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The Roots of Anger: An Economic Perspective on Zephaniah’s Oracle Against the Philistines

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image of Vetus Testamentum

Abstract The superscription of the book of Zephaniah places the composition in the 7th century BCE, during the reign of King Josiah of Judah. While some scholars support a monarchic date for composition on the grounds of geopolitical details, others have accepted the book as a post-monarchic composition, in which geopolitical details are merely functions of literary techniques. Critical in the discussions of date and historicity are the oracles found in the book’s second chapter. This essay examines the introductory poem found in Zeph 2:4 and argues that the oracle is representative of 7th century Judean sentiments toward the city of Ekron because of a specific pun, which should be read in light of the city’s impressive olive oil industry dating to the 7th century BCE.

Affiliations: 1: Pennsylvania State University


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