Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Neat Link: The OT's Humble Messiah

I heartily recommend a recent post on "The Interpretation of Zechariah 9:9" (click here) by John Hobbins over on his Ancient Hebrew Poetry blog.

In response to a query I left, John took the trouble to expand his discussion to include some exegesis on the striking humility of the messianic figure in the verse. To see his very helpful treatment, read his short essay by opening his PDF file.

Here is a short excerpt from his essay (I truncated some of the Hebrew, so please go to his actual post to see the genuine article):

Two proverbs are apropos to the subject matter:

As for scorners, he [Yahweh] will scorn them,
but he accords favor to the lowly [לַעֲנָוִים] (Prov 3:34)
Better to be humble among the lowly [עֲנָוִים]
than divide spoil with the proud. (Prov 16:19)
The ketiv of עֲנָוִים in both instances, it might be noted, is actually עניים.

Yahweh also favored Moses, because, as Baruch Levine translates, “he was exceedingly unassuming [עָנָו], more so than any [other] person on the face of the earth” (Num 12:3; Baruch A. Levine, Numbers 1-20: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary [AB 4; New York: Doubleday, 1993] 314).


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