Approaches to Literary Readings of Ancient Jewish Writings by Klaas Smelik, Karolien Vermeulen

By Klaas Smelik, Karolien Vermeulen

During this quantity twelve contributions talk about the relevance, accuracy, power, and attainable choices to a literary examining of old Jewish writings, specifically the Hebrew Bible. Drawing on diversified educational fields (biblical reports, rabbinic stories, and literary reports) and on a number of methodologies (literary feedback, rhetorical feedback, cognitive linguistics, historic feedback, and reception history), the essays shape a state of the art evaluation of the present use of the literary procedure towards old Jewish texts. the quantity convincingly indicates that the most recent techniques to a literary analyzing can nonetheless improve our knowing of those texts.

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Drive (grš) Sea from his throne, River, from his seat of dominion. [and over the second mace he proclaims] You, your name is “Expeller” (ʾaymr) Expeller, expell (mr) Sea! 2 iv 11–13, 19–20 The two weapons’ functions are embodied in the meanings of their names, Driver and Expeller, and Kothar activates them by transforming their names into verbal commands. 15 Elsewhere in the Ugaritic corpus, Kothar-wa-Hasis demonstrates his expertise in metallurgy and architecture. He also is described as a divine mantic.

See similarly the Egyptian Coffin Texts in which the Egyptian Lord of All proclaims: ™w rmṯ m rmwt ™rt=™ “I made humankind from tears” (Spell 1130, § 465a). Here the word for “humankind” (rmṯ) resounds in the word for “tears” (rmwt). ] word play was thought to play an active role in magic by taking ad­vantage of the linkage that was thought to exist between the word for an object and the object itself. 38 34 Raymond O. , The Egyptian Book of the Dead: The Book of Going Forth by Day (San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books, 1994), 147.

31 “Polysemy” refers to devices that involve multiple meanings in a single context, whereas “paronomasia” refers to devices involving sound that function across word divisions and involve a dissimilarity in meaning. Word play has long been observed in biblical texts. The early rabbis referred to it as ‫נֹופל ַעל ָלשֹׂון‬ ֵ ‫ ָלשֹׁון‬lāšōn nōpēl ʿal lāšōn, “language falling upon language” (Gen. Rab. 18:6, 31:8). Though the topic still lacks comprehensive study, it is fair to say that scholarship on the topic, with few exceptions, has understood the device as one of style and rhetorical flare.

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