In previous weeks, we established that unlike traditional doctrine that the Old Testament was written by Moses, it was in fact written retrospectively.
Most scholars agree that the recording, redaction and compilation started during the Exile and it was completed after the Exile.
The primary goal was to galvanise the people towards a metaphysical and physical identity, and for the purposes of nationhood.
Last week in my lecture on Exodus chapters 4-6 we also treated a concept known as The Evil Eye, sometimes referred to in Hebrew literature as The Eye of Evil.
In the Bible, The Evil Eye is synonymous with envy, jealousy and some forms of covetousness. Within the commonwealth of Israel we see lots of examples: Esau and Jacob, Rachel and Leah, Joseph and his brothers, David and Uriah, David and Absalom, Saul and David; and the list goes on.
We also see it in the hostility they face from gentile nations. Thus, the Israelites saw themselves as victims to The Evil Eye, because of their unique relationship with Yahweh. In the course of my lecture I explored what it meant for us today, and the internal and external effect.
In line with this thought, and as part of my recap, I will be drawing lessons from an incident in the book of Samuel between Michal (the projector of the evil eye) and King David (the receiver of the evil eye); with a focus on the repercussion of her action.
Seminar questions will centre broadly around the following theme:
- what were the redactors trying to convey through the story?
how did the story serve the community in their nation building project?
what lessons can we deduce from the story?
examples of people today that have exemplified similar qualities
Core text: Exodus, chapters 4-6 NRSV
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