Friday 1 January 2016

Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament 4, 2 (2015)

The latest issue of the Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament is now available online. The main articles (listed below with their abstracts) are available from here, with a pdf of the entire issue available here. As always, it’s worth checking out its book reviews as much as anything else.

Nicholas P. Lunn
Allusions to the Levitical Leprosy Laws in the Jericho Narratives (Joshua 2 and 6)
This article explores one particular case in which a narrative of the Old Testament historical books references laws within the legal code of Israel. The particular manner of intertextual relationship in question is that of allusion rather than direct citation. Following a discussion of how the Deuteronomic History was familiar with contents of the Priestly Code, it is here argued that in composing his account of the spying out of Jericho and its subsequent overthrow, the author of the book of Joshua was looking to the levitical laws regarding leprosy to help enhance his narrative in a meaningful way. All three categories of leprous infection (of a person, a house, and a garment) dealt with in the law have their counterparts in the historical account. When viewed against the backdrop of the Hebrews occupying a land inhabited by Canaanites, each of the three cases delivers an appropriate message to Israel.

Andrew M. King
A Remnant Will Return: An Analysis of the Literary Function of the Remnant Motif in Isaiah
The remnant motif has been rightly recognized as a significant feature in the Hebrew Bible. And yet, while various studies have helpfully catalogued its occurrences, far too little attention has been given to developing the motif as a complex literary device. This article assesses the nature of the remnant motif in the book of Isaiah. It is argued that the motif exhibits a two-fold function as both a threat of impending judgment as well as an indication of blessing. To accomplish this task, this article surveys the relevant passages under two primary categories: 1) the remnant motif in prophetic oracle and 2) the remnant motif in prophetic narrative. Within each of these sections, the motif is shown to have a positive or negative literary function. In prophetic oracles, the motif is used with both senses with respect to Judah yet only functions negatively when used in relation to the nations. The motif is used in Isaiah’s prophetic narratives in order to further the negative and positive characterization of Ahaz and Hezekiah respectively. It is argued that a proper understanding of the dual nature of this motif benefits not only readers of the Hebrew Bible, but also aids proper interpretation of various New Testament passages.

Ian J. Vaillancourt
The Pious Prayer of an Imperfect Prophet: The Psalm of Jonah in Its Narrative Context
The question of whether the psalm of Jonah 2 is integrative or disruptive in its narrative context greatly effects one’s interpretation of the book of Jonah as a whole. While the older historical-critical scholars have almost universally concluded that the psalm of Jonah was a disruptive addition to an otherwise coherent narrative, more recent canonical interpreters have tended to argue for its integrative nature. Utilizing the canonical method of interpretation, this article freshly evaluates the issues and argues for the integrative nature of the psalm of Jonah in its narrative context by exploring: 1) comparative vocabulary between psalm and narrative in Jonah; 2) the phenomenon of Hebrew poetry inserted into narrative; 3) the psalm’s contribution to the theme of irony in Jonah; 4) the psalm of Jonah in the broader context of the Book of the Twelve; and 5) a rethinking of the problem of Jonah’s conflicted character between psalm and narrative.

David B. Schreiner
Zerubbabel, Persia, and Inner-biblical Exegesis
This essay discusses the socio-political expectations surrounding Zerubbabel as disclosed in Hag 2:20–23. Concurring with the consensus that Jer 22:24–30 is critical to understanding Hag 2:20–23, this essay engages the ideas of Walter Rose and John Kessler, ultimately concluding that Hag 2:20–23 embodies a manto-typological exegesis of the Jeremianic tradition. Thus, Haggai is communicating to Zerubbabel that his role moving forward corresponds to his Davidic predecessors but is not tantamount to it. By implication, the prophet is proclaiming that the Davidic line will continue to play a role for the Second Temple community.

Book Reviews

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