[b-hebrew] 1 Chronicles 21 - &+N revisited
Harold R. Holmyard III
hholmyard at ont.com
Fri Aug 26 15:49:31 EDT 2005
>Not too long ago, we had a conversation here
>about ËÔ &+N in 1 Chronicles 21. The most
>common reading of this word in that verse is as
>a proper noun, a point on the way toward the
>later, full-blown concept of Satan/the Devil.
>Most (professional) interpreters apparently
>think that the Chronicler could not abide the
>idea of YHWH inciting David to do something
>that David later characterizes as sin and that
>YHWH later punishes David for having done as per
>2 Samuel 24. During that conversation, I
>suggested an alternate possibility: that the
>Chronicler uses ËÔ &+N in 1 Chron 21 as a
>typical common anarthrous noun, and does not
>mean to tell a fundamentally different story
>from 2 Sam 24, but is using (anarthrous) ËÔ &+N
>"an adversary" as a kind of circumlocation
>referring to 2 Sam 24's "the anger of YHWH,"
>much as the "angel of YHWH" stands as
>(anarthrous) ËÔ &+N "an adversary."
>At the CBA meeting recently I had a conversation
>about this with a couple of folks over lunch,
>one of whom suggested that ËÔ &+N could also
>be read in 1 Chron 21 as a common noun with a
>purely non- supernatural referent. That is, this
>individual agreed with the usual consensus that
>the Chronicler was uncomfortable with what he
>read in the Deuteronomistic version, but
>instead of substituting a different
>supernatural force, substituted a completely
>generic, human "adversary," a vague military
>threat, which incited David to take the census.
>I have not yet thought very much about whether
>ÒÂ SWT could be used in quite this way, but I
>found the thought intriguing enough to share
>with all of you who followed that earlier thread.
HH: Thanks. One immediate thought is that a
military adversary would be a legitimate reason
for a census. The original census in Numbers was
a sort of military muster. So if David was facing
a military foe, I don't see why mustering his
troops would have been a sin.
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