Obce narody w Księdze Sofoniasza (So 2,4-15)

Sławomir Stasiak

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21697/ct.2017.87.4.02

Abstrakt


The oracles against foreign nations in the Book of Zephaniah (Zeph
2:4-15) were directed against the Philistines, the Ammonites, the Moabites,
the Egyptians and against the Assyrians. Their order is not quite clear,
challenging, and wonder if it is really explicable to the very end.
The way the oracle is presented against the Philistines (Zeph 2:4-7) is
based on the multitude of names of places, which belonged to this part of
Palestine. The words directed against them “I will destroy you until no
inhabitant is left” (Zeph 2:5), force the Judeans to reflect on their behavior,
which could lead on to their annihilation, the way the foreign nations will
be destroyed at this moment. The attrition of the Philistines is to function
as a warning for the Judeans against the imminent and awaited punishment,
unless they change their conduct.
The oracles against the Moabites and the Ammonites (2:8-11) bewilder
in two aspects. First of all, the issue concerns the determination of kōl ʼijjê
haggôjim (Zeph 2:11), which can either refer to all nations in general, or only
to those nations which are hostile towards the Israel. In the direct, preceding
context, Zephaniah was writing about the victory of JHWH over pagan
gods (v. 11a); Thus, one may suppose that the representatives of even the
remotest corners of the earth will pay homage to JHWH. Secondly, what is
surprising is the reverse order, the reversal of the usual order in the oracles
against the nations, in which the punishment is presented as first and then its
justification. Whereas, Zephaniah starts with justification (v. 8 and 10), and
later mentions the punishment (v. 9 and 11a). Why was the oracle constructed
in this specific way by the prophet? First of all, it may have constituted
an emphasis which Zephaniah uses to stress the cause (justification) of
the punishment imposed on the Moabites and the Ammonites. However,
attention must also be drawn to w. 11b, which contains eschatological
announcement of the universal and widespread cult of JHWH. Thus, the
expression of the oracle was meant to lead to eschatological proclamation,
in an climactic construction.
The words directed against Egypt (Zeph 2:12) are so cursory that some
scholars regard them as part of the oracle against Assyria. Yet, it seems
that such a connection would be completely unjustifiable, merely because
of the fact that the punishment the Nubians and the Assyrians will face will
be different, not to mention the fact that the empires of Assyria and Egypt
were immemorial enemies of Israel, but different, though. The sword taken
out against Egypt (Zeph 2:12) undoubtedly, constitutes a kind of glancing
reference to the scene which took place at the gates of Jericho, when Joshua
encountered the Angel of God with an unsheathed sword (Jos 5:13).
The description of extermination and destruction of Assyria (Zeph
2:13-14) is comprehensive and extensive because the oracles against foreign
nations in the Book of Zephaniah reach their climax there. Justification in
this case seems to be perfunctory, though (v. 15) especially considering the
immensity of the punishment.

Słowa kluczowe


Księga Sofoniasza; Filistyni; Moabici; Ammonici; Kuszyci; Egipt; Asyria; wyrocznie przeciw narodom

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