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eBook Yahweh's Emergence As “judge” Among the Gods: A Study of the Hebrew Root Špt ePub

eBook Yahweh's Emergence As “judge” Among the Gods: A Study of the Hebrew Root Špt ePub

by Temba L. J. Mafico

  • ISBN: 0773455183
  • Category: Humanities
  • Subcategory: Other
  • Author: Temba L. J. Mafico
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Edwin Mellen Pr (April 1, 2007)
  • Pages: 197
  • ePub book: 1716 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1712 kb
  • Other: lit rtf doc lit
  • Rating: 4.8
  • Votes: 114

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Mafico concludes this fascinating study by arguing that Yahweh became the deity that promoted unity among the disparate Israelite tribes around the time of David. In fact Jeroboams' revolt was a serious challenge to this quest for unity because the northern kingdom of Israel reverted to their tribal gods at the division of the kingdom.

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Yahweh's Emergence As "Judge" Among the Gods: A Study of the Hebrew Root Šp.

Yahweh's Emergence As "Judge" Among the Gods: A Study of the Hebrew Root Špt. Spouse(s). Roslyn (née Brake) Mafico. Themba (or Temba) Mafico was born in 1943 in then-Southern Rhodesia, and by dint of enormously hard work, connections, missionary support, and education both in Africa and in the US, has become known as a champion of education among African American seminary students and clergy in particular. Following graduation in December 1962, Mafico was appointed pastor of the urban church of the United Church of Christ (formerly ABM). David Mafico, Erika Willingham, Sean Ramsey. In 1968 he enrolled at the University of London (Rhodesia campus) and in 1970 he graduated as the first Rhodesian pastor to earn a bachelor's degree majoring in religious studies and history. Upon graduation, he taught Religious Knowledge and was the first black school chaplain at Chikore High School.

His interest in word study has led to his major publication: Yahweh’s Emergence As a Judge among the Gods: A Study of the Hebrew Root SP. Last modified 2015 January by Temba .

Last modified 2015 January by Temba .

While carefully studying the Holy Scriptures, I had to unlearn this wrong imagery of Gods judgment. These one-sided definitions and interpretations of divine judgment are the real problem. 31. Journal of the adventist theological society.

What Is the Hebrew Roots Movement? Broadly speaking, followers of the HRM believe .

What Is the Hebrew Roots Movement? Broadly speaking, followers of the HRM believe that all believers in Christ are obligated to follow Jewish laws and practices from the books of Moses. In some groups, extrabiblical rabbinic teachings and traditions are elevated (if not in official doctrinal beliefs then in practice) to the same level as Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Chief among these understandings is the notion that the law was intended to be binding on all people throughout history. The book of Acts records how the early Christian message started in Jerusalem and then spread to Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth.

Temba (Themba) Mafico is Distinguished Professor of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament; former Vice .

Temba (Themba) Mafico is Distinguished Professor of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament; former Vice President of Academic Services/Provost; ordained minister of the United Church of Christ with long pastoral ministry and administrative skills in rural development and education. In his major publication, The Emergence of Yahweh Elohim as Judge Among the Gods: A Study of the Hebrew Root Špt, Dr. Mafico has unveiled the multifarious meanings of an enigmatic Semitic root špt with its derivatives, erroneous translated judge in Bible versions. Dr. Mafico’s current literary projects include (tentative titles): The Divine Call in a New Light.

The book of Judges is a somewhat neglected book in Christian pulpits and Bible curricula today. For additional discussion on the term šōpēṭ see T. L. J. Mafico, Yahweh’s Emergence as Judge Among the Gods: A Study of the Hebrew Root Špṭ (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen, 2006)

The book of Judges is a somewhat neglected book in Christian pulpits and Bible curricula today. If the stories of Judges are known or taught, usually only the so-called major judges attract interest while the remaining narratives (especially from chapters 1–2, 17–21) suffer from neglect. Mafico, Yahweh’s Emergence as Judge Among the Gods: A Study of the Hebrew Root Špṭ (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen, 2006).

This book explores the enigma surrounding the usage of the root špt, to provide a clearer understanding of the title šôpet, and how Yahweh could be called šôpet. Past research shows that several scholars have argued against assigning špt (or its cognates) the basic meaning “to judge.” Semitic texts (Mari, Ugaritic, and Punic) themselves reveal that the root is used in relation to diverse functions of the king’s deputy. Therefore, špt is multifarious; its various meanings are determined by the contexts in which it is used.

Comments

Uylo Uylo
This monograph represents a lifetime of the thorough scholarship of Temba L. J. Mafico. It makes a significant contribution to biblical scholarship through a sustained contextual word-study of the Hebrew root spt. Mafico has expanded our horizons and understanding of the Hebrew term sôpet, which is usually loosely translated as "judge" in a juridical sense. In this well-researched study, he explains how and why the Israelite God Yahweh became the "judge" among all the gods of ancient Israel and the ancient Near East for that matter.

Mafico begins his study by reviewing a century of the history of research on this enigmatic root. He contends that biblical scholars have not clearly identified the full potential of this term, neither have they wrestled with its contextual nuances.

In the next three chapters he focuses on the use of the root spt with reference to the appointment of the sapitum at Mari and the sufes in Punic and Carthaginian texts. He recognizes that the root spt has a wide semantic range and the best meaning depends on context and usage. At Mari gods were appointed by the divine council as administrative assistants to the gods. The tapitu in Ugaritic texts of Canaanite myth indicate that the supreme god El appointed human beings and lesser divinities to deputize for him in a number of administrative capacities. The same trend of appointing deputies is reflected in Punic texts.

In chapter 5 Mafico turns his attention to the use of the term sôpet in the book of Judges. Here he similarly discovers that during Israel's tribal period, charismatic individuals were appointed by Yahweh as judges primarily for their skills in delivering Israel from its enemies. However, in later times during the transition to the monarchy, the sôpetim were appointed on a hereditary basis. Samuel's appointment of his sons as judges in Beersheba is exemplary. In both cases, the sôpetîm were appointed as deputies for a supreme leader and they served in a variety of functions such as governing, judging or delivering. Even the so-called "minor judges" were appointed to their office by a higher authority. At the heart of Mafico's argument is the concept of appointment which runs through the various texts he references. This concept has implications for Yahweh's role in the Israelite context.

In chapter 6 Mafico focuses his attention on the role and function of Israel's God Yahweh as sôpet kol-ha'ares (judge of all the land). In a sustained and ingenious linguistic study, he proposes that far from our usual assumption of Israelite religion as monotheistic, it was in fact what he terms "polytheistic monotheism." Though seemingly apologetic a term, Mafico convincingly demonstrates that early Israelite religion was indeed polytheistic and Yahweh emerged as the chief God in an attempt to unify the Israelite tribes following the inception of the monarchy and the subsequent exile of the nation.

Yahweh was initially a member of the divine council but he became prominent when he delivered Israel from Egyptian bondage. While the patriarchs were "brazenly polytheistic," the Israelites merged their gods after the Exodus with the action-God Yahweh to create a corporate deity. He writes, "The Israelites worshipped many gods that were incorporated into one god Yahweh. This was done more for political expediency than for spiritual conviction" (p. 124). The goal was "to maintain and promote unity among the diverse tribes" (ibid.). Using the concept of appointment again, Mafico wrestles with the notion that if Yahweh was designated as sôpet, the question is who appointed him? He argues that that supreme authority was the council of the gods. The incident of Aaron's golden calf and Moses' call narrative confirm that the Israelite gods of the fathers or forebears ('elohe ha'abot) had been coalesced in Yahweh, the plenipotentiary God of Israel. The inception of kingship in Israel elevated Yahweh to the status of king par excellence and guardian of mispat. This research demonstrates that the existence of the divine council and Yahweh who is the God/s has far reaching implications with regard to the religious milieu of ancient Israel.

Mafico concludes this fascinating study by arguing that Yahweh became the deity that promoted unity among the disparate Israelite tribes around the time of David. In fact Jeroboams' revolt was a serious challenge to this quest for unity because the northern kingdom of Israel reverted to their tribal gods at the division of the kingdom. This explains why Jeroboam is roundly condemned by the Deuteronomistic Historian as "the man who caused Israel to sin." Strictly speaking, monotheism only emerged after the destruction and exile of both kingdoms, at which time Second Isaiah presented Yahweh as the only God, rather than one among the gods. This argument is consistent with scholarly consensus which perceives the post-exilic period as one characterized by the need for unity and religion was one of those unifying elements of the nation of Israel upon return from exile.

While this book might have been difficult to read for a student without knowledge of the ancient languages, the author's generous translations and transliterations make it more accessible to a wider audience. The copious footnotes not only demonstrate the level of research sustained, but are also for those readers who may need to pursue a particular issue in greater detail.

Overall, this book is a must-read for every student of the Bible. It is a significant contribution to biblical scholarship because it advances our understanding of the religion of ancient Israel. Mafico has provided solid evidence and depth on a subject that scholars had barely scratched the surface. While biblical and Semitic scholars have long suspected that Israelite religion was not strictly monotheistic, herein lies the evidence that establishes this fact definitively. This book is a good read and I highly recommend it to any serious and critical reader of the Bible.
Wanenai Wanenai
Great Work Dr. Mafico! this is new information for me, I hope you continue to support our Amazon Community. I hope to meet you some day!