Sodom's sin - Genesis 18-19 and it's interpretation

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The famous story of the doomed cities of Sodom and Gomorrah has generated a rich and diverse history of reception. Whereas the narratives of the Flood, in which the whole of creation reverted to chaos, offer only a very general terminological description of the reason why, the violence and the attempt at male rape in Sodom are explained extensively. The social sin of Sodom developed into a long and painful interpretation of homosexuality and only more recent exegesis has been able to read the texts without the blindfold of dogmatic interpretations of sexuality.
This volume presents aspects of the history of reception of this narrative. The papers collected here were presented at the Sixth Groningen Conference on Themes of Biblical Narrative held in June 2002. Every year the Research group Jewish and Christian Traditions of the University of Groningen Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, together with colleagues from other departments, study the history of reception of a narrative from the Hebrew Bible. Naturally, it is not possible to cover every aspect of the rich but cruel history of reception. We hope, however, that enough of the central aspects of the narrative have been treated here to give an impression of the texts interpreted in different times and by different groups.

Sodom's sin - Genesis 18-19 and it's interpretation

Edited by Ed Noort and Eibert Tigchelaar. p. cm. — (Themes in biblical narrative, ISSN 1388-3909 ; v. 7) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 90-04-14048-4
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
I. Bible. ОТ. Genesis XVIII-XIX—Criticism, interpretation, etc.—Congresses. 2. Bible. O.T. Genesis XVIII-XIX—Use—History—Congresses. I. Noort, Edward. II. Tigchelaar. Eibert J. С. III. Series.
ISSN  1388-3909 ISBN 90 04 14048 4
Themes in Biblical Narrative
Jewish and Christian traditions
Editorial board Robert A. Kugler — Gerard P. Luttikhuizen Loren T. Stuckenbruck
Assistant editor Freek van der Steen
Sodom's Sin
Genesis 18-19 and its Interpretations
Edited by Ed Noort and Eibert Tigchelaar

Sodom's sin - Genesis 18-19 and it's interpretation - Contents

  • Preface
  • Abbreviations
  • Contributors
part one - intertextualities
  • For the Sake of Righteousness. Abraham's Negotiations with YHWH as Prologue to the Sodom Narrative: Genesis 18:16-33 - Ed Noort
  • Saul the Sodomite: Genesis 18-19 as the Opening Panel of a Polemic Triptych on King Saul - Raymond de Hoop
part two - readings
  • Lot versus Abraham. The Interpretation of Genesis 18:1-19:38 in Jubilees 16:1-9 - Jacques van Ruiten
  • Sodom and Gomorrah in the Dead Sea Scrolls - ElBERT TlGCHELAAR
  • Sodom, Egypt, and the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11:8 - Bert Jan Lietaert-Peerbolte
  • Sodom and Gomorrah in the Targumim - Florentino Garcia Martinez
  • Lut and His People in the Koran and Its Early Commentaries - Fred Leemhuis
part three - themes
  • The Punishment of the Dead Sea: Martyrdom of Pionius 4.20 and its Precedents in Ben Sira and Africanus - Ton Hilhorst
  • Don't Look Back: From the Wife of Lot to Orpheus and Eurydice - Jan Bremmer
part four - sexualities
  • Sodomites, Gays and Biblical Scholars. A Gathering Organized by Peter Damian? - Patrick Vandermeersch
  • Homosexuality in Proust's Sodome et Gomorrhe I - Els Jongeneel
  • Bibliography of Genesis 18-19 and Judges Since 1990 - Annemieke ter Brugge
References to Ancient Texts

Sodom's sin - Genesis 18-19 and it's interpretation - Preface

The papers are arranged in four sections. Part One, "Intertextualities", deals with aspects of the history of reception within the Hebrew Bible. Part Two, "Readings", illuminates the use of the Sodom narrative in Jubilees, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Book of Revelation, the Targumim and Early Jewish Literature. A survey of the figure of Lot in the Koran and early Islamic commentaries concludes this section. Part Three, "Themes", focuses on single motifs: the role of the Dead Sea and the command to Lot's wife not to look back. Part Four, "Sexualities", deals with the unholy legacy of the Sodom narrative in the discussion about homosexuality.
The first paper, by Ed Noort, "For the Sake of Righteousness", describes the dialogue and negotiations between God and Abraham in Gen 18:16-33 as the first commentary on the Sodom story. This part of the history of reception follows one line of thought: is God still a righteous God if he destroys wicked and righteous men together. It is not the prosperity of the wicked - as in many parts of wisdom literature - that is at issue here, but the punishment of the righteous. This problem culminates in the rhetorical question "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?"(Gen 18:25). The problem of the relationship between God and evildoers is tackled by six other models reflecting possible answers in the Hebrew and Greek Bibles: Hosea 11, Jonah, Genesis 6-9, Ezekiel 18 and 14; Qoheleth 9; Wisdom 3. The nearest parallel is the older version of the Flood narrative. Therefore, Gen 6:5-9:17 and Genesis 18-19 may be regarded as competing stories about the breach after the good creation. The answer of Genesis 1819 is that God does not eradicate the wicked and the righteous together. Individual rescue is possible and no more than ten righteous ones are needed to save an entire community.
Raymond de Hoop studies the intertextual relations between the Sodom and the Saul narratives. He posits a triptych with Genesis 19 as the left opening panel, the outrage at Gibeah (Judges 19), the punitive expedition against Gibeah (Judges 20) and the survival of Gibeah thanks to Jabesh (Judges 21) in the central panel, and the rescue of Jabesh by the Benja-minite Saul (1 Samuel 11) as the right closing panel. Judges 19-21 is the key text. By means of a subtle play on place names and tribal names and the links between Sodom and Gibeah stories on the one hand, and the links between Gibeah and Jabesh Gilead on the other, this triptych demonstrates that the good king of Israel comes from Bethlehem/Jerusalem and not from the Sodom of Benjamin, i.e. Gibeah. The chain of stories functions as a hidden polemic against King Saul, undermining his authority by casting doubt on his descent.
With a study of Jub. 16:1-9, Jacques van Ruiten takes us beyond the canon of the Hebrew Bible. Jub. 16:1-4 describes the announcement of a son to Abraham and Sarah; the destruction of Sodom is mentioned in Jub. 16:5-6, the incest of Lot's daughters with their father is related in Jub. 16:7-9. The dialogue between Abraham and God (Gen 18:16-33) is absent from this rewriting of the biblical text. Only some phrases can be linked to that part of the story. In the Hebrew Bible, the sin of Sodom is seen as social injustice, only Jer 23:14 hints at sexual connotations. It is only in later times that sexually unacceptable behaviour is connected so closely to Sodom and Gomorrah that Sodom and sexual sin became synonyms. In Jub. 16:7-9 it is Lot, not his daughters, who plays the active part in the incest. As a result, the figure of Lot is sharply contrasted to that of Abraham. Jubilees sees Abraham as a totally blameless, righteous and pious figure. Lot, however, has two faces. Starting off as the beloved nephew of Abraham, he turns into an exemplary sinner.
Содом, Египет и два свидетеля в Откровение 11:8

Sodom, Egypt, and the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11:8 Bert Jan Lietaert-Peerbolte

из сборника Sodom's sin : Genesis 18-19 and it's interpretation / edited by Ed Noort and Eibert Tigchelaar. p. cm. — (Themes in biblical narrative, ISSN 1388-3909 ; v. 7
Перевод Игорь Костин, для ESXATOS, январь 2018


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