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 consistent with se, and to ascertain its function in consultant examples of assorted biblical genres: “epic,” “psalmic,” “prophetic,” and “didactic” literature. It concludes with an inventory of circumstances of antithesis within the Hebrew Bible and an try out at extensive categorization, in addition to a few hypothesis in regards to the foundation of the fundamental types of antithesis.
No doubt by way of its try and concentration awareness at the particular phenomenon of antithesis and its meeting of definitions and examples, this examine may be of curiosity to a couple scholars of biblical variety. regrettably, in spite of the fact that, it truly is open to feedback on a number of issues. to start with, its very topic: why “antithesis”? The worthiness of this class for imminent Hebrew kind isn't puzzled via this research, yet only assumed, maybe simply because antithesis has been one of these sought after 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 may higher be approached within the context of broader elements of biblical type, maybe even lower than another rubric, isn't really one in every of this study’s theoretical matters: to the contrary, the writer is at pains to differentiate antithesis from all demeanour of items that resemble it yet are extra correctly referred to as by means of different names (“merism,” for example). but no longer all such makes an attempt at isolation and concentration are unavoidably priceless, and to that end the reader can't support feeling that, at the one hand, antithesis by no means does get remoted and outlined in any convincing style, and, at the different, attention of antithesis in addition to its excluded look-alikes could have been way more enlightening.
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Extra resources for Antithetic Structure in Biblical Hebrew Poetry
It is striking that in unit llc-15ab the verb TI' appearing four times (llc. 13-twice. 14b) plays a pre-eminent part. 13a): the enumerated tribes "marched then" to battle l3 • That makes it obvious that 11c belongs to this and not to the preceding passage. The poet wants to stress 13 Most modern interpreters recognize, in view of the whole context, in ail four in· stances the verb,-,' - "to march down" (to the battle). Cf. especially G. F. Moore,judges, 149-52; H. G. Boling,judges, 102-103, 111;J.
Their corn mon cause is the compulsion to construct antitheses, and that as directly and expressively as possible. How suit able the antithetic structure with its two components was for such expression is also demonstrated by the fact that more or less aU curse-blessing passages - even within prose narrative - have a poetical form. Sorne have a more complex structure, but most of them are quite concise 22 • 20 Cf. also P. R. Ackroyd, "The Composition of the Song of Deborah", VT 2 (1952) 161: "The curse is amplified in the sketches of the tribes which responded and those which failed to respond; the blessing introduces the traditional story ofJael and Sisera, skilfully made more vivid by the juxtaposition of the scene with Sisera's mother".
Hs materials are largely historical, but its arrangement and adaptation of them are not ... It does not record truthfully what happened, but it shows what men believed and felt". + Cf. particularly W. F. Albright, "The Earliest Forms of Hebrew Verse", JPOS 2 (1922) 68 and 86; O. Grether, Das Deborahlied. Eine mttrische Rekonstruktion (Beitrlige zur Forderung christlicher Theologie 43,2; Gütersloh: Bertelsmann, 1941); H. G. Boling, Judges (AB 6A; Garden City/New York: Doubleday &: Company, 1975) 101-20.