Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament Vol. 14
This volume has seventy-seven entries. Major entries (ten or more pages in length) include ubc*, “be sated, full,” qjc*/qjx*, “laugh,” <yc!, “set, place, put,” lkc*, “have insight,” jmc*, “rejoice, be glad,” an}c*, “hate,” rc, “king,” [r^c*, “burn,” lÿav=, “Sheol,” lav*, “ask,” rav*, “remain,” ubv*, “swear (an oath),” ubv#, “seven,” rbv*, “break,” tB*v, “Sabbath,” yD^v, “shaddai,” aw+v*, “worthless,” bWv, “turn around,” tjv*, “ruin,” ryv!, “sing, song,” tyv!, “put, appoint, make,” bkv*, “lie down, sleep,” and /kv*, “settle, dwell.”
Several contributions deserve comment. K. Nielsen’s brief study of /f*c* provides a helpful survey of the word’s usage and of various interpretive options on problematic texts. With regard to 1 Chronicles 21:1 Nielsen presents the usual interpretation (the term is a personal name), but also includes the alternative option (more likely, in the opinion of the reviewer) that the word here refers to “an indefinite earthly” adversary “who seeks to thwart David’s plans” (p. 77). Nielsen aptly draws attention to 1 Kings 11:14, 23, 25, where the word refers to Solomon’s enemies.
K. Koenen’s essay on lkc* rightly sees the hiphil of this verb in Genesis 3:6 (“to make one wise”) as defining the knowledge of good and evil (pp. 119–20). As for Isaiah 52:13 Koenen is uncertain if the verb has its primary meaning, “be prudent, act prudently,” or its derived/metonymic sense, “be successful, prosper” (p. 123). The decision depends largely on how one understands the dynamics of the poetic parallelism.
E. Lipinski’s study of an}c* includes a brief discussion of “divine hate.” “In the OT Yahweh directs his hate less against concrete persons than against certain behaviors” (p. 167). While this may be true, a handful of passages do describe Yahweh’s hatred of persons (Pss. 5:6; 11:5; Mal. 1:3). Lipinski acknowledges this, but says little about what this hatred entails.
In his study of [rc* U. Rüterswörden discusses the noun [r`c*, which is used in its pluralized form in Isaiah 6:2 to describe the mysterious seraphim. He gives a helpful summary of the biblical usage of the noun and of archaeological evidence for similar six-winged creatures (pp. 223–28).
L. Wächter’s entry on Sheol includes a helpful survey of Old Testament terms for the underworld (pp. 241–45). The author also discusses “characteristics of the underworld” (pp. 245–46), as well as related theological issues such as “distance from Yahweh,” “removal to the underworld as punishment,” “fear of Sheol and rescue from it,” and “Yahweh’s power over the underworld” (pp. 246–48).
R. E. Clements’s study of rav* offers a useful survey of the remnant theme throughout the Old Testament (pp. 277–85). He discusses its use in the deuteronomistic history, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, the Minor Prophets, and the chronicler’s history.
I. Kottsieper’s lengthy article on ubv* is an important contribution on the subject of oaths in the Old Testament. He offers detailed analyses of the verb’s use in the niphal and hiphil stems, giving careful attention to collocations and contextual considerations (pp. 315–33).
Equally important is E. Otto’s study of the number seven, which is often used symbolically in the Bible and in ancient Near Eastern literature to indicate completeness. After a lengthy survey of evidence from Mesopotamia and Ugarit (pp. 341–51), Otto discusses its usage in the Old Testament. One wishes, however, for a fuller treatment of the seven-day scheme in the Creation account.
In the entry on yD^v H. Niehr surveys the etymological options for the name and concludes “that still no satisfactory etymology” of the name “has been presented and that the resolution of its etymology will have to await the emergence of additional relevant materials” (p. 422). G. Steins, who discusses the biblical usage of the name, concludes that it means “one God of Israel.” Different “semantic nuances” derive from this, including among others “bestower of blessings“ and “vehement one” (p. 445).
L. Ruppert briefly discusses some of the interpretive issues on the identification and background of the mysterious Morning Star, son of Dawn, in Isaiah 14:12. Rather than opting for a mythological background for verses 12–15, Ruppert suggests, “Perhaps, however, the background is actually the simple astronomical observation that the morning star is able to rise only a little above the horizon before the rising sun makes it ‘disappear’ from the observer’s vision and prevents it from rising above the stars (cf. Isa. 14:13). The brightly shining star on the morning horizon thus appears as a fallen divine being and as such was able to refer metaphorically to a fallen being that tried to assault heaven” (p. 581). Ruppert also observes that this figure, when “interpreted historically,” refers to Babylon or Nebuchadnezzar II (p. 580).