Antithetic Structure in Biblical Hebrew Poetry by Joze Krasovec

By Joze Krasovec

This research of antithesis in biblical poetry arose out of the author’s past paintings on merism in his 1977 doctoral dissertation. the current paintings seeks to target the phenomenon of antithesis in keeping with se, and to check its position in consultant examples of assorted biblical genres: “epic,” “psalmic,” “prophetic,” and “didactic” literature. It concludes with an inventory of situations of antithesis within the Hebrew Bible and an try at large categorization, in addition to a few hypothesis in regards to the beginning of the elemental varieties of antithesis.
No doubt via its try and concentration cognizance at the particular phenomenon of antithesis and its meeting of definitions and examples, this research should be of curiosity to a couple scholars of biblical variety. regrettably, even though, it really is open to feedback on numerous issues. first of all, its very topic: why “antithesis”? The worthiness of this type for imminent Hebrew sort isn't really wondered by way of this learn, yet in simple terms assumed, might be simply because antithesis has been this kind of trendy characteristic in descriptions of classical Greek and Latin rhetoric—indeed, a few of these descriptions (Aristotle, Quintilian, et al.) are marshaled within the author’s fight to outline antithesis for the Bible. yet that the phenomenon he identifies as antithesis could greater be approached within the context of broader facets of biblical sort, maybe even lower than another rubric, isn't really certainly one of this study’s theoretical matters: to the contrary, the writer is at pains to tell apart antithesis from all demeanour of items that resemble it yet are extra effectively referred to as by means of different names (“merism,” for example). but now not all such makes an attempt at isolation and concentration are inevitably useful, and as a consequence the reader can't aid feeling that, at the one hand, antithesis by no means does get remoted and outlined in any convincing model, and, at the different, attention of antithesis in addition to its excluded look-alikes could have been way more enlightening.

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But whatever the case may be, the succeeding vv 6-8 stand "in certain contrast to vv 2-5" Il. Both stanzas open in a similar way: 11 Cf. A. Weiser, "Das Deborahlied. Eine gattungs- und traditionsgeschichtliche Studie", ZAW 71 (1959) 75. Most definitions of antithesis (cf. Introduction, section 1) define it in a restricted sense, supposing in an antithesis a linguistically expressed relationship of opposite members. Accordingly, one would in vv 4-5//6-8 of our song hardly recognize a convincing example of antithesis, for the linguistic correspondance is relativeIy scarce and the whole manner of speaking is "impressionistic".

Epic in interpreting historical events combines mythic and historical features in various ways and proportions. Usually Israel's epic forms have been labeled 'historical'. This is a legitimate use of the term 'historical'. At the same time confusion often enters at this point. The epic form, designed to recreate and give meaning to the historical experiences of a people or nation, is not merely or simply historical. In epic narrative, a people and their god or gods interact in the temporal course of events.

Brill, 1960) 162-63, also briefly touches the antithetic stmcture of the Song: "Der Aufbau kann indirekte Aussage sein, wenn wir seine Prinzipien entdecken und formulieren. So im Deboralied der blockartige Aufbau von Gegenslitzen: verlassenes Volk - mlichtiger Gott; die mutigen - die feigen Stlimme; Jael - Siseras Mutter". After Gerleman, three other authors treat the stmcture of the Song in more detail: H. P. Müller, "Der Aufbau des Deborahliedes", VT 16 (1966) 446-59; A. Globe, "The Literary Structure and Unity of the Song of Deborah", JBL 93 (1974) 493-512; M.

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