7. (a) What feature of Hosea's oracles in chapters 4-12 suggests that his work extended much longer than that of Amos? (b) Why is it unlikely that chapters 1-3 constitute a story of Hosea's troubled marital life? (c) Identify what feature in Hosea 3:5 ("Afterward the Israelites shall return and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; they shall come in awe to the LORD and to his goodness in the latter days.") betrays a Judean editors addition, and explain why it does so. A. The fact that his oracles talk about a long degression, a period of turmoil. Starting from Jeroboam?s second reign and goes to the fall of Israel. This is a span of approximately 30 years. Growing instability 4 of Israel?s last 6 kings dies- reflected Hosea?s oracles. B. It is unlikely because one of the ways in which prophets communicated with their audience was by symbolic action- and Hosea?s marriage must be looked at in that context. It is shocking in the degree to which it involves his whole family, but it is typical as Hosea uses nonverbal communication to convey his message. His wife was portrayed as a prostitute, and possibly one who played a role in the cult of Baal. Also, the names of his children stood for phrases such as ?not pitied? and ?not my people? which echo the common formula for divorce. These phrases may trouble the modern reader, but really the readers are given the impression of a prophet who is completely obsessed with his message, so that it takes over his whole life. Furthermore, due to the harsh language used, it is probable that the marriage was meant for more than an account of Hosea?s marriage (ie. Calling his wife a ?wife of whoredom?), but more so a metaphor for the covenant relationship between God and Israel. C. God hopes for a day when the ?Israelites shall return and seek the Lord.? God will not coerce to restore the relationship, but beyond the troubles that result from sin and judgment, God holds out the hope of return to a good relationship. He hopes that Israel will love again in response to a divine love that has never been abandoned. Clearly, the portion that has been added by Judean editors is ??and David their king.? This phrase is congruent with the Judean editors hope for a return of the Davidic kingship. 8. The Book of Isaiah is the most complexly organized prophetic book in the Bible. (a) In what way does 16:13-14 (see below) exemplify that complexity? (b) How can we account for the fact that Isaiah is told to prophecy a message that imposes doom on the people "until the LORD sends everyone far away, and vast is the emptiness in the midst of the land" (6:12, see below), leading to the complete annihilation of anyone who is left (6:13, see below), given that elsewhere he seems to think that Jerusalem has a future after judgment? (c) What is one to make of the conclusion to v. 13, that seems to turn the preceding declarations on their head with a note of hope ("The holy seed is its stump")? A. The complexity lies in the fact that Chapter 16:13-14 is written in prose, whereas the rest of the oracle (beginning in chapter 15) is written in poetry. It makes the reader wonder why those verses are singled out, and adds more depth to the significance of the oracle. The content of verses 13 and 14, especially the phrases ?in the past? and ?but now? suggest that these verses are an update of an old oracle that has gone unfulfilled. B. This is extremely peculiar, and one way to account for this, is that perhaps verses 12 and 13 were added before the destruction of Jerusalem and Judah during the pre-exilic period. Rejecting the idea of Yahweh as a god who belonged only to the Hebrews. The exiles, who were on the verge of despair, feeling either that Yahweh had forsaken them entirely or that Yahweh?s power had been broken by the superior gods of the Babylonians. C. It is possible that the final sentence of verse 13 ?the holy seed is its stump? was added after they came back from Exile. The use of the stump reference earlier in verses 12 and 13 was intended to convey the view that the destruction of Jerusalem and Judah was absolute-get rid of the whole- not just the majority. This was a commonly held opinion during the exilic period. In contrast, changing the metaphor- the view held during the post-exilic period was that a small fraction of Jerusalem remained, and that Jerusalem would be rebuilt from this small fraction. This is reflected in the portrayal of the stump with holy seeds in the final sentence of verse 13. The original author wrote it as hyperbole, whereas the next author says that the holy seed will not be eradicated. 9. (a) Discuss features in the books of Isaiah and Micah illustrating that even though they both worked in the southern kingdom and were contemporaries, they came from different sectors of society. (b) Summarize the message of the Book of Nahum, and describe what makes him distinct among the Latter Prophets. (c) Summarize the message of the Book of Zephaniah, describing three themes from his oracles and book. A. The content of the two prophet?s messages reveal the fact that they came from different sectors of society. An example is one of Isaiah?s characteristic themes: his denunciation of the upper class for unjust treatment of the poor. He charges they have become wealthy by oppressing the underprivileged. This reflects the fact that he lived in Jerusalem and had access to the kings (upper class) and he is from a more city-like environment. This is in contrast to Micah who comes from Judah?s back country, which sheds light on elements of his message. Because he is not a city-dweller, but a person from the countryside, one of his prime concerns is for the landowners of the hinterlands who have been unlawfully deprived of their properties. B. Message: Nahum means "comfort, consolation." It is a shortened form of Nehemiah which means "the comfort of Yahweh." His name is in a sense symbolic of the message of the book, which was intended to comfort and console the oppressed and afflicted people of Judah. Although this book is concerned with the downfall of Assyria, it is nevertheless written for the benefit of Judah. The message of this book is that although God may be slow to wrath, He nevertheless always "settles His accounts in full!" His long-suffering is not to be interpreted as indifference or as lack of power. This is also a message of consolation for the people of Judah who are being oppressed by Assyria. Regardless of how things may seem, God does not forget His people. Some distinctions of Nahum: Chapter 3 talks of a mock lament Nahum is very excited about the fall of Ninevah = ?Holocaust Literature?(oppressed people are happy that Assyria is going to fall because Judah has been under Assyria?s control for many years) Chapter 1:2-14 Talks of the ?LORD as Warrior? Acrostic form- meaning each line begins with the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet. This poem was probably added by an editor later on because it gives a different feel to the book and Nahum never really addresses the Lord as a warrior for Judah in any other part of the book. Nahum mostly talks about the fall of Ninevah Nahum is Pro-Judah- endorses King Josiah?s reform 4. Nahum is exceptional among the preexilic prophets in that he never speaks criticisms of his own people. His oracles conform to the type of ?oracles against the nations.? Such oracles were compatible with a na´ve nationalism, devoid of self-criticism. C. Message: God?s promises to Abraham would be fulfilled through a small remnant of His chosen people, rather than through the entire nation. This remnant would be composed only of the righteous. Three themes: 1. Anticipation of destruction 1:2-3 and 1:18 ? mentions of ?remnant.? These state that only the righteous will survive and that they will possess enemy lands. Calls for destruction of Jerusalem images saying all life shall cease. Idolatry/Wearing foreign robes. This is an exaggeration (hyperbole) used for effect. Day of the Lord 1:14-15 ? A time of day for terror- a day where the people can get caught of guard, where there is darkness and gloom. They are being punished for religious sins, not being true to the one and only god. Deliverance remnant of people who are holy and true will be left, ?a people humble and lowly.? Has been edited to end positively. The condemnation of Jerusalem shouldn?t be the last word, so they appended an oracle proclaiming that the Lord has taken away the judgments against Jerusalem. 10. (a) Summarize the protest raised by Habakkuk and the LORD's responses (plural) to it. (b) Identify three elements in Jeremiah's call narrative (Jer. 1:4-10, below) that strongly echo an earlier prophetic figure, in the process identifying who that figure is. (You need not cite the chapter and verse alluded to, but you must describe what it says and identify which biblical book it is in.) (c) What is the significance of this echo for understanding how the book of Jeremiah was edited? A. Habakkuk questioned God, why does the evil in Judah go unpunished? He was pained by the injustice about him; there seemed to be no relief from it. He also questioned the Lord as to His intent. - The word "violence" (hamas) is a key word in this prophecy. It is the same word used in Genesis 6:11 to describe the condition of the world in Noah's day, God's reaction to which was the Flood. - The land had sunk into deep moral and spiritual decline, and "spoiling, violence, strife and contention.? -God's laws and commandments had been pushed aside (undoubtedly by men doing what seemed right in their own eyes), resulting in much injustice. The Lord?s first response gave a startling revelation, one which, when viewed after the fact, shows that He perceived the problem far more deeply than Habakkuk. He would raise from among the foreigners, the Babylonians to invade and occupy Judah. The Lord?s second response finally came, and there were surprisingly, no words of rebuke. God instructed Habakkuk to record the vision plainly, on tablets. This ensured that it was both easy to read (so that there would be no misunderstanding) and that it would be preserved for future generations. The one who examined it could therefore "run" ? or prophesy of its importance ? to others. B. The narrative type of call echoes that of Moses. This involves a dialogue with YHWH in which the prophet voices his reluctance to be called as a prophet but is finally reassured by divine injunction. First, there is no vision involved- it is an auditory experience. Second, Jeremiah protests his unsuitability for the mission, as Moses does. Third, the Lord encourages the chosen one and confirms him in his mission. The Lord touches Jeremiah?s mouth similar to when he said, ?I will be with your mouth? to Moses. Objection: Like Moses (Exodus chapters 3-4), Jeremiah protests that he is unable to speak, basing this on his youth: "I am a boy." In Jeremiah's "confessions" he continues to wrestle with and object to the idea that he is called. Reassurance: Before God, Jeremiah's objection is totally invalid. Jeremiah is obliged to carry out Yahweh's commission and compelled to speak only His words. In so doing he bears the marks of a true prophet. God will direct him precisely where to go and tell him exactly what to say, just as He had promised Moses (exodus 3:11). C. Jeremiah is edited so it fulfills Deuteronomy, Lord will send a prophet to be ?like moses.? Jeremiah is presented as ?a prophet like Moses,? who is raised up by YHWH and given his words to speak, in accordance with the Deuteronomic model. The account of Jeremiah?s call shows all the marks of Deuteronomic editing. Jeremiah and Moses Jeremiah is chosen as a boy in the womb, moses was protected from birth?affinity Deuteronomy 18:18 I will put my words in the mouth of the prophet? So many of these coincidences point to some attempt to align jeremiah to moses? jeremiah shows strongly editing underhands with deuteronomistic history (deut throught kings). -Disturbance emotionally-difficulty with role aligns with story of moses (intermediary between god and people, concerned about people).
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