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Sam Arthur Meier

Sam Arthur Meier

Sam Arthur Meier

Professor Emeritus



Areas of Expertise

  • Hebrew Bible
  • Ancient Semitic languages & texts
  • Comparative Semitic Linguistics


  • Ph.D. from Harvard University (1987) in Hebrew and Semitic Languages and Literatures

Professor Meier received his Ph.D. from Harvard University (1987) in Hebrew and Semitic Languages and Literatures.  He began teaching at the Ohio State University in 1986 in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, and is the author of The Messenger in the Ancient Semitic World (1988), Speaking of Speaking: Marking Direct Discourse in Biblical Hebrew (1992), and Themes and Transformations in Old Testament Prophecy (2009).  He also serves as adjunct professor of History, where he teaches the History of Ancient Israel. Among honors that he has received, he has been a guest at the Rockefeller Study and Conference Center in Bellagio (Italy), has been the Edwards Lecturer in Philosophy and Religion, was recognized as the Bronfmann Distinguished Visiting Professor of Jewish Studies (College of William and Mary), and has received the Ohio State University Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award, as well as the Rodica C. Botoman Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring.  He is presently engaged in research in the Deuteronomistic History and prophecy in ancient Israel.



“Baal’s Fight with Yam (KTU 1.2) - A Part of the Baal Myth as Known in KTU 1.1,3-6?” Ugarit Forschungen 18 (1986) 241 -54.

“Let Your Garments Always Be White. . .,“ Xenos Theological Journal 1 (1987) 91-105.

“2 Peter 3:3-7 - An Early Jewish and Christian Response to Eschatological Skepticism,” Biblische Zeitschrift 198 (1988) 255-57.

The Messenger in the Ancient Semitic World. Harvard Semitic Monographs 45; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 1988.

“Job I-lI: A Reflection of Genesis I-Ill,” Vetus Testamentum 39 (1989) 183-93.

“House Fungus - Mesopotamia and Israel (Lev 14:33-53),” Revue Biblique 96 (1989) 184-92.

“A Ugaritic Convention in Biblical Dialogue,” Ugarit-Forschungen 21(1989) 277-82.

“George Foot Moore,” “G. Ernest Wright,” “C.C. Torrey,” “James Moffat,” “Frederick C. Grant,” “Burton Scott Easton,” “Willis Judson Beecher,” Dictionary of Christianity in America (InterVarsity, 1990).

Review of John T. Greene, The Role of the Messenger and Message in the Ancient Near East, in Journal of the American Oriental Society 109 (1990) 752-53.

Review of Choon Leong Seow, Myth. Drama, and the Politics of David’s Dance in Journal of Biblical Literature 110 (1991) 142-144.

“Linguistic Clues on the Date and Canaanite Origin of Genesis 2:23-24,” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 53 (1991) 18-24.

“The Sabbath and Purification Cycles,” 1-11, The Sabbath in Jewish and Christian Traditions Ed. Tamara Eskenazi, Daniel Harrington, William Shea; Crossroad, 1991.

“Women and Communication in the Ancient Near East,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 111 (1991) 540-47.

“The King as Warrior in Samuel-Kings,” Hebrew Annual Review 13 (1991) 63-76.

“Editorial Appendix,” Hebrew Annual Review 13 (1991) 42-44.

“Beth-Eden,” “Calneh,” “Canneh,” “Cuthah,” “Hammurabi,” “Rephan,” “Sakkuth and Kaiwan,” “Shahar” Anchor Bible Dictionary (Doubleday, 1992).

Review of Alviero Niccacci, The Syntax of the Verb in Classical Hebrew Prose and Mats Eskhult, Studies in Verbal Aspect and Narrative Technique in Biblical Hebrew Prose in Critical Review of Books in Religion 5 (1992) 153-155.

Speaking of Speaking: Marking Direct Discourse in Biblical Hebrew . Vetus Testamentum Supplements 46; Leiden: Brill, 1992.

Review of G. J. Botterweck and H. Ringgren, eds., Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament Volume VI: yobel-yatar I, in Hebrew Studies 34 (1993) 103-106.

“Angels,” “Evil,” “Immanuel,” “Theophany,” The Oxford Companion to the Bible (Oxford University, 1993).

“The Heading of Psalm 52,” Hebrew Annual Review 14 (1994) 143-158.

Review of Ernst Jenni, Die Hebraischen Prapositionen Band I: Die Praposition Beth in Journal of Biblical Literature 113 (1994) 315-316.

“Angel I,” “Angel of Yahweh,” “Destroyer,” “Mediator I,” in Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible (Brill, 1995).

“Willis Judson Beecher,” “Burton Scott Easton,” “Frederick C. Grant, “James Moffat,” “George Foot Moore,” “C.C. Torrey,” “G. Ernest Wright,” in Concise Dictionary of Christianity in America (D. Reid, ed. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1995)

“Lack, need, want,” “Place, Put,” “Agree, Consent” in New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology (Zondervan, 1996)

Review of Ulrich Hubner, Spiele und Spielzeug im antiken Palastina in Journal of the American Oriental Society 116 (1996) 534-535.

Review of David A. Dawson, Text-Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew in Journal of Biblical Literature 115 (1996) 723-724.

Review of Mohammed El Faiz, L’Agronomie de la Mesopotamie antique: Analyse du Livre de l’Agriculture nabatenne de Qutama in Agricultural History 71(1996) 97-98.

Review of Yitzhak Avishur, Studies in Hebrew and Ugaritic Psalms in Hebrew Studies 38 (1997) 152-155.

Review of B. J. Revell, The Designation of the Individual: Expressive Usage in Biblical Narrative in Journal of Biblical Literature 117 (1998) 521-523.

“Meekness,” “Motives,” “Money” in Dictionary of Biblical Theology (Baker, 1997).

“Dog,” “Morning,” “East,” “West,” “North,” South,” “River” in Dictionary of Biblical Imagery (InterVarsity Press, 1998)

“Orienting the Mappa Mundi in Judaism’s Earliest Traditions,” Shofar 17 (1998) 19-28.

Review of Andrew George, The Epic of Gilgamesh: A New Translation (Penguin, 1999) in London Times Literary Supplement March 29, 1999.

Review of Cynthia L. Miller, The Representation of Speech in Biblical Hebrew Narrative. A Linguistic Analysis in Jewish Quarterly Review (1999) 230-235.

Review of Michael Rosenbaum, Word-Order Variation in Isaiah 40-55. A Functional Perspective in Critical Review of Books in Religion (1999).

“Job and the Unanswered Question,” Prooftexts 19 (1999) 265-276.

“Angel I,” “Angel of Yahweh,” “Destroyer,” “Mediator I,” in Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible (Revised Second Edition; Brill, 1999).

“George Foot Moore,” American National Biography (Oxford University; 1999) Vol. 15, 754-755.

"William Judson Beecher," "George Foot Moore," "G. Ernest Wright," in Dictionary of the Presbyterian and Reformed Tradition in America (InterVarsity, 1999) 29, 165, 283.

“Diplomacy and International Marriages,” in Amarna Diplomacy: The Beginnings of International Relations (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000), 165-173, 259-262.

“Angels,” “Immanuel” in The Oxford Guide to People and Places of the Bible (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001)

“Signs and Wonders” Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch (InterVarsity Press, 2002), pp.755-762.

Review of Raymond F. Person, The Deuteronomic School: History, Social Setting and Literature (Atlanta: SBL, 2002) in Review of Biblical Literature 2/2003 accessible at http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=2841&CodePage=2432,2841; republished in Journal of Biblical Literature 122 (2003) 160-165.

Review of Katsuomi Shimasaki, Focus Structure in Biblical Hebrew in Journal of Hebrew Scriptures 4 (2002-2003) accessible at http://collection.nlc-bnc.ca/100/201/300/journal_hebrew/reviews/2003/1104/review102.htm)

Review of Kusatu 2-3: Kleine Untersuchungen zur Sprache des Alten Testaments und seiner Umwelt in Journal of Hebrew Scriptures 4 (2002-2003) accessible at http://collection.nlc-bnc.ca/100/201/300/journal_hebrew/reviews/2003/0608/review104.htm

Review of Roy L. Heller, Narrative Structure and Discourse Constellations: An Analysis of Clause Function in Biblical Hebrew Prose (HSS 55; Eisenbrauns, 2004) in Review of Biblical Literature 10/2004 (accessible at http://www.bookreviews.org/pdf/4143_4037.pdf)

“History of Israel 1: Settlement Period,” pp.425-434 in Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books, ed. Bill T, Arnold and H. G. M. Williamson (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2005)

“The Sword from Saul to David,” pp.156-174 in Saul in Story and Tradition (Forschungen zum Alten Testament 47; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2006).

Review of Jonathan Owen, A Linguistic History of Arabic in Diachronica 24 (2007) 423-427.

“Imprisonment Imagery,” pp. 320-323 in Dictionary of the Old Testament:Wisdom, Poetry, and Writings, ed. Tremper Longman III and Peter Enns (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2008)

“Granting God A Passport: Transporting Gods across International Boundaries,” p.185-208 in Moving Across Borders: Foreign Relations, Religion and Cultural Interactions in the Ancient Mediterranean, ed. P. Kousoulis & K. Magliveras (Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 159; Peeters: 2008).

"Ambassador," "Angels and Angel-Like Beings," Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception (DeGruyter, 2009) Volume 1.949-950, 1167-1173

Themes and Transformations in Old Testament Prophecy. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity, 2009.

"Response to Reviewers," Ashland Theological Review 43 (2011) 131-146.

"Angels, Messengers, Heavenly Beings," pp. 24-29 in Dictionary of the Old Testament: Prophets, eds. Mark Boda and J. Gordon McConville (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2012)

"Diplomacy, Ancient Near East," Encyclopedia of Ancient History, ed. Roger Bagnall (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012)

"Performative Speech," Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics (Brill, 2013)

"Ugaritic Epic Poems," p163-185 in Gods, Heroes, and Monsters: A Sourcebook of Greek, Roman and Near Eastern Myths in Translation, ed. Carolina Lopez-Ruiz (Oxford, 2013)

"To Stop the Wind from Blowing: Stifling the Spirit of Prophecy in the Old Testament,” Holy Spirit: Unfinished Agenda (p.86-90 in Johnson T. K. Lim, ed., Singapore: Armour Publishing, 2015).

“Ptolemy II and the Translation of the Septuagint,” ABC-Clio Encyclopedia of Religious Events (2016).

“1-2 Chronicles”, “Prophecy in the Old Testament World,” Baker Illustrated Bible Background Commentary (2017).


Courses Taught at OSU

  • Modern Hebrew (Hebrew 1101-1102)
  • Biblical and Post-Biblical Hebrew Literature (Hebrew 2700)
  • Prophetic Literature (Hebrew 2703)
  • Women in the Bible (Hebrew 2704)
  • History of Ancient Israel (History 3450)
  • Mythologies of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia (NELC 3700)
  • Hebrew Poetry (Hebrew 4602)
  • Readings in the Dead Sea Scrolls (NELC 5103)
  • Classical Egyptian (NELC 5103)
  • Septuagint Greek (NELC 5103)
  • History of the Hebrew Language (Hebrew 5105)
  • Comparative Semitic Linguistics (NELC 5111)
  • Aramaic (Biblical, Targumic, assorted dialects; NELC 5120)
  • Ugaritic (NELC 5130)
  • Syriac (NELC 5130)
  • Akkadian (NELC 5150 & NELC 5151)
  • Classical Ethiopic (NELC 5193)
  • Epigraphic South Arabian (NELC 5193)
  • Canon and Communities in the Near East (NELC 5571)
  • Hebrew Literature (Hebrew 5601)
  • Isaiah (Hebrew 5602)
  • 1-2 Kings (Hebrew 5602)
  • Psalms (Hebrew 5602)
  • Ecclesiastes (Hebrew 5602)
  • Phoenician (NELC 6030)
  • Exegesis of Jeremiah (Hebrew 8891)

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