Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament Vol. 12
This volume of the Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament contains eighty-six entries. Major entries (of ten or more pages in length) include jsæP;, from which is derived jsæP,, “Passover”; dqæP;, “muster; avenge”; hr;P;, “be fruitful”; [væP;, from which is derived [væP,, “sin, offense, crime”; htp, from which is derived ytiP,, “simple, fool(ish)”; jtæP;, “to open”; ˆaxo, “small livestock”; t/ab;x], “Sabaoth”; qdæx;, “be righteous”; hwx, “command, decree”; rWx, “rock”; ˆ/Yxi, “Zion”; lxe, “shadow, shade”; µl,x,, “image, model”; vdq, “holy”; lh;q;, “congregation”; l/q, “voice”; and µWq, “stand, arise.”
Several contributions deserve comment. First, H. Seebass offers a detailed study of the root [vp that interacts at length with the competing viewpoints of L. Köhler and R. Knierim. One wishes, though, for a more detailed discussion of the use of [væP, in Amos’s oracles against the nations (p. 137).
Second, G. Warmuth examines the verb ltæP;, “twist, turn.” He provides a thorough discussion of Genesis 30:8, but gives Psalm 18:27 only a cursory treatment. This is unfortunate since this text is an important one in understanding the theme of divine deceit. In this regard Warmuth simply observes, “The assertion is that God will deal accordingly with the ‘crooked, false’” (p. 192). Much more could and should have been said.
Third, H.-J. Zobel’s article on t/ab;x], “Sabaoth,” includes a concise survey of how the term has been interpreted and a detailed analysis of its usage, especially in Judean prophecy.
Fourth, the article on qdæx; (by H. Ringgren and B. Johnson) is insightful, but one wishes for a fuller treatment of hq;d;x] in Genesis 15:6 (p. 253) and of qyDixæ in Habakkuk 2:4 (p. 258).
Fifth, M. Oeming’s article on dwx, “hunt,” challenges O. Keel’s understanding of Yahweh’s relationship to Leviathan and Behemoth in Job 40-41. Keel argues that these chapters, drawing on Egyptian mythological antecedents, depict Yahweh as battling and defeating the forces of evil. But Oeming argues that Yahweh is not “the opponent and conqueror” of these forces. Rather he is their “creator and maintainer.” Oeming writes, “The response to Job’s lament concerning the chaotic powers of the world is that it is Yahweh himself who takes care of those powers and sees to it that they fare well. . . . This consideration clearly excludes any comfortable reliance on a dualism between God and antidivine or evil powers” (p. 275). While Yahweh does stress His sovereignty over these creatures, this hardly means He endorses and supports their activities. Robert Fyall’s recent work (unavailable to Oeming), which identifies the Canaanite antecedents to the Leviathan and Behemoth symbolism, supports Keel’s conclusion, rather than Oeming’s. Fyall argues convincingly that Behemoth symbolizes death and that Leviathan symbolizes Satan. (See Robert S. Fyall, Now My Eyes Have Seen You: Images of Creation and Evil in the Book of Job [Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2002].)
Sixth, E. Otto’s lengthy article on Zion offers a useful survey of the development of so-called Zion theology from the preexilic period through the intertestamental period.
Seventh, F. J. Stendebach’s study of µl,x,, “image, model,” includes a detailed discussion of this word in Genesis 1:26–27; 5:3; and 9:6. He understands the divine plural in 1:26 (“let us”) as reflecting God’s relationship with His heavenly court, and he takes the preposition b] prefixed to “image” as indicating identity (the so-called beth essentiae). He concludes that humankind’s possession of the divine “image” means that human beings are God’s counterparts and dialogue partners (p. 395).
Eighth, in his brief treatment of tw<m;l]xæ, “darkness, underworld,” H. Niehr rightly rejects as a “popular folk etymology” the view, reflected in its traditional vocalization, that this word means “shadow of death” (p. 397). He concludes that the term is instead an intensive plural, meaning “great darkness, gloom.” Both the etymological evidence and the use of the word in the Old Testament demonstrate that Niehr is correct.
Ninth, the article on vdq (by W. Kornfeld and H. Ringgren) is filled with useful information, including a helpful analysis of divine holiness in Isaiah which, as Ringgren asserts and demonstrates, “constitutes a basic theme in the book of Isaiah” (p. 537). The concept is related to Yahweh’s royal majesty, His authority as Creator, and His incomparability.