Jean-Noël Aletti, «Galates 1–2. Quelle fonction et quelle démonstration?», Vol. 86 (2005) 305-323
This article is an attempt to show the following: (1) Galatians 1,11–2,21 is a
unified argument in which vv. 11-12 constitute the propositio; (2) Gal 2,14b-21
represent a short speech bringing the argument to its climax, and (3) Gal 2,16
takes up the Jerusalem agreement about Paul’s Gospel and not only fulfills a
rhetorical function within the short speech of v. 14b-21 but also provides the
thesis of the argument that unfolds in Galatians 3–4.
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392 Andrew E. Arterbury - William H. Bellinger, Jr.
of whether Ps 23 is a psalm of trust or thanksgiving, any ancient Israelite who
could either anticipate or recall the travelerâ€™s vulnerable position could have
claimed these words as his or her own. Anyone who had heard the stories
about the vulnerable positions of Yahwehâ€™s messengers in Gen 19, the
Israelite spies in Josh 2, Sisera in Judg 4, or the Levite and his concubine in
Judg 19 would have had a strong warrant for needing to express either trust
in or thankfulness for the Lordâ€™s protection. The words in Ps 23,5-6 are the
type of words that a hopeful or thankful guest would use when reflecting upon
the upright hospitality of God, who either will feed or has fed the guest and
will protect or has protected the guest from danger (33).
b) Ps 23,5b â€“ â€œyou anoint my head with oilâ€
While this phrase does not have a direct parallel to the hospitality scenes
that we cited in the Hebrew Scriptures, we can easily envision ancient
Israelite hosts providing their guests with olive oil for the refreshing of sun
baked skin (34). We did, however, observe the Egyptian Amen-em-ope
referring to the giving of olive oil to the stranger. Moreover, within a context
of Jewish hospitality, Jesus criticizes his Pharisaic host for not anointing his
head with oil (Luke 7,46). Hence, it is logical to conclude that in Ps 23,5b we
see a picture of God as host anointing and refreshing the well-traveled
c) Ps 23,5c â€“ â€œmy cup overflowsâ€.
The overflowing cup or the abundant cup appears to be a commentary on
the extravagance of Godâ€™s provisions for guests. As noted above, the host
often provides more extravagant provisions than either the host promised
(Gen 18,5-8) or the guest requested (Gen 24,17-20 and Judg 4,19). In
addition, the host often provides the best provisions for the guest (1 Sam
9,23) (36). In Ps 23,5b, just like Abrahamâ€™s feast or the widow of Zarephathâ€™s
miraculous supply of food for Elijah, the Lord is described as providing the
psalmist with more provisions and superior provisions than the psalmist
actually needs. The Lord, as a host, has vast resources upon which to draw.
d) Ps 23,6a â€“ â€œSurely goodness and mercy shall pursue me all the days of
Here, the psalmistâ€™s words certainly provide an ironic contrast. Rather
than enemies pursuing the traveler, goodness and mercy will now do so (37).
Yet, perhaps there is also a vivid comparison in this phrase. We have
repeatedly seen good and faithful hosts pursuing their potential guests in the
hospitality encounters we have examined. Many of the model hosts in the
Hebrew Scriptures do not simply wait to offer hospitality to the traveler once
the traveler has requested assistance. Instead, these role models run out to stop
(33) F.L. HOSSFELD â€“ E. ZENGER, Die Psalmen (WÃ¼rzburg 1993) 155.
(34) CRENSHAW, Psalms, 62.
(35) DEISSLER, Die Psalmen, 98. Deissler describes v. 5b as a temple meal in which God
acts as host and anoints oneâ€™s head with oil.
(36) V.H. MATTHEWS, â€œHospitality and Hostility in Judges 4â€, BTB 21 (1991) 15.
(37) CRENSHAW, Psalms, 62.