A Perfectly Broken Acrostic in Nahum 1?

Thomas Renz


Responding to recent scholarship which discounts apparent traces of an alphabetic acrostic in Nahum 1 as purely coincidental, this essay argues that earlier scholarship was right to detect a tendency towards an alphabetic acrostic in Nahum 1. But while previously the disruptions to the alphabetic sequence were considered an imperfection caused by lack of concern on the part of the poet or a later redactor or as the result of copying mistakes in the transmission of the text, I suggest that the tendency towards an acrostic and the irregularities belong to a single purposeful design. This design communicates a message of disrupted order and fits well with the remainder of the book of Nahum.

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