1QSamuel preserves a shorter ending of 2Samuel. Of the eight appendices attached to 2Samuel (20:23–24:25), the scroll contained either three or five, dependent on the (reconstructed) height of the columns. The scroll definitively omits the story of the census, a post-Chronicles insertion into 2Samuel. Also 21:1–14 and 23:1–7 are texts from the Hellenistic period. A comparison of 2Sam 21:1–14 and 1Sam 22:6–23 (the killing of the priests of Nob) suggests a late date also for the latter text, a dating supported by a suggested archaeological identification for the site of Nob.
This essay explores the military exemption of Deut 20:5–7 in light of the futility curse in Deut 28:30. By uncovering the social and ritual contexts of the futility curse, I argue that Deut 20:5–7 can be productively understood as a warfare ritual against the curse. I explore the ritual dimensions of Deut 20:5–7 in light of rituals for avoiding curses and maledictions from the ancient Near East, arguing that the original Sitz im Leben of these verses can be found in a pre-war ritual responding to the hegemonic aims of enemies as this crystallized in the inscriptional and ritual contexts of ancient warfare.
The characteristically Isaianic term אליל for other gods does not have its roots in an earlier Semitic adjective, as has often been thought. Rather, it was adopted from Akkadian Illil/Enlil into Hebrew because it reflected the rhetoric of Neo-Assyrian rulers. As in Akkadian, it was used in an extended sense to refer to major divinities; and it was retained in the Isaianic tradition presumably because it was a useful term for »false gods«—readily comprehensible even as a new coinage, yet distinct from the terms used for Yhwh. As anti-idol polemics became increasingly prominent and vicious, the latest Isaianic tradents avoided אליל, preferring more overt terms for idols. Eventually, it came to be reanalyzed as an adjective and used as a mere insult: »worthless«.
Although scholars had assumed that the lexemes כֶּתֶר in Hebrew and κίταρις in Greek derived from an Iranian source. More recently it has been argued by Salvesen that the word is genuinely Semitic. In this article, I revisit the older view.
Although Josephus’s biblical works typically reflect a dependence on the LXX, his text of Samuel presents a curious case to Hebrew Bible textual critics. One conundrum is found in 1Sam 10:27b, which includes material not found in the LXX or the MT. The presence of the same plus in 4QSama complicates the textual discussion. Some scholars take its presence in Josephus and 4QSama as evidence that the plus was omitted accidentally by the LXX and MT. While I broadly agree with their conclusions, this paper complicates their arguments and provides a more compelling reason for the omission of this material in the LXX and MT. The paper concludes by recognizing the value that the biblical text preserved in Josephus’s works brings to Hebrew Bible textual criticism.
In this article I deal with the geographical pattern of the North Israelite temples during the first half of the 8th century BCE. The Israelite temples can be divided into two groups: 1) Those located in the heartland of the kingdom, at least some of which celebrated important traditions of the North. 2) Those located on the borders of the kingdom according to its ideology, that the two Hebrew kingdoms should be ruled by a (North) Israelite king. I then review two themes in which the system of Northern temples could have influenced the cult of late-monarchic Judah.
The interpretation of the »new covenant« in Jer 31:31–34 hinges on how to understand Yhwh’s promise to write his Torah on the heart of the Israelites. According to a widely held view, the latter aims at abrogating the institutions of the book of the Torah and its handing down by means of teaching and learning. From this point of view, Jer 31:31–34 seems to exhibit a decidedly anti-Deuteronomistic outlook. In the present article, this view is confronted with more recent insights into the oral-written interface and its role in scribal education, the basic assumption being that such education is the lifeworld presupposition behind the promise of writing on the heart.
The expression נפשות in Ezekiel 13 refers to two different meanings: (living) human beings and the spirits of the dead. The words כסתות and מספחות seem to refer to the paraphernalia involved in the women’s practice of necromancy and in the fall of the people, respectively. The expression נפשות is employed as antanaclasis to establish a conceptual connection between necromancy and ruin.