Honor and Shame in the Deuteronomic Covenant and the Deuteronomistic Presentation of the Davidic Covenant
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CitationJumper, James Nicholas. 2013. Honor and Shame in the Deuteronomic Covenant and the Deuteronomistic Presentation of the Davidic Covenant. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
AbstractThe purpose of this dissertation is to identify the semantics of honor and shame in the Hebrew Bible and to demonstrate how these social values intersect with Israel's fundamental social organizing principle, covenant. Though many scholars have claimed that honor and shame are pivotal values for biblical Israel and that covenant is fundamental to her conception of the divine-human relationship, no work attempting to explore the juncture of these two important social phenomena has appeared. Thus, our study has two major goals: (1) establish the semantics of honor and shame in the Hebrew Bible; and (2) demonstrate that honor and shame, however conceived in context, are pivotal to biblical Israel's understanding of her covenantal relationship with YHWH in Deuteronomy 28 and 2 Samuel 7. With regard to Deuteronomy 28, which defines Israel’s understanding of covenantal fidelity, we show that honor is depicted as pre-eminent military and economic status among the nations and as a major goal of the covenantal blessings and designed to motivate Israel to greater loyalty (vv. 1, 13). Shame, however, is not just the loss of pre-eminent status (vv. 44, 48), but also the loss of social existence (v. 68). The explicit covenantal formulation of both values appears unique to Israel, despite her adoption of other ancient Near Eastern covenantal forms.With regard to the 2 Samuel 7, we argue YHWH honors David and Zadok with eternal royal and priestly positions because Saul and Eli failed to honor YHWH (e.g., 1 Sam 2:30), but also because David and Zadok would be loyal (e.g., 2:35). As a result, David will be given “a name like the name of all of the great ones of the earth” (2 Sam 7:9), denoting David’s military superiority (8:13). Moreover, we show that from a Deuteronomistic prespective, the discipline of the Davidides in 2 Samuel 7:14–15, entails royal shaming (1 Kgs 11:31). Thus, we prove that, while honor and shame are variously conceived in both covenants, they are pivotal to our understanding of the divine-human relationship in the Hebrew Bible.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:11124848
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