Monday, November 28, 2016

Ancient commentaries

Decoding the “mystery” required a special form of interpretation. Precisely this is the idea behind the word pesher “interpretation,” the technical term for commentary on the prophets. This term has a long prehistory. On the one hand, it belongs to the realm of the professional interpreter of dreams and mysteries (cf. Dan 2–5); on the other hand, it means the knowledge that the ancient Near Eastern scribe has about omens and divination. Scribal learning and (prophetic) inspiration do not exclude one another; rather, they originally belong together.—The Prophets of Israel, page 92

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