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Jerusalem

(2,008 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart
1. Topography Jerusalem is situated immediately west of the Mount of Olives (790–820 m. / 2,600–2,700 ft. above sea level), at the junction of northern and southern Palestine, on the Cisjordan highlands. Up to the last century it was bordered on the east by the Kidron Valley (2 Sam. 15:23; John 18:1) and on the west and south by the Hinnom Valley (Josh. 15:8; 18:16). It is divided by the Cross Valley, a central valley that runs from north to south (Josephus J.W.  5.140), separating a western hill from one on the east. Settlement began on the south side of the southeast hill…

Deuteronomy

(2,337 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart
[German Version] In accordance with LXX and Vulgate (Bible translations: I), the fifth book of the Pentateuch is termed Deuteronomy (Deut); in the Jewish tradition it is named “discourses” ( debārïm) after the beginning of the book. The name Deut is a summary of the law (Law and legislation), which is stylized as a collection of farewell discourses by Moses in 1–4…

Jerusalem

(8,314 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart | Hezser, Catherine | Dan, Joseph | Küchler, Max | Bieberstein, Klaus | Et al.
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. Judaism – III. New Testament – IV. Early Church – V. Patriarchates – VI. Islam – VII. Religious and Political Situation Today – VIII. Archaeology I. Old Testament Jerusalem (ירושׁלם/ yerûšālēm, MT yerûšālayim) was founded c. 1800 bce as a fortified town in the central Palestinian uplands at a strategic point for transportation between northern and southern Palestine. Outside the Bible, the name appears from the 18th century on in the Egyptian execration texts and the Amarna letters (as Akkad. uruu-ru-sa-lim). It derives from the verb yrh I (“found”) and means “foundation of (the god) šalem.” In the Late Bronze Age, the Canaanite city of Jerusalem was under Egyptian suzerainty. The Old Testament prese…

Josiah/Josiah's Reform

(1,320 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart
[German Version] Josiah reigned as king of Judah in the years 639 to 609 bce (2 Kgs 22f.; 2 Chr 34f.). When the eight-year-old boy ascended to the throne, the Neo-Assyrian Empire under King Asshurbanipal had already passed the zenith of its power with the loss of Egypt and a civil war in Mesopotamia (652–648 bce). Josiah experienced the ultimate end of Neo-Assyrian hegemonic power with the destruction of Nineveh (612 bce). After Assyria's withdrawal from Palestine (626–623 bce), Josiah was formally subject to Egyptian supremacy, which, as an ally of Assyria in the struggle against resurgent Babylonia, became the successor to Assyria's dominance over Palestine, although it initially paid no attention to the Palestinian mountain region. Thus, after a hundred years of foreign dominion, Josiah had the opportunity to pursue his own policy. Euphoric expectations of a just society in a Judah emancipated from Assyria were …

Feasts and Festivals

(7,156 words)

Author(s): Borgeaud, Philippe | Otto, Eckart | Veltri, Giuseppe | Schramm, Tim | Wiggermann, Karl-Friedrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. Judaism – IV. Early Christianity – V. Church History – VI. Liturgical and Practical Aspects I. Religious Studies The words “feast” and “festival” (cf. fête, festa, fiesta, Fest, etc.) derive from the Latin

Marriage

(10,960 words)

Author(s): Nehring, Andreas | Otto, Eckart | Deming, Willoughby Howard | Schäfer, Rolf | Nave-Herz, Rosemarie | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Church History – V. Sociology – VI. Systematic Theology – VII. Law – VIII. Practical Theology – IX. Judaism – X. Islam…

War

(3,738 words)

Author(s): Reuter, Hans-Richard | Rüpke, Jörg | Rosenberger, Veit | Otto, Eckart | Holmberg, Bengt
[German Version] I. Social Sciences 1. Concept. War is conflict between large groups, peoples, nations, and states conducted by force of arms. The more precise definition of the term and its differentiation from peace are disputed. Behavioral science tends toward a broad definition: war is a specifically human form of intergroup aggression, functional in the context of competition for scarce resources; in it the use of weapons decreases our instinctive inhibition against killing. The theory that war is a biological and cultural accelerant of …

Hezekiah (King of Judah)

(774 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart
[German Version] (Heb. חִזְקִיָּה/ ḥizqiyyāh) ruled Judah as king from 725–696 bce. Under his rule, the kingdom of Judah developed from a tribal state – which, isolated on the Judean mountains, was affected by political events less than the more highly developed northern kingdom of Israel (II, 1) and was based economically primarily on small animal breeding – into a fully developed state. The conquest of Samaria (722) ¶ and the final incorporation of Israel into the provincial system of the Neo-Assyrian Empire (720) sparked this sudden development, since a stream of refugees flowed from Israel to Judah, as indicated by the more than doubling of the population of Jerusalem in the 8th century. Now that the border of the Assyrian state lay immediately outside the gates of Jerusalem, Judah had to face the implications of international politics. Hezekiah became a leader of the resistance of the nations on the Syro-P…

Ethics

(18,301 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert | Antes, Peter | Otto, Eckart | Horn, Friedrich Wilhelm | Leicht, Reimund | Et al.
[German Version] I. Concept and Scope – II. Religious Studies – III. Bible – IV. Judaism – V. As a Theological Discipline – VI. As a Philosophical Discipline (Business Ethics, Discourse Ethics, Economic Ethics, Ethics, Bio-Medical …

Non-Violence

(1,896 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart | Schmälzle, Udo Friedrich | Oberlies, Thomas
[German Version] I. Bible Hebrew Bible uses violence (חָמָס/ ḥāmās; שׂד/ šōd) to denote the illegal use of physical force (Gen 49:5), false ¶ testimony in court (Exod 23:1; Deut 19:16), economic exploitation (Amos 3:10; Zeph 1:9), especially of the poor (Jer 22:3), and assault on God (Job 21:27) or his laws (Ezek 22:26). All violence against human beings is also violence against God (Gen 6:11, 13). Law (Law and jurisprudence: III) with its fundamental function of settling conflicts…

Criminal Law

(3,505 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart | Sellert, Wolfgang | Loos, Fritz | May, Georg | Krawietz, Birgit
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. History – III. German Criminal Law Today – IV. Penal Canon Law (Roman Catholic) – V. Islam I. Old Testament Old Testament law (Law and legislation: II) emerged from three sources: (1) it reinforced mutual expectations based on norms of behavior by means of criminal ¶ laws supporting general prevention …

Moses, Blessing of/Song of

(375 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart
[German Version] Immediately before his death (Deut 34), Moses composed a tract on the apostasy, punishment, and repentance of Israel (Deut 32), called a “song” in its literary setting (Deut 31:19, etc.), and blessed the tribes of Israel (Deut 33), which were to cross the Jordan and enter the promised land after his death. The literary core of the blessing comprises tribal sayings (Deut 33:6–25) that go back to the preexilic period (except for the Levi section). They have been framed by vv. 2–5 an…

Punishment

(4,817 words)

Author(s): Neu, Rainer | Otto, Eckart | Schuck, Martin | Loos, Fritz | Hermann, Dieter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies All religions…

Death Penalty

(3,790 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart | de Boer, Martinus C. | Reichman, Ronen | Owens, Erik C. | Gräb-Schmidt, Elisabeth
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. New Testament – III. Judaism – IV. Law – V. Ethics I. Old Testament The death penalty in the Old Testament has three causes: 1. blood revenge as a direct legal reaction by a family damaged by a homicide; 2. cultic law involving severe violations of religious taboos such as witchcraft, sodomy and apostasy (Ex 22:17–19); 3. family property …

Settlement/Settlement Traditions

(1,194 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart
[German Version] The canonical Old Testament describes the settlement as a military conquest of Palestine by the 12 tribes of Israel, beginning in Transjordan under Moses’ leadership with a victory over Sihon and Og, kings of the Amorites, and the capture of Heshbon (Num 20f.; 32; Deut 1–3). After Moses’ death (Deut 34), the settlement continued west of the Jordan under Joshua’s leadership, initially in Benjaminite territory with the capture of Jericho (Josh 6) and Ai (Josh 7–8) and a treaty with …

Israel

(10,133 words)

Author(s): Gutmann, Emanuel | Knauf, Ernst Axel | Otto, Eckart | Niehr, Herbert | Kessler, Rainer | Et al.
[German Version] I. The State of Israel – II. History – III. Society I. The State of Israel The formal full name, State of Israel (Heb. Medinat Yisrael), calls attention to the spatial divergence between the political entity and the geographical and historical Erets Israel (Land of Israel, Palestine and its linguistic equivalents). Israel is located in southwest Asia, on the southern stret…

Zion

(1,425 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart
[German Version] I. Etymology, Topography, and Historical Significance The toponym “Zion” (Heb. צִיּוֹן/ ṣiyyôn, a cognate of צִיָּה/ ṣiyyāh, “dry”) signifies “dry place” and, in derivation therefrom, “mountain ridge.” In this meaning, Zion entered into the designation of a “fortress of Zion” (Heb. מְצֻדַת צִיּוֹן/ meṣudat ṣiyyôn) on the southeastern hill of Jerusalem overlooking the Gihon, which David renamed “City of David” (Heb. עִיר דָּוִד/ʿ îr dāwid; 2 Sam 5:7, 9). David expanded this pre-Israelite acropolis into a “palace” (2 Sam 5:11) that lost its func…

Economy

(6,870 words)

Author(s): Sautter, Hermann | Rüpke, Jörg | Schneider, Helmuth | Otto, Eckart | Penslar, Derek | Et al.
[German Version] I. The Concept – II. Economic Systems and their Theories – III. Economy and Religion I. The Concept The term economy encompasses the totality of all individual actions and social interactions that serve to produce goods (commodities or services [Service sector]) for the purpose of satisfying human needs (Consumption). As a rule, the “production” of commodities means that human labor and …

Fraternal Ethics

(747 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart
[German Version] In the Old Testament, fraternal ethics refers to an ethos that gives, first every Judean, and later also foreigners, the solidarity owed to the closest natural members of one's family. Fraternal ethics originated in Deuteronomy in reaction to the dissolution of natural fraternal ethics in the 8th/7th century Assyrian crisis through the destruction of extended families and their solidarity-stabilizing cult of ancestors (III) as a consequence of Judean and Assyrian resettlements and…

Jacob

(1,848 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart | Niehoff, Maren | Campanini, Saverio
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. Judaism I. Old Testament 1. Name The anthroponym Jacob (יַעֲקוֹב/ yaʿaqôb) is attested as a common name throughout the ancient Near East from Mesopotamia and Egypt in the 2nd millennium as ia( ) qub-( ēl) to late 1st-millennium Palmyra as yʿqwb. As a sentence name it derives from the verbal root ʿqb (Old South Arab. and Eth.: “protect”; Ug.: “be near”), so that the theophoric form may be translated “God protects” or “God is near.” In the Hebrew Bible, only the hypocoristic form without a theophoric subject ¶ occurs. The Hebrew Bible derives the n…
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