Title page for ETD etd-10042011-121118


Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Shin, Jeong-Wook
URN etd-10042011-121118
Document Title Aniconism in the second commandment of the Decalogue in Exodus 20:4-6 and its inner-biblical interpretations in the Old Testament : an exegetical and theological study of Exodus 20:4-6, Exodus 32:1-6 and Isaiah 40:18-20
Degree PhD
Department Old Testament Studies
Supervisor
Advisor Name Title
Prof P M Venter Supervisor
Keywords
  • I am Yahweh your God
  • idol-fabrication
  • inner-biblical interpretation
  • introduction and first two commandments construct
  • Decalogue
  • aniconism
  • Golden Calf episode
  • Isaiah
  • God’s incomparability
  • prohibition of making any image of God
  • prophetic covenantal lawsuit
  • rhetorical question
  • second commandment
  • Sinai periscope
  • worship
Date 2011-04-08
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
The aim of this study is to highlight the significance of the prohibition of making any image of God as found in the second commandment of the Decalogue in Exodus 20:4-6 with its inner-biblical interpretations in Exodus 32:1-6 and in Isaiah 40:18-20. This study has discussed the close connection between the prohibition of making any image of God in the second commandment of the Decalogue, the idea of Yahweh’s incomparability in the introduction and the command to worship God only in the first commandment. God’s incomparability prevents Israel from worshipping any other god by making images of them or making any image of God. The ‘construct of the introduction and the first two commandments of the Decalogue’ serves as a linchpin concept in our understanding of the prohibition of making any image of God. The aniconism matriculated in the second commandment of the Decalogue in Exodus 20:4-6 in relation with the introduction and the first commandment in Exodus 20:2-3 forms the basis for the prohibition of making any image of God from the Sinai event onwards. This construct in Exodus 20:2-6 is shared with Exodus 32:1-6 and Isaiah 40:18-20. There an inner-biblical interpretation of the aniconism of the second commandment of the Decalogue in Exodus 20:4-6 in reaction with the introduction and the first commandment in Exodus 20:2-3 explicates and applies the meaning of the command in a new situation.

Chapter 1 deals with the statement of the problem and the hypothesis of this study, its methodology, theological rationale, and the aim of this study.

Chapter 2 discusses that the prohibition of making any image of God in the second commandment of the Decalogue in Exodus 20:4-6 is important, not only as a phenomenon in the Pentateuch, but also as the provenance of aniconism in the rest of Old Testament. Exodus 20:4-6 can be considered as the explicit traceable provenance of the prohibition of making any image of God in the Pentateuch and the rest of Old Testament. The ‘introduction and first two commandments of the Decaologue construct’ provides a framework within which the meaning of the prohibition of making any image of God in the second commandment can be understood in the context of the introduction of the Decalogue in Exodus and the first commandment of the Decalogue. The second commandment of the Decalogue is sometimes backed up by only the first commandment of the Decalogue and sometimes by both of them.

The origin of the second commandment of the Decalogue in Exodus 20:4-6 as the prohibition of making any image of God whether it comes from the early or later stages of Israel’s history is discussed with the discussion on the arrangement of the Decalogue in the Sinai pericope (Ex 19:1-24:11) and the relation between the two Decalogues in Exodus 20:2-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21. The sharp differences of opinions on the provenance of the prohibition in the second commandment of the Decalogue in Exodus 20:4-6 is dealt with. This study supposes that the dating of the prohibition on making any image of God of the Decalogue should be attributed to Moses’ time as stated in the text of the Pentateuch.

Chapter 3 deals with one key Pentateuchal text for the prohibition of making any image of God, Exodus 32:1-6, as an example that the second commandment represents the prohibition on making any image of God in relation with the introduction and the first commandment of the Decalogue proclaiming God’s incomparability, which is called ‘the introduction and the first two commandments of the Decalogue construct’ in this study. Exodus 32:1-6 is regarded to be an interpretation of the prohibition of making any image of God in the second commandment of the Decalogue in Exodus 20:4-6.

Chapter 4 deals with Isaiah 40:18-20, which forbids idol-fabrication and the worship of an image of God in its relation with the proclamation of God’s incomparability, as well as with the worship of other gods and their images. This chapter deals with the similarity of the negative attitude toward worship of God through images found in the legal and prophetical parts of the Hebrew Bible. Theologically speaking, Isaiah’s message is in line with the Pentateuch, and flows from the office of the prophet as a plenipotentiary of God to condemn the transgression of the covenantal law. This similarity of the idea between them is seen in respect of its linguistic aspects. Considering the rules of the nature of analogies between texts, there can be seen a correlation between the introduction and first two commandments of the Decalogue in Exodus 20:2-6 and the passage dealing with the incomparability of God and the idol-fabrication in Isaiah 40:18-20.

The final chapter summarizes the flow of the argument in this thesis dealing with three phenomena of aniconism in the Old Testament and suggests the conclusion of this thesis based on the result of the exegetical and thematic study on the three passages.

© 2011 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Shin, J-W 2011, Aniconism in the second commandment of the Decalogue in Exodus 20:4-6 and its inner-biblical interpretations in the Old Testament : an exegetical and theological study of Exodus 20:4-6, Exodus 32:1-6 and Isaiah 40:18-20, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-10042011-121118/ >

D11/634/ag

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  00front.pdf 342.92 Kb 00:01:35 00:00:48 00:00:42 00:00:21 00:00:01
  01chapter1.pdf 768.56 Kb 00:03:33 00:01:49 00:01:36 00:00:48 00:00:04
  02chapter2.pdf 636.39 Kb 00:02:56 00:01:30 00:01:19 00:00:39 00:00:03
  03chapter3.pdf 453.74 Kb 00:02:06 00:01:04 00:00:56 00:00:28 00:00:02
  04chapter4.pdf 729.73 Kb 00:03:22 00:01:44 00:01:31 00:00:45 00:00:03
  05chapter5.pdf 337.89 Kb 00:01:33 00:00:48 00:00:42 00:00:21 00:00:01
  06references.pdf 330.44 Kb 00:01:31 00:00:47 00:00:41 00:00:20 00:00:01

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