Original Research

Cultural sensitive readings of Nahum 3:1–7

Wilhelm J. Wessels
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 74, No 1 | a4931 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v74i1.4931 | © 2018 Wilhelm J. Wessels | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 March 2018 | Published: 28 August 2018

About the author(s)

Wilhelm J. Wessels, Department of Biblical and Ancient Studies, University of South Africa, South Africa


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Abstract

The text of the book of Nahum poses many challenges to exegetes and readers of the text. Nahum 3 in particular, challenges modern readers with its violent imagery and the derogatory language towards women. The article attempts to propose cultural sensitive readings of two different ‘cultures’, namely, reading Nahum in its historical context and from a perspective of feminist interpretation. Most serious exegetes agree that the reading of texts, in this case, a prophetic text, should first and foremost be interpreted in its historical and social context. It is also true that readers or hearers of the text react to and give meaning to the text. Our cultural embeddedness plays a major part in the process of ‘meaning-giving’ to the texts we interpret. The argument put forward in this article is that interpreters should be accountable for the meaning they ascribe to and promote of a particular text.

Keywords

Culture; Book of Nahum; Feminism; Violent Imagery; Derogatory Language; Reader-Response

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