By Ehud Ben Zvi
Famous historical-critical pupil Ehud Ben Zvi analyzes each verse of the booklet of Zephaniah, reconstructing the historic context of its composition, deciding on its authorship, and contemplating how its unique viewers might have interpreted its message.
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Extra info for A historical-critical study of the book of Zephaniah
It is worth noting that there is a certain tendency in the Book of Haggai to use the preposition -ra instead of ^ or >7» , see Hag 1:1, 3; 2:1 (cf. Mal 1:1 and 1 Kgs 16:7). 5 Cf. the Siloam inscription, line 1 ( . . N O P N - » I M I . . ) and cf. Π Ϊ Τ Π - Α Ϊ m in Deut. 2; 1 Kgs 15:5; Job 19:28. 6 A superscription mentioning five generations occurs in Tob 1:1, and other mentioning six generations in Bar 1:1.
The exegetical features of Targum Jonathan to the Prophets (Tg. ) are well-known. Turning to Zephaniah, the tendency to stress transcendence over possible anthropomorphisms and immanence is clear (cf. Tg. Zeph 1:1, 12, 3:5, IS, 17; on the general issue of anthropomorphisms and immanence in Targum Jonathan for the Minor Prophets, see, for instance, J. E. Petersen, especially 80-108; cf. Ribera Florit: 130-31). There is also a clear attempt in the Tg. Neb. , Tg. Zeph 1:7, 18; 2:5; see Ribera Florit: 131).
4 Notices of salvation explicitly refer to a future "well-being" that will be brought by YHWH, by YHWH's actions (cf. Tucker,1971: 61). 3 Obviously, a future-centered interpretation may lead—and indeed has often led—to an understanding of the prophetic book as a complex system of cryptograms referring to the living situation of the interpreting community. , Qumran pesharim6), or may turn into an apocalyptic future, or may be interpreted eschatologically, or any combination of the three. Qumranic commentaries (pesharim) on Zephaniah have been found in caves 1 and 4.
A historical-critical study of the book of Zephaniah by Ehud Ben Zvi