YoungSan Theological Institute of Hansei University

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Journal of Youngsan Theology - Vol. 50

[ Article ]
Journal of Youngsan Theology - Vol. 49, No. 0, pp.45-85
ISSN: 1738-1509 (Print)
Print publication date 30 Sep 2019
Received 29 Jun 2019 Revised 05 Aug 2019 Accepted 14 Aug 2019
DOI: https://doi.org/10.18804/jyt.2019.09.49.45

Haftarot for the Appointed Times: The Pentecost in Light of the Passover and the Days of Awe
Hannah S. An
Torch Trinity Graduate University, Old Testament Studies (Hannah.an@ttgu.ac.kr)

절기를 위한 유대교의 선지서 성구집: 유월절과 경외의 날들의 관점에서 본 오순절
안소연

Abstract

Since antiquity, public recitation from the five books of Moses and the prophetic literature has been considered a central feature of Jewish communal worship. The present article investigates the lectionary portions from the Hebrew prophets (haftarah) in relation to those from the Torah (parashah) for the Israelite festivals in the Babylonian annual cycle. Particular focus will be given to the lectionary pairs preceding and following the Pentecost/Feast of Weeks, namely the parashah and haftarah for the Passover/Unleavened Bread and the Days of Awe/Day of Atonement. The cumulative impact of these consecutive readings is that the Pentecost is to be associated not only with the Mosaic receipt of the Torah on Mt. Sinai, but also with various aspects of Israel’s encounter with YHWH from the exodus to Moses’ final ascent of Mt. Sinai. The correlations between the texts can be traced at various levels with key terms and concepts, accentuating the themes of judgment, salvation, restoration, and renewal. The synchronic consideration of the Jewish lectionary entries surrounding the Pentecost offers a profound experience of probing into ancient exegetical insights and a fresh vantage point for contemporary Christians to appreciate the Pentecostal events in the New Testament.

초록

고대 랍비 시대로부터 모세 오경과 선지서에서 발췌된 본문으로 진행하는 성서 봉독은 유대교의 공적인 예배에서 중요한 부분을 차지해 왔다. 본 논문은 유대교에서 구분하는 히브리 선지서의 성구집(하프타롯/haftarot)과 오경의 성구집(파르시욧/parshiyot)을 바벨론 학파의 1년 주기 오경 완독의 전통을 따라 살펴보고자 한다. 이미 M. Fishbane과 같은 유대 학자의 선지서 성구집에 대한 주석과 같은 선행 업적이 있지만, 기독교적인 시각에서 오경과 연동하여 이루어지는 선지서 성구집에 대한 집중적인 연구는 현 학계에서 미흡한 상황이다. 특히 본 논문은 구약의 7대 절기 가운데 봄 계절의 마지막 절기인 오순절(칠칠절)에 대한 성구집을 봄의 첫 절기인 유월절/무교절 절기와 가을의 첫 절기 기간인 경외(敬畏)의 날들(Days of Awe)/대속죄일에 대한 성구집을 주제적으로 비교 분석하여 상호본문 간에 연결점을 밝히려 한다. 이는 이스라엘의 연중 절기가 연속성을 지니고 있어 회중들의 본문 인식이 단지 한 절기의 성구집에 국한되지 않고 점층적(漸層的)으로 누적된다는 점을 고려할 때 유월절, 오순절, 대속죄일로 이어지는 성구집들을 통합적으로 살펴보는 것은 의미가 있다고 볼 수 있다. 결론적으로 유대 전통에 있어 오순절은 여호와의 시내산 율법 수여와 연관성을 가질 뿐만 아니라 좀 더 포괄적으로 이스라엘의 출애굽부터 율법의 재수여(再授與)에 이르는 여호와 하나님과의 총체적인 대면 사건들과 교차점을 가진다. 이 상호본문 간의 연결은 성서 본문의 주요 단어 및 개념으로 이루어져 여호와 하나님의 심판, 구원, 회복 및 부활 역사를 강조한다. 오순절 전후로 이어지는 절기의 성구집 연구는 유대인들의 고유한 주해적 통찰을 엿볼 수 있게 할 뿐만 아니라 신약에 담겨있는 오순절 사건들이 어떻게 구약적 안목에서 재조명될 수 있는지 현대 기독교인들에게 신선한 해석적 발판을 제공한다.


Keywords: Pentecost, Passover, Day of Atonement, Haftarah, Haftarot, Parashah, Parshiyot, Jewish Lectionary, Annual Cycle
키워드: 오순절, 유월절, 대속죄일, 하프타라, 하프타롯, 파라샤, 파르시욧, 유대교 성구집, 1주기 낭독

I. Introduction

The public reading of the Scripture has been an essential component of Jewish religious gatherings since the rabbinic period.1) It is comprised of a recitation of a section from the Torah (s. parashah/pl. parashot or parshiyot, meaning ‘portion’, ) complemented by the recitation of a section from the books of the Former and the Latter Prophets (s. haftarah/pl. haftarot, meaning ‘completion’ or ‘concluding portion’, ).2) The custom of reciting assigned sections of the Torah and the Prophets in the synagogue each week traces its roots to ancient times, although evidence for its precise provenance is sparse and obscure.3) In the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, the requirement of a public reading from the Torah derives from Moses’ command to the Israelites in the Plains of Moab: every seventh year during the Festival of Booths, the law was to be read ‘in the hearing’ of all the congregation of Israel (Dt 31:10-13). By New Testament times, the public recitation of the Scripture seems to have occurred more regularly in synagogues (Acts 15:21, ‘[Moses] is read every Sabbath’) and covered not only the Torah but also the Prophets (Lk 4:16-20; Acts 13:15-16) with some exhortation to the congregation: “After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, ‘Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, please speak’” (Acts 13:15). Aside from New Testament references, the origin of the custom of complementing the reading of the Torah with a selected portion from the Prophets is far from clear. Some speculate that the practice arose in response to the Samaritans’ denial of the authority of the Hebrew Prophets, which resulted in reinforcement of the reading from the prophetic literature in Jewish synagogues.4) Others claim, based on the opinion of the Spanish commentator Abudarham (14th c. CE), that Antiochus Epiphanes IV’s ban on the reading of the Torah (2nd c. BCE) led the pious Jews to substitute it with reading of the Prophets and the tradition remains to this day.5)

Extrabiblical sources also attest to the ancient custom of periodic readings of the Torah, such as the writings of Josephus (Apion, 2:175) and Philo (II Som. 127).6) L. Jacobs convincingly suggests that regular public readings of the Torah may be dated to the early part of the third century BCE, based on the contention that “the Septuagint was apparently compiled for the purpose of public reading” in the Greek-speaking synagogue.7) Yet the Mishnah preserves the earliest testimony of a consecutive reading cycle in the Land of Israel: the regular recitation of the Torah occurred on Mondays, Thursdays, and Sabbaths, and special readings were allotted for the festivals and the four Sabbaths between Adar and Nisan (Meg. 3, 4-6).8) The ancient textual evidence likewise points to the established Babylonian custom of haftarot recitation from the book of Isaiah by the early third century BCE (b. Shabbat 24a), which the Persians sought to eradicate (per R. Natronai Gaon and Rashi)9) and the Mishnah bans (m. Meg.).10)

Mention is made of a fixed cycle for the continuous recitation of the Torah in the Babylonian Talmud (Meg. 29b), where we are informed that the entire Torah is finished in three years in Palestine (Triennial Cycle = 153, 155, or 167 division/s or s. seder/pl. sedarim),11) as opposed to one year in Babylonia and other Jewish diaspora communities (annual cycle = 54 division/s or s. parashah/pl. parashot or parshiyot).12) The Triennial Cycle persisted in Palestine and Egypt as late as the late 12th century CE, but the Annual Cycle of Babylonia eventually superseded the Palestinian counterpart, while retaining much of its antecedent’s format, albeit differing in the length of the lectionaries.13) On the other hand, the sundry lists of haftarot for the Triennial Cycle discovered in the Cairo Geniza and other sources indicate that the haftarah selections ranged widely among the Jewish diaspora communities in the earlier stage.14)

The lectionary pairs, constituting a reading from the Torah (parashah) and one from the Prophets (haftarah), are conjoined based on overlapping key verbs, festival occasions, or literary tropes, as amply evinced by the Midrashic homilies of the medieval Jewish commentators.15) The haftarot continue to be an invaluable guide for modern readers/hearers to appreciate the ways in which the ancient testimonies create interpretative consonance and can be reclaimed in the context of our own lives. The aim of the present study is to further explore this enriching outlet, with a focus on the haftarot for the appointed times, including the Passover/Unleavened Bread, Pentecost (the Feast of Weeks), and the Days of Awe/Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).16) In this regard, M. Fishbane’s commentary on haftarot proves an indispensable resource, but with a caveat: it neither adequately considers the significance of the haftarot to the festivals in light of the Pentecost nor fully engages with the pertinent sections of the Torah.

The rationale for surveying the haftarot for the Passover/Unleavened Bread and the Days of Awe/Day of Atonement to understand the Pentecost is two-fold. First, the festival days of the spring (Nisan–Sivan) interface with those of the fall (Tishri) on several important points, signifying the intertextual potentiality of the lectionary scheme. For example, both the spring and fall seasons begin with an emphasis on the blood sacrifices ensuring Israel’s protection from the outbreak of destructive forces (Passover/Unleavened Bread; Days of Awe/Day of Atonement) before the climactic celebration of the seasons (Pentecost/Tabernacles). Moreover, both festival seasons end in commemorating YHWH’s granting of the Torah (Pentecost vs. Simḥat Torah) in the Jewish tradition. On the other hand, the comparison of the Passover and the Days of Awe is especially relevant in that both the Passover rite and the purgation ritual on the Day of Atonement typify the suffering and death of Jesus Christ in the Christian tradition. By comparing the haftarot of both the Passover and the Days of Awe, the author will evaluate the converging or diverging lectionary arrangements and observe the cumulative impact of the intertextual alignment in view of the haftarot for the Pentecost.17)

Second, as Fishbane aptly noted, the complementary structure, in addition to the oral performance and aural reception of the haftarah, recitation creates a ‘layering of memory’, which constitutes ‘an essential feature of Jewish cultural consciousness’.18) If so, the haftarot for the appointed times, which are recited annually, deserve an integrative treatment: each stratum from the prophetic literature not only supplements the Torah portion of the particular week but also interacts dynamically with the preceding and succeeding parashah and haftarah already in the recesses of the liturgical participant’s individual as well as collective memory. It will also be important to consider the implication of this reiterative impact on audiences in the Christian tradition, since the Pentecost occupies the preeminent stage of the birth of the Church after the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ.

The following sections will survey the parashah and haftarah for the Passover/Unleavened Bread, the Days of Awe/Day of Atonement, and the Pentecost intertextually based on the Annual Cycle and offer a brief summary evaluation of observations at the end of each section.19)


II. Intertextual Observations
1. Passover/Unleavened Bread (Spring)
1) Passover

(1) First Day (Exodus 12:21-51//Joshua 5:2-15; 6:120))

The haftarah for the first day of Passover introduces the circumcision of the second generation of Israelites (Jo 5:2-9), the celebration of Passover at Gilgal (Jo 5:10-12), and Joshua’s theophanic encounter with YHWH’s emissary (Jo 5:13-15). The thematic parallels observed in the accounts of Moses (Ex 1–15, 19) and Joshua (Jo 1–6, 8) are striking. In fact, the counterpart events in the book of Joshua unfold in ‘reverse order’, wherein the new generation of Israelites undergoes circumcision and celebrates the Passover after crossing the Jordan, followed by the supernatural commander’s revelation to Joshua.21) The alignment of the parashah with the haftarah ‘on the fourteenth day of the month’ at the Passover evening (Ex 12:6, 18; Jo 5:10) offers the post-exodus audience a vicarious experience of reliving the ancient moment of redemption. Joshua and the Israelites consume the produce of the land (i.e., unleavened bread) one day after the Passover. This serves as a keen reminder for future generations of the faith community that the present celebration of the Passover is predicated on YHWH’s miraculous deliverance of His people from primordial forces.

(2) Second Day (Leviticus 22:26-23:44//2 Kings 23:1-9; 21-25)

The parashah for the second day of the Passover stipulates the cultic regulations not only for the appointed festivals in the spring but also for those in the fall (cf. Ex 23:14-17; 34:21-23), such as the Festival of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Festival of Booths (Lv 23:23-44). The proclamation of the ritual instructions for the seven major feasts of Israel at the beginning of the annual celebration reinforces the organic continuity of these special occasions. The haftarah presents King Josiah’s unprecedented celebration of the Passover (2 Kgs 23:21-25) as part of his sweeping religious reform, including the renewal of the covenant after the discovery of the Book of the Covenant (2 Kgs 23:1-3; cf. 2 Kgs 22:8) and the purification of the temple (2 Kgs 23:4-9). The second day’s haftarah (2 Kgs 23:21-25) is thematically connected to the first day’s portion (Jo 5:10-11), as the former text implies that the last Passover truly conforming to the Book (i.e., Dt 16:5-6) found in the temple was the one observed by Joshua and the Israelites after they crossed the Jordan. That Josiah defiantly desecrated Bethel, one of the prominent sacral sites of the old Northern Kingdom installed by King Jeroboam, especially with the ashes of the Baal/Asherah’s cultic relics (2 Kgs 23:4; cf. 23:15-20), indicates the extent to which Josiah enacted the ritual purgation before the Passover rite. In this way, the present-day participant in the Passover is duly warned that a thorough removal of idolatrous elements in one’s life is a requisite condition for the celebration of all of YHWH’s feasts.22)

(3) Intermediate Sabbath (Exodus 33:12-34:26//Ezekiel 37:1-14)

The parashah (Ex 33:12-34:26) and the haftarah (Ez 37:1-14) for the Intermediate Sabbath of Passover manifest the theme of restoration/resurrection. The Torah section spotlights Moses’ intercession in the aftermath of Israel’s golden calf idolatry (Ex 33:12-23) and the pardon of the Israelite’s rebellion and renewal of the covenant (Ex 34:1-14).

The haftarah from Ezekiel 37 (vv. 1-14) poignantly aligns the devasting impact of the fall of the Northern (722 BCE) and the Southern Kingdoms (586 BCE). Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones (Ez 37:1- 14) recalls the utter desolation of the kingdoms, or the ‘whole house of Israel’ (Ez 37:11), whose inhabitants are either left in the land in deplorable conditions or exiled in diverse diaspora communities: “… Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are surely cut off’” (Ez 37:11b). The haftarah’s connection to the parashah effectively generates a message of hope as the current reality is illuminated in the failure and restoration of the earliest covenant community at Mt. Sinai (i.e., Ex 33:12-34:26)—time and again, Israel’s heart felt repentance and God’s covenantal mercy will be the impetus for Israel’s revival.

Ezekiel’s vision of resurrection (Ez 37:1-14) is replete with graphic imagery punctuated by the Hebrew word (vv. 1, 5, 6, 8, 9/4x, 10, 14), which may be rendered as ‘breath’, ‘wind’, or ‘spirit’. The breath, the wind, or the Spirit of God enters the disarticulated bones in the valley (v. 5) and forms a vast multitude of warriors (v. 9). The haftarah includes Ezekiel’s prophecy that YHWH will draw his people out of their ‘graves’ and infuse His ‘spirit’ into His people so that they may be resurrected and settle in their land (Ez 37:12-14). The question of the grounds for reciting the passage with ‘a resurrection motif’ on Passover defies a definite answer in the Jewish tradition.23) The comparison of the parashah and the haftarah, however, indicates that the Passover and Ezekiel’s vision of resurrection harmonizes well with the theme of covenant renewal and YHWH’s covenantal faithfulness. In addition, as Fishbane suggests, the resurrection theme of Ezekiel’s passage would have been appropriate for the festival of Passover because, as the Jewish tradition holds, the binding and death of Isaac (either from gripping fear or from actual sacrifice) occurred during the Passover season and the ‘divine dewdrops’ brought the dead Isaac back to life (Midrash Lekaḥ Tov, Gn 31:42).24)

(4) Seventh Day (Exodus 13:17-15:26//2 Samuel 22:1-51)

The parashah from the Torah (Ex 13:17-15:26) continues the narrative of the first day’s parashah (Ex 12:21-51). After the departure from Egypt, the Israelites are led by the pillars of cloud and fire (Ex 13:17-22) that move ahead of them, but Pharaoh and the Egyptian army pursue the Israelites immediately. YHWH miraculously delivers the Israelites by splitting the Red Sea and guiding His own people safely across while drowning their pursuers (Ex 14:1-31). The Jewish tradition holds that the crossing of the Red Sea occurred on the seventh day of the Passover,25) so the Song at the Sea (Ex 15:1-26) finds a pertinent liturgical context.

Israel’s ancient victory ode, sung at the nation’s founding moment is paralleled by David’s thanksgiving song (2 Sm 22:1-51). Both poems (Ex 15:1-9; 2 Sm 22:1-51) praise YHWH for defeating the archenemies in mythopoetic terms and employ water imagery to describe YHWH’s dramatic deliverance.26) For example, the two poems are distinctively linked through the expression ‘the blast of nostrils’ (Ex 15:8; 2 Sm 22:16; cf. Ps 18:15), through which YHWH is portrayed as subduing the primordial forces of sea waters to deliver His own people (Ex 15:8; 2 Sm 22:16).27) However, an apparent contrast exists in the scale of mortal dangers that the psalmist faces. The Israelites walk through the ‘heart of the sea’ intact beside the ‘congealed’ walls of waters sustained by the ‘blast of [YHWH’s] nostrils’ (Ex 15:8). By contrast, the psalmist (2 Sm 22:5-6) experiences near-death threats from the enemies as illustrated by the expressions ‘the waves of death’, ‘the torrents of destruction’, ‘the cords of Sheol’, and ‘the snares of death’ (vv. 5-6). YHWH’s ‘blast of the breath of his nostrils’ recedes the ‘channels of the sea’ and unbares the ‘foundations of the world’ (2 Sm 22:16) so that the psalmist is brought out to ‘a broad place’ (v. 20) and led to confess in awe and amazement: ‘He delivered me, because he delighted in me’ (v. 20).

The reversal of the psalmist’s fate is somewhat akin to the ‘resurrection trope’ found in Ezekiel 37:1-14 (the haftarah for the Intermediate Sabbath of Passover) in that the psalmist speaks of his ordeal through imagery of Sheol and his deliverance mediated through the ‘breath’ or ‘wind’ ( ) of his nostrils. Finally, references to David in the immediate text of the assigned haftarot for the Intermediate Sabbath and the seventh day of Passover (2 Sm 22:1-51; Ez 37:1-14) are hardly coincidental. The psalmist sings of YHWH’s eternal covenantal faithfulness to David and his descendants, while Ezekiel prophesies the eternal reign of the anointed Davidic king over the united Israel (2 Sm 22:51; Ez 37:24, 25). Interestingly, Exodus 15:14-15 mention the Canaanite nations that David later subdued, including Philistia, Edom and Moab, proleptic of the prominence of the Davidic monarchy in the Promised Land. The arrangement of the parashah and the haftarah on the seventh day of Passover instills the faith that God’s covenantal faithfulness will actualize for His own people against all odds, especially through the eternal reign of the Davidic king over Israel.

(5) Eight Day (Deuteronomy 15:19-16:17//Isaiah 10:32-12:6)

The parashah from the Torah (Dt 15:19-16:17) is part of Moses’ farewell speech given at the Plains of Moab. The instructions for the consumption of the firstlings (Dt 15:19-34) and the review of the three major festivals of Israel (i.e., the festival of passover/unleavened bread, the festival of weeks, and the festival of booths, Dt 16:1-17) foreground the emphasis on the centralization of worship and election of Zion—‘at the place that YHWH [your God] will choose’ (Dt 15:20; 16:2, 7, 11, 15).

The complementary haftarah (Is 10:32-12:6) precisely begins at the point where the prophet envisions an Assyrian king with his army challenging God’s chosen place: the Assyrian monarch will ‘wave his fist at the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem’ at Nob (Is 10:32) on the eschatological day of vindication (cf. 10:3, 17, 20, 27, 32; 11:10, 11). But as the preceding and following biblical texts indicate, a new exodus is heralded. God promises to deliver His people and gather the remnants as in the days of the first exodus from Egypt (Is 10:26; 11:15-16). He will ‘utterly destroy the tongue of the sea of Egypt’ and ‘wave His hand over the River with His scorching wind’ so that ‘a highway from Assyria’ will be made for the exiled to return as the Israelites come ‘up from the land of Egypt’ (Is 11:15).28) But unlike in the days of Moses, the messianic Davidic king, or ‘the root of Jesse’, will be raised as ‘a signal to the peoples’ (Is 11:10), and YHWH will gather the exiled of Israel and of Judah from ‘the four corners of the earth’ (Is 11:12). The new Davidic king’s rule will be marked by the justice and peace of an Edenic paradise, where even wild beasts will lose their rapacious disposition and mingle with herbivores and infant (Is 11:6-9). The Jewish tradition attributes the eve of Passover to the death of Pharaoh and Sennacherib; accordingly, the haftarah provides a proper entry point for the following generation to contemporize the ancient victory.29)

2) Summary Analysis: Passover/Unleavened Bread

The haftarot for the week of Passover/Unleavened Bread are distinguished by the themes of deliverance, restoration, resurrection and renewal, with the new exodus as a recurring motif. YHWH’s act of salvation, as first demonstrated in the Exodus of Egypt (Ex 12), is revitalized with the observance of the Passover rite in the succeeding generation of Joshua (Jo 5–6). Josiah’s unprecedented celebration of the Passover rite and the covenant renewal, preceded by radical religious reform (2 Kgs 23), find resonance in Moses’ intercession and YHWH’s merciful renewal of the Sinaitic covenant (Ex 33–34) in that Josiah’s drastic measures reverse Israel’s idolatry of the golden calves. Ezekiel’s vision of resurrection (Ez 37), a prominent trope in the Passover week, foregrounds the devastating destruction of the Northern and Southern Kingdoms and fosters hope for the restoration and revival of God’s people, especially against the backdrop of the folklore of Isaac’s resurrection. The central image of the Spirit of God raising up a vast multitude (Ez 37) is likewise linked to the scene of YHWH’s pardon of Israel and renewal of the Sinai covenant (Ex 33–34) along the motif of rebellion, repentance, and restoration. The trope of death and resurrection is recapitulated in David’s song of thanksgiving (2 Sm 22) on the day of commemorating Israel’s crossing of the Red Sea (Nisan 21, Ex 13). The haftarah on the eighth day of the Passover climaxes with the utopian vision of the united Davidic kingdom and the imagery of the new exodus (Is 11–12). The messianic Davidic king, anointed with the Spirit of YHWH, will execute the eschatological judgment against the archenemy of Israel and consummate the eternal reign epitomized by Edenic ideals.

2. Days of Awe/Day of Atonement (Fall)30)
1) Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah)

(1) First Day (Genesis 21:1-34//1 Samuel 1:1-2:10)

The parashah (Gn 21:1-34) for the first day of the Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah, ; Rosh Hashanah, ) concerns the birth of Isaac (Gn 21:1-7). The ongoing rivalry between Sarah and Hagar comes to an end as Hagar and Ishmael are expelled from Abraham’s household (Gn 21:8-20). The haftarah (1 Sm 1:1-2:10) opens with a story of Hannah’s barrenness and her affliction incited by her rival Peninnah every year (1 Sm 1:1-8). After Hannah’s anguished prayer and vow (1 Sm 1:9-18), God responds to Hannah by giving her a son (1 Sm 1:19-20).

The parashah and the haftarah on the first day of the Days of Awe share the unique expression ‘YHWH took note of ( )...’ regarding the barrenness of Sarah (Gn 21:1) and Hannah (1 Sm 2:21).31) Both women experience bitter contempt from their rivals because of their childlessness, but YHWH’s favor finally elevates them to a place of honor through the birth of a son. In both cases, the emphasis is on God’s faithfulness despite human frailty or incapacity: Sarah bears Isaac according to God’s promise to Abraham (Gn 12, 15), in spite of her mistake regarding Hagar (Gn 16; 21:9), while Hannah bears Samuel according to Eli’s priestly blessing despite his misjudgment and folly (1 Sm 1:12-18; 2:11-17). The Feast of Trumpets thus begins with the story of reversed fates of dejected wives whose lifeless state is overcome through YHWH’s miraculous intervention. The parashah supplements the Torah in that Hannah’s mournful petition and vow invoke God to heal her barrenness, which inspires the hopeful message for the occasion of the beginning of ten days of self-abnegation in prayer and fasting. Hannah’s prayer (1 Sm 2:1-10) and David’s song (2 Sm 22:1-51), the prophetic reading for the seventh day of Passover, serve as a literary pair which envelopes the books of Samuel.32) Consequently, the linguistic and thematic overlap between the parashot for the Days of Awe and those for the Passover is conspicuous. Both Hannah (1 Sm 2) and David (2 Sm 22) praise God as their ‘Rock’ (2:2; 22:3; cf. ‘horn’, 2:1; 22:3), who delivered them (2:1, 2; 22:2, 3) from near-death circumstances (‘Sheol’; 2:6; 22:6) and foretell the triumphant exaltation of the messianic king (‘king’, ‘anointed’; 2:10; 22:51).

(2) Second Day (Genesis 22:1-24//Jeremiah 31:2-20)

The parashah (Gn 22:1-24) for the second day of the Feast of Trumpets is the account of Abraham’s near-sacrifice, or binding, of Isaac (Aqedah). God’s test of Abraham’s faith involves the sacrifice of Isaac, the ‘only son’ whom Abraham loves (Gn 22:2). Abraham’s obedience to the point of giving up his ‘only son’ moves God to affirm the patriarch’s reverence (Gn 22:12) with the provision of a substitute ram (Gn 22:13-14) and to issue the promise of a ‘seed’ that will ‘possess the gate of his enemies’ (Gn 22:17; cf. Gal 3:16). The notion of a substitutionary sacrifice runs parallel in the Passover rite before the exodus from Egypt, in which the blood of the pascal lamb spares the firstborns of Israel from the plague of destruction (Ex 12:1-13), and the near-sacrifice of Isaac, whose life is redeemed by a divinely provided ram (Gn 22:13-14).33) In this way, the haftarot for both the spring (Passover/Unleavened Bread) and the fall (Days of Awe/Day of Atonement) commence by elaborating on the paradigmatic accounts of the Torah, Exodus 12:20-51 (first day of Passover) and Genesis 21–22 (first and second day of the Feast of Trumpets), in which a substitutionary sacrifice satisfies God’s claim upon the firstborn.

The haftarah for the second day of Feast of Trumpets (Jer 31:2-20) is Jeremiah’s prophecy of redemption and restoration for the exiled Israel and of a future day in which the Northern and Southern Kingdoms will come together to worship YHWH in Zion (Jer 31:6). The poetic oracle unveils God’s covenantal love for Israel through various metaphors, such as parent (father/mother)-child and the husband-wife relationships.34) A noteworthy nexus point to the Torah reading is God’s address of Israel as His ‘firstborn’ (Jer 31:9) and ‘dear son’ (Jer 31:20). What induces God’s mercy and consolation is articulated in a dual perspective, as two sides of the same coin: God’s unconditional, eternal love (Jer 31:3) on the one hand and Israel’s thorough repentance (Jer 31:8-19) on the other. Moreover, as the Jewish tradition observes, the haftarah’s connection to Sarah and Hannah in the previous liturgical section is made through the mention of Rachel’s ‘bitter weeping’ for her children for ‘they are no more’ (Jer 31:15; cf. Gn 42:36).35) God’s comfort is assured in the tender promise of a ‘reward’ and a ‘hopeful future’, whereby she is promised that her lost children will return from the enemy’s land to their home (Jer 31:16-17). The latter section speaks of God’s granting of a ‘new covenant’ to both Israel and Judah in terms of a marriage contract (Jer 31:31-37) and the subsequent enlargement of Jerusalem (Jer 31:38-40). YHWH, the ‘husband’ of Israel, will engrave His law into the hearts of His people in the eschatological future, which will supersede the old covenant of the first exodus when He took Israel ‘by the hand’ to lead them ‘out of the land of Egypt’ (Jer 31:31-33).

(3) Sabbath Shuvah (Hosea 14:2-10; Joel 2:15-27; Micah 7:18-20)36)

The haftarah from Hosea 14:2-10 begins with a prophetic call to heartfelt repentance (Hos 14:2-3) and YHWH’s promise of restoration and protection (Hos 14:4-10). The book of Hosea exposes the adultery of Gomer (Hos 1:1-3:5), Hosea’s wife, to illustrate the spiritual adultery of Israel (Hos 4:1-14:9). The divine affirmation of healing (Hos 14:4) and abundance (Hos 14:5-8) for the adulterous Israel in the last section of the book assures the penitent during the Days of Awe that God’s covenantal faithfulness will abide for those with a contrite heart.

The haftarah from Joel 2:15-27 continues the theme of genuine repentance upon YHWH’s summons for it. The blowing of a shofar in Zion to sound an alarm and gather a national convocation for lament and fasting (Jl 1:13-20; 2:12-17) befits the special occasion of the Feast of Trumpets. The Book of Joel foregrounds the imminent threat of an enemy’s attack from the North (Jl 2:1-11), of which the prophet warns through the metaphor of a plague of locusts (Jl 1:1-12). The nation-wide lament in fasting provokes YHWH’s zealousness (Jl 2:18-19) for Israel to the effect that the promise of Israel’s victory against the enemy (Jl 2:20) and the renewal of her fortunes (Jl 2:21-27) are assured. The prophet also speaks, with distinct allusions to the exodus (e.g., ‘blood, fire and columns of smoke’, Jl 2:30), of an eschatological era when YHWH’s grace on Israel will be extended to ‘all flesh’ as they become the recipients of the outpouring of His Spirit (Jl 2:28-32) and when YHWH’s judgment will be executed on all nations (Jl 3:1-21). The haftarah for the Sabbath Shuvah contains the pivotal point of the entire Book (Jl 2:18-19), in which the communal lament and fasting incite YHWH’s resolute response: YHWH will utterly destroy the northern army (Jl 2:20), and Israel will never again suffer deprivation and humiliation by the enemy (Jl 2:21-27).

The haftarah from Micah 7:18-20 is a doxological exclamation of God’s loving-kindness and faithfulness within the prophetic utterance of Judah’s final deliverance (Mi 7:7-20). The haftarah’s37) allusions to the exodus is apparent: God is incomparable (7:18a; cf. Ex 15:11a) and forgives iniquity and transgression (7:18a; cf. Ex 34:7) and will plunge ‘all [their] sins into the depths of the sea’ (7:19; cf. Ex 15:1).

2) Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur, )

(1) Morning (Leviticus 16:1-34//Isaiah 57:14-58:14)

The Torah reading of the final day of the Days of Awe is from Leviticus 16 (vv. 1-34), which covers the ritual instructions for the Day of Atonement. The Day of Atonement is the occasion of ‘fast’ par excellence38) when ‘all’ the sins of the Israelites are atoned for (Lv 16:16; cf. Lv 4–5) as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place once a year to sprinkle the blood seven times on the mercy seat (Lv 16:14).

The first part of the haftarah (Is 57:14-21) for the Day of Atonement underscores God’s tender compassion and consolation for the lowly and dejected. God, ‘the high and the lofty One’, has regard for the ‘contrite and humble in spirit’ (Is 57:15; cf. KJV, NRSV). Isaiah 58 allots special attention to the true form of fast that God desires from the people. The chapter opens with a call to raise the prophet’s voice like a trumpet (Is 58:1) and alert the people to their ‘rebellion’ and ‘sins’—an appropriate connection to the Day of Atonement, when all types of transgressions, both intentional and unintentional, are atoned for (Lv 16) as the Israelites conclude the ten days of self-abnegation that began with the Feast of Trumpets. An acceptable fast before God is more than an external display of ritual piety: it means exercising ethical and moral duties on behalf of the oppressed and afflicted, who are deprived of basic social and economic freedom (Is 58:3-7).

(2) Afternoon (Leviticus 18:1-30//Jonah 1:1-4:11; Micah 7:18-20)

The Torah portion for the afternoon of the Day of Atonement is Leviticus 18 (vv. 1-30), which outlines sundry categories of prohibited sexual relations. The aim of these forbidden sexual unions so rampant among the Egyptians and the Canaanites (Lv 18:3) is that the Israelites are to maintain not only the sanctity of the sanctuary (Lv 16) but also the sanctity of the land which they are to inherit (Lv 18:24-30). The Israelites are to be holy as God is holy (Lv 19:2); otherwise, they, too, will be ‘vomited out’ for having polluted the land with their sexual depravity (Lv 18:25, 28).

The haftarah for the afternoon of the Day of Atonement is the Book of Jonah (Jon 1:1-4:11). God commissions Jonah to deliver the message of judgment to the Assyrians in Nineveh. After his attempted flight in disobedience and dramatic deliverance from the belly of a large fish (Jon 1-2), Jonah finally arrives at Nineveh and utters a curt statement: ‘Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!’ (Jon 3:4). The word ‘overthrown’ may be linked to the same Hebrew root used in reference to Sodom and Gomorrah’s destruction (Gn 19:21, 25, 29).39) The parashah for the day (Lv 18:1-30), which lists the sexual abominations that eventually ‘overthrew’ Egypt and Canaan (Lv 18:3), evokes likewise the deplorable ethical state of Assyria. The king’s decree generates an immediate wave of sincere penitence throughout Nineveh, wherein both human beings and animals don sackcloth in fasting, cover themselves with ashes, and cry aloud to God (Jon 3:5-9). To Jonah’s great dismay, the genuine trust in God (Jon 3:5) on the part of the Ninevites allows the city to avoid its doom to be ‘overthrown’ (Jon 3:4, 10)—a grim contrast to how both the Northern and the Southern Kingdoms were ‘overthrown’ by their enemies despite repeated warnings of the prophets. The haftarah concluding the ten-day repentance serves as a reminder that God’s mercy and steadfast love (Jon 4:2; cf. Ex 34:6-7) will never fail for those who cry out to God in humility, as even in the case of the Gentiles during Jonah’s time (Jon 3:4-9).

3) Summary Analysis: Days of Awe/Day of Atonement

The Days of Awe leading to the final day of the Day of Atonement are characterized by practices of self-denial, such as fasting, confession and petition for forgiveness. Accordingly, the haftarot for the solemn season convey the message of God’s compassion, consolation and steadfastness for those contrite in heart who trust in Him in faith. The first and second days’ reading from the Torah concerns the miraculous birth and near-sacrifice of Isaac (Gn 21–22), which parallel with the trope of vicarious sacrifice for Israel’s redemption and resurrection in the haftarah for the Passover (cf. Ex 12; Ez 37; 2 Sm 22). The haftarah counterpart for the first and second days of the Days of Awe features the weeping and mourning of the childless women, Hannah (1 Sm 1–2) and Rachel (Jer 31). The dramatic reversal Hannah recounts in her thanksgiving song find thematic correspondences with that of David in the haftarah for the Passover week (seventh day, 2 Sm 22). Rachel’s bitter mourning for her lost children is addressed by the prophet with the oracles of God’s comfort, which presage the return of exiled Israel. In this way, the imagery of the barren women (Sarah, Hannah and Rachel) and the divine response to their desolation weaves the parashah and the haftarah for the first two days of the Days of Awe into a seamless whole.

The haftarah for Sabbath Shuvah projects Israel’s apostasy through Hosea’s adulterous wife, Gomer. Joel compares Israel’s imminent crisis wrought by the northern army to the plague of grasshopper that ravages the land, summons a nation-wide convocation for weeping and fasting, and delivers a grand eschatological message of the latter-day rain. In the haftarot for Sabbath Shuvah, God assures the prospect of reconciliation and restoration if the people would mend their wrongdoings and earnestly plead for divine mercy. The haftarot for the Day of Atonement, the ‘fast’ par excellence of the Israelite appointed times, maintain a similar rhetorical tenor by elucidating the acceptable form of fasting (Is 58) and the extent to which such a fasting would change God’s mind (Jon 3).

3. Pentecost/Feast of Weeks/Shavuot (Spring)
1) Pentecost (Feast of Weeks/Shavuot)

(1) First Day (Exodus 19:1-20:23//Ezekiel 1:1-28; 3:12)

As the Israelites arrive at Mt. Sinai (Sivan 1, Ex 19:1), they are enjoined to consecrate themselves before YHWH descends upon Mt. Sinai ‘in the sight of all the people’ on the third day (Sivan 3-5, Ex 19:11). The Decalogue and other laws of the ‘Covenant Code’ are given to Israel through Moses (Ex 20:1-23; cf. 20:22-23:33) when the people in trembling fear witness the theophanic form of YHWH, characterized by the thunder and lightning, the trumpet blast, and the mountain smoke (Ex 20:18). In the Jewish tradition, the giving of the Torah coincides with Pentecost/the Festival of Weeks, which falls on Sivan 6, precisely 49 days after the second day of Passover (Nisan 16).40)

The haftarah for the first day of the Pentecost corresponds to Ezekiel’s inaugural vision (‘fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin’, Ez 1:1, ca. 593 BCE), wherein the prophetic priest encounters an otherworldly revelation of YHWH’s presence, recalling the Sinai theophany.41) The stormy wind, cloud, fire/flashing beams of light, and sound-blasts attend the theophany in the lectionary pairs (i.e., Ex 19:18-19; 20:18//Ez 1:3-4, 13-14, 22-25).42) Ezekiel’s version, on the other hand, is replete with numinous details: beastly humanoids with wings (Ez 1:5-12) and celestial paraphernalia resembling chariots (Ez 1:15-21), reminiscent of ancient Near Eastern iconographic representations.43) Anthropomorphic metaphors are employed to describe YHWH, who is enthroned in the heavens, with the repeated expressions, such as ‘like/like the appearance of’ (1:26/1x, 27/3x, 28/1x) and ‘likeness’ (1:26/3x, 28/1x) in the unit (Ez 1:26-28).44) As evident in the previous haftarah from Ezekiel 37:1-14 (Intermediate Sabbath on Passover), the Hebrew word (‘spirit’, ‘wind’ or ‘breath’) is used throughout the literary unit of Ezekiel 1:1–3:15 to delineate the forcefulness or empowerment of divine agents, including Ezekiel himself (e.g., Ez 1:4, 12, 20/3x, 21; 2:2; 3:12, 14/2x).

According to the Jewish tradition, the reason for the connection of the haftarah (Ez 1:1-28; 3:12) with the parashah (Ex 19:1-20:23) on Pentecost may be explained through Psalm 68, which apparently elaborates on Moses’ theophanic encounter with YHWH at Mt. Sinai45): ‘The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands upon thousands; the Lord is among them; Sinai is in the sanctuary’ (Ps 68:18, MT; cf. Dt 33:2). The psalm delineates YHWH’s advent on Mt. Sinai with myriad heavenly chariots, which may be connected to Ezekiel’s vision of the chariot-like vehicles before the prophet glimpses YHWH’s glory. Hence, the recitation of the haftarah from Ezekiel alongside the parashah from Exodus invites the audience to an intimate account of the theophany that Moses and the Israelites experienced when YHWH granted the Torah to them.46)

(2) Second Day (Deuteronomy 15:19-16:17//Habakkuk 3:1-19; 2:20-3:19)47)

The parashah for the second day of Pentecost coincides with that of the eighth day of Passover. The haftarah for the second day of Pentecost is from Habakkuk 2:20–3:19. The book is generally dated to the last quarter of the seventh century BCE, which overlaps with the neo-Babylonian empire’s looming threat to the reign of King Jehoiakim from the Southern Kingdom (609-598 BCE).48) The haftarah covers the submissive prayer of the prophet Habakkuk (3:1-19) offered after a series of utterances (Hb 1:1-2:20), marked by the prophet’s complaints (Hb 1:2-4, 12-17), God’s responses (Hb 1:5-11; 2:1-5) and woe oracles (Hb 2:6-8, 9-11, 12-14, 15-17, 18-20). Habakkuk’s petition (Hb 3:1-2) for God’s intervention is followed by his theophanic vision of God’s advent (Hb 3:3-15) which entails the rudimentary elements of the Sinai revelation, such as flashing lights (vv. 4, 11), wind (v. 14), earthquake (vv. 6, 7, 10), and cataclysmic noise/sound (vv. 3, 10, 16).

Also remarkable is the imagery of first exodus prominent in the haftarah (Is 10:32-12:6) for the eighth day of Passover. In answer to the prophet’s plea for deliverance from Israel’s oppressor, God in Habakkuk’s theophanic vision appears to rescue His people and His anointed (Hb 3:13) by subduing the primeval waters (caoskampf): ‘Was your wrath against the rivers, O YHWH? Or your anger against the rivers, or your wrath against the sea, when you drove your horses, your chariots to salvation?’ (Hb 3:8). YHWH, the mighty warrior, triumphantly delivers Israel by ‘trampling the sea with [His] horses, through the heap of the mighty waters’ (v. 15). Habakkuk 2:20, the beginning verse of the haftarah, is the turning point of Habakkuk’s lament as the prophet becomes cognizant of YHWH’s presence in His holy temple and the earth’s silence before Him. This verse is linked with the prophet’s resolve to cease his complaints (‘I wait quietly ...’, Hb 3:16b) and his unwavering confession of faith and joy in God alone (Hb 3:17-19).

As Fishbane notes, the basis of the haftarah’s connection to the festival is largely grounded on the midrashic interpretation of several key verses in Habakkuk (i.e., 3:3, 6).49) Rashi, based on his reading of rabbinic traditions, elaborated that ‘God came from Teman’ (Hb 3:3a) with the Torah and ‘measured’ ( , 3:6a) the nations’ willingness to receive it; nevertheless, Israel was found to be the most ‘worthy’ recipient of the Torah as the ‘unloosed’ nations in the world cringed in rejection of the divine offer.50) As that of the first day of Pentecost, the haftarah reading of the second day is closely associated with the notion of Israel’s ultimate triumph over her enemies and her eminence in the world as the true guardian of the Torah.

2) Summary Analysis: Pentecost

The haftarot for the first and second day of the Pentecost are linked by the theophanic revelations of Ezekiel (Ez 1) and Habakkuk (Hb 3), which are reminiscent of Moses’ receipt of the Torah at Mt. Sinai (Ex 19–20). The Midrashic homily on Ezekiel expounds the vivid details of Moses’ Sinaitic revelation through the imagery of chariots. The invocation of Ezekiel’s inaugural vision, which emphatically highlights the agency of YHWH’s spirit, precipitates the association of the resurrection motif in the preceding haftarot entries (i.e., Ez 37) with the festival occasion of Pentecost.

In the haftarah for the second day of the Pentecost, Habakkuk’s theophanic vision is recapitulated in terms of YHWH’s battle against the primordial waters and connected to the theme of the previous haftarah by way of the mythical notion that Israel is singled out among the nations to be the ultimate vanguard of the Torah. Notably, the parashah for the second day of Pentecost, which precisely corresponds to that of the eighth day of the Passover, reiterates the consecration of the firstlings of the flock (Dt 15:19-23), followed by the review of Israel’s three major feasts: the Passover, the Pentecost, and the Festival of Booths (Dt 16:1-17). The parashah and the haftarah pairs on the last day of the Pentecost conclude with the incorporation of the first exodus allusions, including Israel’s dedication of the first male born of the flock, crossing of the Red Sea, and reception of the Torah at Mt. Sinai.

The foregoing investigations reveal that the parashah and the haftarah of the Passover and the Days of Awe overlap considerably and are replete with intertextual insights. Both special occasions are interlocked with the figure of Isaac through the central imagery of the substitutionary redemption on the eve of the Passover and the Day of Atonement. Moreover, that the resurrection trope in Ezekiel 37 during the Passover is intimately tied to the legend of Isaac’s resurrection has inevitable associations with the haftarah of the birth and binding of Isaac (Gn 21–22) from the beginning of the Days of Awe. That the haftarot for both appointed times contain the references to the ‘bookends’51) (1 Sm 2; 2 Sm 22) of the books of Samuel—the song of Hannah and that of David—is also noteworthy. Both Hannah (1 Sm 2) and David (2 Sm 22) sing of the dramatic reversal of the distressed and the oppressed from the near-death circumstances (Sheol; 2:6; 22:6) and end on a note of the triumphant exaltation of the messianic king (2:10; 22:51).

The haftarot for the Passover and the Pentecost invoke the account of the first exodus explicitly, whereas the haftarot for the Days of Awe render it implicitly. In particular, the haftarot from Jeremiah 31 (second day of Days of Awe) and from Joel 2 (Sabbath Shuvah of Days of Awe) are parts of the Scripture that underline the exodus motif. Immediately following the haftarah for the second day is, for example, Jeremiah’s oracle of the ‘new covenant’ that YHWH, the ‘husband’ of Israel, will establish in the eschatological future, which will replace the old covenant made when He took them ‘out of the land of Egypt’ (Jer 31:31-33). Also, the haftarah for Sabbath Shuvah continues with the eschatological promise of YHWH’s spirit being poured out on ‘all flesh’ (Jl 2:28), wherein imagery of the plagues of Egypt is recalled through descriptions, such as ‘blood, fire and columns of smoke’ (Jl 2:30). The implication of the various intertextual connections in relation to the Pentecost is that the public recitation at the festive occasion potentially unravels multiple strata of biblical stories ingrained in the minds of the hearers. To be sure, the Pentecost is primarily associated with YHWH’s granting of the Torah in the Jewish tradition. However, the preceding and following selections of parashah and haftarah conjure up the entire journey of Israel made from Egypt to the Sinai wilderness: the plague of the death of the firstborn of humans and animals, the Passover sacrifice, the crossing of the Red Sea, the destruction of the Egyptians, the first law-giving at Mt. Sinai, the golden-calf incident, Moses’ intercession, and the second law-giving at Mt. Sinai. The overarching narrative of judgment, redemption, regeneration/resurrection and restoration/renewal is encapsulated in the parashah and haftarah that envelopes the Pentecost—encompassing Israel’s past, present, and future. The God who, with an outstretched arm, defeated the Egyptians, Assyrians, and Babylonians will deal with the present enemies of the elect and guide the redeemed from the wilderness into the Promised Land. As a parent (father/mother) is to a son and as a husband is to a wife, God is full of compassion and mercy to those who trust in Him and seek Him humbly with a contrite heart. Thus, the sections from the prophetic literature do not merely elaborate the historical genesis of Israel but also enliven the hearers with their ever-reverberating power of life by revealing their relevance to the here and now.

The sequential survey of the Passover, Pentecost, and Days of Awe is relevant not only because of the emphasis on the continuity of the annual feasts apparent in the Torah readings but also because of their typological interrelation in the Christian tradition. The Pentecost in the New Testament (Acts 2) marks the founding moment of the church of Christ, who commanded his disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5).52) It is after the suffering, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ that the ‘promise of the Father’ (v. 4) was poured out upon the disciples on the day of the Pentecost (Acts 2:1). In this vein, the Pentecost cannot be understood without also understanding the Passover and the Day of Atonement, both of which foreshadow the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ accomplished at the cross of Calvary.

Fishbane’s notion of ‘layering of memory’, then, has ramifications among Christians in fresh ways as we reflect upon the historical reality of Jesus’ death and resurrection. The patent emphasis on the resurrection in the lectionary for the Passover and the Days of Awe, especially through the accounts of Isaac (Gn 21–22), Hannah (1 Sm 1–2), David (2 Sm 22), and Ezekiel (Ez 37), dovetails with the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the paschal lamb of God. The account of 3,000 people (cf. 3,000 deaths at Mt. Sinai, Ex 32:28) who turn to God in response to Peter’s sermon at the Pentecost (Acts 2:41) evokes the divine reaction of compassion, forgiveness and restoration elicited by mournful and contrite petition, as in the haftarah readings from Joel (chap 2), Jonah (chap 1–4), and Jeremiah (chap 31).53) Therefore, the parashah and haftarah readings of the Passover and the Days of Awe in view of the Pentecost exhibit multiple layers of intertextual fluidity and enhance our appreciation for the kaleidoscopic array of exegetical tradition embedded in the ancient liturgy.


III. Conclusion

The intertextual examination of the parashah and haftarah for the Passover/Unleavened Bread, the Pentecost, and the Days of Awe/Day of Atonement divulges dynamic interplay of the scriptural texts. The linguistic and thematic correlations between the parashot and haftarot are not merely linear or sequential but multidimensional in that the lectionary units of both festival seasons may be meaningfully linked and elaborated. The parashah-haftarah lectionary pairs extending from the Passover to the Pentecost coherently capture the reenactment of the first exodus and the Sinaitic theophany through various narrative accounts and prophetic oracles. On the other hand, the juxtaposition of the lectionary readings of both the Passover and the Days of Awe, which envelope those of Pentecost, brings into stark relief the genetic affinity between the two festive occasions along the trope of redemption through a vicarious sacrifice, deliverance, restoration, and resurrection. In particular, the imagery of a weeping barren woman, a yearning parent, a betrayed husband, and a dejected prophet reflects the grave ambiance of the Days of Awe, while accentuating YHWH’s compassion and mercy for the penitent—a prominent theme of the exodus after Israel’s apostasy (Ex 33–34). Accordingly, the Pentecost is to be associated not only with the Mosaic lawgiving but also with the totality of Israel’s journey from the exodus to Mt. Sinai, especially in the context of the Jewish liturgy. The synchronic evaluation attempted in this article yields the conclusion that the intertextual exploration of the haftarot in relation to the Torah readings in the Annual Cycle provides enlightening insight into the vibrant interpretive legacy of the ancient community of faith in both Jewish and Christian traditions.


Notes
2) Perrot, “Reading of the Bible,” 138. Given the limited scope, this paper will not attempt to survey the lectionary arrangements in which the Torah and the Writings were recited in the Triennial Cycle. For a related discussion and bibliography, refer to the author’s earlier article on the topic, H. S. An, “Revisiting the Triennial Lectionary Cycle of the Torah and the Psalms: Some Intertextual Observations (Part I),” TTJ 19 (2016): 255-74.
4) Büchler, “Reading of the Law,” 5.
5) Fishbane, Haftarot, xxiii.
6) Jacobs, “Torah,” 46.
7) Ibid.
8) Fishbane, Haftarot, xxi.
9) Ibid., xxiii.
10) Ibid.
11) Depending on the lectionary lengths and periodic intercalations of days and months, the number of sedarim, or ‘divisions’, varied among the Jewish communities. The system of 175 sedarim is even attested, where the Torah reading cycle is finished twice in seven years (i.e., once in three and a half years). The masoretic text has 154 sedarim for the Pentateuch. L. Jacobs, “Triennial Cycle,” in Encyclopedia Judaica (Jerusalem: Keter Publishing House, 1972), 15, 1386.
12) Jacobs, “Torah,” 46.
13) Jacobs, “Triennial,” 1386.
14) Fishbane, Haftarot, xxiv.
15) Ibid., xxvi-xxx.
16) For the comprehensive list of the haftarot and the relevant Torah readings in the Annual Cycle, see Jacobs, “Torah,” 47-48.
17) Given the limited scope, however, this paper will not attempt the comparative analysis of the haftarot between the Pentecost and the Feast of the Tabernacles.
18) Fishbane, Haftarot, 431. Refer to B. S. Childs’ notion of the ‘actualization’ of history which does not consist in merely recalling but ‘reactivating the original event.’ Brevard S. Childs, Memory and Tradition in Israel (London: SCM Press, 1962), 66-74. See also in Nahum M. Sarna, Exodus, JPSTC (Philadelphia: JPS, 1991), 65; John I. Durham, Exodus, WBC 3 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1987), 176-77.
19) The maftir’s (‘concluder’, מפטיר ) Torah portion (Num 28-29), which covers the sacrifices required for the special day, will not be assessed in the article.
20) Fishbane’s list of haftarah includes Joshua 6:27, whereas Jacobs’s does not. Fishbane, Haftarot, 418; Jacobs, “Torah,” 48.
21) Some of the marked correspondences include: 1) prescriptions for the circumcision rite (Ex 12:43-49//Jo 5:1-8); 2) the Passover observance in Egypt (Ex 12:1-28) vs. at Gilgal (Jo 5:10-12); 3) the vision of YHWH’s theophanic presence/messenger in which both Moses and Joshua are asked to remove the sandal/s because of the holy ground (Ex 3:5// Jo 5:13-15); 4) the deliverance of the household with the blood of the lamb (Ex 12) vs. with the crimson cord (Jo 6:15-25); and 5) the crossing of the Red Sea (Ex 15) vs. the Jordan (Jo 3). Fishbane, Haftarot, 418. See also Trent C. Butler, Joshua, WBC 7 (Waco: Word, 1983), 53-72; Jan Wagenaar, “Crossing the Sea of Reeds (Exod 13-14) and the Jordan (Josh 3-4),” in Studies in the Book of Exodus: Redaction-Reception-Interpretation, M. Vervenne, ed., BETL 125 (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 1996), 461-70; Richard Nelson, Joshua: A Commentary (Louisville: John Knox Press, 1997), 71-95.
22) Fishbane, Haftarot, 426.
23) Ibid., 430.
24) Ibid.
25) Ibid. See the complex history of interpretation regarding the Passover and the origins of the Easter (vis-à-vis the parting of the Red Sea) in Clemens Leonhard, The Jewish Pesach and the Origins of the Christian Easter: Open Questions in Current Research, SJ 35 (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2006), esp. 188-204.
26) Cf. Ex 15:1, 4, 6, 10, 19 and 2 Sm 22:1, 4, 18, 38, 40.
27) The literary connection is distinctive in the sense that other passages do not explicitly associate the expression with the parting of the waters.
28) Here, a counterpoint is made between the hand-waving of the Assyrian king and of YHWH.
29) Fishbane, Haftarot, 437-38.
30) In the Jewish tradition, the Days of Awe (Yamim Noraim) or the Ten Days of Repentance (Aseret Yemei Teshuva) span the first ten days of the month of Tishri, beginning with the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) and ending with the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). See Jacob Neusner, Judaism: The Basics (New York: Routledge, 2006), 36-37.
31) On this, Fishbane cites Rabbi Eleazer ben Hurkanus (2nd-3rd CE) from the Talmud: “On Rosh Hashanah, Sarah, Rachel, and Hannah were remembered [nifkedah]…” (B. Rosh Hashanah 10b-11a). Fishbane, Haftarot, 377.
33) See the correlation between the Passover account and the near-sacrifice of Isaac which is incorporated in the Eucharistic theology in Dennis T. Olson, “Sacramentality in the Torah” in The Oxford Handbook of Sacramental Theology, Hans Boersma and Matthew Levering, eds. (Oxford: Oxford University, 1993), esp. 24-29.
34) See further discussion of YHWH as a Husband in Jeremiah in S. J. Dille, Mixing Metaphors: God as Mother and Father in Deutero-Isaiah (New York: T & T Clark, 2004), 155.
35) See footnote 30.
36) Since the weekly portion of Torah is assigned for the day, this section will only discuss the significance of the haftarot.
37) Also see Micah 6:4.
38) The Day of Atonement is also mentioned as the ‘day of the fast’ ( יוֹם התענית ) in Qumran literature, such as CD 6:19 and 1 QpHab 11:5-8. Yonder M. Gillihan, Civic Ideology, Organization, and Law in the Rule Scrolls (Leiden: Brill, 2012), 149.
40) One of the first rabbinic references is from Rabbi Mei (ca. mid-2nd c. CE) in Exodus Rabbah 31. The liturgical tradition of reading Ruth on Pentecost is attested after this time but before the 4th century CE when the mention of the practice is made. See Bradley C. Gregory, “Megillot and Festivals,” in Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry and Writings, T. Longman III and Peter Enns, eds. (Downers Grove: IVP, 2008), 457-64, esp. 460.
43) Brownlee, Ezekiel, 11-12.
44) The rabbinic tradition (m. Meg. 4:10) banned Ezekiel’s vision of the chariot (Ez 1) to be recited as a haftarah, whereas Rabbi Judah allowed it (b. Meg. 31a-b). Fishbane, Haftarot, 438.
45) Tanḥuma Yitro 14; Midrash Shoḥer Tov. Fishbane, Haftarot, 444.
46) Fishbane, Haftarot, 444.
47) Ashkenazim Hb 3:1-19; Sephardim Hb 2:20-3:19. Ibid., 445.
48) Fishbane, Haftarot, 445.
49) Ibid., 450.
50) Ibid.
53) Jonah 1:11-12 and Acts 2:37-38 share similarities in that both Jonah and Peter recommend people what to do in order to be ‘saved’ when they inquire out of desperation.

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