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Not Bread AloneThe Uses of Food in the Old Testament$
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Nathan MacDonald

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199546527

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199546527.001.0001

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Taste and Discernment: the Literary Motif of Judgement at the Table

Taste and Discernment: the Literary Motif of Judgement at the Table

(p.166) 6 Taste and Discernment: the Literary Motif of Judgement at the Table
Not Bread Alone

Nathan MacDonald (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The Old Testament frequently portrays the table as the context for divine and human judgement. The association of the table with the feasting of the king and his officials may lie behind this idea. The use of the symbolism and its inversion will be examined especially in the books of Samuel and Kings. This motif may provide an explanation for the otherwise mysterious conclusion of the Deuteronomistic History with Jehoiachin's elevation to the table of Evil-Merodach. The relationship between table and judgement is also expressed in imagery such as the ‘cup of wrath’ and Psalm 23's overflowing cup. An important development is found in Isaiah 25, where the image of the table is transported into the eschatological future.

Keywords:   feasting, divine judgement, Deuteronomistic History, cup of salvation, cup of wrath, eschatological meal, 1–2 Samuel, 1–2 Kings

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