Original Research

Die ambivalente aard van skoonheid en begeerte in die Ou Testament

L. Kruger, J. P. J. Olivier
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 32, No 1 | a1632 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v32i1.1632 | © 1998 L. Kruger, J. P. J. Olivier | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 June 1998 | Published: 13 June 1998

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L. Kruger,, South Africa
J. P. J. Olivier,, South Africa

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Psalm 45:12 and Proverbs 5:25 are identified as the only two places in the Old Testament where the Hebrew word יפה for beauty is the subject of the two verbs אוה and הפד found in the Tenth Commandment (Deut. 5:21) for covet/crave.' desire. An exegetical comparison between the two text verses shows an attitude towards the desire for beauty which proves to be ethical ambivalent. According to this exegesis the social religious context determines the positive or negative experience or consequences of beauty and desire. This ambivalence introduces another perspective on the Tenth Commandment, as this view cancels any rigid interpretation of coveting: because the integrity of the covenant relationship between God and his people sanctions the acceptability or not of the use of beauty, or the desire of it.


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