew Scriptures, Volume 6: Article 9 (2006).

Numbers 19:1-10 is a prescriptive ritual text concerned with the preparation of the ashes of a burnt “red cow� to be used to counteract the impurity caused by exposure to a human corpse. Like many other biblical ritual texts, this one is relatively rich in details on ritual practice, but offers little that might be termed “interpretation� of the various ritual actions. In response to this conceptual gap, various attempts have been made to specify the “meaning(s)� of the actions and objects. Giving special attention to the blood manipulation component of the ritual complex (Num 19:4), this paper explores a variety of theoretical questions about the interpretation of ritual activity represented in biblical ritual texts. It highlights the significance of the textuality of our access to biblical ritual, the need to fill gaps while interpreting biblical ritual texts, and points to the value of considering the indexical qualities of ritual actions.

In addition, the following reviews have been added:

  • Tsumura, David Toshio, Creation and Destruction: A Reappraisal of the Chaoskampf Theory in the Old Testament (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2005). Review by Karljürgen G. Feuerherm.
  • Rabin, Eliott, Understanding the Hebrew Bible: A Reader’s Guide (Jersey City, NJ: KTAV Publishing House, 2006) Review by Shaul Bar.
  • Perry, T. A., The Honeymoon Is Over: Jonah’s Argument with God (Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, 2006). Review by Barbara Green.
  • Klein, Ralph W., 1 Chronicles: A Commentary (Hermeneia; Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2006). Review by Steven L. McKenzie.
  • Brettler. Marc Zvi, How to Read the Bible (Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society, 2005). Review by Alex Jassen.
  • Ben Zvi, Ehud, Hosea (The Forms of the Old Testament Literature, 21A/I; Grand Rapids/Cambridge, UK: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2005). Review by Yair Hoffman.

Noteworthy are the reviews of Klein’s Hermeneia commentary on 1 Chronicles by McKenzie (a commentary which I would highly recommend), as well as Hoffman’s very lively review of Ehud Ben Zvi’s commentary on Hosea. In addition, the review of Brettler’s recent book (which is really more of an introduction to the Hebrew Bible than the title suggests), has piqued my interest. It looks like it is worth a read.


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Latest in the Journal of Hebrew Scriptures

24th July 2006

There is a new article uploaded to the most recent Journal of Hebrew Scriptures:

  • Aron Pinker, “Nahum and the Greek Tradition on Nineveh’s Fall,” Journal of Hebrew Scriptures 6 (2006) Article 8.
    Abstract: Greek tradition does not provide consistent and reliable evidence that an unusual inundation contributed to the fall of Nineveh. The Babylonian chronicles do not mention such an extraordinary event nor have archaeological excavations at Nineveh produced any evidence in support of such notion. Nineveh’s topography precludes the possibility of significant flooding by the Khosr canal. The various verses in Nahum that have been construed as supporting flooding in Nineveh find a reasonable figurative interpretation within a contextual scheme that does not involve flooding. The notion that Nineveh was captured through flooding should be discarded.

There are also a number of new book reviews uploaded:

If interested, I would especially encourage you to take a look at the reviews of Waltke and Rendtorff.


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