Mafico, Temba L.J. Books

Dr. Temba L.J. Mafico received his Ph.D. in Old Testament from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University. He taught in Zimbabwe, the land of his birth, before coming to Atlanta where he now serves as Professor and Associate Academic Dean at the Interdenominational Theological Center. Dr. Mafico has published numerous articles and presented papers on various topics in the field of Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern Studies.

Yahweh’s Emergence as “judge” Among the Gods: A Study of the Hebrew Root Spt
2007 0-7734-5518-3
This book attempts to answer questions about the meaning of the Hebrew root špt; the status of a šopet; and how Yahweh could be called a šopet. An examination of past research shows that several scholars have argued against assigning špt (or its cognates) the basic meaning “to judge.” Semitic texts (Mari, Ugaritic and Punic) themselves reveal that the root is used in relation to diverse functions of the king’s deputy. In these texts, the superior ruler appointed the tapitu/šapitu to serve in various capacities of administration. Therefore, špt is multifarious; its various meanings are determined by the contexts in which it is used. In the Book of Judges, the šopetim were deputies of Yahweh. They governed or delivered the Israelites from their enemies by Yahweh’s authority (ruah). If Yahweh was Israel’s king, how could he also be šopet ? A study of Yahweh’s status in relation to the ?'elohim of Israel indicates that Yahweh was, after all, the deputy of the council of the gods.