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Title: Whose explanation? Which context? : a narrative theological study of the rationale for divine action in the Exodus plagues narrative
Author: Ford, William Andrew
ISNI:       0000 0001 3474 5279
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2005
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The story of the Exodus from Egypt is a foundational part of the Old Testament, which is also problematic for many readers in respect of the portrayal of YHWH and his actions. This is especially the case in the `plagues narrative' in Exodus 7-11 with the series of plagues sent upon Egypt, and the hardening of Pharaoh's heart. Many studies have investigated this passage in historical critical terms, or by abstracting the theological issues therein. In contrast, this dissertation carries out a narrative theological study of the final form of the narrative, considering the issues as they arise in context. It concentrates upon the rationales given for YHWH's actions in the text, offering a detailed exegesis and interpretation of the important speech in Ex. 9: 13-19, followed by a comparative investigation of Ex. 10: 1-2 which offers a rather different rationale. These rationales come in the form of interactions between YHWH and humans. Thus particular attention is paid to the messages'a ddresseesa nd to their functions in context. The thesis is proposed that YHWH's messages or `explanations' are targeted at the recipient, responding to their prior words or actions, and seeking a response from them in turn. Reading the wider plagues narrative in this light, we see that as the humans react, so YHWH responds in word and deed. The encounters between YHWH and Pharaoh progress from the initial ambiguities of YHWH's demands and signs that can be copied, through to the final responses of Pharaoh and YHWH. More widely in the Old Testament the exodus story is often used in the context of Israel's response to YHWH, and the study concludes with an examination of the story of the ark in 1 Sam. 4-7, where similar issues arise to those found in the plagues narrative.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available