Samuel E. Balentine, "The Future Beyond the End: Lessons from History by Herodotus and Daniel," 145–159
This article examines the role of time in the “histories” of Herodotus and Daniel. Both use historiography as a way of understanding the roles of human agency, divine agency, and chance, but whereas Herodotus demythologizes history, Daniel theologizes it. Daniel’s teleological closure, particularly the varying calculations of the “time of end,” presuppose and require the very moralizing of history that Herodotus resists. When Daniel reasons about End-time, we may imagine him doing so with what Wallace Stevens calls the “later reason” that has been brutalized by reality.
Mark E. Biddle, "Sinners Only? Amos 9:8–10 and the Problem of Targeted Justice in Amos,"161–175
Rudolf Smend has depicted Amos’s message as a categorical rejection of Israel. Amos 9:8–10, with its notion of discriminating judgment, stands out against the backdrop of the apparent pessimism of the overall book. This article assesses whether it represents a foreign insertion into the Amos tradition or, in contrast, whether it develops possibilities latent in earlier Amos materials. Close readings of several passages reveal that all specify decimation and exile for the ruling elite, its city, and its official sanctuary, but do not foresee the absolute end of the North. Themes throughout the book more than hint that Amos’s objective was regime change.
Mark J. Boda, "Priestly Expansions within Haggai–Malachi and the Twelve," 177–185
Focusing on distinctions between the presentation of priestly figures in Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, this article identifies a redactional agenda that champions a shift from the particular and singular focus on the high priest within the Zadokite tradition to a more general and plural focus on priests related to the Levi tradition. Parallel to this priestly shift is a royal shift that eventually leads to the disappearance of Davidic royal leadership. The move from the singular to the plural reflects increasing concern over priestly leadership by the prophetic group responsible for Haggai–Malachi, especially with the lack of Davidic royal leadership.
Trent C. Butler, "God and Dysfunctional Families: A Social and Theological Study of the Book of Hosea," 187–202
Combining Paul Redditt’s love for the Book of the Twelve and his concern for social conditions in the ancient world, this article takes clinical observations about the elements characterizing a dysfunctional family and compares the portrait that the biblical record paints of the prophet Hosea and his family. When the prophet’s family proves to embody dysfunctional relationships, the article probes further to explore the role played by religion, particularly worship of Yahweh, in molding Hosea’s family into such a troubled social group.
Deirdre Dempsey and Sharon Pace, "A Comparison of Darius, Pharaoh, and Associates," 203–214
Scholars frequently remark on the similarities between Joseph and Daniel. Few, however, compare Pharaoh to Darius. Comparison shows that Darius (Dan 6) is portrayed in a particularly derisive way in order to provide a lesson in what can go wrong when a foreign power is in control of Jewish destiny. The message for a post-exilic Jewish community is clear: a foreign power could produce a leader like Joseph’s Pharaoh, capable of controlling the malevolent impulses of his subjects. Just as likely, however, external authority can be weak and ineffective, leaving those reliant on a sovereign’s authority at the mercy of ill-intentioned, jealous officials.
James D. Nogalski, "Changing Perspectives in Isaiah 40–55," 215–225
Isaiah 40–55 consists of two main parts (chs. 40–48 and 49–55). Scholars have long noted formal differences between the two, but seldom explore the literary ramifications. These chapters differ in their primary addressees, the perspective from which they envision the impending journey, and the ways in which they reflect different geographical contexts. Cumulatively, these shifting perspectives force the careful reader to assume changes in both space and time when reading these chapters. The rhetoric of chs. 40–48 largely seeks to persuade those living in Babylon to see YHWH at work in liberating the community to return to the land. By contrast, the rhetorical persuasion in chs. 49–55 purposefully encourages the personified city of Jerusalem to recognize and accept those returning as her own children.
Kandy Queen-Sutherland, "Ruth, Qoheleth, and Esther: Counter Voices from the Megilloth," 227–242
Ruth and Esther are bookends for the Megilloth, the five festival scrolls in the Writings of the Hebrew Bible. Qoheleth stands in the middle of the collection with Song of Songs and Lamentations on either side. Perspectives on human action, chance, and providence fall along gendered lines. Qoheleth is a male voice frustrated by the lack of control and futility of human action. Chance events are negative, and God is incomprehensible. Ruth and Esther speak from the underside of life where God is distant (Ruth) or absent (Esther). There are no expectations of female control, but chance is positive and female action is effective. Qoheleth counters traditional wisdom. Ruth and Esther counter Qoheleth.
Aaron Schart, "The Concluding Sections of the Writings of the Book of the Twelve Prophets: A Form- and Redaction-Critical Study," 243–256
The first part of this article tries to differentiate between six types of closures of the individual writings contained in the Book of the Twelve. On the level of the final text different types of closure follow after one another within the same writing. This is so because the ending sections were reworked by different redactors. In the second part, the article asks whether it is possible to use the form-critical findings as additional evidence for the redaction-critical hypotheses of a two-prophets scroll (comprising former versions of Hosea and Amos) and of a so-called “D-corpus” (Hosea, Amos, Micah, Zephaniah).