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Divine Motive in the Hebrew Bible


A Comprehensive Survey and Analysis


This study begins with a comprehensive survey and analysis of divine motive in the Hebrew Bible. Building on the survey it explores divine motive in Jeremiah and Ezekiel, which contain 25% of the divine motive statements in the Hebrew canon.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-0532-4
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Sep 17,2015
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 258
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0532-4
$125.00
$75.00

Although God’s motives are frequently referenced in the analysis of biblical narratives, and stated programmatically in theological treatments of the Hebrew Bible, there are no comprehensive works examining divine motive. This study fills this critical gap by studying the more than 500 passages that contain an explicit statement of divine motive. Following the methods used in the examination of motive statements in the legal materials and psalms, the study provides a comprehensive survey and analysis of all the explicit statements of divine motive across the Hebrew canon. The study explores the distribution of the various motive texts and types, and the forms of the divine motive statement. After an exploration of significant example passages, the survey concludes with an analysis of the major categories of divine motive.

The study moves from the comprehensive survey to take an in-depth look at divine motive in the books of Jeremiah and Ezekiel. These two texts are chosen for concentrated treatment because together they contain 25% of the divine motive statements in the Hebrew Bible. For each book, the study analyzes the distribution of divine motive statements within the book, provides an evaluation of the various forms of motive statement, discusses the relationship between divine motive and key themes in the book, and explores key motive texts. The study concludes with a comparison and contrast of the use of divine motive statements in Jeremiah and Ezekiel in light of the comprehensive survey.

Although God’s motives are frequently referenced in the analysis of biblical narratives, and stated programmatically in theological treatments of the Hebrew Bible, there are no comprehensive works examining divine motive. This study fills this critical gap by studying the more than 500 passages that contain an explicit statement of divine motive. Following the methods used in the examination of motive statements in the legal materials and psalms, the study provides a comprehensive survey and analysis of all the explicit statements of divine motive across the Hebrew canon. The study explores the distribution of the various motive texts and types, and the forms of the divine motive statement. After an exploration of significant example passages, the survey concludes with an analysis of the major categories of divine motive.

The study moves from the comprehensive survey to take an in-depth look at divine motive in the books of Jeremiah and Ezekiel. These two texts are chosen for concentrated treatment because together they contain 25% of the divine motive statements in the Hebrew Bible. For each book, the study analyzes the distribution of divine motive statements within the book, provides an evaluation of the various forms of motive statement, discusses the relationship between divine motive and key themes in the book, and explores key motive texts. The study concludes with a comparison and contrast of the use of divine motive statements in Jeremiah and Ezekiel in light of the comprehensive survey.

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Contributor Biography

J. Michael Thigpen

Dr. Thigpen is the Executive Director of the Evangelical Theological Society. He completed his Ph.D. in Judaic, Hebraic, and Cognate Studies at Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, OH. Prior to his current position, he taught Hebrew and Old Testament at the undergraduate level. In addition to working with the Society, Dr. Thigpen serves as adjunct faculty for the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and is a pastor at Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, Kentucky.

  • Table of Contents (page 7)
  • Acknowledgments (page 9)
  • List of Tables (page 11)
  • Chapter 1. An Introduction to the Study (page 13)
  • Chapter 2. The History of Research (page 19)
    • Motive Clause Research (page 19)
    • Form-Critical and Theological Studies (page 26)
  • Chapter 3. The Plan of the Study (page 53)
    • Text Selection Criteria (page 54)
    • Examination of the Textual Data (page 55)
    • Defining Motive (page 56)
    • The Nature of the Study (page 57)
  • Chapter 4. The Divine Motive Statement: Survey and Analysis (page 59)
    • Distribution of Texts and Motive Types (page 59)
    • The Form of the Divine Motive Statement (page 62)
    • Sample Passages and Key Features of the Motive Statements (page 72)
    • Major Categories of Divine Motive (page 79)
    • A Theological Summary of Divine Motive (page 92)
  • Chapter 5. Divine Motive in the Book of Ezekiel (page 95)
    • The Distribution of Divine Motive Statements in Ezekiel (page 95)
    • The Form of the Divine Motive Statement in Ezekiel (page 97)
    • Divine Motive and Key Themes in Ezekiel (page 108)
    • Key Motive Texts in Ezekiel (page 110)
    • Conclusion (page 150)
  • Chapter 6. Divine Motive in the Book of Jeremiah (page 153)
    • The Distribution of Divine Motive Statements in Jeremiah (page 153)
    • The Form of the Divine Motive Statement in Jeremiah (page 155)
    • Divine Motive and Key Themes in Jeremiah (page 159)
    • Conclusion (page 197)
  • Chapter 7. Conclusions (page 199)
    • Divine Motive in Jeremiah and Ezekiel (page 199)
    • The Temple, the Land, and Divine Motive (page 201)
    • Popular Sayings, Audience Quotation and Divine Motive (page 204)
    • The Knowledge of YHWH and Divine Motive (page 211)
    • Summary and Suggestions for Future Research (page 216)
  • Appendix: Texts Containing a Divine Motive Statement (page 219)
  • Bibliography (page 223)
  • Index (page 237)
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