Abstracts

TERMINOLOGY

I.T. Abusch, "Alaktu and Halakhah: Oracular Decision, and Divine Revelation", Harvard Theological Review 80 (1987), 15-42. - Akkadian alaktu means "behaviour, oracular decision, divine revelation". Since these meanings are close to Hebrew halakhah, it seems likely that the latter is a loan word from Akkadian dating from the Babylonian exile in the sixth century B.C.E. (G.J.W.)

Anneli Aejmelaeus, "Function and Interpretation of In Biblical Hebrew", JBL 105 (1986), 193-209; see OTA 10/1 (1987), no.103.

Gunnel André, Determining the Destiny. PQD in the Old Testament, Lund: CWK Gleerup, 1980, ISBN 91-40-04759-8; Pp. 264, Price: SEK. 190. - This monograph purports to offer a semantic analysis of the verb paqad and its derivatives. Especially in the verb the author finds forensic connotations. The analysis is carried forth in a number of discrete steps. First, the "limited contexts" of PQD are dealt with; here grammatical constructions, related verbs and phrases, etc. are listed. Next, the author studies PQD in its "wider contexts". In this connection the material is organized according to various Gattungen (oracles, psalms, narratives). It is argued that the verb paqad is anchored in a "judicial pattern", found in a wide variety of texts. We are here concerned with a lawsuit-pattern with YHWH playing the part of the plaintiff. The various elements of this pattern are described under the headings: A. "From the inception of the conflict to the appeal", B. "The appearance of the judge", and C. "From the accusation in court to the pronouncement of the sentence". In the next chapter the material is sifted according to the "larger units of contents". A categorisation is attempted according to what the author denotes as "conditional" and "unconditional act" respectively. The final chapter tries to answer the question: How are these two categories related to the alleged PQD-pattern? The book offers a lot of material, neatly organised but not properly evaluated. Almost no attention is paid to the modern discussions of semantic method. The relevant problem of how the alleged PQD-pattern is related to the well established rib-pattern will be dealt with in a separate study. (T.M.)

J.I. Bloomberg, Arabic Legal Terms in Maimonides, Ann Arbor: University Microfilms, l980, Pp. v, 180; see KS 58/1 no. 274.

G.J. Botterweck and H. Ringgren, eds., Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, trld. D.E. Green, Grant Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1980, ISBN 0-8028-2338-6, Pp. xix, 493. Price: £15.00. - The first three volumes of this series were noted in Survey no. 592 (JLA IV). The present volume extends from zeev to hamets. Of particular interest to the student of Biblical law are the entries on zevul, zamam, zanah, haval, hag, hata, halal, halaf, halak, hamad, hamas. (B.S.J.)

G.J. Botterweck and H. Ringgren, eds., Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, trld. D.E. Green, Grant Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1986, ISBN 0-8028-2338-6, Pp. xxi, 521. Price: £25.00. - The earlier volumes of this series were noted in Survey nos. 592 (JLA IV) and 1043 (JLA VI). The present volume extends from hmr to YHWH. Of particular interest to the student of Biblical law are the entries on hesed, hafshi, haqaq, haqar, herem, hatam, tame, yabam. (B.S.J.)

L.R. Freedman ,"Studies in Cuneiform Legal Terminology with Special Reference to West Semitic Parallels", Dissertation Abstracts International 38 (1978), 6097-A. - This study applies the comparative lexicography of Landsberger and Held to legal terminology in order to make clear the institutions that they express within the context of the legal traditions of various localities or dialects. It aims to relate Biblical law to cuneiform common law traditions and claims to provide a key to unravelling the complex legal traditions of the Talmudic period, as the earliest evidence of how these Israelite traditions worked. It provides a study of ancient Israelite surety, including a study of the hand-gesture for suretyship, the relationship of Biblical Hebrew 'rb, "to go surety", to its pseudo-homonyms, and of the nouns 'rbh, "suretyship", and 'rbwn, "pledge". (K.W.W.)

S. Gervitz, "On Hebrew sebet = Judge", The Bible World, eds. G. Rendsburg et al, New York: KTAV, 1980, 61-66 (C.H. Gordon Festschrift) - Sebet and sofet are only apparent homonyms, deriving from different though related Proto-semitic roots. Sebet is an adjective used substantively while sofet is an active participle. Evidence comes from Ugaritic and Akkadian, especially names. G. concludes that MT's uses of sebet require neither consonantal nor vocalic emendation. (S.N.R.)

A. Hurvitz, "The History of a Legal Formula: kol aser hapes asah (Psalms cvx 3, cxxxv 6)", VT 32 (1982), 257-267. - The phrase kol aser hapes asah is found twice in the Old Testament (Ps. 105:3, 135: 6), and in a slightly modified form in three other places (Isa. 46:10; Jon. 1:14, Eccles. 8:3). In all five instances it refers to either God (Psalms, Isaiah, Jonah) or to an earthly king (Eccles.) and denotes the unlimited power of the supreme authority which enables him "to do whatever he pleases". H. argues that this is an adapted legal formula from the realm of jurisprudence. He compares the biblical idiom with related phrases, mainly Aramaic, employed in strictly technical legal contexts from outside the Hebrew Bible. He concludes the formula emerges in the second half of the first millennium B.C. and that the phrase "he did whatever was good in his eyes" was a functional equivalent of the later "he did whatever he pleased". (K.W.W.)

Bo Johnson, Rättffärdigheten i Bibeln, Göteborg: Förlagshuset Gothia, l985, ISBN 91-7728-194-2, Pp. l35. - "Righteousness in the Bible" is an examination of the Hebrew concept of righteousness, primarily the root sdq The concept of righteousness is closely related to the covenant, but cannot be limited to be the content of the covenant. The fulfilment of the law is not the basis of righteousness, but rather an expression of it, and the same applies to the performance of offerings. The Old Testament concept of righteousness is almost exclusively a salvific one. It is the God-given relationship to Himself; the activity on man's side is merely response. In the New Testament, this righteousness is extended to all mankind through Christ. (K.N.)

O. Loretz, Habiru-Hebrer; eine sozio-linguistische Studie über des Gentiliziums 'ibri vom Appellativum habiru, Berlin: W. de Gruyter, l984, Pp. xv, 314 (Beiheft zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, 160); see KS 59/4 no. 5611.

J. Shaviv, "Shama Bekol - Shama Lekol", BM 23 (1978), 465-477, 521 (Heb.). - The two expressions are examined throughout the Old Testament and found to be distinct in usage. The former indicates obedience - to the law, authority, the divine, etc., while the latter denotes assent, acquiescence, to a plea or argument. The differentiation provides insight into aspects of hierarchical relations in Old Testament times. (B.J.S.)

Daniel Sperber, A Dictionary of Greek and Latin Legal Terms in Rabbinic Literature, Ramat Gan: Bar-Ilan University Press, 1984, ISBN 965-226-050-9, Pp.226. - Upwards of 200 Greek and Roman legal loanwords found in rabbinic literature are here catalogued and discussed. The rabbinic occurrences of each are listed in chronological order, and translations given. Parallels, related references and variant readings are provided. The juristic value of the work has been enhanced by the collaboration of Prof. J. Mélèze-Modrzejewski, and there are plentiful citations of both comparative material from Hellenistic and Roman sources and of modern scholarly literature. There are indices to Greek and Latin terms. Conceived as a pilot project towards a complete Dictionary of Loan Words (to replace that of Krauss), this volume will prove an indispensable reference tool for students of the history of Jewish law. (B.S.J.)

T. Wadsworth, "Is there a Hebrew Word for Virgin? Bethulah in the Old Testament", Restoration Quarterly 23 (1980), 161-171. - W. offers a refutation of the proposition advanced by Gordon Wenham (VT 22, 1972), that betulah means "a girl of marriageable age" and was never meant to connote a "Virgin". Of the fifty uses of betulah in Scripture those in Deut. 22:13-21 stand out. This passage is a key to W.'s acceptance of the equation betulah = "virgin". (S.N.R.)

 

 

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