[b-hebrew] 1 Chronicles 21 - &+N revisited

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Fri Aug 26 18:55:07 EDT 2005


Intreguing idea.

As for the use of SWT, I have it listed in my dictionary as 
"to tempt, instigate, rouse into action, its uses range from 
God allowing a temptation to occur, which is supposed to be 
resisted (e.g. Deuteronomy 13:7, see context) to a morally 
neutral enticement or goad to do something (e.g. Joshua 
15:18, Judges 1:14) and areas in between (e.g. 1 Kings 
21:25). It is found only in Hiphil" The uses of this verb 
does not rule out God allowing a temptation to occure that 
David should have resisted. Furthermore, in David's previous 
wars, he tended to muster the whole people without numbering 
them. So there was no real reason for the census.

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Heard, Christopher" <Christopher.Heard at pepperdine.edu>

> Hello all,
> Not too long ago, we had a conversation here about שטן &+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 שטן &+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) שטן &+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)
> שטן &+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 שטן &+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 סות 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.
> Chris
> --
> R. Christopher Heard
> Assistant Professor of Religion
> Seaver Fellow in Religion
> Pepperdine University
> Malibu, California 90263-4352
> Professional Web Page: http://faculty.pepperdine.edu/cheard
> Internet Resource Index: http://www.iTanakh.org
> Personal Web Page: http://www.heardworld.com

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