The function of the spirit of Yahweh/God in some early narratives of the Hebrew Bible

Morrison, Hector (1993) The function of the spirit of Yahweh/God in some early narratives of the Hebrew Bible. MTh(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

Yahweh's spirit functions to further his purpose for Israel and the fulfilment of his promise to them of the land. To this end the spirit appears often and mercifully as the agent of blessing and deliverance for both individual and Israel; on a military level often initiating the process that leads to victory and re-possession of the land. The spirit often functions simultaneously as the agent of judgement with respect to Israel's enemies, sometimes creating in the spirit-possessed an anger reflecting the divine indignation. While individuals [Moses, (Samuel and the prophets.)], appear to be bearers of the spirit, it comes upon those designated by Yahweh for leadership roles primarily as a personal and/ or public legitimating sign of their new status. Those whose legitimation involves them in prophesying do so only temporarily as an indication of their new status as servants of Yahweh in the area of (civil) leadership (and not prophecy). The spirit can also function as a delegitimating sign, marking rejection by Yahweh. The spirit seems to remain with those endowed, mediating to them the divine presence, also equipping and enabling them to fulfil their new role(s). It can also be regarded as a token of Yahweh's contractual commitment to his chosen king who becomes sacrosanct as a result of the endowment. The spirit can equally well function to disable and strip of office the unworthy and rejected leader whose contract Yahweh has revoked. The spirit is communicated sometimes at a cultic centre in the presence of a human mediator but sometimes without human mediation and away from any such centre. There is no indication of an ethical aspect to the spirit endowment, which is still restricted to a small group of leaders and prophets, although the hope is expressed that this possession might yet be universal, at least within Israel. The evil spirit is not to be Identified with the more powerful spirit of Yahweh, but, nevertheless functions under Yahweh's control, contributing to the unfolding of his purposes for Israel. In particular, [like the wind of Numbers 11] it functions as an agent of divine judgement or retribution against Israel's internal enemies.

Item Type: Thesis (MTh(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Adviser: Alasdair G Hunter
Keywords: Biblical studies
Date of Award: 1993
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1993-73834
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2019 08:56
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2019 08:56
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/73834

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