BRINGING OUT THE TREASURE: INNER BIBLICAL ALLUSION IN ZECHARIAH 9–14

Written by Mark J. Boda and Michael H. Floyd (eds) Reviewed By Daniel M. Gurtner

This volume contains the previously unpublished, but nonetheless important and influential, 1973 dissertation by Rex Mason at the University of London (1–208). It is followed by a series of nine critical responses by a number of scholars (210–343) before a response by Mason (344–52). Mason’s thesis is to determine whether any general principles of exegesis can be detected in Zechariah 9–14’s use of allusions and references to other biblical material. It also looks to extract the outlook of any particular tradition to indicate the circles from which these chapters came. He illustrates the diversity of the use of such traditions while arguing that the origin of these chapters is among a circle which had been influenced by the tradition of Proto-Zechariah and also which also became increasingly sectarian in outlook in its opposition to the official Judaism of its day.

Each chapter in Mason’s dissertation contains a discussion of the relation of individual sections from Zechariah 9–14 to other OT texts. This is, not simply to catalogue them, but to ‘examine the use of earlier biblical material in Deutero-Zechariah in the attempt to see what principles of exegesis, if any, can be detected in such use. Above all, it is to see if this affords any clue to the place of the author, or authors, in the developing tradition-history of the community of post-exilic Judaism’ (3–4).

Mason’s thesis is followed by a series of critical responses: The the first two articles (David L. Petersen, ‘Zechariah 9–14: Methodological Reflections’, and Michael H. Floyd, ‘Deutero-Zechariah and Types of Intertextuality’) are more general in nature., They discussing the approach of the guild to the phenomenon of intertextuality and inner-biblical allusion/exegesis. The following four (Risto Nurmela, ‘The Growth of the Book of Isaiah Illustrated by Allusions in Zechariah’, Eibert Tigchelaar, ‘Some Observations on the Relationship between Zechariah 9–11 and Jeremiah’, Raymond F. Person, ‘Deuteronomic Toponyms in Second Zechariah’, Mark J. Boda, ‘Reading Between the Lines: Zechariah 11:4–16 in its Literary Context’) trace inner-biblical connections between Zechariah 9–14 and major prophetic traditions (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Deuteronomic literature, Ezekiel). While the final three contributors (James D. Nogalski, ‘Zechariah 13:7–9 as a Transitional Text: An Appreciation and Re-evaluation of the Work of Rex Mason’, Paul L. Redditt, ‘Zechariah 9–14: The Capstone of the Book of the Twelve’, and Aaron Schart, ‘Putting the Eschatological Visions of Zechariah in their Place: Malachi as a Hermeneutical Guide for the Last Section of the Book of the Twelve’) explore inner-biblical connections between Zechariah 9–14 and the Book of the Twelve as well as the role of Zechariah 9–14 in this larger corpus. These articles provide helpful analyses of Mason’s work in the modern discussion and some much-needed correctives in light of modern classifications of method, which Mason left rather vague. The ‘Response’ by Mason is largely an acknowledgement of the weaknesses in his 1973 dissertation and expressions of gratitude to the editors and contributors.

The volume contains a bibliography (353–72) and indices of references (373–91) and authors (392–95). The book can be quite technical, with frequent use of Hebrew and occasional use of Greek, German, and French. However, a dedicated undergraduate will find that the book is not inaccessible, and one working in the prophecies of the latter half of Zechariah can glean much from this work despite its technical orientation.


Daniel M. Gurtner

Daniel M. Gurtner
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, Kentucky, USA