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Zechariah/Book of Zechariah

(1,553 words)

Author(s): Reventlow, Henning Graf
[German Version] I. Proto-Zechariah 1. The prophet and his time. The name Zechariah (Heb. זְכַרְיָה/ z ekaryāh

Sarah

(370 words)

Author(s): Reventlow, Henning Graf
[German Version] Of the 51 occurrences of the name Sarah (Heb. הרָשָׂ/ śārāh, “princess”) in the Old Testament, all but one are in Genesis. Sarai (Old Sem. form?), first appears in Gen 11:29 as the wife of Terah’s son Abram; she went with them first from Ur to Haran (11:31) and later to Canaan (12:5). The change of names to Abraham and Sarah is reported in 17:5, 11. According to 20:11 (cf. 12:11, 19), Sarah was Abraham’s half-sister, a form of marriage later prohibited (cf. 2 Sam 13:13 with Lev 18:9; 20:17; Deut 27:22) but not criticized at all here ( pace Hepner). Sarah’s barrenness, a continu…

Prayer

(13,283 words)

Author(s): Alles, Gregory D. | Reventlow, Henning Graf | Gebauer, Roland | Förster, Niclas | Wallmann, Johannes | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Prayer is one of the most frequent and important religious acts in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It also appears in other religions – for example the indigenous religions of America. But it does not appear to be universal. Some Buddhist traditions, for example, are atheistic, and in them there is no prayer in the strict sense; these traditions often allow their adherents to pray to gods (e.g. Hindu gods), but they value the goals of such prayer less than enl…

Dietary Laws

(560 words)

Author(s): Reventlow, Henning Graf
In the ancient Orient (e.g., Egypt, Persia), as in all cultures, dietary laws were common. Being taboos, they defy rational explanation. In the OT they apply primarily to animals used for food. Deuteronomy 14 and Leviticus 11 contain systematic lists of clean and unclean animals of the land, sea, and air. Animals that chew the cud and have cloven hoofs are clean, as are most birds, all fish that have fins and scales, and, among insects, grasshoppers. Unclean are cloven-hoofed animals that do not chew the cud, various birds, fish without fins and scales…