Journal for Semitics <p><strong>Hybrid Open Access</strong></p> <p>The <em>Journal for Semitics</em> is published by the Southern African Society for Near Eastern Studies (SASNES). The journal is published twice annually. <em>Journal for Semitics</em> is accredited by the Department of Higher Education and Training.</p> en-US (Renate Van-Dijk Coombes ) (Pieter Rall) Mon, 18 Dec 2023 14:22:37 +0000 OJS 60 Discovering “Place” and “Space” in Psalm 104 <p>Taking cues from Gert Prinsloo’s work on “space” and “place” and employing a canonical reading of the book of Psalms, this article attempts to find the “space” and “place” of Ps 104. Psalm 104 is located in Book 4, which, according to the story-line of the Psalter, reflects the exilic period of Israel’s history. After introducing the psalm and examining its provenance, the article moves on to a detailed study of “place” and “space,” using Claudia Camp’s categories of “firstspace,” “secondspace,” and “thirdspace,” and employing “Chatman’s Box” to further define “secondspace” and “thirdspace.” The article concludes that the words of Ps 104, directed to exilic and postexilic hearers, were a reminder that God is sovereign over and provides for all creation, and as part of the created order, humanity should recognise God’s provision for it despite life</p> Nancy deClaisse-Walford Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press Tue, 19 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Three Sixteenth-Century Jewish Messiahs <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">Messianic movements and their messianic claimants are surprisingly ubiquitous in Jewish history. The hypothesis is that these movements always show some influence from a previous form of mysticism and reach their expression and culmination in a renewed urgency for messianic activity. This article demonstrates that sixteenth-century messianic tensions, as an example of this phenomenon, repeatedly had their genesis in one or another system of mysticism. The deeper the mystical component, the more dramatic the messianism. The messianic claimant believes he has the power to speak to kings and popes and is convinced he has the means to immediately effect a change in the religious, political, and cosmic order. This investigation focuses on three sixteenth-century Jewish messiahs, Asher Lemlein, David Reuveni, and Shlomo Molcho. Each, as I show, was rooted in an earlier form of mysticism.</span></p> Gavin Michal Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press Tue, 19 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +0000 “Without Contraries Is No Progression”: William Blake’s Monistic Understanding of Theodicy as Reflected in His Engravings of the Book of Job <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">In the book of Job, Job is initially described as “perfect and upright,” yet Yahweh allows Satan to inflict terrible suffering on him. From their Deuteronomistic orientation, Job’s comforters insist that Job must have sinned and deserves punishment. If Job is truly innocent, the quandary of theodicy arises because Yahwistic monism views Yahweh as the one and only loving, all powerful God of justice and mercy. However, in his exegesis in his set of engravings of the book, the nineteenth-century poet and artist William Blake viewed Job not as “perfect and upright,” but as wrapped in a self-absorbed bubble of false piety, dedicated to traditional memory and habit. This article selects six of Blake’s engravings and by means of a literary-psychological methodological approach demonstrates how Blake anticipated certain modern exegetical methods in his aim to “justify the ways of God to man.” He claimed the right to use his own imaginative response to the text, rather than rely on the meaning handed down by tradition and memory. The initial divide between heaven and earth is bridged when the youthful Elihu rejects their traditional wisdom, and brings Job to the point where he can experience God as an immanent divine presence. The advance of science, for instance, Darwin’s theory of the origin of the species, and subsequent research in a variety of disciplines has resulted in a new understanding of the inevitability of suffering and evil, and goes some way to validate Blake’s monistic insistence that “without contraries is no progression.”</span></p> Annette Evans Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press Tue, 19 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Textual Criticism, Literary Criticism, and State Capture: Returning 3 Reigns 12:24p–t to the Canon of Local African Communities <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">This article begins by considering the relationship between textual variants and the canonical text, arguing for a fuller presence of significant variant readings alongside the canonical text, in line with contemporary textual critical scholarship and their associated eclectic critical editions. Alongside such eclectic critical editions and their appropriation within Bible translation, this article suggests that a community-based approach like Contextual Bible Study could be used to return significant and relevant variants to ordinary African readers and hearers of the Bible. The article argues that LXX 3 Reigns 12:24p–t is such a significant and relevant textual variant, offering as it does a remarkable resonance with contemporary South African concerns about state capture. The article analyses 24p–t as a significant textual variant in text critical terms, as significant narrative literature in its own right, as a coherent economic narrative analysis concerning the cause of the division of the united monarchy, and as a potential resource for Contextual Bible Study work within the contemporary South African context of state capture.</span></p> Gerald West Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press Tue, 19 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Intercultural Translation Criticism of the LXX Nomos <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">Using intercultural translation criticism combined with the functional equivalence translation theory, the present article argues that the LXX <em>nomos </em>(law, instruction, statute) with its derivative <em>nomimos</em> (law, ordinance) serves as a better functional equivalent for the Hebrew counterparts <em>tōrâ/ḥûqqâ/ḥoq</em> (law, ordinance, statute). Moreover, the Latin Vulgate and the Kiswahili Union Version echo a similar functional equivalence in their rendering of <em>tōrâ/ḥûqqâ</em> (Exod 12:43–49) with <em>religio</em> (ritual) / <em>lex</em> (law) or <em>amri</em> (commandment) / <em>sheria</em> (law), respectively. Consequently, the findings of this study invite LXX scholars, literary translation theorists, and practitioners to join hands and share their inputs for an improved understanding of LXX translation techniques and better translation practices.</span></p> Jean-Claude Loba Mkole Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press Tue, 19 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Prohibited Relationships With Women within the Extended Family: Leviticus 18:7–18 Compared With Surah Al-Nisa’ 4:22–23 <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">Various unlawful sexual relationships are the topic of Leviticus 18, concentrating (vv. 7–18) on women within the extended family who may not be approached. A comparable but condensed list of taboo relationships is stated in the Qur’anic Surah al-Nisa’ (The Women) 4:22–23. The first objective of the article is to give an account of the way the respective directives are expressed. Prohibitions in Lev 18:7–18 are, for example, introduced by the formula, “The nakedness of … do not uncover,” usually followed by a reason, e.g., “the nakedness of … she is.” The Qur’anic portion begins with the restriction, “And do not marry” (Q al-Nisa’ 4:22), or “Forbidden to you [are]” (Q al-Nisa’ 4:23). Secondly, individual taboos which are shared, or only found in either of the two sources, are scrutinised. Thirdly, the arrangement of the items in the two lists is investigated. Fourthly, the literary contexts of the biblical and Qur’anic portions are juxtaposed.</span></p> Ashraf Dockrat Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press Tue, 19 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Enheduanna, the “World’s First Author”: An Analysis of Ninmešarra (the Exaltation of Inanna) and Inninšagurra (Queen of Vast Heart) <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">This article discusses two written works by Enheduanna of Akkad. The aim is to understand the texts through a close reading and draw out any information offered about Enheduanna herself. The first text is Ninmešarra, or the Exaltation of Inanna. This is the most famous of Enheduanna’s authored works. It discusses her exile from Ur and acts as a praise hymn for Inanna. The textual analysis highlights the significance of Enheduanna’s writing style and use of first-person narration in conveying her experience of expulsion. The second text discussed is Inninšagurra, or Queen of Vast Heart. While it offers fewer instances of first-person narration, it still highlights a sense of internal struggle that can be related to what is known of Enheduanna’s life. These texts are thematically similar in their depictions of Inanna and the author, which this article discusses in terms of the question of early first-person narration as a form of autobiographical writing.</span></p> Akira Coetzee Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press Tue, 19 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Making Sense of Destruction: A Frame-Semantic Analysis of šḥt in the Hebrew Bible <p>The verb <em>šḥt</em> is worthy of investigation. It is a prominent verb of destruction that occurs throughout the Hebrew Bible. It is also polysemous. Furthermore, its basic meaning has not yet been determined in the various reference works and it defies the traditional wisdom that specific stems have specific meanings. Great advances have been made in utilising cognitive linguistic (CL) methodologies to interpret the Hebrew Bible (HB). We are not aware of any robust attempt at using insights from CL to investigate the meaning of <em>šḥt</em>. For this study, we utilised frame semantics (FS) and several other CL methodologies to gain insight into the semantic force of <em>šḥt</em> in the HB.</p> Izaak Connoway, Johannes Malherbe Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press Mon, 18 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +0000