EBSCOhost_ Messengers of Hope in Haggai-Malachi

download EBSCOhost_ Messengers of Hope in Haggai-Malachi

of 20

  • date post

  • Category


  • view

  • download


Embed Size (px)

Transcript of EBSCOhost_ Messengers of Hope in Haggai-Malachi

  • 8/11/2019 EBSCOhost_ Messengers of Hope in Haggai-Malachi


    Journal for the Study of the Old TestamentVol 32.1 (2007): 113-131

    g 2007 SAGE Publications (Los Angeles, London, New Delhi and Singapore)

    DOI: 10.1177/0309089207083768


    Messengers ofHopein Haggai-Malachi


    McMaster Divinity College, McMaster University, Divinity Room 233,1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4K1, Canada


    Recent work on the Book of the Twelve has consistently identified various sections ofHaggai-Malachi as a corpus that existed prior to its incorporation into the Book of theTwelve. Many see Haggai/Zechariah 1-8 as an initial collection to which Malachi andZechariah 9-14 were later added (prior to and/or after inclusion in the Book of theTwelve). This study investigates this corpus by interacting with past research and the text

    of these prophetic sections to argue that although each section in the corpus (Haggai,Zech. 1-8, Zech. 9-14, Malachi) displays an integrity of its own, the corpus as a whole iswitness to a developing tradition, the resulting literature of which has been unified througha 'messenger'leitmotif.Thisleitmotif,however, rather than signalling the end of prophecy(as argued by some), identifies the importance of prophetic, priestly and royal streams tothe emerging hope for a heavenly visitation.

    Keywords: Messengers, angels, Haggai, Zechariah. Malachi, Book of the Twelve,redaction criticism, messianism.

  • 8/11/2019 EBSCOhost_ Messengers of Hope in Haggai-Malachi


    114 Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 32.1 (2007)

    assumedthatat least Haggai andZechariah18 comprised a preexistent

    collectionthatthenentered into the Book oftheTwelve.This position is

    oftenbased on the work ofEricand Carol Meyers in their AnchorBibleCommentary,in which they argued that Haggai andZechariah 18 were

    composed prior to andpossiblyfor the dedication of thetemple.1Their

    argumentis baseduponstriking similarities on literary (especially super-

    scriptions) andthematic(especially temple rebuilding) grounds between

    Haggai and Zechariah 18 along with the absence of any mention ofthe

    completion ofthetemple in these books.

    Positions havedivergedover theissueof whatfollowedZechariah 8,

    either inthepreBook oftheTwelvephase or in later redactional activity

    onthe Book of theTwelve.For many, some form ofMalachi followed

    immediately after Zechariah 8, evidence for which is provided in, for

    example, Nogalski's list of catch words {Stichwortverkettung) linking

    Zechariah8 and Malachi 1 aswellas Bosshard and Kratz's listofcon-

    nections between the Haggai/Zechariah 18 corpus and Malachi.2In a

    later phase, Zechariah 914 was inserted between Zechariah 8 and

    Malachi 1 and, according to Redditi, with its ubiquitous intertextualallusions to earlier prophetic literature, Zechariah 914 represented a

    reflection on the Book of the Twelve as a whole and was intended to

    shape one's reading ofthebook ofMalachi.3Onepossiblereason it was

    1. C.L. Meyers andE.M.Meyers,Haggai,Zechariah 18: A New Translationwith

    Introduction and Commentary(AB, 25B;GardenCity:Doubleday. 1987).pp.xlivxlv.

    2. Forcatchwords(e.g.'loveV'hate*in Zech.8.17and Mai.1.23;'entreat theface of

    YHWH' inZech. 8.22 andMai.1.9), see especially J.D.Nogalski,LiteraryPrecursorsto the Book of the Twelve (BZAW, 217; Berlin: W. de Gruyter. 1993), pp. 5356;

    J.D.Nogalski.Redactional Processes in the Book of the Twelve(BZAW, 218; Berlin:

    W. deGruyter,1993),p. 187.21,where he lists 12 wordsorphrasescommon to Zech.


    Malachiand finallyZech.914. For the connectionsbetween Malachi and the larger

    corpus of HaggaiZech. 18, see E. Bosshard andR.G.Kratz, 'Maleachi imZwlf-prophetenbuch\BN 52(1990),pp.27-46. who see Malachi as originally the continuationof Zech. 7-8, although later expanded in two phases. See the criticism of using the

    catchword phenomenon for redaction theory in B.A. Jones.TheFormation oftheBook ofthe Twelve- A Study in Text and Canon(SBLDS, 149: Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1995),

  • 8/11/2019 EBSCOhost_ Messengers of Hope in Haggai-Malachi


  • 8/11/2019 EBSCOhost_ Messengers of Hope in Haggai-Malachi


  • 8/11/2019 EBSCOhost_ Messengers of Hope in Haggai-Malachi


    BODA Messengers of Hope in Haggai-Malachi 117

    temple rebuilding ceremonies and texts.9Its abrupt endingisrelatedtothefact that it represents a copy of a text that was created not for the dedi

    cation of the temple, but rather for its foundation laying. On the otherhand, the superscriptions in Haggai/Zechariah 1-8 are not as common incharacter as one would expect in a unified corpus (such as Ezekiel).10

    More importantly, Zechariah 1-8 represents an expansion of the vision ofrestoration far beyond the rebuilding of the temple. Even if Halpern'sevidence for the temple restoration character of every pericope in thenight visions sequence can be accepted (and at times it seems to be astretch),11 the vision of restoration clearly exceeds the temple focus to

    include the restoration of the entire city and province on a physical andeconomic level (Zech. 1-2), the punishment of the nations who haveabused the people{passini),11the return oftheexilic community (Zech.2),the renewal of the leadership of the community (Zech. 3-4), and thecleansing of the community from impure religious practices (Zech. 5).Moving beyond the night visions and investigating the prose-sermonsections that now bracket the entire collection (Zech. 1.1-6; 7.1-8.23),

    one finds emphasis on penitential renewal rather than temple reconstruction.13The influential role that this penitential inclus ioplays in thefinal shape of Zechariah 1-8 leads one to conclude, in contrast to theMeyers, that those responsible were suggesting thatthecompletion of thetemple was not the sign of the much-anticipated restoration. The reasonfor this is linked explicitly to the way in which the early Persian periodcommunity was replicating the behavioral patterns that had brought about

    9. M.J. Boda, 'From Dystopia to Myopia: Utopian (Re)Visions in Haggai andZechariah 1-8', in E. Ben Zvi and M. Floyd (eds.),Utopia and Dystopia in PropheticTexts (Publications of the Finnish Exegetical Society; Helsinki: Finnish ExegeticalSociety/University of Helsinki; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2006).

    10. M.J. Boda, 'Zechariah: Master Mason or Penitential Prophet?', inB.Becking andR. Albertz (eds.), Yahwism After the Exile: Perspectives on Israelite Religion in thePersian Era(Studies in Theology and Religion; Assen: Van Gorcum, 2003), pp. 49-69;contra, for instance, Schart, 'Eschatological Visions', p. 334 n. 2, who claims that the

    'narrative framework' (a term he prefers to 'superscription') in Haggai and Zech. 1-8'seamlessly combines the prophecies of Haggai and Zechariah'.

  • 8/11/2019 EBSCOhost_ Messengers of Hope in Haggai-Malachi


    118 Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 32.1 (2007)

    theexilein thefirstplace. Ratherthanbeing evidence for the setting for

    which Haggai/Zechariah 18 was compiled, themissingreference to the

    temple's completion is evidence ofasober evaluation ofthe significanceof this project for the community. Thus, the theory of a preexisting

    Haggai/Zechariah 18 collection is difficult to sustain.

    Zechariah914 itselfis clearly comprised of disparate oracularmateri-

    als, but these have been drawn together into a whole, unified by redac-

    tional pieces containing the leitmotif of sheep and shepherd.14

    At the

    center of this sequence is the prophetic signact of Zech. 11.416,the

    content of which helps transition the reader from the positive Judah

    Ephraimvision oftheoracles in Zechariah 910 to the negative Judah

    Jerusalem vision of the oracles in Zechariah 1214. The redactional

    shepherd pieces represent a subtle trajectory thatresults ultimately in the

    destructionoftheshepherd in ch. 13 and its attendant ramifications for

    theirflock.The two references toKCCat the beginning ofchs.9 and 12

    appear at the beginning of these two disparate oracular sections (chs. 9

    10 vs. chs.1214)andmay indeed have functionedtomarkthebeginning

    of two originally separate collections.Zechariah914 in its present form,

    however, represents a unified literary complex.

    With Malachi one enters a different literary world. Indeed, its super-

    scriptioncontainsvocabulary encounteredinZechariah914, that is, the

    phrase~"KCE, followedby a preposition(Mai.1.1). However, to

    this is added the phrase 'through(TU)Malachi',a featuremissingin the

    previous two superscriptions. Beyond this is a radically different literary

    style (with its questionanswer) and gone are the carefully designed

    redactionalshepherd pieces.This evidence suggests that the Book of theTwelve ends with four

    collections, each of which displays its own integrity: Haggai 12,

    Zechariah18,Zechariah914 andMalachi13.1 have argued elsewhere

    thatZechariah 78 appears to prepare the reader for the more negative

    14. M.J. Boda, 'Reading BetweentheLines:Zechariah11.416 in its LiteraryCon-texts',in BodaandFloyd(eds.),BringingOut the Treasure,pp.27791; M.J.Boda and

    S E P *Li h Thi d D P h i Z h i h 9 14 d h P i

  • 8/11/2019 EBSCOhost_ Messengers of Hope in Haggai-Malachi


  • 8/11/2019 EBSCOhost_ Messengers of Hope in Haggai-Malachi


    120 Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 32.1 (2007)

    Theweakness of his argument, howeve