ISRAEL STORY 06 – Age of the Classical Prophets – Amos, Hosea

SPRING 2015 BIBLE STUDY RESOURCES:

Albertz, Rainer.  A History of Israelite Religion in the Old Testament Period.  Volume I: From the Beginnings to the End of the Monarchy.  Translated by John Bowden in 1994.  Part of the Old Testament Library series edited by James L. Mays, Carol A. Newsom, and David L. Petersen.  (Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, 1994).

Albertz, Rainer.  A History of Israelite Religion in the Old Testament Period.  Volume II: From the Exile to the Maccabees.  Translated by John Bowden in 1994.  Part of the Old Testament Library series edited by James L. Mays, Carol A. Newsom, and David L. Petersen.  (Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, 1994).

Boling, Robert G.  Judges.  Part of the Anchor Bible series, W.F. Allbright and David Noel Freedman general editors.  (Doubleday, Garden City, 1975).

Bright, John.  A History of Israel, second edition.  (Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1972).

Campbell Jr., Edward F..  Ruth.  Part of the Anchor Bible Series, W.F. Allbright and David Noel Freedman general editors.  (Yale University Press, New Haven, 1975).

Cohn, Robert L.   2 Kings.  Part of the Berit Olam: Studies in Hebrew Narrative & Poetry series, edited by David W. Cotter.  (Liturgical Press, Collegeville, 2000).

Cotter, David W.  Genesis.  Part of the Berit Olam: Studies in Hebrew Narrative & Poetry series, edited by David W. Cotter.  (Liturgical Press, Collegeville, 2003).

Creach, Jerome F. D..  Joshua.  Part of the Interpretation Bible commentary series edited by James L. Mays.  (John Knox Press, Louisville, 2003).

De Vaux, Roland.  The Early History of Israel.  Translated by David Smith. (Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1978).

Gordon, Cyrus H. and Gary A. Rendsburg.  The Bible and the Ancient Near East, fourth edition.  (W. W. Norton, New York, 1997).

Hayes, John H. and J. Maxwell Miller.  Israelite and Judaean History.  Part of the Old Testament Library series edited by John H. Hayes and J. Maxwell Miller.  (Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1977).

Hawk, L. Daniel.  Joshua.  Part of the Berit Olam: Studies in Hebrew Narrative and Poetry series, David W. Cotter editor.  (Liturgical Press, Collegeville, 2000).

Jensen, Joseph.  Ethical Dimensions of the Prophets.  (Liturgical Press, Collegeville, 2006).

Jobling, David.   1 Samuel.  Part of the Berit Olam: Studies in Hebrew Narrative and Poetry series, David W. Cotter editor.  (Liturgical Press, Collegeville, 1998).

LaCocque, Andre.  Ruth.  Part of the Continentl Commentary series.  Translated by K. C. Hanson.  (Fortress Press, Minneapolis, 2004).

Linafelt, Tod.  “Ruth” in Ruth & Esther.  Part of the Berit Olam: Studies in Hebrew Narrative and Poetry series, David W. Cotter Editor.  (Liturgical Press, Collegeville, 1999).

Macintosh, A.A..  Hosea.  Part of the International Critical Commentary series edited by J.A. Emerton, C.E.B Cranfield, and G. N. Stanton.  ( T & T Clark: Edinburgh, 1997).

Mazar, Amihai.  Archaeology of the Land of the Bible : 10,000 – 586 B.C.E.  Part of the Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library edited by David Noel Freedman.  (Yale University Press, New Haven, 1990).

Morrison, Craig E.   2 Samuel.  Part of the Berit Olam: Studies in Hebrew Narrative and Poetry series, Jerome T. Walsh editor.  (Liturgical Press, Collegeville, 2013).

Myers, Eric M. and Mark A. Chancey.  Alexander to Constantine: Archaeology of the Land of the Bible.  Volume 3 of the Anchor Bible Reference Library edited  by John Collins.  (Yale University Press, New Haven, 2012)

Niditch, Susan.  Judges.  Part of the Old Testament Library series, editorial advisory board Brown, Newsome, Petersen. (Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, 2008).

Propp, William H. C..  Exodus 1-18: A new translation with introduction and commentary.  Volume 2 of the Anchor Yale Bible, William F. Albright and David Noel Freedman General Editiors.  (Yale University Press, New Haven, 1999).

Provan, Iain, V. Philips Long, and Tremper Longman III.  A Biblical History of Israel.  (Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, 2003).

Sakenfeld, Katherine Doob.   Ruth.  Part of the Interpretation Biblical commentary series, James L. Mays series editor.  (John Knox Press, Louisville, 1999).

Sarna, Nahum M.  Genesis.  Part of The JPS Torah Commentary, edited by Nahum M. Sarna.  (The Jewish Publication Society, Philadelphia, 1989).

—————–.  Exodus.  Part of The JPS Torah Commentary, edited by Nahum M. Sarna.  (The Jewish Publication Society, Philadelphia, 1991).

Scherman, Rabbi Nosson.  The Prophets: Joshua / Judges: The early prophets with  commentary anthologized from the Rabbinic writings.  (Mesorah Publications, New York, 2000).

Scherman, Rabbi Nosson and Meir Zlotowitz, editors.  The Mishnah: Seder Zeraim vol. IIa PEAH.   A new translation with a commentary anthologized from Talmudic, Midrashic, and rabbinic sources.  Part of the Artscroll Mishnah series.  (Mesorah Publications, New York, 1990).

Scherman, Rabbi Nosson and Meir Zlotowitz, editors.  The Mishnah: Seder Zeraim vol. 1a SEDER MOED.   A new translation with a commentary anthologized from Talmudic, Midrashic, and rabbinic sources.  Part of the Artscroll Mishnah series.  (Mesorah Publications, New York, 1982).

Schneider, Tammi J.  Judges.  Part of the Berit Olam: Studies in Hebrew Narrative and Poetry series, David W. Cotter editor.  (Liturgical Press, Collegeville, 2000).

Silver, Daniel Jeremy.  A History of Judaism: Volume 1, From Abraham to Maimonides.  (Basic Books Inc., New York, 1974).

Stern, Ephraim.  Archaeology of the Land of the Bible.  Volume II: The Assyrian, Babylonian, and Persian Periods (732 – 332 B.C.E.).  Part of the Anchor Bible Reference Library edited  by David Noel Freedman.  (Doubleday, New York, 2001)

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Walsh, Jerome T.   1 Kings.  Part of the Berit Olam: Studies in Hebrew Narrative and Poetry series, David W. Cotter editor.  (Liturgical Press, Collegeville, 1996).

Zlotowitz, Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Nosson Scherman.  The Book of Ruth: A new translation with a commentary anthologized from Tlmudic, Midrashic, and Rabbinic sources.  (Mesorah Publications, New York, 1976).

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Silver p. 94: “Naviism was powerful but artless; classical prophecy derives some of its power from the literary skill of the prophet.”

Silver p. 96:   AMOS  “What is demanded of man is a complete transformation, not minor repairs; he must turn his life around.  God’s law is clear and uncompromising; no one can ask to be excused from its rigors or plead for time.  Justice is not rooted in sentiment or empathy, but in an imperative that requires a response of total obedience.”

Amos 5:22-24

Even though you bring me your burnt offerings and grain offerings

I will not accept them;

Your stall-fed communion offerings,

I will not look upon them.

Take away from me

your noisy songs;

The melodies of your harps,

I will not listen to them.

Rather let justice surge like waters,

and righteousness like an unfailing stream.

 

Assyria conquered the Northern Kingdom (Israel) in 732 – 728 BCE under Tiglath-Pileser III and Sargon.  As was their strategy with other nations – the Assyrians deported the skilled classes and scattered them in many places.  These are the so-called 10 lost tribes – they disappear from history.

Silver p. 98   HOSEA  “According to Hosea’s message, no practical strategy could be effective.  The frantic diplomacy of king and court dealt with appearances and ignored reality.  Deliverance depended solely on God, and God was not interested in treaties but in a spiritual turning.”

God desired to be merciful but was forced to be judge.  To symbolize Israel’s nature he married a whore who was repeatedly unfaithful to him.  He took her back again and again.

Silver p. 100: “Hosea’s suffering love is the reality of God’s patient grace.  The covenant is not only a business contract with penalty clauses, but a marriage contract between lovers.  God expects obedience, and Israel proves disobedient; God could turn His back and walk out of Israel’s life, but is restrained by compassion and love.  God finds Himself saying, “I will have compassion upon her who has not merited compassion and I will say to them that were not My people: You are My people”.  Hos 2:23

Jensen p. 61: “One objective difference between the earlier prophets and the so-called classical prophets, as mentioned earlier, is the existence of books composed of collections of oracles bearing the names of the latter.  That alone can still leave the terminology somewhat arbitrary, but there are also discernible differences between the canonical / classical prophets and their predecessors that may be listed as three in number: (1) the sense of call or vocation, (2) a mission that is totally identified with being a bearer of God’s word, and (3) the depth of the content of teaching.”

 

 

Jensen on Amos

He was from Judah (near Jerusalem) but was a prophet in the northern kingdom.

The Omride dynasty in the northern kingdom was a time of prosperity and peace.

Omri (876 – 869)

Ahab (869 – 850)

Ahaziah (850 – 849)

Jehoram (849 – 842)

Jehu’s dynasty began with the killing of all members of the Omride family as well as the king of Judah and led ultimately to distress and loss of external allies.  (However, note that it lasted a 100 years vs. about 30 years)

Jehu (842 – 815)

Jehoahaz (815 – 801)

Jehoash (801 – 786)

Jeroboam II (786 – 735) (a time of relative peace and

prosperity)

Zechariah (746 – 745)

 

p. 73: “…he is the prophet who presents God’s demand for justice or to call him the prophet of God’s wrath.”

An emphasis on “righteousness” – not adherence to a set of laws or even giving another his due, more “living and acting in a way appropriate to a relationship” (p. 74)

Small landowners / farmers and herdsmen – with a bad crop or year would need to borrow.  A second bad year in a row could lead to losing the land or flocks and then becoming tenants on what had been their own – or as slaves.  This is LEGAL, but not righteousness in action.

p. 85: “What Amos tells us, in effect, is that without loving concern for others, no worship rites are acceptable.  Indeed, because they project an outward show of righteousness where none exists within, they are hypocritical and detestable.”

Jensen on Hosea

p. 92: “But these two prophets do differ markedly in temperament: Amos is single-minded and unrelenting, whereas Hosea manifests rapid, sometimes even mind-boggling changes of mood.  There is a sentimental aspect to Hosea we do not see in Amos, though it would certainly be an oversimplification to label Hosea (as is sometimes done) “the prophet of God’s mercy.””

After the death of Zechariah Israel was thrown into political chaos.  Successive kings alternately appeased rising Assyria (under Tiglath Pileser III who came to the throne of Assyria in 745 BC) or aligned with the opposition to Assyria.  Such waffling meant only that Israel’s isolation and weakness was worsened.

The text is not good – there are words we don’t know because they occur only there, there are places where the translators suggest that verses need to be shifted in order to make sense of the text, and signs that oracles and sayings from widely different time periods or situations have been stitched together.

Macintosh p. iv: The text was produced in the northern kingdom but preserved in the southern kingdom of Judah as Israel fell.  It reflects a dialect / version of Hebrew somewhat different from the one in the south.

Hosea pleads for Israel to repent and respond to God’s loving-kindness with their own steadfast love (toward God and one another).

p. 104: “It is not clear whether Israel’s crime in this matter of the fertility cult was out and out apostasy, i.e., openly worshiping Baal, or was rather a matter of syncretism.  In the latter case Israel might continue in apparent fidelity to YHWH, invoking the name of YHWH but in fact worshiping with the rites of Baal.”

 

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