A historical-critical study of the book of Zephaniah by Ehud Ben Zvi

By Ehud Ben Zvi

Famous historical-critical student Ehud Ben Zvi analyzes each verse of the e-book of Zephaniah, reconstructing the old context of its composition, settling on its authorship, and contemplating how its unique viewers may have interpreted its message.

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See G. A. Smith: 45-54. Obviously, another form of coping with this tension is to propose a post-reform date for Zephaniah. See D. L. Williams, 1963, esp. 79,83. g.. Hitzig. This understanding seems to be erroneous, see notes on Zeph 1:4. See Hyatt. See also D. L. Williams. D. L. Williams, 1963: 83. 38 Zephaniah through the Ages' Minor Lacheman go beyond that and on the basis of the apocalyptic contents of chapter 3, conclude that the book was written ca. 8S The question of the audience of Zephaniah is closely related to the question of date.

So Ginzberg, VI: 314. The text reads,... mus . . fi f r m jnpnn m -imò wamm w a nun®. One is tempted to understand, eight prophets who prophesied (about events) after the exile. , Isaiah). Different versions of the list itself exist in different MSS, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, and Ezekiel occur in all of them; Jeremiah, Joel and Amos in most of them. Whenever one of the latter is not mentioned, the names of either Nahum, Micah or Habakkuk occur. 18 They were preachers of repentance who called for the observance of the Torah, and heralds of a "Messianic" salvation yet to come as well.

The first step in any analysis of the text is the study of the "plain" level of meaning of its expressions, including an examination of their most probable usage. To a large extent, it is correct to say that before this step we have no real text but only a cluster of dots, bars and blank spaces to be deciphered. Since this stage provides the data for any subsequent analysis, it is crucial that it not be biased by presuppositions concerning the expected results of the subsequent steps. One cannot reach, for instance, an unbiased understanding of the meaning of the expressions occurring in a certain unit if one presupposes beforehand that the unit is a part of a cultic liturgy or a speech of a social reformer.

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