Original Research - Special Collection: A.G.van Aarde Festschrift

Congruent ethos in the Second Temple literature of the Old Testament

Pieter M. Venter
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 67, No 1 | a965 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v67i1.965 | © 2011 Pieter M. Venter | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 October 2010 | Published: 11 April 2011

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Pieter M. Venter, Department of Old Testament Studies University of Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Proposing the term ‘congruent ethos’ for studying Old Testament ethics, this article indicates (in line with existing research) that opposing ethical viewpoints are found in the Old Testament. The modus operandi followed was firstly to compare the penitential prayer in Daniel 9:4–19 with those in Ezra 9:6–15 and Nehemiah 9:6–37. This comparison shows that the phenomenon of conflicting ethics was present in Yehud during the Second Temple period. Whilst the Daniel text reflects a more universal attitude, the penitential prayers in Ezra and Nehemiah propose a nationalist view of God and an exclusivist identity for Israel. Although Daniel can be dated later than Ezra-Nehemiah, the tendency to juxtapose an exclusivist viewpoint with an inclusivist one was already present in the earlier period of the Second Temple. This is evidenced by the literature of Isaiah 56–66, Ruth, Jonah, Esther, Tobit, Judith and even Joshua.

Keywords

Ethics; Second Temple literature; inclusivistic; exclusivistic

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