Friday, June 6, 2008

SJOT on 'masa' in Hab. 1:1


David Cleaver-Bartholomew in SJOT:

According to Tucker, prophetic superscriptions indicate how these texts were understood, and they characterize the book. The superscription in Hab 1,1 indicates that the early tradents who placed it at the beginning of the text understood that chs 1 and 2 should be read as a [משא]. Relatively recent research by Richard D. Weis has revealed that the term [משא] not only identifies a prophetic utterance, but also a genre of prophetic speech.22 One extremely important and relevant characteristic of this genre is that preexilic [משאות] texts frequently contain within themselves the revelations upon which they are based. Another important and relevant characteristic of [משאות] texts is that they respond to “a question about a lack of clarity in the relation between divine intention and human reality. Either the divine intention being expressed in some aspect of human experience is unclear, or the divine intention is clear enough, but the human events through which it will gain expression are unclear.”


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