Sie sind auf Seite 1von 15

Psalm 87 as a Reappraisal of the Zion Tradition and Its Reception in Galatians 4:26

CHRISTL M. MAIER
Philipps-Universitt D35032 Marburg, Germany

THE ZION TRADITION IS one of the fundamental traditions of the Hebrew Bible

traceable in Psalms, Lamentations, and many prophetic books. Among a variety of Zion texts, Psalm 87 (86 LXX) offers a highly unique portrait of Zion. In this interpretation of Psalm 87,1 seek to illumine this distinctiveness and to explore the psalm's reception in the LXX and the NT, pointing to a connection that has so far been overlooked by scholars. In Galatians 4, Paul argues that both Jews and Gentiles may be sons of Abraham, and in this context he refers to the "Jerusalem above" as "our mother" (v. 26). My thesis is that Paul's idea of Jerusalem being a mother also to Gentiles rests on Psalm 86 LXX. I. Psalm 87 as a Zion Song Upon reading various scholarly interpretations of Psalm 87, one may well conclude that its poet might have been confused. There is hardly any scholar who does notfindfault with the order of verses, the line of argumentation, or the abrupt style of this psalm. Artur Weiser finds the psalm's thoughts unconnected and

This article is a revised version of a paper delivered at the IOSOT conference in Leiden, August 4,2004, and the SBL annual meeting in San Antonio, November 21, 2004.1 would like to thank all colleagues who offered remarks and questions in the discussion or after reading a draft, especially Letty Russell, Adela Yarbro Collins, and Jens Herzer.

473

474

THE CATHOLIC BIBLICAL QUARTERLY | 69, 2007

assumes a disarrangement of text in the course of copying.1 Richard J. Clifford sees the problem of understanding emerging from the psalm's "elliptical logic." In 1987, Theodor Booij listed sixteen different reconstructions, following which John J. Schmitt commented, "This psalm could win a prize for the greatest number of different rearrangements proposed by scholars."2 Only the latest commentaries set out to interpret the given text, among them the commentary on Psalms 51-100 of Frank-Lothar Hossfeld and Erich Zenger published in German in 2000 and recently also in English.3 The MT of Psalm 87 conveys some unusual features, and its LXX version provides several variant readings. Therefore, I present my own annotated translation first, followed by a short structural analysis that aims at explaining why the psalm has caused difficulties in understanding (A). Next I explore the psalm's similarities to Psalms 46 and 48 (B) as well as its uniqueness among Zion texts ( Q . Having established Psalm 87 as a Zion song with a peculiar topic, I interpret the psalm's female personification of Zion and its interpretation in the LXX (II). Last, I explore Paul's use of Psalm 86 LXX in his letter to the Galatians (III). A. Translation and Structure of Psalm 87 1 A psalm of the sons of Korah. A song. His foundation4 on holy mountains 2 Yhwh loves, the gates of Zion more than all dwellings of Jacob. 3 Glorious things5 are told about you, O City of God. Selah. 41 mention Rahab and Babylon among those who know me,

Artur Weiser, The Psalms: A Commentary (OTL; Philadelphia: Westminster, 1962) 579. Similar evaluations are offered by Hermann Gunkel, Die Psalmen (5th ed.; Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1968) 378; Klaus Seybold, Die Psalmen (HAT 15; Tbingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1996) 341; Marvin E. Tate, Psalms 51-100 (WBC 20; Dallas: Word, 1990) 387. 2 Richard J. Clifford, Psalms 73-150 (Abingdon Old Testament Commentaries; Nashville: Abingdon, 2003) 81; Theodor Booij, "Some Observations on Psalm LXXXVII," VT37 (1987) 1625, esp. 16 . 2; John J. Schmitt, "Psalm 87: Zion, the City of God's Love," in The Psalms and Other Studies on the Old Testament Presented to Joseph I. Hunt (ed. Jack C. Knight and Lawrence A. Sinclair; Nashotah, WI: Nashotah House Seminary, 1990) 34-44, esp. 41 n. 21. 3 Frank-Lothar Hossfeld and Erich Zenger, Psalmen 51-100 (HTKAT; Freiburg: Herder, 2000); Eng. trans. Psalms 2: A Commentary on Ps 51-100 (trans. Linda Maloney; Hermeneia; Min neapolis: Fortress, 2005). 4 The feminine form 10'' ("foundation") is unique; the masculine noun is used in Ezek 13:14; Ps 137:7; Lam 4:11. The masculine suffix refers to the subject of the sentence, Yhwh. For the cho sen line distinction, see the discussion below. 5 The plural m"DD3 ("glorious things") serves as the object of the pual singular participle "Q3 ("it is told"). The incongruence between the forms is a minor problem, as the feminine plural noun often designates a collective that is treated as singular; see Paul Joon and Takamitsu Muraoka, A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew (Subsidia Biblica 14/11; Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1996) 128b.

PSALM 87 AND GALATIANS 4:26 475 Philistia, too, and Tyre, with6 Ethiopia, "This one7 was born there." 5 And of Zion it shall be said, "Each one8 was born in her and he who will establish her is the Most High." 6 Yhwh will record in the document9 of the nations, "This one was born there." Selah. 7 And they sing10 while11 dancing, "All my springs12 are in you."13 Some scholars subdivide the psalm into w. 1-3 and 4-7,14 yet the paragraph marker selah (rf?0) suggests a further division of w. 4-6 and v. 7. Verses 1-3 praise the intimate and exclusive love of Israel's god for the city of Zion. Verse lb seems to be incomplete, for it provides neither a verb nor a nominal clause. Some com mentators assume a loss of half a line at this point, either inserting portions of v. 5 here or placing v. 2 ahead of v. lb. 15 Disregarding the masoretic verse division, however, the sentence "Yhwh loves" ( 3) in v. 2a continues v. lb without dis ruption.16 Thus, the expression "his foundation on holy mountains" serves as the
6 The LXX and Vg read "and the people" (DJn). The MT's reading, "with" (ay), is the lectio dificilior and thus to be preferred. 7 The LXX reads "these are born there," with referring to the nations mentioned before. Although this variant smooths the transition from plural to singular, it corroborates the universalistic perspective of the Hebrew text. 8 For the distributive meaning of this expression, see GKC 123c and the discussion in sec tion II below. 9 Many Hebrew manuscripts and the ancient versions attest the original "in the document" (35?), whereas the MT offers an infinitive construct, "when writing" (Tirp?). 10 The Greek translator inserted "those who sing" (,")) from v. 7 into v. 6 and read it as "rulers" (.), a common variant, as the consonants VJ and fr are not distinguished in unvocalized Hebrew. The Hebrew participles are used as predicates in a durative sense and denote actions of an indefinite subject; see Joiion and Muraoka, Grammar, 155f and Gen 39:22; Exod 5:16; Jer 33:5; 38:23. 11 For the temporal interpretation of D, see Booij ("Some Observations," 21), who refers to Gen 38:29; 40:10. "Those who dance" ( D ^ n ) is a shortened form of a pilpel plural participle of Vin ("to go around, dance"); see HALOT, 297. Whereas the Hebrew verb is rarely used, the Greek transla tor chose thefrequentative, which equals the Hebrew "be glad, to rejoice" (). 12 Instead of "my springs" (37), the Greek translator read "dwelling" fWt), as in Ps 84(83):7, probably thinking of the common idea of God's dwelling in Zion. Since this is the lectio facilior, the MT is to be preferred. The singular suffix takes up the individualistic perspective of v. 5. 13 The feminine suffix in the Hebrew text refers to Zion, as in w . 3 and 5. 14 See James L. Mays, Psalms (IBC; Louisville: John Knox, 1994) 281; Konrad Schaefer, Psalms (Berit Olam; Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2001) 213. 15 Weiser, Psalms, 579: w . lb, 5b, 2-3, 6,4, 5a, 7; Hans-Joachim Kraus, Psalms 60-150: A Commentary (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1989) 185: w . la, 2, lb, 5b, 7,3,6a, 4b/6b, 4a, 5a; similarly Seybold, Psalmen, 341. 16 See Charles A. Briggs and Emilie G. Briggs, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Psalms (2 vols.; ICC; 1906-7; repr., Edinburgh: Clark, 1960) 2. 239.

476

THE CATHOLIC BIBLICAL QUARTERLY | 69, 2007

object of Yhwh's love, and its initial position may indicate emphasis (see also w . 3 and 5). As v. 2b provides "the gates of Zion" (]VX 57) as an object parallel to "his foundation" (''), the statement 3 does double duty. As Booij and Mark S. Smith have proposed, w . 3-7 are concentrically struc tured owing to a threefold address to female Zion in w . 3, 5, and 7 as well as a threefold birth proclamation in w . 4,5, and 6. 17 Thus, the pivot of the psalm is v. 5. The parallel wording of the birth proclamations confirms that the reference point of the location "there" (D#) in w . 4 and 6 is female Zion, to which v. 5 clearly refers. The psalm concentrates on the city from different perspectives by alternating the speakers, but the transition between the different voices is not always indicated by introductory formulas. In w . lb-3 the poet or the Korahites mentioned in the heading may be speaking. In v. 4 Yhwh is speaking, as indicated by the first per son suffix in "those who know me" ( ^ T V ) and the attribution of the birth procla mation to Yhwh in v. 6. In w . 5-6 the people's voice confirms this divine proclamation by citing Yhwh's core sentence (v. 6b), namely, that he considers the nations adhering to him as born in Zion. In v. 7 the poet or the Korahites describe the activities of the celebrating people and quote(s) their song. Thus, the psalm may be understood as a chorus of voices that announce a dramatic event. B. The Relation of Psalm 87 to Psalms 46 and 48 With regard to the position of Psalm 87 in its present context, Norbert Lohfink and Erich Zenger have argued that the compositional sequence and contents of Psalms 84-85, 87-88 are aligned with the first group of Korah psalms, 42^19. 18 The use of the following key words in Psalm 87 closely links this text to Psalms 46-48: The expression "foundation on holy mountains" in v. lb is reminiscent of Ps 48:2-3, where the holy mountain of God is mentioned parallel to Mount Zion. The uncommon plural "holy mountains" may reflect the experience that Jerusalem 19 has spread across several hills. That God loves the gates of Zion (v. 2) is an extraordinary rendering of the more familiar notion that God elected Zion as dwelling place (Pss 46:5; 48:1-3). The expression "city of God" (DTftxn TJ7) is
Booij ("Some Observations," 19-21) does so rather implicitly, but divides the psalm into three strophes (w. lb-2, 3-5, 6-7). Mark S. Smith ("The Structure of Psalm LXXXVII," VT3S [1988] 357-58) calls vv. 3-7 a "concentric pentacolon" (p. 357). See also Hossfeld and Zenger, Psalms 2, 382. 18 Norbert Lohfnk and Erich Zenger, The God of Israel and the Nations: Studies in Isaiah and the Psalms (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2000) 127-38; see also Hossfeld and Zenger, Psalms 2, 385-87. 19 With Mitchell Dahood (Psalms II, 51-100: Introduction, translation, and notes [AB 17; Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1968] 299), contrary to Kraus (Psalms 60-150, 186) and Seybold (Psalmen, 341), who think of archetypal mountains.
17

PSALM 87 AND GALATIANS 4:26

477

used exclusively in v. 3 and Pss 46:5; 48:2,9. The idea that God establishes the city (v. 5) is attested also in Ps 48:9. The divine epithet "the most high" (yfry) in v. 5 occurs also in Pss 46:5 and 47:3, although it is not exclusive to the Zion songs. Last, the springs mentioned in v. 7 may refer to the image of God's city abundant with water in Ps 46:5.20 Since Psalm 87 presents an anthology of motifs related to Zion and links expressions found in Psalms 46-48, it presupposes the other Zion songs. All Zion songs draw a visionary image of Jerusalem that cannot be equated with its topography or its political status: Psalm 46 praises the city embraced by a river and protected from its enemies by the presence of its God. Psalm 48 parallels the city and Mount Zion as sheltered not only by its elevation but by divine power. The underlying idea is that the nations' unavailing military assault on Zion will be replaced by their pilgrimage to the sacred space. Like Psalms 46 and 48, Psalm 87 is a typical Zion song praising the city's importance. Contrary to Psalms 46 and 48, however, Psalm 87 reverses the point of view: Not Zion's salvation but the salvation of the nations through Zion is at stakethe springs thus represent the sources of life found in Zion.21 C. Zion s Significance in Psalm 87

While referring to God's love for Zion, Psalm 87 offers a new statement in the Zion tradition by depicting foreign peoples not as pilgrims to Zion but as children of this city. Verse 5 mentions peoples surrounding Jerusalem: Rahab is a symbolic name for Egypt, as in Isa 30:7.22 The city of Babylon appears as Daughter Zion's constant adversaryfromthe east in the Book of Isaiah and personifies the inhabitants of the city. Philistia denotes the southwestern shoreline and its inhabitants (Pss 60:10; 83:8). The city of Tyre represents the Phoenician nation of merchants to the north (Isa 23:8; Ezek 27:3), while Kush denotes the Ethiopian people living south of Egypt (Ps 68:32; Ezek 29:10). Given the geographical location of these peoples, Zion turns out to have a central position. Yet the threefold proclamation that these foreign nations are born in Zion is at the same time offensive and unheeded. It seems to be offensive to many scholars,fromBernhard Duhm in 1899 to John A. Emerton in 2001, who take the ones born in Zion to be either Israelites dispersed among the nations or proselytes.23
Even closer in terminology is Ps 84:7, where springs are said to emerge in a dry valley when the pilgrims to Zion pass through it. 21 See Hossfeld and Zenger, Psalms 2, 386. 22 It is the name also of the primeval chaos creature that Yhwh defeated (Ps 89:11 ; Job 26:10). 23 Bernhard Duhm, Die Psalmen (Kurzer Hand-Commentar zum Alten Testament 14; Freiburg: Mohr, 1899) 218-19. See also John A. Emerton, "The Problem of Psalm LXXXVII," VT 50 (2001) 183-99, esp. 197. For similiar interpretations, see Arnold A. Anderson, Psalms, Vol. 2 (NCB; London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1972) 621; Kraus, Psalms 60-150, 188; Mays, Psalms,
20

478

THE CATHOLIC BIBLICAL QUARTERLY | 69,2007

Emerton, for example, argues that the location "there" (D#) in w. 4 and 6 refers to the foreign names in v. 4, which he interprets as foreign countries.24 As argued above, the reference point of Dttf in w. 4 and 6 is female Zion. Emerton overlooks that each nation in v. 4 appears as a single figure even though it represents a col lective and thus can be indicated by the singular demonstrative pronoun . In his view, the psalm differentiates between those born in foreign countries and those born in Zion, the city of Yhwh. He fails, however, to explain why Zion is praised so highly and how v. 7 relates to the rest of the psalm.25 Like most scholars who favor a particularistic interpretation, Emerton begins with the fact that the foreign nations are actually not born in Zion. Yet Yhwh's mentioning and recording of names are to be understood as performative acts, meaning that God proclaims each nation to be born in Zion.26 This motif in v. 6 picks up the idea of a heavenly book in which the life and fate of a people or of sin gle persons are written down, an idea widely attested in the Assyrian and Baby lonian empires.27 The recording of names may be related historically to the list of the members of the postexilic community mentioned in Ezra and Nehemiah, espe cially as the term "document" (2) in Ps 87:6 is also used in Ezra 2:62 and Neh 7:64. Thus, Psalm 87 offers a universalistic perspective that exceeds the idea that Zion is the center of foreign pilgrims, namely, the vision of the nations living peacefully together as fellow citizens of Israel because of their common origin. This vision may rightly be called "a postexilic new version of the preexilic Zion theology."28

281; Clifford, Psalms 73-150, 82. Hossfeld and Zenger (Psalms 2, 379-81) cite long passages that exemplify the particularistic position. 24 Emerton, "Problem," 193. 25 With regard to v. 7, Emerton ("Problem," 197-98) favors an emendationfirstproposed by Hugo Gressmann, which has been incorporated into the text-critical apparatus of BHS ad loc. and reads "all of them praise you (= Zion)." 26 Note the imperfect verb forms in w. 4,5, and 6. See Schaefer, Psalms, 213-14; Tate, Psalms 51-100, 390. Tate refers to an interesting parallel showing the ideology of the Assyrian empire. The refrain common in Neo-Assyrian inscriptions about conquered people, "I counted them among the Assyrians," declares those peoples to belong to the Assyrian king's royal realm. For Tate, however, the concept of being "born" in Zion expresses spiritual kinship only (p. 389). 27 Cf. Luke 10:20; Heb 12:23-24; Rev 3:5. The tradition is traced by Shalom M. Paul, "Heav enly Tablets and the Book of Life," in The Gaster Festschrift (special issue JANES(CU) 5 [1973]; ed. David Marcus; New York: Ancient Near Eastern Society of Columbia University, 1974) 345-53. See also Leo Koep, Das himmlische Buch in Antike und Christentum: Eine religionsgeschichtliche Untersuchung zur altchristlichen Bildersprache (Theophaneia 8; Bonn: P. Hanstein, 1952). 28 Hossfeld and Zenger, Psalms 2, 382. They suggest that Psalm 87 was composed specifically for its current context as an eschatological-utopian project that may be dated to the period of the col lapse of either the Persian empire or Alexander's empire (see also Lohfink and Zenger, God of Israel, 147).

PSALM 87 AND GALATIANS 4:26 479

IL Zion as Mother of the Nations The female portrait of Zion in Psalm 87 can be compared to the West Semitic tradition, in which cities are grammatically feminine and hold titles such as "mis tress" or "virgin" that generate a female personification. Such a metaphorical use of female roles helps to express the various relationships among the city, its ruler, and its inhabitants.29 The city might be conquered like a daughter and embraced like a royal bride by its ruler. It offers shelter and food to its inhabitants like a mother. Writing in the postexilic period, the poet of Psalm 87 is certainly familiar with the prophetic metaphor of "Daughter Zion." This metaphor was used earlier in Isa 1:8 and Jer 4:31, where the city is menaced by destruction, as well as in Lamentations, which describes her suffering in detail. Although only Isa 50:1 explicitly uses the title "mother," both the Isaian and Jeremian traditions charac terize the female city as a mother bereft of her children (Jer 10:20; Isa 49:21; cf. Lam 1:20). Isaiah 54:1-3 even proclaims the end of her misery with the message of Jerusalem's restored motherhood, a text cited in Paul's letter to the Galatians: Sing, O barren one who did not bear! Burst into song and shout, you who have not been in labor! For the children of the desolate woman will be more than the children of her that is married, says Yhwh. (Isa 54:1) Although Psalm 87 does not personify the city as clearly as does Isaiah 54, the psalm belongs to a tradition that portrays Jerusalem as woman and mother. Similarly, 2 Sam 20:19 names the city Abel of Beth-Maacah "a city and a mother in Israel" (see NKJV), applying a title that is translated "a polis and a metropolis" in the LXX. The term "a mother city" () is used also in the LXX ver sion of Isa 1:26.30 In this perspective, the LXX renders the implicit female imagery of the Hebrew text explicit by calling Zion "mother" in Ps 87(86):5:

See Christi Maier, "Tochter Zion im Jeremiabuch: Eine literarische Personifikation mit altorientalischem Hintergrund," in Prophtie in Israel: Beitrge des Symposiums, "Das Alte Testament und die Kultur der Moderne " anllich des 100. Geburtstags Gerhard von Rads (1901-1971) Heidelberg, 18.-21. Oktober 2001 (ed. Irmtraud Fischer, Konrad Schmid, and Hugh G. M. Williamson; Mnster: LIT, 2003) 157-67. 30 In the LXX, the title is conferred on Gibeon (Josh 10:2), Kiriath-arba (Josh 14:15; 21:11), and Hebron (Josh 15:13), and is used without Hebrew equivalent in Esth 9:19. See Anna Maria Schwemer, "Himmlische Stadt und himmlisches Brgerrecht bei Paulus (Gal 4,26 und Phil 3,20)," in La cit de Dieu/Die Stadt Gottes (ed. Martin Hengel, Siegfried Mittmann, and Anna Maria Schwemer; WUNT 129; Tbingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2000) 195-243. Schwemer argues that is applied to Jerusalem in Hellenistic-Jewish circles. She lists the following references: Philo Fug. 94; Somn. 1.41,181; Jos. Asen. 16:16; 19:5, 8 (Aseneth becomes the walled metropolis for all who seek refuge); Philo calls the also in Opif. 19.143-44; cf. Philo Jos. 29; Mos. 2.51; Spec. 1.34.

29

480

THE CATHOLIC BIBLICAL QUARTERLY | 69, 2007

, , "Mother Zion" will a man say31 , because32 a man was born in her, , and the Most High himself founded33 her. Some scholars even correct the Hebrew text of Ps 87:5 according to the LXX.34 They probably follow a suggestion in the critical apparatus of KitteFs edi tion of the Hebrew text.35 The targum and the later Greek translations of Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion, however, support the shorter Hebrew text. Although the LXX reading has a creative edge, it emerges at this point from a misreading of the Hebrew consonantal text. The translator did not recognize the Hebrew distrib utive expression "each man" (ttf'W tJTX) and therefore connected tZhXI to the fol lowing clause.36 What remains in the first Hebrew clause reads "to Zion will a man say," and the translator added the title "mother"a supplement that fits very well both the context of the psalm and the tradition the translator might have known. Any of those nations listed earlier, who are proclaimed to be born in Jerusalem, may thus call Zion "mother." If the LXX reading were original, the omission of the title mother in the Hebrew text would be hard to explain. This interpretation of the LXX reading contrasts with Joachim Schaper's thesis that the Greek is "a deliberate interpretative interference" that is connected to a messianic understanding of .37 The idea that Zion is the mother of the nations is unheeded in the rest of the

31 The LXX reads the Hebrew consonantal form as the common "he will say" ("loC), not as the niphal form "he will be called" (HOC?), as the masoretes do. The distributive expression "each man" (IZ^RItf) is thus torn apart. 32 The is explicative or epexegetical, giving a reason for the first statement. 33 The Greek translator rendered the Hebrew imperfect as an aorist that refers to the past. 34 See Briggs and Briggs, Psalms, 2. 240; Kraus, Psalms 60-150, 184; Helen SchngelStraumann, "Mutter Zion im Alten Testament," in Theologie zwischen Zeiten und Kontinenten: Festschrift Elisabeth Gssmann (ed. Theodor Schneider and Helen Schngel-Straumann; Freiburg: Herder, 1993) 19-30, here 21. 35 Both the second and third editions of BHK propose that the MT is a haplography of O R tf'R. The suggestion does not appear in BHS. 36 For the distributive meaning, see GKC 123c and the detailed comments of Emerton, "Prob lem," 195-96. 37 See Joachim Schaper, Eschatology in the Greek Psalter (WUNT 2/76; Tbingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1995) 99. Schaper holds that the Greek translator added the title Mother in light of Isa 66:7-11, a text that portrays Zion as a mother of many children in an eschatological context. He further posits that at the time of the Psalter's translation into Greek, the term had already acquired a messianic meaning and therefore Ps 86:5 might have been rendered in this light (pp. 100101). Although Isaiah 66 may indeed have been on the translator's mind, a possible messianic mean ing of in Gen 49:10 LXX and Num 24:17 LXX does not help to interpret the psalm. Genesis 49:10 talks about Judah, and Num 24:17 about an , not from Zion. In fact, no biblical text states that the Messiah will come from or even be born in Jerusalem (see in par ticular Mie 5:1).

PSALM 87 AND GALATIANS 4:26 481 Hebrew Bible because it disregards all boundaries between Israel and the nations and denies any prerequisite for joining with Israel in its faith in Yhwh. Depicting Zion as the ultimate place of God's election and proclaiming the foreign nations to be children of Jerusalem, Psalm 87 exceeds all expectations of salvation. III. The Jerusalem "Above" as Mother of the Nations (Galatians 4:26) The idea that foreign nations have a heritage in Zion is essential to Paul's argumentation in Gal 4:26 that the Jerusalem "above" is "our mother." Although Ps 86:5 LXX is mentioned as a parallel to in v. 26 in both the 26th and 27th editions of the Nestle-Aland Greek text, commentators on Galatians hardly take any notice of it.38 Only a few refer briefly to a possible relation.39 Since the universalistic idea of the city's motherhood in relation to non-Jewish people occurs solely in Ps 86:5 LXX and Gal 4:26,1 hold that the Greek version of the psalm has influenced Paul to understand Jerusalem in a particular way. In his letter to the Galatian congregations, Paul argues against other JewishChristian missionaries who claim that Christians of Gentile origin should be cir cumcised and observe the Jewish law. Paul is infuriated about the matter, as the tone of his letter and the harsh address in Gal 3:1 clearly indicate. He discusses who can be called a child of Abraham and an heir to the promise. He argues that the promise to Abraham was founded on his faith and had been given prior to the announcement of the law (Gal 3:17). Therefore, those who are justified by their faith and not by following the law are heirs to the promise (Gal 3:9-10). Paul's concept ofjustification is founded on the Christ-event, mediated through baptism
The parallel is not treated at all by Heinrich Schlier, Der Brief an die Galater (KEK 7; 4th ed.; Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1965); Joachim Rohde, Der Brief des Paulus an die Galater (THKNT 9; 3rd ed.; Berlin: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 1973); Donald Guthrie, Galatians (NCB; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1973); Hans Dieter Betz, Galatians: A Commentary on Paul s Letter to the Churches in Galatia (Hermeneia; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1979); Jrgen Becker, Hans Conzelmann, and Gerhard Friedrich, Die Briefe an die Galater, Epheser, Philipper, Thessalonicher und Philemon (NTD 8; 3rd ed.; Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1985); Dieter Lhrmann, Galatians: A Continental Commentary (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1992); J. Louis Martyn, Galatians: A new translation with introduction and commentary (AB 33 A; New York: Doubleday, 1997). 39 Franz Muner (Der Galaterbrief [HTKNT 9; Freiburg: Herder, 1974] 327 n. 54) refers to Kraus 's reading of the MT according to the LXX (see n. 34 above). Frank J. Matera (Galatians [SacPag 9; Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1992] 170) assumes that Paul dissentsfromhis opponents who claim Jerusalem as their mother. James D. G. Dunn (A Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians [BNTC; London: A. & C. Black, 1993] 254) mentions Ps 86:5 LXX as one witness among others for the use of the maternal metaphor in Jewish thought. Franois Vouga (An die Galater [HNT10; Tbingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1998] 118) briefly refers to Psalm 86 LXX and Matera. Richard . Hays (Galatians [NIB 11 ; Nashville: Abingdon, 2000] 304) refers to Ps 86:5 LXX as a witness for the metaphor of Jerusalem as mother.
38

482 THE CATHOLIC BIBLICAL QUARTERLY | 69,2007 (Gal 3:26-28), and it is a concept of freedom, especially freedomfromthe Jewish law (Gal 5:1). In the last part of his argumentation, in Gal 4:21-31, Paul directly addresses those "who desire to be subject to the law" (4:21)obviously the other mission aries and those Galatians who follow them. In an allegory on the story of Sarah and Hagar (Genesis 16; 21), Paul compares the two sons of Abraham with regard to the 40 status of their mothers. Paul connects the son of the slave Hagar born "accord ing to the flesh" ( ) to the covenant on Mount Sinai and the current Jerusalem (v. 25) whence the competing missionaries have come (cf. Gal 2:12). The other son, born of the free woman, is "born through the promise" (* ), and Paul aligns her with the "Jerusalem above," which he calls "our mother" (v. 26). By quoting Isa 54:1fromthe LXX, Paul justifies the motherhood of the infertile woman and refers to Sarah's initial infertility (Gen 11:30). The association of Sarah, whose name is not explicitly mentioned in Gala tians 4, with Jerusalem (as initially barren women who become mothers) may be based on liturgical and midrashic traditions that relate Genesis 16 to Isaiah 54.41 Paul may have in mind the topic of barrenness in the Book of Isaiah and the prophetic proclamation of Jerusalem as a mother-city (Isa 1:26 LXX), using Isaiah as an intertext.42 Yet Paul's conclusion that the Christians, especially the Galatians of Gentile origin, are children of the free woman and do not have to observe the law, offers a new element in that he includes non-Jewish people. Paul's argument is obviously offensive to his Jewish adversaries, who would never see themselves aligned with the slave Hagar, but as children of Abraham and Sarah (cf. John 8:33) and heirs of the Sinai covenant.43 Although Mary C.
There is an ongoing debate whether Paul's interpretation is typological or allegorical. Most scholars argue for a blend of both; see Betz, Galatians, 241; Ulrich Luz, "Der alte und der neue Bund bei Paulus und im Hebrerbrief," EvT21 (1967) 318-36, esp. 320; Peter Sllner, Jerusalem, die hochgebaute Stadt: Eschatologisches und himmlisches Jerusalem im Frhjudentum und im frhen Christentum (Tbingen: A. Francke, 1998) 149-53. Vouga (Galater, 114-15) considers w. 2427 to be allegory and w. 28-30 to be situational typology. Dietrich-Alex Koch (Die Schrift als Zeuge des Evangeliums: Untersuchungen zur Verwendung und zum Verstndnis der Schrift bei Paulus [BHT 69; Tbingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1986] 209-11) assesses the interpretation of Scripture in Gal 4:21-31 as pure allegory. Charles K. Barrett ("The Allegory of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar in the Argument of Galatians," in Rechtfertigung: Festschrift fr Ernst Ksemann zum 70. Geburtstag [ed. Johannes Friedrich et al.; Tbingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1976] 1-16) argues in detail that Gal 4:2425 is a kemin homer argument, that is, "in the manner of a string of pearls," and the citation of Isa 54:1 a gezera shavah "(conclusion on) similar terminology." 41 See MaryC. Callaway, Sing, O Barren One: A Study in Comparative Midrash (SBLDS 91 ; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1986) 111-12. 42 See Karen H. Jobes, "Jerusalem, Our Mother: Metalepsis and Intertextuality in Galatians 4:21-31," WTJ 55 (1993) 299-320. 43 Barrett, "Allegory," 12: "The Judaizing argument is clear. The true descendants ofAbraham are the Jews, who inhabit Jerusalem."
40

PSALM 87 AND GALATIANS 4:26 483 Callaway argues that the depiction of Hagar as related to the "wrong" people is quite conventional and attested in the midrashim, she asserts that the equation of Hagar with Mount Sinai is Paul's own invention.44 Looking into Jewish interpretations of the story of Sarah and Hagar that are contemporary with Paul, Richard N. Longenecker finds "no evidence that his [Paul's] particular allegorical treatment of it was following any Jewish prototype, particularly in the identification he makes between Hagar, Ishmael, Mt. Sinai, and the present city of Jerusalem, and in the contrast he sets out between 'the Jerusalem that is above' vis--vis Mt. Sinai and the present city of Jerusalem."45 There are, however, attempts to establish a tradition as the source of Paul's equation. Hartmut Gese argues that Paul refers to a local Jewish tradition that aligned the city of Hegra in Arabia with Hagar arid Mount Sinai and that Paul uses the connection in his letter.46 According to Graham I. Davies's thorough philological analysis, this thesis is highly improbable on the ground of the etymology of Hegra/Hagar and because it is doubtful whether the Galatians would have understood this association of names at all.47 Susan M. Elliott suggests that Paul's equation of Hagar, Mount Sinai, the law, and circumcision refers to the religious world of the Galatians, namely, the veneration of an Anatolian mother of the gods who resides on a mountain and whose priests are said to castrate themselves and be called her slaves.48 Although this thesis tries to take the context of Paul's audience seriously, I find no indication in Paul's letter to support Elliott's claim that the Galatians are attracted to circumcision as a ritual functionally similar to castration.49 It is Paul who in Gal 5:12 polemically relates circumcising to "cutting off."50 Yet this rhetorical argument against cir44 Mary C. Callaway, "The Mistress and the Maid: Midrashic Traditions Behind Galatians 4:21-31," Radical Religion 2 (1975) 94-101, here 98. 45 Richard N. Longenecker, Galatians (WBC 41; Waco: Word, 1990) 206. 46 See Hartmut Gese, " ," in idem, Vom Sinai zum Zion: Gesammelte Aufstze zur alttestamentlichen Theologie (BEvT 64; Munich: Kaiser, 1974) 4962, esp. 61. Gese thinks that Paul came to know this local tradition while traveling through Arabia, which he mentions in Gal 1:17. 47 Gese's article was written in 1967 and was criticized in detail by Graham I. Davies, "Hagar, El-Hegra and the Location of Mount Sinai with an Additional Note on Reqem," VT22 (1972) 15263. Gese's thesis is reaffirmed by Ernst Axel Knauf ("Die Arabienreise des Apostels Paulus," in Paulus zwischen Damaskus und Antiochien: Die unbekannten Jahre des Apostels [ed. Martin Hengel and Anna Maria Schwemer; WUNT 108; Tbingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1998] 465-71) and by Lhrmann (Galatians, 90), who does not directly refer to Gese. Knauf, Hengel, Schwemer, and Lhrmann ignore Davies's valuable critique. 48 Susan M. Elliott, "Choose Your Mother, Choose Your Master: Galatians 4:21-31 in the Shadow of the Anatolian Mother of the Gods," JBL 118 (1999) 661-83, esp. 671-75. The article is a summary of Elliott's Ph.D. thesis, now published as Cutting Too Close for Comfort: Paul's Letter to the Galatians in Its Anatolian Cultic Context (JSNTSup 248; London: Clark, 2003). 49 See Elliott, "Choose Your Mother," 679-80; see also eadem, Cutting Too Close, 244-53. 50 The meaning of the Greek verb ("to cut off'), used in Gal 5:12 (cf. Deut 23:2

484

THE CATHOLIC BIBLICAL QUARTERLY | 69, 2007

cumcision would not work if the Galatians endorsed castration as a positive sign of attachment to a deity. Given the importance of the Anatolian context, Elliott should explain why Paul connects Hagar to a mountain in Arabia.51 In my view, Paul correlates Hagar and Sinai allegorically in order to strengthen his own argument, and his point of reference is the equation of "slave" with "being subject to the law."52 The fact that Paul mentions neither Sarah's name nor another covenant shows that he chooses from the story of Sarah and Hagar only those elements thatfithis main point, namely, to differentiate between being a son of Abraham and * , which is his topic throughout chaps. 3 and 4.53 A detailed discussion of Paul's use of Scripture is beyond the scope of this article; the subject here is the distinction between "the present Jerusalem" ( ) and "the Jerusalem above" ( ), which lies at the heart of Paul's argument. The idea of a new or renewed Jerusalem to replace the current one is present already in Isaiah 54, where the prophet announces a rebuild ing of the city with precious stones (w. 11-17; cf. Tobit 13). In Isaiah 65 the prom ise of a new and joyful Jerusalem parallels the promise that God will create a new heaven and a new earth (Isa 65:17-25). The idea of Jerusalem being purified and newly clothed is further elaborated in Jewish-Hellenistic writings such as Baruch 5 and Psalms of Solomon 11; 17; as well as in texts found at Qumran.54 It is proba ble that Paul knows of the distinction between the contemporary city and an eschatological or heavenly one that occurs in apocalyptic writings such as 1 Enoch

LXX; Mark 9:43,45; John 8:10,26; Acts 27:32), is less explicit than the JvASTrendering of "to cas trate." In Phil 3:2 Paul uses the term ("mutilation") to denigrate circumcision. 51 Elliott calls the location of the mountain in Arabia an "incidental detail" ("Choose Your Mother," 678 n. 59). See also the incisive and critical review of her monograph by Dale B. Martin in CBQ 66 (2004) 647-49. 52 The verb in v. 26 is a hapax legomenon in the NT. It is a military term meaning "to stand in the same rank or line." The noun is used in Greek philosophy to denote a series of things or ideas (LSJ, 1735). Inasmuch as Gal 4:24 introduces an allegory, the verb in v. 26 denotes not locality but correspondence of ideas. 53 See also Elizabeth A. Castelli, "Allegories of Hagar: Reading Galatians 4.21-31 with Post modern Feminist Eyes," in The New Literary Criticism and the New Testament (ed. Elizabeth Struthers Malbon and Edgar V. McKnight; JSNTSup 109; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1994) 228-46. Castellirightlypoints out that allegory as a rhetorical trope is inherently dualistic and reduces the force of the allusion. She also offers a postmodern reassessment of allegory as a tool of interpretation. 54 See Adela Yarbro Collins, "The Dream of a New Jerusalem at Qumran," in The Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls: The Jubilee Publication, vol. 3, Qumran and Christian Origins (ed. James H. Charlesworth; 3 vols.; Waco: Baylor University Press, forthcoming). I thank Adela Yarbro Collins for providing me with her manuscript. She discusses passages in 1 lQTa, 4QFlor, and the fragmented Description of the New Jerusalem, esp. 4Q554 2 ii. 14-16. See also the Zion song in HQPs a Zion, xxii.1-15, and4Q504 1-2 iv.

PSALM 87 AND GALATIANS 4:26 485 29:28-38; 4 Esdr 10:27,54; 2Apoc. Bar. 4:1-7.55 In these texts, however, the heav enly Jerusalem is a future entity that will replace the present city, and a line is drawn between God's chosen ones and "the others" within Israel, not between Israel and Gentiles. Moreover, Paul is thefirstwriter to use the expression , which later occurs in 2 Enoch 55:2 and Par. Jer. 5:34.56 His use of this term differs from notions of the "new" or "heavenly" Jerusalem in Heb 12:22; 57 13:14; and Rev 3:12; 21:9-22:5. As Paul contrasts a temporal perspective, "the present Jerusalem," with a local one, "the Jerusalem above," he does not designate a sequence of cities but expresses their simultaneity. For Paul, "the Jerusalem above" is not a future reality but a present entity that represents a people different from the one that actually lives in the city.58 Paul could use maternal imagery for Jerusalem, since the idea of motherhood is already part of his argument in the pas sage and in his quotationfromIsa 54:1. What he derives exclusivelyfromPsalm 87 is the idea that Jerusalem may be called "mother" of foreigners as well as of Israel. He does this in order to declare his fellow Christians of Gentile origin to be citi zens of a Jerusalem that is still "above" but already a reality of faith. He claims that these Gentiles are children of the promise given to Abraham, even without any biological connection to the Jewish people and without acknowledging the law, which the missionariesfromthe present Jerusalem urge them to follow.
For an overview, see John J. Collins, Jerusalem and the Temple in Jewish Apocalyptic Lit erature of the Second Temple Period (Jerusalem: Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies, 1998). He dates the Animal Apocalypse in I Enoch 85-90 to the Maccabean period (p. 9) and refers to the Qumran material, esp. HQT a and 4Q554 2 ii.14-16, as witness to a distinction between the current and the heavenly temple and city prior to Paul (pp. 16-24). 4 Esdras and2Apoc. Bar. are to be dated after 70 CE. 56 The expression appears in only one manuscript (P) of 2 Enoch; see Christfried Bttrich, Das slavische Henochbuch (JSHRZ 5/7; Gtersloh: Mohn, 1995) 980. Bttrich is the only scholar who dates 2 Enoch before 70 CE. Others argue for a dating into the fourth century CE. or even later. Paralipomena Jeremiou 5:34 reads '. See Christian Wolff, "Irdisches und himmlisches Jerusalem: Die Heilshoffhung in den Paralipomena Jeremiae," ZNW%2 (1991) 147-58, esp. 149; Jens Herzer, Die Paralipomena Jeremiae: Studien zu Tradition und Redaktion einer Haggada des frhen Judentums (TSAJ 43; Tbingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1994) 109-10. Both scholars interpret the Jerusalem "above" as analogous to the heavenly Jerusalem mentioned in other JewishHellenistic writings. The only other occurrence of the expression is in Hippolytus Haer. 5.7.39, where the context is gnostic; see Betz, Galatians, 247. 57 Compare the identification made in Betz, Galatians, 246-47; Longenecker, Galatians, 214; Muner, Galaterbrief, 316 n. 50. Betz thinks that Paul's readers are familiar with "this famous Jewish concept" (Galatians, 246). He identifies the expression ' with all other references to a new or heavenly Jerusalem and even interprets Jerusalem as being prexistent. Betz's argument for a tradition prior to Paul is flawed, however, as the assumed parallels are either to be dated after Paul (2 Enoch 55:2; Par. Jer. 5:34) or are passages that use different terms for Jerusalem. The question whether Paul borrowed the expression 'fromhis adversaries is disputed. See Sllner (Jerusalem, 166-67), who, nonetheless, does not decide about the matter. 58 Similarly Sllner, Jerusalem, 163-64.
55

486

THE CATHOLIC BIBLICAL QUARTERLY | 69,2007

With this theological concept Paul does not totally deny the significance of the present Jerusalem. The Christian community of Jerusalem remains the point of reference for Paul's mission, as his efforts toward an agreement at the so-called apostolic council (Gal 2:1-10; Acts 15) and his collection of money for Jerusalem show (Rom 15:26, 31; 1 Cor 16:1; 2 Cor 8:4; 9:1, 12). He claims that he brought the gospel from Jerusalem to the nations (Rom 15:19-20) and that there will be a "deliverer from Zion" (cf. Rom 11:26). In this process, Paul assigns the Jewish people an important role in God's history of salvation (Romans 9-11). Thus, in Galatians 4, Paul does not dismiss Israel in general, but he tries to persuade the Galatians to dismiss Jewish missionaries who question the validity of the gospel of Jesus Christ for the nations that are not bound by the law. In sum, Gal 4:26 is one example of a highly sophisticated exegesis that is based on an idea unique in the Hebrew Bible. The vision of Psalm 87 that God grants the nations citizenship in Jerusalem may be a Utopian political concept. Its reception in the LXX and Galatians 4, however, shows that Paul's idea of God's people consisting of Jews and Gentiles alike has a root in Scripture. It is therefore no coincidence that this Zion song today is used in Christian communities as a baptismal psalm.59

See Johanna W. H. Bos, "Between Text and Sermon: Psalm 87," Int 47 (1993) 281-84.

^ s
Copyright and Use: As an ATLAS user, you may print, download, or send articles for individual use according to fair use as defined by U.S. and international copyright law and as otherwise authorized under your respective ATLAS subscriber agreement. No content may be copied or emailed to multiple sites or publicly posted without the copyright holder(s)' express written permission. Any use, decompiling, reproduction, or distribution of this journal in excess of fair use provisions may be a violation of copyright law. This journal is made available to you through the ATLAS collection with permission from the copyright holder(s). The copyright holder for an entire issue of a journal typically is the journal owner, who also may own the copyright in each article. However, for certain articles, the author of the article may maintain the copyright in the article. Please contact the copyright holder(s) to request permission to use an article or specific work for any use not covered by the fair use provisions of the copyright laws or covered by your respective ATLAS subscriber agreement. For information regarding the copyright holder(s), please refer to the copyright information in the journal, if available, or contact ATLA to request contact information for the copyright holder(s). About ATLAS: The ATLA Serials (ATLAS) collection contains electronic versions of previously published religion and theology journals reproduced with permission. The ATLAS collection is owned and managed by the American Theological Library Association (ATLA) and received initial funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. The design and final form of this electronic document is the property of the American Theological Library Association.