Riḍwān I from the beginning - Introduction and pre-Islamic Abrahamica, ...

 

Vicinity of the 1863 Ridwan declaration of Baha'-Allah (1817-1892 CE).

رضوان‎‎

Ridwan  from the Beginning 1 -

Introduction and pre-Islamic Abrahamica, some Islamo-Biblical and Bābī-Bahā’ī concepts of Riḍwān, intertextual trajectories and historical - exegetical notes.

 Stephen Lambden UCMerced.

1980s+2013+ 2017

Last reviused and uploaded 20-04-2017.

This paper or revised 2012 powerpoint presentation is about the meanings, linguistic background, and religious significances of what is implied by Baha’is, and certain other religionists, by the Arabic term Riḍwān (Per. Riḍvān), its cognates, and the universe of its semantic fields. It takes introductory account of semitic lexicography and the Bible, as well as select Islamic sacred literatures. Most-centrally, it includes an examination of select passages from Bābī-Baha’ī sacred writings, including the Sūrat al-Riḍwān and other writings of Sayyid `Ali Muhammad Shirazi, the Bāb (d. Tabriz, 1850 CE) as well as select alwāḥ (scriptural writings) of Mīrzā Ḥusayn `Alī Nūrī, Bahā’-Allāh (d. Acre, 1892) and his Bahā’ī successors.

It is further hoped that this survey will provide something of a context for communicating my ongoing translation of the aforementioned Sūrat al-Riḍwān of the Bāb. This latter text or little known writing of the Bab, has only recently been published; a decade or so ago in fact, in a volume entitled  `Ahd-i a`lā (The Covenant Transcendent), compiled by the one-time keeper of the house of the Bāb, the now late Shiraz and UK resident `Abu’l-Qasim Afnān (b. Shiraz on 19 March 1919 - d.  Swindon, England, UK., 2004). It is further hoped in this connection, to throw some light upon the numerous references to Riḍwān in Baha’ī primary sources as well as their semitic or Abrahamic religious foundation stones.

Riḍwān :  Some preliminary  Bahā’ī  fundamentals

The Baha’i religion celebrates nine holy days each year. The largest cluster of these holy days, three of them, are commemorated annually over a twelve day period which extends from April 21 [22] through to May 3rd.  These twelve days are called the “Days of Riḍvān”. Collectively they form the holy days of the Riḍvān period. It was during this time, around the middle of the 19th century, that Baha’u’llah founded his religion or first proclaimed his eschatological message to a select group of his followers in 1863 in a garden on the outskirts of Baghdad.  In fact this proclamation was made in a garden near the River Tigris (now near a hospital complex in Baghdad), originally named the garden of Mehmed Necip Paşa or Muhammad Najib Pasha (d. 1851). This beautiful palm-tree rich garden, was subsequently one of the places which came to be designated by Bahā-Allāh as the Garden of Riḍwān.

Most importantly for Bahā’īs then, Riḍwān indicates the commencement and celebration of a twelve day period (sunset April 20-22 unjtil sunset May 3nd 1863) focused upon the person and message of Bahā’u’llāh, the founder of the now globally diffused Bahā’ī religion. This period celevrates his temporal assumption and announcement of being a Messenger of God and the fulfillment of the expectations of religionists about a advent or parousia of a latter-day messianic figure. Riḍwān is commemorated or celebrated annually by all members of the Bahā’ī community. It includes three of their nine Bahā’ī annual holy days, the three days of the first, the ninth and the twelfth days of Ridwān.

Riḍwān : some neglected aspects of its lexicography, termporal and heiro-history.

 Little attention has been given in Bahā’ī literatures to the philological senses, lexicographical history and religious and other contexts (general and theological), of the Arabic-Persian verbal noun riḍwān. Its semantic field, linguistic evolution and place within semitic lexicography or the history of Islamic literatures, remains relatively unexamined.  Its diverse meanings, furthermore, within the vast and fascinating corpus of Bābī and Bahā’ī literatures, also has yet, in Bahā’ī circles, to be adequately examined in any detail. This brief paper will present a few preliminary findings reharding this neglected subject. Neither Islamicists nor Bahā’ī scholars have paid much attention to the Abrahamic-Qur’ānic rooted term riḍwān. To date, the lexicographical history and various semantic fields and connotations of ridwān has hardly been analyzed as it occurs in the several millennial span of Abrahamic religious literatures and Bābī-Bahā’ī sacred texts. Its biblical roots and Qur’anic basis remain little acknowledged and the existence, for example, of a short Arabic writing of the Bab, the Sūrat al-Riḍwān, has hardly been registered let along dated, translated, contextualized and studied. The numerous alwāḥ or Tablets of Bahā’-Allāh which have for various reasons come to be entitled Lawḥ-i Riḍvān or something similar, have not yet been collected together, dated, compared and analysed. This paper will address itself to aspects of these neglected texts, with special reference to their Islamo-Babi background.  

R-D-W/Y - Riḍwān and cognates in Comparative Semitic Lexigography

Arabic riḍwān in Islamic (Sunnī and Shī`ī) and Bābī-Bahā’ī literatures

The Arabic word رضوان riḍwān or its cognates in verbal and other senses in related Semitic languages, is of fairly common occurrence in ancient literatures and is a common item of vocabulary in Middle eastern and other Arabic-Persian and related cultures. It has numerous religious and non-religious senses. As select key contemporary senses go, it should be noted at this point, that the well-known and useful Hans Wehr A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic (German Harrasowitch, 1961 /66/ 71/ 74. Eng. trans. ed. J Milton Cowen 3rd printing, 1980) has riḍwān mean `consent, assent, agreement, acceptance, approval, sanction; goodwill, favor; pleasure, delight (p. 344). These meanings do not, of course, capture the totality of the many religious senses and implications that this word or its cognates now have or have had  throughout the several millennia-long period of Semitic language evolution and development.

Riḍwān is essentially a semitic verbal-noun or lexeme having several millennia of linguistic development. It has something of a relationship, for example, to various cognates in languages representative of subdivisions of the Semitic group; most notably, in the south semitic languages  Ge'ez (Ethiopic) and  Epigraphic South Arabian as well as to  the following North-West Semitic languages, namely, Aramaic, Syriac, Mandaic, Hebrew and Phoenician; not forgetting Ugaritic (variously classified) [1] or the very early East Semitic language  Akkadian (spoken in Mesopotamia between c. 2500 and 600 BCE) which was from around 2000  BCE and differentiated into Babylonian and Assyrian (Versteegh, 1997:9f.). Over several thousands of years words have evolved within these langauges related to verbal and other forms of the Arabic root r-ḍ-y, or the word Riḍwān.

Rāṣon = רָצוֹן  in Ancient Israelite Religion and post-biblical Judaisms

This leads us on to the Biblical Hebrew רָצוֹן rāṣon which echoes the directly related Arabic word Riḍwān. Under the entry רָצָה rāṣa / רָצוֹן rāṣon in the fairly recent (1990-92; English trans. 2004) biblical scholarship reference book, the Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament (= TDOT), it is stated that “In OT usuage [the verbal root] rṣh is not only a central theological term expressing the fundamental relationships between God and human beings, but also a technical term of the [Israelite] sacrificial cult.” (TWOT XIII: 621).  The Biblical Hebrew cognate or equivalent of the Arabic riḍwān would appear then, to be רָצוֹן rāṣon meaning, among other things, “goodwill” and “favor” (see BDB+). Among the biblical references to this latter word see, for example, [used of God], Dt 33:16 Is 60:10 ψ [Psalms] 5:13; 30:6, 8 51: 20; 89:18; 106: 4 Pr 8:35; 12:2; 18:22). רָצוֹן  rāṣon occurs fifty-six times in the Hebrew Bible and can be translated as “pleasure, goodwill, favor, goodness, love,  understanding”. It is a noun which can “also be used concretely in an objectified sense” indicating, “That which is pleasant, etc” (so Barstad in TWOT XIII: 625).

The theologically important biblical Hebrew word רָצוֹן rāṣon is said in the aforementioned Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament (= TDOT) to be a term which can have meanings synonymous with Hebrew noun כָּבוֹד kābod (divine “glory”). This is of significance for Baha’i apologists or theologians in that he theological senses of (Heb.) rāṣon, may sometimes correspond to the Hebrew word kābod (radiant glory) which has been conceptaually related to the Arabic word bahā’ (also “glory”). Examples of the verbal or nominal forms dervived from the same root as the Biblical Hebrew רָצוֹן rāṣon (cf. Riḍwān) are  its cultic occurrences in Isa 60:7, Malachi 2:13 and Haggai 1:8. The book of Haggai (early 6th cent, BCE) calls for the restoration of the Jerusalem Temple (destroyed in 586-7 BCE) and may be cited. This in that within it there are two verbal occurences from the Hebrew roots rāṣon (pleasure,  favor…etc) and kābod  (radiant glory… etc) both of which are key words in Islamo-biblical and Bābī-Bahā’ī theology: [2]

Haggai 1:8.

עֲל֥וּ הָהָ֛ר וַהֲבֵאתֶ֥ם עֵ֖ץ וּבְנ֣וּ הַבָּ֑יִת וְאֶרְצֶה־בּ֥וֹ וְאֶכָּבֵד אָמַ֥ר יְהוָֽה׃

 “Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house [temple] (הַבָּ֑יִת, ha-bayit); and I will take pleasure [Heb. וְאֶרְצֶה wə·’er·ṣeh cf. rāṣon] in it, and I will be glorified [Heb. וְאֶכָּבְדָ֖ה, wə·’ek·kā·ḇə·ḏāh cf. root, k-b-d, כבד) saith the LORD” (Haggai 1:8).

The Aramaic Targum or ancient exegetical translation of the book of Haggai  incorporates 1st cent. BCE., --3rd cent., CE interpretations of Haggai 1:8. The Targumic rendering is as follows:

“Go up to the mountain, and bring trees and build the house and I shall be pleased to make my Shekinah [Divine Presence] dwell in it in honor [glory], says the Lord” (Haggai 1:8),  

This Aramaic Targumic rendering apparently associates the Divine Presence, the Glory of the Skekinah, with the soon to be built (it was destroyed in 70 CE)  second Jerusalem Temple or perhaps with a third furture House or Temple of God where the Divine Glory will categorically dwell anew. [3]

Personal Names

Just as Riḍwān and the related female name Marḍiyya have become popular personal names among Baha'is and in the Middle East generally, so were various derivatives of the Hebrew root r-ṣ-h the basis of personal and place names from ancient Israelite times (1st millennium BCE). In the TDOT we read :

V. Names. The masc. name risya'  in 1 Ch. 7:39 derives from rsh, as does the fem. name tirsa, the name of one of the five daughters of Zelophehad (Nu. 26:33; 27:1; 36:11; Josh 17:3). These names (which means “pleasant, agreeable”) belong to the class of personal names that emphasize psychological traits. The name resin (2 K. 16:5,6,9; Isa. 7:1,4,8; 8:6; 9:10[11]; Ezr. 2:48; Neh. 7:50) may also derive from rṣh.” (TDOT XIII: 628-9).

The same biblical studies dictionary also connects the place names Tirsa and Tirzah with the same Hebrew root:

“As a toponym, the form tirsa is also the name of a Canaanite city (Josh. 12:24) lat later became a residence of the Israelite kings (1 K. 14:17; 15:21,33; 16:6,8-9, 15, 17,23; 2K. 15:14,16); the city clearly enjoyed an especially lovely situation,  alluded to in Cant. 6:4, where the lover says to his bride, "You are beautiful as Tirzah, my love, comely as Jerusalem." (TDOT XIII: 629)

The Biblical Hebrew  רָצוֹן  rāṣon  and the Arabic   رضوان  Riḍwān.

  לַמְּדֵ֤נִי ׀ לַֽעֲשֹׂ֣ות רְצֹונֶךָ֮ כִּֽי־אַתָּ֪ה אֱלֹ֫והָ֥י רוּחֲךָ֥ טֹובָ֑ה תַּ֝נְחֵ֗נִי בְּאֶ֣רֶץ מִישֹֽׁור׃

·          Psalm 143:10 : “Teach me to do thy will =   רְצֹונֶךָ֮ (resonekā); for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.”

The 19th cent (1860s)  Smith-Van Dyck Arabic translation :

علّمني ان اعمل رضاك لانك انت الهي. روحك الصالح يهديني في ارض مستوية

The directive here in the Arabic rendring could be that God should teach his devotee to act in accordance with His good-pleasure (riḍa’). On a more Baha’i apologetic or theological level one might here be reminded of the Bahā’ī duty to celebrate the God-generated Riḍwān festival!

Deut.  33:16  within Deut  33: 13-17 , `The blessing of  Moses’  upon Joseph.

וּמִמֶּ֗גֶד אֶ֚רֶץ וּמְלֹאָ֔הּ וּרְצֹ֥ון שֹׁכְנִ֖י סְנֶ֑ה תָּבֹ֙ואתָה֙ לְרֹ֣אשׁ יֹוסֵ֔ף וּלְקָדְקֹ֖ד נְזִ֥יר אֶחָֽיו׃

 “Of Joseph he said, “Blessed of the LORD be his land… 16. And with the choice things of the earth and its fullness, And the רָצוֹןfavor” (reṣon) of Him who dwelt in the bush (shokenī  seneh). Let it come to the head of Joseph, And to the crown of the head of the one distinguished among his brothers”. [4]

Targum Onqelos Deut 33:16

“and from the best of the earth and its fullness, He whose shekinah is in heaven, is content, and He revealed Himself to Moses in the bush” (trans. Grossfeld,  1988, p. 107).

·         19th cent (1860s) Trans. Smith-Van Dyck

          ومن نفائس الارض وملئها ورضى الساكن في العليقة. فلتأت على راس يوسف وعلى قمّة نذير اخوته.

“[Upon Joseph be] … the choice things of the earth and its fullness, And the رضى (raḍiyy = trans. of the Heb.  רָצוֹן raṣon = “favor”) of Him who dwelt in the bush (al-sakin fi’l-`ullaiqa  for Heb. shokenī  seneh).

The Arabic version of Moses’ blessing upon Joseph refers to the raḍi al-sākin al-`ullaiqa, meaning the contentment (raḍī cf. ridwān) of the “dweller in the [Sinaitic] bush”. In a wider theological context, one might be reminded here of the typological identification of Joseph with the Bab and Bahā’-Allāh as the eschatological manifestation of the Sinaitic deity who dwelt in the “bush” or spoke from the “tree” . This, one might say, at the time of the contentment of the Riḍwān period and at other times and places.

Other interesting uses of the biblical Hebrew  רָצוֹן  (Heb. =  rāṣon)  can be found in the Isaianic tradition(s) registered in the latter part ( II-Deutero and III-Trito Isaiah perhaps 5th-4th cent BCE ) of the book of Isaiah, which is sometimes predictive of the eschatological era (see Isaiah 49:8; 58:5; 60:7 and 62:2). Only a few examples can be given here:

Isaiah 49: 8 :

כֹּ֣ה אָמַ֣ר יְהוָ֗ה בְּעֵ֤ת רָצֹון֙ עֲנִיתִ֔יךָ וּבְיֹ֥ום יְשׁוּעָ֖ה עֲזַרְתִּ֑יךָ וְאֶצָּרְךָ֗ וְאֶתֶּנְךָ֙ לִבְרִ֣ית עָ֔ם לְהָקִ֣ים אֶ֔רֶץ לְהַנְחִ֖יל נְחָלֹ֥ות שֹׁמֵמֹֽות׃

KJV-AV  
“Thus saith the LORD In an acceptable time (lit.  in a time or season of good pleasure, רָצוֹן֙ rāṣon /Ar. riḍwān) have I heard thee and in a day of salvation (yom yeshu`ah) have I helped thee and I will preserve thee and give thee for a covenant of the people to establish the earth to cause to inherit the desolate heritages”

Isaiah Targum.   

49:8 Thus says the LORD, "In a time that you do my pleasure I accept your prayer, in a day of distress I raise up salvation and help you: I will prepare you and give you as a covenant of people, to raise up the righteous who lie in the dust, to apportion desolate heritages.” (trans. Chilton 1987 : 96). [5]

2 Corinthians 6:2

In  2 Corinthians 6:2 there is also a Greek rewriting of Isaiah 49:8. Here there are echoes of fulfillment in the time of Jesus. It is declared that the Isaianic “accepted time” had been realized :

“For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted (Gk, δεκτῷ), and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now  is the accepted (εὐπρόσδεκτος) time; behold, now is the day of salvation (σωτηρίας)”.

Isaiah 61: 2.

לִקְרֹ֤א שְׁנַת־ רָצֹון֙ לַֽיהוָ֔ה וְיֹ֥ום נָקָ֖ם לֵאלֹהֵ֑ינוּ לְנַחֵ֖ם כָּל־ אֲבֵלִֽים׃

KJV-AV
“(1) The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek … (2) To proclaim the rāṣon (“acceptable”) year of the Lord (YHWH) and the day of vengeance of our God (Elohim) to comfort all that mourn.”

Here the proclamation of an שְׁנַת־ רָצֹון֙, “acceptable” year (1611 KJV = AV), the rāṣon year of the Lord”, could be exegetically translated into Arabic as “the Riḍwān period” (year), period of the Lord.

The Isaiah Targum [6]

61.2 to proclaim the year of pleasure before the LORD, and the day of vengeance before our God; to comfort all those who mourn” (trans. Chilton 1987: 118).

Here the “the year of pleasure before the LORD” might be interpreted by the Bahā’ī apologist as being suggestive of the eschatological era of the Riḍwān period with its Divine Manifestation (Per. maẓhar-i ilāhi) figure in a messianic comforting or “comforter” role. Various texts of the Hebrew Bible and Targumic and Rabbinic literatures have proposed a messianic figure expected in an eschatological age with a comforting role. At the end of Isaiah 61:2, the verb “comfort” has long had messianic associations. One of the titles of the Jewish messiah figure was מנחם , Menahem, who expresses in human terms the latter-day messianic comforting motif (see Lamentations 1:16). The New Testament Johannine “comforter” or Greek Parakeltos - παράκλητος, paráklētos -  the Paraclete figure (see John 14: 16,26 etc) was perhaps, a quasi-messianic “comforter” whose being could have evolved out of the inplications of this and other verses of the book of Isaiah and other Hebrew texts of the Bible (see below on the Arabic al-mu`azzī, the “Comforter”.

19th cent (1860s) trans. of Smith-Van Dyck, Isaiah 61:2

 لانادي بسنة مقبولة للرب وبيوم انتقام لالهنا لأعزي كل النائحين

While this Arabic version of Isaiah 61:2 has bi-sanah maqbūla li’l-rabb (“in an acceptable year for the Lord“) having a less obvious link to the Hebrew root (Ar. r-ḍ-y), the comforting motif (n-ḥ-m) is rendered by means of the Arabic root `-z-y (`to comfort, solace, console’). The personified al-mu`azzī is viewed by Bahā’īs as the equivalent of one of the names or titles of the messianic eschatological “comforter”. The expected Greek parakletos as a post-resurrection, spiritual or messianic “comforter” – mu`azzī – was specifically identified by Bahā’-Allāh with himself in his c. 1872 Arabic Lawḥ-i Hartiq (Tablet for Georg David Hardegg), the German born Templer leader. For details see :

The Dead Sea Scrolls – Qumran, רצונ  in select texts.

According to article rāṣa / rāṣon by Barstad in the TWOT XIII., the verb rāṣa “occurs 27 times in the Dead Sea Scrolls and “the noun rāṣon 76 times”. [7] It is added that their “usage scarcely diverges from that found in the OT, but the texts are of great value both theologically and linguistically.” (TWOT XIII: 629). We may note at the outset an example of a general use of רצונ at the end of the opening line heading the fifth section of the perhaps 2nd cent BCE Qumran Serekh ha-Yahad  סרך היחד , `The Manual of Discipline’ or now `The Community Rule’ (1QS):

        וזה הסרך לאנשי היחד המתנדבים לשוב מכול רע ולהחזיק בכול אשר צוה לרצונו להבדל מעדת [7]

In the Vermes translation this heading reads:

“And this is the Rule for the men of the Community who have freely pledged themselves to be converted from all evil and to cling to all His commandments according to His [רצונ rāṣon] will [good-pleasure…]” (1QS col. V.1, cf. V.9f trans. Vermes, 2004:103). [9]

A few lines later at 1QS V.10 Vermes translates רצונ rāṣon as “delight” in the phrase  ולהתלך ברצונו [10] “and to walking in the way of His [God’s] delight” (rāṣon) (Vermes, ibid 1997/2004: 104).

The Qumran Hyms (1QH).

The noun rṣwn rāṣon occurs fairly frequently in the Qumran Thanksgiving Hymns (1QH). 1QH XV:15 [VII:15f] is “of great theological interest” (so Barsted, ibid) when it declares that from the womb, pre-natal period, the righteous have been predestined by God for the eschatological  time of His  רצונ rāṣon, “goodwill” or “favor”.

Thou didst establish [all] its [ways] before ever creating it, and how can any man change Thy words? Thou alone didst [create] the just [15] and establish him from the womb for the time of goodwill, that he might hearken to Thy Covenant and walk in all (Thy ways), and that [Thou mightest show Thyself great] to him in the multitude of Thy mercies, and enlarge his straitened soul to eternal salvation, to perpetual and unfailing peace. Thou wilt raise up his glory from among flesh (IQA VII [XV]: 14-16 trans. Vermes rev. ed. 2004: 256 ).

For the “just”, the very purpose and ulimate destiny of human evolution and creation, even from the time of the “womb”, the prenatal period, is the attainment of the time of His רצונ rāṣon [Goodwill/Riḍwān] in eschatological times.  

The fragmentary text at 1QH 9:8 similarly uses the expression “until the set time of your [God’s] favor (rṣwn?)”.  Here “pleasure”, “favour” could again be taken as being synonymous with, or predictive of a future time or period of Riḍwān, the time of the eschatological semi-secret proclamation of Bahā’-Allāh.

The Greek Septuagint (LXX) and New Testament.

In the Jewish LXX and and the Christian New Testament, the Greek adjective δεκτός  or dektos meaning “favourable”, “acceptable” or the like. At times within these texts it reflects the abovementioned prophecies of the Hebrew Bible and of certain of the Dead Sea Scrolls. While Cyprian Rice looked back to the Hebrew, biblical roots of al-Ridā’ / Riḍwān, Cyril Glassé  in his 1989/2001 The [New] Encyclopedia of Islam had occasion to mention its New Testament Greek cognate, namely eudokia. In the Greek LXX Bible translation (4th-3rd cent BCE), the Hebrew rāṣa (verb = `to be pleased with, find good, pleasant… etc) is 22 times translated by the Greek eudokein (= `consenting to something’, `to be content with, pleased with’, etc; see I Cor. X:XXX).[11] The Hebrew rāṣon (verbal noun = `pleasure, goodwill, favor, etc) is also 21 times translated by the Greek adjective  δεκτός  (=  dektos)  meaning `acceptable, favorable, welcome, propitious, accepted etc. (see Barsted, TDOT XIII: 630; cf. also W. Grundmann, TDNT II: 37).

An important New Testament example of this includes the Greek translation of Isaiah 61:2, the words from the book of Isaiah read by the child Jesus in the synagogue in Nazareth as recorded in Luke 4:19  the citation of Isaiah 61:2b:  “To preach the ἐνιαυτὸν Κυρίου δεκτόν the acceptable [favourable] year of the Lord” [12]   

The verses read by Jesus from Isaiah are often thought to allude to the Jubilee year (see Leviticus 25:6-13) as the “favourable year  of the Lord”  though this phrase within Isaiah 61 was most likely also intended to foreshadow the onset of the era of the prophetic ministry of Jesus himself as the Jewish Messiah.  It could also be taken to sum up the essence of the Isaiah and of Jesus’ eschatological message of the end time; the time of “favour”, ‘goodwill, “delight”, etc., the Hebrew  רצונ rāṣon = Greek δεκτόν  dekton = Arabic riḍwān time.

There is also reference δεκτῷ   in the citation of Isaiah 49:8 in the letter of Paul, 2 Cor. 6:2: For He [Isaiah] says:

“In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now  is the day of salvation.

Paul, the self-proclaimed disciple of Jesus, evidently believed that with the advent of Jesus in the 1st cent CE, the period of “the accepted time” as the eschatological “day of salvation” had come about. For Baha'is this was echoed with the second advent of Christ in the 19th century.


NOTES

  • [1] Ugaritic, the ancient language of Ugarit (= the present-day Ras Shamra, 10 km north of Latakia) and was used during the fourteenth and thirteenth centuries BCE.
  • [2] Cyprian Rice furthermore, as a learned Catholic writer, also noted that (presumably) the biblical Hebrew word רָצוֹן  rāṣon) is “usually translated [in the Latin Vulgate] by the Latin beneplacitum, or 'good pleasure'”. This sense is perfectly consonant with one of its meanings of al-riḍā’ or riḍwān.  
  • [3] See The Targum of the Minor Prophets… vol. 14 (Haggai), trans., etc., Kevin J. Cathcart and Robert P. Gordon (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1989), p. 177 (cf. pp.4-5).
  •  [4 ] For further biblical references to רָצוֹן  =  reṣon see, for example, Psalm 5:13; 69:13; 145:16; Prov. 8:35; 10:32; 11:27; 14:9; Isaiah 49:8; 58:5; 60:7; 61:2; Malachi 2:13.
  • [3] Chilton, Bruce, The Isaiah Targum. Wilmington, DE: M. Glazier, 1987.
  • [6] Bruce D. Chilton, The Aramaic Bible Volume 11, The Isaiah Targum, Introduction, Translation, Apparatus and Notes. Wilrnington, Delaware: Michael Glazier, Inc., 1987.
  • [7] See, for example, the Manual of Discipline 1QS 3:11 (cf. 8:10), 4:1; 10:13, 20; 11:16.
  • [8] Abegg, M. G., Jr. (2003). Qumran  sectarian manuscripts. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
  • [9] Vermes, The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English/ New York, London etc: Allen Lane, The Penguin Press, 1997, rev. ed. 2004 p. 103.
  • [10] Text from Abegg, M. G., Jr. (2003). Qumran sectarian manuscripts …  
  • [11] Cf  Frede, Essays in Ancient Philosophy, 193ff, 207ff. 
  • [12] The full context in the Gospel of Luke is as follows :  16. And He [Jesius] came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. 17 And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,   18  “THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME,  BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR.  HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES,  AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED,  19 TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.”  Cf. Luke 4:24 which reads, “And he said, Verily I say unto you, οὐδεὶς προφήτης δεκτός ἐστιν ἐν, “No prophet is accepted [honoured, favored] in his own country.”