Birkat Shalom: Studies in the Bible, Ancient Near Eastern Literature, and Postbiblical Judaism Presented to Shalom M. Paul on the Occasion of His Seventieth Birthday 9781575065908

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Citation preview Page i Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

Birkat Shalom

Photo: Emanuel Tov Page ii Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

Shalom M. Paul Page iii Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

Birkat Shalom Studies in the Bible, Ancient Near Eastern Literature, and Postbiblical Judaism Presented to Shalom M. Paul on the Occasion of His Seventieth Birthday Volume 1

Edited by

Chaim Cohen, Victor Avigdor Hurowitz, Avi Hurvitz, Yochanan Muffs, Baruch J. Schwartz, and Jeffrey H. Tigay

Winona Lake, Indiana Eisenbrauns 2008

01-FrontMatter-PaulFs Page iv Wednesday, September 17, 2008 11:59 AM

ç Copyright 2008 by Eisenbrauns. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America.

Acknowledgments The editors gratefully acknowledge the following for their generous contributions, which made the publication of this volume possible: University of Pennsylvania Research Foundation Jewish Theological Seminary of America The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Bible Department, Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies, and Faculty of Humanities) Ben-Gurion University of the Negev The Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem United Synagogue Youth Rabbi Mark Fasman, Shaare Zedek Synagogue, St. Louis, MO Rabbi Seth Frisch, Rydal, PA, in honor of Rabbi Robyn Frisch Rabbi Seymour Rosenbloom, Congregation Adath Jeshurun, Elkins Park, PA Ina and Lowell Zeleznick The Dead Sea Scrolls Foundation / Dr. Weston and Diane Fields

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Birkat Shalom : studies in the Bible, ancient Near Eastern literature, and postbiblical Judaism : presented to Shalom M. Paul on the occasion of his seventieth birthday / edited by Chaim Cohen . . . [et al.]. v. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-1-57506-145-0 (set (2 vols.); hardback : alk. paper) — ISBN 978-1-57506-154-2 (volume 1; hardback : alk. paper) — ISBN 978-1-57506155-9 (volume 2; hardback : alk. paper) 1. Bible. O.T.—Criticism, interpretation, etc. 2. Middle Eastern literature—History and criticism. 3. Judaism. I. Cohen, Chaim, 1947– II. Paul, Shalom M. BS1171.3.B47 2008 221.6—dc22 2008028951

The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of the American National Standard for Information Sciences—Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1984. †‘ Page v Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

Contents Volume 1 Shalom Paul: Scholar, Teacher, Friend . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xi Victor Avigdor Hurowitz Publications of Shalom M. Paul . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xxi Abbreviations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xxix

Part 1

The Bible The Torah Statut Public et Droit Privé dans la Tôrâh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Henri Cazelles Exodus 21:22–25 Revisited: Methodological Considerations . . . . . . . . 11 Barry L. Eichler Three Major Redactors of the Torah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Richard Elliott Friedman Nimrod, Son of Cush, King of Mesopotamia, and the Dates of P and J . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Israel Knohl A Linguistic Analysis of the Phrase wtn[çm l[ (Exodus 21:19) and the Homiletic Sense wyrwb l[—wtn[çm l[ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Simcha Kogut Burnt Offering of Head, Peder, and Kidneys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 Edward Lipin⁄ ski The Desecration of Yhwh’s Name: Its Parameters and Significance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 Jacob Milgrom Alliteration in the Exodus Narrative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83 Gary A. Rendsburg Deuteronomic Concepts of Exile Interpreted in Jeremiah and Ezekiel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101 Dalit Rom-Shiloni

v Page vi Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM



Light in Genesis 1:3—Created or Uncreated: A Question of Priestly Mysticism? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125 Mark S. Smith

The Historical Books “They Feared God”/“They Did Not Fear God”: On the Use of yéreª Yhwh and yareª ªet Yhwh in 2 Kings 17:24–41 . . . . . . . . . . 135 Shawn Zelig Aster The Lament of David over Abner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143 Elisha Qimron Oracle Inquiries in Judges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jack M. Sasson King Solomon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . J. A. Soggin Synchronic and Diachronic Considerations in the DtrH Portrayal of the Demise of Solomon’s Kingdom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Marvin A. Sweeney “And the Lord Sent Moses and Aaron” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Yair Zakovitch The Davidic-Solomonic Empire from the Perspective of Archaeological Bibliology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ziony Zevit

149 169

175 191


The Books of the Prophets The Sinai Theophany in the Psalm of Habakkuk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Shmuel A˙ituv Jeremiah 3:1–4:2 between Deuteronomy 24 and Matthew 5: Jeremiah’s Exercise in Ethical Criticism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mayer I. Gruber The Historical Background of the Prophecies of Amos . . . . . . . . . . . . . Menahem Haran Isaiah and the Transition from Prophecy to Apocalyptic . . . . . . . . . . . . Ronald Hendel Engendering Ezekiel: Female Figures Reconsidered . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Carol Meyers Zechariah 12:12–14 and Hosea 10:5 in the Light of an Ancient Mourning Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Alexander Rofé


233 251 261 281

299 Page vii Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM



The Ultimate Aim of Israel’s Restoration in Ezekiel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 305 Baruch J. Schwartz Is It Good for the Jews? Ambiguity and the Rhetoric of Turning in Isaiah . . . . . . . . . . . . . 321 Benjamin D. Sommer The Message of Psalm 114 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 347 Adele Berlin

The Writings A New Criterion for Identifying “Wisdom Psalms” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tova Forti Concepts of Wisdom in the Book of Proverbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Michael V. Fox “The Voice of Yhwh Causes Hinds to Calve” (Psalm 29:9) . . . . . . . . . . Jeffrey H. Tigay The Influence of Legal Style on the Style of Aphorism: The Origin of the Retribution Formula and the Clause loª yinnaqeh ‘He Will Not Go Unpunished’ in the Book of Proverbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Shamir Yona

365 381 399


Part 2

The Bible and the Ancient Near East The Mesopotamian Background of the Term µymyh tyrja in the World-Peace Vision of Isaiah 2:2a . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pinhas Artzi luuz The Lions of Nineveh (Nahum 2:12–14): A Check on Nahum’s Familiarity with Assyria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mordechai Cogan New Directions in Modern Biblical Hebrew Lexicography . . . . . . . . . . Chaim Cohen Ahab and Archaeology: A Commentary on 1 Kings 16–22 . . . . . . . . . . William G. Dever Hurrian Ullikummi and Daniel’s “Little Horn” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Roy E. Gane Reanalysis in Biblical and Babylonian Poetry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Edward L. Greenstein


433 441 475 485 499 Page viii Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM



In Search of Resen (Genesis 10:12): Dur-Sarrukin? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 511 Victor Avigdor Hurowitz Deuteronomy 6:6, 9 in the Light of Northwest Semitic Inscriptions . . 525 André Lemaire The Myth of Tammuz in Biblical Narrative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 531 Baruch Margalit

Volume 2 Part 3

The Ancient Near East Scribal Initiative in the Clarification and Interpretation of Mesopotamian Law Collections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pamela Barmash Two Aramaic Ostraca from a Tannery in ºÊn Gedî . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Frank Moore Cross A Late Iron Age Hebrew Letter Containing the Word Noqédîm . . . . . . . Esther Eshel and Hanan Eshel Wordplay in the Lamastu Incantations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . J. N. Ford “The Ship of the Desert, the Donkey of the Sea”: The Camel in Early Mesopotamia Revisited . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wayne Horowitz “Secular” Love Songs in Mesopotamian Literature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jacob Klein and Yitschak Sefati A Seated Figurine from Tell eß-Íâfi/Gath: A Philistine Image of El? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Aren M. Maeir The Deity Addu (Hadad) of Kallassu (near Aleppo) in Two Mari Letters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Abraham Malamat Negotiating with Hammu-rapi: A Case Study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Frank H. Polak The Love Poem of Rim-Sîn and Nanaya . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Marcel Sigrist and Joan Goodnick Westenholz On rahaßum I, II, III and on Akkadian rihßum = Hebrew hrx[ . . . . . . . Nathan Wasserman

551 565 571 585

597 613


637 643 667 705 Page ix Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM



From Biqºat to KTK: “All Aram” in the Sefîre Inscription in the Light of Amos 1:5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 713 Nili Wazana Two Become One: A Unique Memorandum of Obligation . . . . . . . . . . 733 Ada Yardeni and Bezalel Porten

Part 4

Postbiblical, Medieval, and Modern Judaism The Place of Genres in Bible Curricula . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Yairah Amit The Three-Day Period of Purification before Entering the Temple . . . . Aaron Demsky Scribal Interventions in 1QIsaiaha . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . David Noel Freedman luuz and Joshua J. Van Ee The “Plotting Witness” and Beyond: A Continuum in Ancient Near Eastern, Biblical, and Talmudic Law . . . . . . . . . . . . Shamma Friedman Franz Rosenzweig and the Land of Two Rivers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . William W. Hallo Rashi and the “Messianic” Psalms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Robert A. Harris “The Lovers’ Way”: Cultural Symbiosis in a Medieval Commentary on the Song of Songs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sara Japhet A Rather Risqué Pun in Jewish Babylonian Aramaic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Matthew Morgenstern The “Voice” of the Narrator and the “Voice” of the Characters in the Bible Commentaries of Yefet ben ºEli . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Meira Polliack Codification of Jewish Law in the Dead Sea Scrolls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lawrence H. Schiffman Mismarot Lists (4Q322–324c) and “Historical Texts” (4Q322a; 4Q331–4Q333) in Qumran Documents . . . . . . . . . . . . Shemaryahu Talmon and Jonathan Ben-Dov Literary Analysis, the So-Called Original Text of Hebrew Scripture, and Textual Evaluation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Emanuel Tov

755 775 787

801 831 845

863 881

891 917


943 Page x Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM



Sources for the Astronomy in 1 Enoch 72–82 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . James C. VanderKam I. O. Lehman, HUC mss 951–981 from Kai Feng, and a Purported Link between China and Yemen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . David B. Weisberg Philo and Maimonides on the Garden of Eden Narrative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . David Winston


Indexes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Index of Authors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Index of Scripture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Index of Words, Terms, and Expressions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Index of Nonbiblical Sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1003 1003 1019 1043 1058


989 Page xi Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

Shalom Paul: Scholar, Teacher, Friend Victor Avigdor Hurowitz

Rabbi Ilai said (b. ºErub. 65b): “A person is known by three things—his cup (wswk), his wallet (wsyk), and his temper (ws[k); and some say even by his laugh (wqjç).” I have known Shalom Paul for over three decades, ever since I was his teaching assistant during his first year at the Hebrew University, and I never found him inebriated, miserly, or angry. There is also no doubt that Shalom knows levity and lightness of heart, how to laugh and bring laughter to others. But with all due respect to R. Ilai, Shalom can be known by an additional sign—his chair (wask). A visitor to his office finds him sitting in his chair, happily engaged in scholarship, pleasantly advising students, receiving guests with a laugh on his lips, and conversing amicably on the phone with friends and colleagues. His chair is in front of his bookshelves and, at his fingertips, on the shelf closest to his chair sits the CAD, the multivolume Assyrian Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. Of course, one also finds biblical commentaries in Shalom’s office, both classical and modern, and many scholarly tomes—just as one would expect to find in the library of a learned scholar. But the book closest to his chair and to his heart, constantly at his command is the encyclopaedic dictionary of the Akkadian language, and this speaks reams about the man in the chair. Shalom made aliyah in 1971, directly from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, where nine years earlier he had been ordained as a rabbi and where he had spent his last decade in the United States. However, Shalom’s real school was no mere building of brick but, rather, a distinguished school of scholarship. The real scholarly school in which Shalom was raised and on whose Torah he was nurtured was the venerated school of Jewish, biblical, and ancient Near Eastern scholarship whose hallmark was critical biblical scholarship bound and wed—by the Law of Moses and Israel, as it were—to ancient Near Eastern studies. This school, which Shalom often referred to as the University of Mesopotamia, flourished in the 1960s of the xi Page xii Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


Shalom Paul: Scholar, Teacher, Friend

20th century among Jewish scholars on the northeast coast of the United States under the tutelage of luminaries of the magnitude of Ephraim Avigdor Speiser, H. L. Ginsberg, Theodor Gaster, and Cyrus Gordon from the Age of Giants, and Moshe Held, William W. Hallo, Nahum Sarna, Baruch Levine, Jacob Joel Finkelstein, and Moshe Greenberg of the next generation. This scholarly Tree of Life, the tendrils of which stretched from Boston and New Haven in the north, through New York in the center, and reaching Philadelphia in the south, bore many fine fruits. Some, such as Yochanan Muffs, Jeffrey Tigay, Steven Geller, David Marcus, and David Sperling struck roots in the United States. Others, among them Jonas Greenfield, Mordechai Cogan, Jacob Klein, Ed Greenstein, Chaim Cohen, Mayer Gruber, and of course Shalom himself, replanted themselves in Israel. Shalom maintains contact with this community, and on occasion returns to JTS and other institutions to serve as guest lecturer or visiting professor. As a result of having been a student at the “U of M,” when Shalom arrived in Jerusalem he already bore an impeccable pedigree and for a generation has added his own fame to the fame of his scholarly family. This community of scholarship left its indelible imprint on our jubilarian’s scientific oeuvre. There is hardly a publication of his in which the scent of the Tigris and Euphrates mixed with the fragrance of the Bible and the rabbis cannot be detected, both in its pages and between its lines. The biblical literature to which Shalom directed his efforts for some four decades includes Law, Prophecy (especially the words of Hosea, Amos, Jonah, Jeremiah, and Deutero-Isaiah) and the Writings (whether the Song of Songs and Esther or Job, Daniel, and Ezra–Nehemiah). He has also dedicated studies to ancient Near Eastern writings and rabbinic sources in their own right and has made frequent use of this literature in his biblically oriented studies. In all of his writings, public lectures, and classes, the world of the Bible and the world of Mesopotamia are one. The Bible is illuminated with light from Akkadian sources, frequently refracted through the prism of Jewish exegesis. Shalom’s exploitation of the treasures of ancient Near Eastern writings is always bound together with exegetical and literary sensitivity: to the influence of one prophet on the other, to rhetorical structures, to double entendre, or to wordplay. He is deeply immersed in the biblical text and the external sources that can be used to make it clear. He is a comparative exegete par excellence: he interprets the text according to its plain meaning and in view of the historical and cultural milieu of the authors, always relying on his intimate knowledge of ancient languages and their modes of expression. Page xiii Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

Shalom Paul: Scholar, Teacher, Friend


In a brilliant article that appeared in the Festschrift for Moshe Weinfeld, Shalom compares µymtjw µymts near the end of the book of Daniel (12:9) with Akkadian kakku sakku ‘secret and hidden’. In the spirit of this comparison, we might suggest dubbing Shalom µymwtjw µymwts ˆBEl æm‘w rreb:m], or, in its interdialectical equivalent, which he might prefer, pasir kakki sakki. Shalom started his scholarly career in the field of biblical Law, with a study of the Book of the Covenant in light of cuneiform law and law corpora. His doctoral dissertation and book that appeared in the prestigious Supplements to Vetus Testamentum series discussed the structural similarities between the Book of the Covenant and the Mesopotamian legal collections: it cast light on many laws in the Covenant Code with the help of parallels from a wide variety of Mesopotamian sources, the Nuzi documents in particular. This book was considered a classic in its time, and it has been republished recently with an introduction by Samuel Greengus in the Dove Studies in Bible, Language, and History reprint series of classical monographs. Shalom’s study of the Covenant Code led to his article on the enigmatic triad htnw[w htwsk hraç (Exod 21:10) in which he broke the bonds of the etymological straitjacket that had impeded all previous attempts at explaining htnw[ and suggested instead a comparative-contextual solution on the basis of parallel laws and customs mentioned in Mesopotamian sources of various genres. Elsewhere, he explored the basic legal formulations current in the laws of ancient Israel, Mesopotamia, and Anatolia. After surveying the vast sea of scholarly literature on this subject, Shalom showed that the apodictic law formulation is limited to Israelite law and totally absent elsewhere. The apodictic law was primarily an expression of the biblical belief in the divine origin of law, and applying the apodictic formulation to legal material was a uniquely biblical phenomenon. Shalom has returned time and again to legal matters. However, his return visits have not been to the law collections themselves but to narratives, prophecies, and Wisdom instructions that allude to customs and expressions from the field of law. Several studies clarify biblical expressions and ideas on the basis of Mesopotamian laws, Middle-Assyrian harem regulations, and other legal documents. Without going into detail, I must say that, taken together, these studies clearly demonstrate the influence of ancient Near Eastern legal jargon on biblical rhetoric as a whole, even where it might be least expected. The main thrust of Shalom’s work over the years, however, has been directed at the area of prophecy. Shortly after completing his doctorate and publishing his book on the Covenant Code, Shalom was invited to write Page xiv Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


Shalom Paul: Scholar, Teacher, Friend

the entry on “Prophets and Prophecy” for the Encyclopaedia Judaica. An updated form of this article appeared subsequently in Etz Óayim, the highcirculation commentary on the Pentateuch published by the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and the Rabbinical Assembly. This long and detailed article, which Shalom has described as constituting a supplement to A. J. Heschel, The Prophets, deals with all of the characteristics of preclassical and classical prophets, beginning with the prophetic experience and proceeding to discuss the moral message of prophecy. Allied in spirit with his friend and colleague Yochanan Muffs, Shalom wisely devoted a considerable part of this study to the function of the prophet as challenger of God, on the one hand, and as the people’s advocate, on the other. The crown jewel of Shalom’s prophetic mission to date has been his monumental commentary on the book of Amos, published in the Hermeneia series. This commentary lies at the base of his subsequent Hebrew commentary on Amos, which appeared in the Miqra Le-Yisrael series. Here as in all his works, Shalom is sensitive to the artistic and interpretive importance of literary features. In preparation for this commentary, he studied the pattern of concatenation in Amos’s prophecies against the nations in 1:3–2:16 and the rhetorical features of 3:3–8, uncovering literary patterns that he then exploited for exegetical purposes and for the purpose of solving higher-critical problems. On the lexical front, he explained the Summer House and Winter House (3:15) in light of ancient Near Eastern customs; in a study of fishing imagery in Amos 4:2, he explained twnx as ‘baskets’ on the basis of Aramaic cognates and Akkadian semantic parallels, creating thereby a better parallel to twrys, which is explained as a ‘cooking vessel’, rys, rather than a ‘boat’, hrys. Shalom’s commentary excels in well-developed exegetical acumen, literary sensitivity, and conservative critical caution with regard to highercritical questions. He rejects approaches to large portions of the book as late accretions and editorial additions or to the book as a composite hodgepodge that developed incrementally over several centuries. In his opinion, the book of Amos is a compositional unity, and his exacting examination reveals that even passages such as the concluding prophecy, considered by several scholars to be Deuteronomistic and late, can be ascribed to the prophet Amos himself. As elsewhere, so here, the contribution of Assyriology and ancient Near Eastern sources marks almost every page. Already in the second verse of the book, Shalom adduces rich documentation to show that the idea that dryness caused by a roar, even though unnatural, is a familiar ancient Near Eastern motif. The cessation of rain threatened in Amos Page xv Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

Shalom Paul: Scholar, Teacher, Friend


4:7 is compared with similar curses that appear at the conclusion of Codex Hammurabi, and Shalom compares the “futility” imprecation (“then two or three towns would stagger to another town to drink water, but they could not quench their thirst,” 4:8) with the curses concluding the bilingual inscription from Tell Fakheriyah. He interprets twkys and ˆwyk in 5:26 in light of Akkadian dsag.kud (sakkut) and kajamanu, which are star names; and he compares the continuation of the verse “your idols . . . which you made for yourself” with the expression epis ßalam Assur u ilani rabûti ‘maker of the image of Ashur and the great gods’, found in the inscriptions of Sennacherib and others. Comments such as these appear throughout the body of the commentary and in the notes, and effectively place the words of the prophet in the wider context not only of the remainder of biblical prophecy but of the rich literature of neighboring cultures. In addition to drawing copiously from the wells of the ancient Near East, Shalom’s Amos commentary exposes and exploits the literary aspect of the words of the prophet. According to Shalom: “Amos was heir to many variegated literary influences and poetic conventions and formulae, which he employed with creative sophistication to propound and expound his divinely given message” (p. 4). Needless to say, in the course of the commentary Shalom identifies literary and rhetorical features such as genres, numerical structures, concatenation, imagery, refrains, wordplay, and sarcasm and irony. Anyone familiar with Shalom’s writings or who has heard his exciting lectures knows the extent to which he himself is master of the well-turned phrase and the rhetorical device. There is no doubt that Shalom’s ability to identify these devices in the words of Amos derives from his ability to wield them himself. Shalom remarks that Amos “had a penchant for paronomasia,” and indeed only a poetically inspired exegete could pen a remark such as: He constantly and consistently called the upper class to task for their bribery and extortion, for their corruption of the judiciary, for perversion and dishonesty, for injustice and immorality, for exploitation of the impoverished and the underprivileged, for resolute dissolute behavior, for pampered prosperity and boisterous banquetry, for greed and arrogant security, for self-indulgence and a life of carpe diem, and for pride and prejudice. (p. 2)

When Shalom finished his commentary on Amos, I was privileged to participate personally in the joyous, long-awaited moment when he emptied his office of countless pages of yellowing yellow paper on which he had penned Page xvi Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


Shalom Paul: Scholar, Teacher, Friend

the notes and drafts of his commentary and loaded them onto a highjacked janitor’s cart that squeaked “like a wagon full of sheaves.” But lest one think that Shalom has been deprived of prophecy, a short time ago he completed his commentary on Deutero-Isaiah for the Miqra LeYisrael series, now being edited by Shmuel A˙ituv. This commentary has already been commissioned by Eerdmans for publication in English form. There is no doubt that this commentary too will hold the fruits of his earlier studies, such as his classic articles on the influence of cuneiform royal inscriptions on the language of Second Isaiah, or the influence of Jeremiah on this anonymous prophet. In the latter study, Shalom again demonstrates his sensitivity for hearing the words of one prophet while reading the words of another, showing how the earlier prophet influenced the later and how the second prophet adopts and adapts the words of his predecessor for his own purposes. Shalom’s work on prophecy goes far beyond the commentaries on Amos and Deutero-Isaiah. A number of his publications focus on specific cruxes in the words of other prophets, including Jeremiah, Hosea, Jonah, and Zechariah. One of Shalom’s greatest loves, perhaps the greatest love of all, is for love poetry and erotica. As early as 1976, Shalom authored the entry “Song of Songs” for the Encyclopedia Miqraªit, and since then he has devoted more than half a dozen studies to this scroll of love. His investigation of garden and vineyard imagery in erotic literature brings to the Song of Songs his fondness for the amorous in ancient Near Eastern literature—from Sumerian love poetry to the sayings of the rabbis. His attraction to the Song of Songs and the language of love together with his fascination with double entendre aroused his interest in euphemism and erotic diction. The crowning jewel of this affection is his lengthy study of “The Shared Legacy of Sexual Metaphors and Euphemisms in Mesopotamian and Biblical Literature.” This juicy article originated in a keynote address delivered before a hall of astonished Assyriologists at the meeting of the Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale held in Helsinki in 2001, and dedicated to the topic “Sex and Gender.” Let it be noted that for a biblical scholar to be invited to open a major Assyriological conference is an exceptional distinction; this is but one of the many outstanding expressions of the international recognition Shalom has earned as an exciting lecturer and as the authority on “everything you wanted to know about sex in the ancient Near East but were afraid to ask.” Page xvii Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

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Anyone who reads Shalom’s writings will be impressed by the appeal that alliteration, wordplay, and polysemy hold for him, and it seems that his personal penchant has enabled him to find similar phenomena in Scripture itself. His Amos commentary and his other writings display a strong rhetorical bent which, alongside the specifically exegetical observations, explicates literary structures on the one hand and multiple levels of the meanings of lexemes on the other. His essay in the Haran festschrift (1996) on Janus double entendre elucidates inter alia one of the rhetorical devices in the Song of Songs, while another study reveals a novel grammatical feature typical of biblical and Mesopotamian love poetry-—namely, the plural of ecstasy, in which the lover expresses him or herself not in the first-person singular but in the plural. Shalom began his career by examining the influence of second-millennium law and jurisprudence on biblical Law, but in more recent studies he has turned increasingly to late biblical literature, especially the book of Daniel. He still employs Akkadian sources to explain biblical concepts but now in the Aramaic language. Drawing on Akkadian expressions that designate the physiological symptoms of fear, he sheds new light on the description of Belshazzar’s fright at the Handwriting on the Wall. He elucidates the story of Daniel and his young friends and their selection to serve in the royal court with the help of a letter from Zimri-lim, king of Mari. This story along with the linguistic parallels adduced are important in their own right, but they also testify to the endurance of Mesopotamian culture over more than one thousand years and show that the ancient Mesopotamian heritage was still alive and well at the beginning of the Hellenistic period. Mention of the Hellenistic period provides the opportunity to note the fact that Shalom is a member of the academic board of the Orion Center for Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Associated Literature and served as its chairman several years ago. He is also the chairperson of the Dead Sea Scrolls Foundation. In addition, he is an active participant in the Melammu project, founded by the renowned Finnish Assyriologist Simo Parpola, an international project aimed at documenting survivals of Mesopotamian civilization in later antiquity from the fall of Babylon until the rise of Islam. Shalom has demonstrated great interest in postbiblical Jewish literature, and here too he enlists his knowledge of Mesopotamian writings. What he did with the Bible he also does with rabbinic writings, explaining dozens of terms in Rabbinic Hebrew and Aramaic with the help of Akkadian. He has clarified the biblical background and Mesopotamian roots of the “Book Page xviii Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


Shalom Paul: Scholar, Teacher, Friend

of Life” known from rabbinic literature and from the Jewish High Holy Day liturgy. The “Book of Life,” he has discovered, originates in the Tablets of Destiny, the †uppi simati, which were possessed by various gods in Sumerian and Akkadian literature and are mentioned in biblical and postbiblical writings as well. In an especially refreshing study, he pointed to the similarity between the types of wine mentioned in rabbinic writings and the wines found in Mesopotamian writings. Mention of rabbinic literature returns us to Shalom’s very first academic article, which appeared fortuitously in 1967, the year when Jerusalem was liberated in the Six Day War, and which eventually became the flagship of his public lectures around the world: Jerusalem of Gold. This article investigated the Akkadian term alu sa huraßi ‘city of gold’ and demonstrated that it designates a piece of precious jewelry, in the form of a city wall, which was worn by women of stature. The expression city of gold appears as well in Hebrew and Aramaic in rabbinic sources. To complete the picture, iconographic evidence shows women adorned with crowns in the form of city walls. Anyone who has never seen a city-of-gold crown was obviously not privileged to attend the wedding at Jerusalem’s Holy Land Hotel at which Shalom officiated 20 years ago, when an authentic “city of gold” made to order by Shalom adorned the head of the beautiful bride, his own daughter Michal (see cover images). One could continue enumerating the many novel interpretations that characterize Shalom’s other writings. All of them, along with the writings already mentioned, are now readily available in updated form in Divrei Shalom: Collected Studies of Shalom M. Paul on the Bible and the Ancient Near East, 1967–2005, in Brill’s Culture and History of the Ancient Near East series. And because Shalom is ever-youthful, there will certainly be many more to come. Shalom, un-aged after four decades, retired from full-time teaching in 2004. His retirement marks the end of an era in the history of the Hebrew University’s prestigious Bible Department, an era characterized by the brilliant comparative scholarship of luminaries such as the late U. Cassuto and S. E. Loewenstamm as well as Moshe Greenberg and Moshe Weinfeld. Shalom was a bright star in a star-studded firmament. Surely by merit of students inspired by him at the Hebrew University, Shalom will now be a morning star, a harbinger of another bright dawn of studying the Bible in its ancient Near Eastern background. Having highlighted Shalom’s scholarly contribution, I proceed to some remarks about Shalom the student and Shalom the teacher. When Shalom Page xix Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

Shalom Paul: Scholar, Teacher, Friend


addressed his retirement party on 19 Iyyar 5764 (20 May 2004), he surveyed his academic development in great detail, from his first visit in Israel in 1958, when he fell in love with Jerusalem and his wife-to-be, Yonah; to his subsequent conversation with Nahum Sarna, who advised him to forgo his plans to pursue a Ph.D. at Dropsie College and to study instead at JTS; to his meeting with Saul Lieberman, who granted his blessing to majoring in Bible rather than Talmud; and through his years at JTS and the University of Pennsylvania, when he studied, worked, and taught with great scholars such as William Foxwell Albright, H. L. Ginsberg, Saul Lieberman, Abraham Joshua Heschel, and Ephraim Avigdor Speiser. In the dust of their feet, he mastered the ancient Semitic tongues and their scripts, specializing and excelling in all branches of ancient Near Eastern and Jewish studies. After receiving his Ph.D. (he was Speiser’s last student), he made aliyah, with invitations to teach at both the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University. He survived the slings and arrows of promotion and tenure review, rose steadily through the ranks of academe, and concluded his active teaching career as Ye˙ezkel Kaufmann Professor of Bible. With this, he came full circle: 40 years earlier, Kaufmann’s monumental, sevenvolume Toledot Haªemunah Ha-Yisreªelit had been translated and condensed into a single volume by Moshe Greenberg; Shalom, then still in his student days, had been assigned to referee the condensation for the publisher— anonymously, of course. Shalom was hardly the run-of-the-mill university professor whose teaching suffered because it took back seat to his scholarship. In addition to teaching at the Hebrew University, where he has also served several terms as department head and introduced a course on the Bible against its ancient Near Eastern background, he is a popular lecturer in universities, educational institutions, and synagogues in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North, Central, and South America. He also served for three decades as a scholar in residence for Ramah Camps and the United Synagogue Youth Israel Pilgrimage. Not infrequently, one encounters people of various ages who were drawn to and began Bible studies because they heard a public lecture or attended a study group conducted by Shalom Paul. His dedication to improving education in Israel led him to agree to serve as Chairperson of the Ministry of Education Committee for Biblical Curriculum and Study in Israeli Schools. In Shalom’s own words, “Above all, I devoted myself to making them [the students] love the Bible and its rich and wonderful world, arousing their curiosity in understanding the written text and igniting in their hearts the spark and thrill of learning.” Anyone who has attended Page xx Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


Shalom Paul: Scholar, Teacher, Friend

Shalom’s classes or public lectures, always packed with students or listeners on the edge of their seats, or has seen him in his office at work with his students can affirm that these are not empty words. Shalom has not only exposited the esoterica of biblical erotica; he has taught the Bible as a book to be loved. This essay of appreciation would not be complete without a word about Shalom’s most important attribute. Shalom is above all a wonderful friend. The size of this volume, containing over 60 contributions, is much more than a well-deserved tribute to an inspired scholar and an inspiring teacher. This collection is, rather, a gift of gratitude to a man who has touched all of us with his friendship. For each of us, Shalom is a rbjw br. I will forever remember the time, many years ago when, after an arduous day of teaching in Beer-sheba, I came home to Jerusalem, only to leave late that same evening and fly to America. Shalom, who lived across the street from me, climbed the four stories to my walk-up apartment (which I had purchased only after asking Shalom’s advice) to carry my quite heavy suitcase down to the cab. I am sure I said “thank you” then, Shalom, but I want to thank you again for that, and for many more acts of friendship you have performed for me unceasingly over the past four decades. In 1972, Shalom explained Ps 72:5, µyrwd rwd jry ynplw çmç µ[ ˚waryy. On the basis of the Septuagint, he emended this verse to read çmç µ[ ˚yrayw µyrwd rwd jry ynplw and, by translating µ[ ‘as’, he rendered the verse: “May he lengthen his days for generations like the Sun and the Moon.” In this prayer, Shalom heard the echo of extrabiblical blessings such as sulmam u bala†am sa kima Sîn u Samas darium ana qistim liqisusum ana siriktim lisrikusum. Just so, we now wish him the same: “May your days be long like those of the Sun and your years like those of the Moon in life and health, happiness and shalom.” On behalf of the editors and contributors Victor Avigdor Hurowitz Pesa˙ 5768 Page xxi Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

Publications of Shalom M. Paul Doctoral Dissertation 1. Studies in the Book of the Covenant. University of Pennsylvania, 1964. [adviser, Ephraim Avigdor Speiser]

Books 1. Studies in the Book of the Covenant in the Light of Cuneiform and Biblical Law. Supplements to Vetus Testamentum 18. Leiden: Brill, 1970. Reprinted, Dove Studies in Bible, Language, and History. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2006. 2. Biblical Law: Bibliographical Introduction to Legal History and Ethnology, ed. J. Gilissen. Brussels: Université Libre de Bruxelles, 1974. 3. Amos: A Commentary on the Book of Amos. Hermeneia. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1991. [Revised ed., Augsburg Fortress, 2007.] 4. A Commentary on Amos, ed. S. A˙ituv. Miqra Leyisraªel. Jerusalem: Magnes and Am Oved, 1994. [Hebrew] 5. Divrei Shalom: Collected Studies of Shalom M. Paul on the Bible and the Ancient Near East, 1967–2005 (Leiden: Brill, 2005). 6. A Commentary on Isaiah 40–66, ed. S. A˙ituv. 2 vols. Miqra Leyisraªel. Jerusalem: Magnes and Am Oved, 2008. [Hebrew] 7. Second Isaiah. Eerdmans Critical Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans (forthcoming).

Books Edited 1. Biblical Archaeology. Jerusalem: Keter, 1973. [coedited with W. G. Dever] 2. The Bible and Civilization. Jerusalem: Keter, 1973. 3. Illustrated Dictionary and Concordance of the Bible. New York: Macmillan, 1986. [coedited with B. T. Viviano, E. Stern, and E. Wigoder] Hebrew translation: Encyclopedia of the Bible. 4 vols. Jerusalem: Yediºot Aharonot, 1987. [coedited with R. Posner and E. Stern] German translation: Jerusalemer Bibel-Lexikon. 4 vols. Neuhausen-Stuttgart: Hänssler, 1990. [coedited with K. Hennig and J. Kuberski] Japanese translation: Japan: Fhinkyo Shuppansha, 1991.

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4. The Almanac of the Bible. New York: Prentice Hall, 1991. [coedited with G. Wigoder and B. T. Viviano] 5. ºAl Kanfei Yonah: Collected Studies of Jonas C. Greenfield on Semitic Philology. 2 volumes. Jerusalem: Magnes / Leiden: Brill, 2001. [coedited with M. E. Stone and A. Pinnick] 6. Emanuel: Studies in Hebrew Bible, Septuagint and Dead Sea Scrolls in Honor of Emanuel Tov. Leiden: Brill, 2003. [coedited with R. A. Kraft, L. H. Schiffman, and W. W. Fields] 7. Sefer Moshe—The Moshe Weinfeld Jubilee Volume: Studies in the Bible and the Ancient Near East, Qumran, and Postbiblical Judaism. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2004. [coedited with C. Cohen and A. Hurvitz] 8. The Jewish Publication Society Guide to the Bible. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 2008. [coedited with Z. Zevit and F. Greenspahn]

Articles The Bible and the Ancient Near East 1. “The Image of the Oven and the Cake in Hosea VII:4–10.” Vetus Testamentum 18 (1968) 114–20. 2. “Deutero-Isaiah and Cuneiform Royal Inscriptions.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 88 (1968) 180–86. [= Pp. 180–86 in Essays in Memory of E. A. Speiser, ed. W. W. Hallo. American Oriental Series 53. New Haven, CT: American Oriental Society, 1968.] 3. “Cuneiform Light on Jer. 9, 20.” Biblica 49 (1968) 373–76. 4. “Exod. 21:10: A Threefold Maintenance Clause.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 28 (1969) 48–53. 5. “Sargon’s Administrative Diction in II Kings 17:27.” Journal of Biblical Literature 88 (1969) 73–74. 6. “Biblical and Mesopotamian Legal Formulations.” Lesonénu 34 (1970) 257–66. [Hebrew] 7. “Psalm 72:5: A Traditional Blessing for the Long Life of the King.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 31 (1972) 351–55. 8. “Heavenly Tablets and the Book of Life.” Journal of the Ancient Near Eastern Society of Columbia University 5 (T. H. Gaster Festschrift; 1973) 345– 54. 9. “Classifications of Wine in Mesopotamian and Rabbinic Sources.” Israel Exploration Journal 25 (1975) 42–44. 10. “Nehemiah 6:19: Counter Espionage.” Hebrew Annual Review 1 (1977) 177–79. Page xxiii Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

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11. “Amos III 15: Winter and Summer Mansions.” Vetus Testamentum 28 (1978) 358–60. 12. “Fishing Imagery in Amos 4:2.” Journal of Biblical Literature 97 (1978) 183–90. 13. “An Unrecognized Medical Idiom in Canticles 6, 12 and Job 9, 21.” Biblica 59 (1978) 545–47. 14. “1 Samuel 9, 7: An Interview Fee.” Biblica 59 (1978) 542–44. 15. “Unrecognized Biblical Legal Idioms in the Light of Comparative Akkadian Expressions.” Revue Biblique 86 (1979) 231–39. 16. “Adoption Formulae: A Study of Cuneiform and Biblical Legal Clauses.” Maarav 2/2 (1979–80) 173–85; “Adoption Formulae.” Eretz-Israel 14 (H. L. Ginsberg Volume; 1978) 31–36. [Hebrew] 17. “Psalm XXVII 10 and the Babylonian Theodicy.” Vetus Testamentum 32 (1982) 489–92. 18. “Two Cognate Semitic Terms for Mating and Copulation.” Vetus Testamentum 32 (1982) 492–93. 19. “Job 4:15: A Hair Raising Encounter.” Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 95 (1983) 119–21. 20. “Daniel 3:29: A Case of ‘Neglected’ Blasphemy.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 42 (1983) 291–94. 21. “Dan 6, 8: An Aramaic Reflex of Assyrian Legal Terminology.” Biblica 65 (1984) 106–10. 22. “µyrç ˚lm açm: Hosea 8:8–10 and Ancient Near Eastern Royal Epithets.” Pp. 193–204 in Studies in Bible, ed. S. Japhet. Scripta Hierosolymitana 31. Jerusalem: Magnes, 1986. 23. “A Technical Expression from Archery in Zechariah IX 13a.” Vetus Testamentum 39 (1989) 495–97. 24. “Biblical Analogues to Middle Assyrian Law.” Pp. 333–50 in Religion and Law: Biblical-Judaic and Islamic Perspectives, ed. E. B. Firmage, B. G. Weiss, and J. W. Welch. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1990. 25. “Exodus 1:21, ‘To Found a Family’: A Biblical and Akkadian Idiom.” Maarav 8/2 (Let Your Colleagues Praise You: Studies in Memory of Stanley Gevirtz; 1992) 139–42. 26. “Gleanings from the Biblical and Talmudic Lexica in Light of Akkadian.” Pp. 242–56 in Min˙ah le-Na˙um: Biblical and Other Studies Presented to Nahum M. Sarna in Honour of His 70th Birthday, ed. M. Brettler and M. Fishbane. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement 154. Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1993. Page xxiv Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


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27. “Decoding a ‘Joint’ Expression in Daniel 5:6, 16.” Journal of the Ancient Near Eastern Society 22 (Comparative Studies in Honor of Yochanan Muffs; 1993) 121–27. 28. “From Mari to Daniel: Instructions for the Acceptance of Servants into the Royal Court.” Eretz-Israel 22 (Abraham Malamat Volume; 1993) 161– 63. [Hebrew] 29. “Euphemistically ‘Speaking’ and a Covetous Eye.” Hebrew Annual Review 14 (Biblical and Other Studies in Honor of Reuben Ahroni on the Occasion of His Sixtieth Birthday; 1994) 193–204. 30. “Untimely Death in Semitic Languages.” Pp. 575–86 in The Bible in the Light of Its Interpreters: Sarah Kamin Memorial Volume, ed. S. Japhet. Jerusalem: Magnes, 1994. [Hebrew] 31. “The ‘Plural of Ecstasy’ in Mesopotamian and Biblical Love Poetry.” Pp. 585–97 in Solving Riddles and Untying Knots: Biblical, Epigraphic, and Semitic Studies in Honor of Jonas C. Greenfield, ed. Z. Zevit, S. Gitin, and M. Sokoloff. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1995. 32. “Two Proposed Janus Parallelisms in Akkadian Literature.” N.A.B.U. 1995: 11–12. [coauthored with W. Horowitz] 33. “Hosea 7:16: Gibberish Jabber.” Pp. 707–12 in Pomegranates and Golden Bells: Studies in Biblical, Jewish, and Near Eastern Ritual, Law, and Literature in Honor of Jacob Milgrom, ed. D. P. Wright, D. N. Freedman, and A. Hurvitz. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1995. 34. “ ‘Emigration’ from the Netherworld in the Ancient Near East.” Pp. 221– 27 in Immigration and Emigration within the Ancient Near East: Festschrift E. Lipinski, ed. K. van Lerberghe and A. Schoors. Leuven: Peeters, 1995. 35. “A Lover’s Garden of Verse: Literal and Metaphorical Imagery in Ancient Near Eastern Love Poetry.” Pp. 99–110 in Tehillah le-Moshe: Biblical and Judaic Studies in Honor of Moshe Greenberg, ed. M. Cogan, B. L. Eichler, and J. H. Tigay. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1997. 36. “The Mesopotamian Background of Daniel 1–6.” Pp. 55–68 in vol. 1 of The Book of Daniel: Composition and Reception, ed. J. J. Collins and P. W. Flint. 2 volumes. Leiden: Brill, 2001. 37. “The Shared Legacy of Sexual Metaphors and Euphemisms in Mesopotamian and Biblical Literature.” Pp. 489–98 in vol. 2 of Sex and Gender in the Ancient Near East: Proceedings of the XLVIIe Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, ed. S. Parpola and R. M. Whiting. 2 volumes. Helsinki: Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, 2002. Page xxv Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

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38. “A Double Entendre in Job 15:32 in the Light of Akkadian.” Pp. 755–57 in Emanuel: Studies in Hebrew Bible, Septuagint and Dead Sea Scrolls in Honor of Emanuel Tov, ed. S. M. Paul et al. 2 volumes. Leiden: Brill, 2003. 39. “Daniel 12:9: A Technical Mesopotamian Scribal Term.” Pp. 115–18 in Sefer Moshe—The Moshe Weinfeld Jubilee Volume: Studies in the Bible and the Ancient Near East, Qumran, and Postbiblical Judaism, ed. C. Cohen, A. Hurvitz, and S. M. Paul. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2004. 40. “Daniel 6:20: An Aramaic Calque on an Akkadian Expression.” Scriptura 87 (Festschrift Yehoshua Gitay; 2004) 315–16. 41. “Hebrew (µy)riyxI and Its Interdialectal Equivalents.” Pp. 759–63 in “An Experienced Scribe Who Neglects Nothing”: Ancient Near Eastern Studies in Honor of Jacob Klein, ed. Y. Sefati et al. Bethesda, MD: CDL, 2005. 42. “Jerusalem of Gold—Revisited.” Pp. 787–94 in vol. 2 of “I Will Speak the Riddles of Ancient Times”: Archaeological and Historical Studies in Honor of Amihai Mazar on the Occasion of His Sixtieth Birthday, ed. A. M. Maeir and P. de Miroschedji. 2 volumes. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2006). [Revised version of: “Jerusalem: A City of Gold.” Israel Exploration Journal 17 (1967) 259–63 = “Jerusalem of Gold: A Song and an Ancient Crown.” Biblical Archaeology Review 3 (1977) 38–41.] 43. “Two Cosmographic Terms in Amos 9:6.” Pp. 389–94 in Shai le-Sara Japhet: Studies in the Bible, Its Exegesis and Its Language, ed. M. Bar-Asher et al. Jerusalem: Bialik, 2007. [Hebrew] 44. “An Akkadian-Rabbinic Sexual Euphemism.” Pp. xi–xiii in Torah Lishma: Essays in Jewish Studies in Honor of Professor Shamma Friedman, ed. D. Golinkin et al. Jerusalem: Bar-Ilan University, Jewish Theological Seminary, and Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies, 2007. 45. “A Diplomatic Lexicon of Tribute and Gifts in the Bible and the Ancient Near East.” In the Mayer Gruber Jubilee Volume (forthcoming). [Hebrew] 46. Judges 14:18: “Plowing with a Heifer”—Tracing a Sexual Euphemism.” In Sacred History, Sacred Literature: Essays on Ancient Israel, the Bible, and Religion in Honor of R. E. Friedman on His Sixtieth Birthday, ed. W. H. C. Propp and S. Dolansky. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns (forthcoming). 47. “Do Not Wake or Rouse Death.” In the Avi Hurvitz Jubilee Volume (forthcoming). [Hebrew] 48. “Jonah 2:7: The Descent to the Netherworld.” In the Bruce Zuckerman Jubilee Volume (forthcoming). Page xxvi Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


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49.“The Road-of-No-Return.” In the Shemuel Leiter Memorial Volume (forthcoming). Biblical Studies 50. “Amos 1:3–2:3: A Concatenous Literary Pattern.” Journal of Biblical Literature 90 (1971) 397–403. 51. “Literary and Ideological Echoes of Jeremiah in Deutero-Isaiah.” Pp. 102–20 in division 1/vol. 1 of Proceedings of the Fifth World Congress of Jewish Studies. Jerusalem: World Union of Jewish Studies, 1972. 52. “A Literary Reinvestigation of the Authenticity of the Oracles against the Nations of Amos.” Pp. 189–204 in De la Tôrah au Messie: Études d’exégèse et d’herméneutique bibliques offertes à Henri Cazelles pour ses 25 années d’enseignement à l’Institut Catholique de Paris, octobre 1979, ed. M. Carrez, J. Doré, and P. Grelot. Paris: Desclée, 1981. 53. “Amos 3:3–8: The Irresistible Sequence of Cause and Effect.” Hebrew Annual Review 7 (Biblical and Other Studies in Honor of Robert Gordis; 1983) 203–20. 54. “Polysensuous Polyvalency in Poetic Parallelism.” Pp. 147–63 in “Shaºarei Talmon”: Studies in the Bible, Qumran, and the Ancient Near East Presented to Shemaryahu Talmon, ed. M. Fishbane, E. Tov, and W. W. Fields. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1992. 55. “Polysemous Pivotal Punctuation: More Janus Double Entendres.” Pp. 369–74 in Texts, Temples, and Traditions: A Tribute to Menahem Haran, ed. M. V. Fox et al. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1996. 56. “An Overlooked Double Entendre in Jonah 2:5.” Pp. 155–57 in The Honeycomb of the Word: Interpreting the Primary Testament with André LaCocque, ed. W. D. Edgerton. Chicago: Exploration, 2001. 57. “Prophets and Prophecy.” Pp. 1407–12 in Etz Hayim: Torah and Commentary, ed. D. L. Lieber et al. Philadephia: Jewish Publication Society, 2001. [Revised version of: “Prophets and Prophecy.” Encyclopaedia Judaica 13: 1150–75.] 58. “Biblical Law.” In the Jewish Publication Society Guide to the Bible, ed. S. M. Paul et al. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 2008. 59. “Deuteronim(ist)ic Influences in Deutero-Isaiah.” In Mishneh Todah: Studies in Deuteronomy and Its Cultural Environment in Honor of Jeffrey H. Tigay, ed. N. S. Fox, D. A. Glatt-Gilad, and M. J. Williams. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns (forthcoming). Page xxvii Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

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Book Reviews 1. “W. F. Albright, History, Archaeology and Christian Humanism.” Jewish Social Studies 27 (1965) 117–18. 2. “R. N. Whybray, The Heavenly Counsellor in Isaiah XL 13–14.” Israel Exploration Journal 22 (1972) 191. 3. “Eretz-Israel XIV: H. L. Ginsberg Volume.” Immanuel 10 (1980) 25–30.

Encyclopedia Entries Encyclopaedia Biblica. Jerusalem: Bialik, 1968–76. “µytpçm.” Cols. 637–38 in vol. 5. “ˆmsn.” Cols. 886–87 in vol. 5. “µytbx.” Col. 673 in vol. 6. “qwnyx.” Col. 731 in vol. 6. “twmlx.” Cols. 735–36 in vol. 6. “µyryçh ryç.” Cols. 645–55 in vol. 7. “Mnemonic Devices.” Pp. 600–602 in The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible: Supplementary Volume, ed. K. Crim. Nashville: Abingdon, 1976. Encyclopaedia Judaica. Jerusalem: Encyclopaedia Judaica, 1978. “Book of the Covenant.” Cols. 1214–17 in vol. 4. “Book of Life.” Cols. 1217–18 in vol. 4. “Book of the Wars of the Lord.” Cols. 1218–19 in vol. 4. “Chebar.” Cols. 368–69 in vol. 5. “Creation and Cosmogony.” Cols. 1059–63 in vol. 5. “Ecstasy.” Cols. 358–59 in vol. 6. “Euphemism and Dysphemism.” Cols. 959–61 in vol. 6. “Nuzi.” Cols. 1287–91 in vol. 12. “Prophets and Prophecy.” Cols. 1150–75 in vol. 13. “Virgin, Virginity.” Cols. 160–61 in vol. 16. Additional entries in: The Encyclopedia of Judaism, ed. G. Wigoder. Jerusalem: Jerusalem Publishing, 1989. The Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion, ed. R. J. Werblowsky and G. Wigoder. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997. Page xxviii Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM Page xxix Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

Abbreviations General 1QIsaa 1QM 1QS 11QT a Akk. Amor. ANE Ant. Aq. Arab. Aram. ASOR b. Babyl. BH CD cev CH chap(s). diss. DSS Dtr/DtrH E ET fem. fig(s). frg(s). H Heb. J jb JPS kjv LXX m. MA MAL masc. MB

Great Isaiah Scroll from Qumran Mil˙amah or War Scroll Serek Hayya˙ad or Rule of the Community Temple Scroll a Akkadian Amorite ancient Near East Josephus, Jewish Antiquities Aquila Arabic Aramaic American Schools of Oriental Research Babylonian Talmud Babylonian Biblical Hebrew Cairo Genizah copy of the Damascus Document Contemporary English Version Code of Hammurabi chapter(s) dissertation Dead Sea Scrolls Deuteronomistic History/Historian Elohistic writer/source English translation feminine figure(s) fragment(s) Holiness Code Hebrew Jahwistic writer/source Jerusalem Bible Jewish Publication Society King James Version Septuagint Mishnah Middle Assyrian Middle Assyrian Laws masculine Middle Babylonian

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xxx Midr. ms(s) MT NA nab nasb NB neb niv njb njpsv n(n). no(s). nrsv OAkk OB OG OT P pap. Phoen. pl(s). pl. PN Rab. rev. rsv rv Sam. SB sing. SP Sym. Syr. t. Tg. Ug. v(v). vol(s). Vulg. y. ZL

Abbreviations Midrash manuscript(s) Masoretic Text Neo-Assyrian New American Bible New American Standard Bible Neo-Babylonian New English Bible New International Version New Jerusalem Bible New Jewish Publication Society Version note(s) number(s) New Revised Standard Version Old Akkadian Old Babylonian Old Greek Old Testament Priestly writer/source papyrus Phoenician plate(s) plural personal name Midrash Rabbah (+ book of the Bible, e.g., Gen. Rab. = Genesis Rabbah) reverse Revised Standard Version Revised Version Samaritan version Standard Babylonian singular Samaritan Pentateuch Symmachus Syriac Tosepta Targum Ugaritic verse(s) volume(s) Vulgate Yerushalmi/Jerusalem/Palestinian Talmud Zimri-Lim

Museum Sigla A. AO BM

Louvre Museum siglum tablets in the collections of the Louvre Museum tablets in the collections of the British Museum Page xxxi Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

Abbreviations CBS EA IAA K. M. Ni. PAM RS UM YBC


tablets in the collections of the University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia El-Amarna tablet registration number of the Israel Antiquities Authority tablets in the Kouyunjik collection of the British Museum registration number of texts found at Mari tablets excavated at Nippur, in the collections of the Archaeological Museum of Istanbul Palestinian Archaeological Museum photograph number field numbers of tablets excavated at Ras Shamra tablets in the collections of the University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia tablets in the Babylonian Collection, Yale University Library

Reference Works AB AbB ABD ABL


Anchor Bible Altbabylonische Briefe in Umschrift und Übersetzung Freedman, D. N., editor. The Anchor Bible Dictionary. 6 vols. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1992 Harper, R. F., editor. Assyrian and Babylonian Letters Belonging to the Kouyunjik Collections of the British Museum. 14 vols. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1892–1914 Acta Orientalia Archives épistolaires de Mari Archiv für Orientforschung Archiv für Orientforschung: Beiheft Arbeiten zur Geschichte des antiken Judentums und des Urchristentums von Soden, W. Akkadisches Handwörterbuch. 3 vols. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1965–81 American Journal of Archaeology Annual of the Japanese Biblical Institute Association for Jewish Studies Review Analecta Biblica Pritchard, J. B., editor. The Ancient Near East in Pictures Relating to the Old Testament. 2nd ed. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969 Pritchard, J. B., editor. Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament. 3rd ed. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969 Analecta Orientalia Anatolian Studies Alter Orient und Altes Testament Luckenbill, D. D. Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylonia. 2 vols. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1926–27 Archives royales de Mari Archives royales de Mari, transcrite et traduite Assyriological Studies Abhandlungen zur Theologie des Alten und Neuen Testaments Aula orientalis Page xxxii Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM



Abbreviations Aula orientalis Supplements Biblical Archaeologist Biblical Archaeology Review Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research Bulletin for Biblical Research Brown, F.; Driver, S. R.; and Briggs, C. A. Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament. Oxford: Clarendon, 1907 Babylonian Expedition of the University of Pennsylvania, Series A: Cuneiform Texts Kittel, R., editor. Biblia Hebraica Biblia Hebraica Quinta Elliger, K., and Rudolph, W., editors. Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1984 Biblica Biblical Interpretation Biblica et Orientalia Brown Judaic Studies Biblischer Kommentar: Altes Testament Biblische Notizen Borger, R. Die Inschriften Asarhaddons, Königs von Assyrien. Archiv für Orientforschung Beiheft 9. Graz: Published by the editor, 1956 Biblical Research Babylonian Records in the Library of J. Pierpont Morgan Bulletin of the School of Oriental (and African) Studies Beihefte zum Tübinger Atlas des Vorderen Orients Biblical Theology Bulletin Lambert, W. G. Babylonian Wisdom Literature. Oxford, 1960. Reprinted Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1996 Biblische Zeitschrift Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft Oppenheim, A. L., et al., editors. The Assyrian Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. Chicago: Oriental Institute, 1956– Cahiers de la Revue biblique Dietrich, M.; Loretz, O.; and Sanmartín, J. The Cuneiform Alphabetic Texts from Ugarit, Ras Ibn Hani, and Other Places. 2nd ed. Münster: UgaritVerlag, 1995 Cambridge Bible Commentary Catholic Biblical Quarterly Catholic Biblical Quarterly Monograph Series Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges Continental Commentaries Corpus Inscriptionum Semiticarum, vol. 1: Inscriptiones Phoeniciae. Paris: Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, 1881 Coniectanea Biblica, New Testament Series Compte rendu de la rencontre assyriologique internationale Cuneiform Texts from Babylonian Tablets in the British Museum Herdner, A. Corpus des tablettes en cunéiformes alphabétiques. Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1963 Page xxxiii Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

Abbreviations DCH


Clines, D. J. A., editor. Dictionary of Classical Hebrew. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1993– DDD Van der Toorn, K.; Becking, B.; and van der Horst, P. W., editors. Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible. Leiden: Brill, 1995 DJD Discoveries in the Judaean Desert DSD Dead Sea Discoveries EDSS Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls EncBib Sukenik, E. L., et al., editors. Encyclopaedia Biblica. 9 vols. Jerusalem: Bialik Institute, 1950–88. [Hebrew; see EncMiq] EncJud Roth, Cecil, editor. Encyclopaedia Judaica. 16 vols. Jerusalem: Encyclopaedia Judaica, 1972 EncMiq Sukenik, E. L., et al., editors. Encyclopedia Miqraªit. 9 vols. Jerusalem: Bialik Institute, 1950–88 ErIsr Eretz-Israel ETS Monograph Series Evangelical Theological Society Monograph Series ExpTim Expository Times FAT Forschungen zum Alten Testament FCB Feminist Companion to the Bible FM Florilegium marianum FOTL Forms of the Old Testament Literature FRLANT Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und Neuen Testaments GB [Gesenius, Wilhelm, and] Bergsträsser, Gotthelf. Hebräische Grammatik. 29th ed. 2 vols. Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1918–29. Reprinted, Hildesheim: Olms, 1962 GCCI Dougherty, R. P. Goucher College Cuneiform Inscriptions. 2 vols. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1923–33 Ges Gesenius, W. Hebräisches und aramäisches Handwörterbuch über das alte Testament. Edited by F. Buhl. 17th ed. Berlin: Springer, 1954 GKC Kautzsch, E., editor. Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar. Translated by A. E. Cowley. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1910 HALOT Koehler, L.; Baumgartner, W.; and Stamm, J. J. The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament. Translated and edited under supervision of M. E. J. Richardson. 5 vols. Leiden: Brill, 1994–2000 HAR Hebrew Annual Review HAT Handbuch zum Alten Testament HS Hebrew Studies HSM Harvard Semitic Monographs HSS Harvard Semitic Studies HTR Harvard Theological Review HUCA Hebrew Union College Annual ICC International Critical Commentary IDB Buttrick, G. A., editor. Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible. 4 vols. Nashville: Abingdon, 1962 IEJ Israel Exploration Journal Int Interpretation IOS Israel Oriental Studies IOSCS International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies IOSOT International Organization for the Study of the Old Testament Page xxxiv Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

xxxiv ISBE


Bromiley, G. W., editor. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 4 vols. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1979–88 JANES(CU) Journal of the Ancient Near Eastern Society (of Columbia University) JAOS Journal of the American Oriental Society JBL Journal of Biblical Literature JBQ Jewish Bible Quarterly JCS Journal of Cuneiform Studies JESHO Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient JHNES Johns Hopkins Near Eastern Studies JHS Journal of Hebrew Scriptures JJS Journal of Jewish Studies JNES Journal of Near Eastern Studies JNSL Journal of Northwest Semitic Languages Joüon Joüon, P. Grammaire de l’hébreu biblique. 2nd ed. Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1923 Joüon-Muraoka Joüon, P. A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew. Translated and revised by T. Muraoka. Subsidia Biblica 27. Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 2006 JPS Torah Commentary Jewish Publication Society Torah Commentary JQR Jewish Quarterly Review JQRSup Jewish Quarterly Review Supplements JSJ Journal for the Study of Judaism in the Persian, Hellenistic, and Roman Periods JSJSup Journal for the Study of Judaism Supplements JSOT Journal for the Study of the Old Testament JSOTSup Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series JSPSup Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha Supplements JSS Journal of Semitic Studies JTS Journal of Theological Studies KAI Donner, H., and Röllig, W. Kanaanäische und aramäische Inschriften. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1962–64 KAR Ebeling, E., editor. Keilschrifttexte aus Assur religiösen Inhalts. Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1919–23 KAT Kommentar zum Alten Testament KB Koehler, L., and Baumgartner, W. Lexicon in Veteris Testamenti libros. Leiden: Brill, 1958 KTU Dietrich, M.; Loretz, O.; and Sanmartín, J., editors. Die Keilalphabetischen Texte aus Ugarit. Alter Orient und Altes Testament 24. Kevelaer: Butzon & Bercker / Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1976 KUB Keilschrifturkunden aus Boghazköi LÄ Helck, W.; Otto, E.; and Westendorf, W., editors. Lexikon der Ägyptologie. 7 vols. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1972–92 LAPO Littératures anciennes du Proche-Orient LCL Loeb Classical Library Les Lesonénu LKA Ebeling, E. Literarische Keilschrifttexte aus Assur. Berlin: Akademie, 1953 LTBA Matous, L., and von Soden, W., editors. Die lexikalischen tafelserien der Babylonier und Assyrer in den Berliner Museen. Berlin: Staatlichen Museen, 1933 Page xxxv Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM





Materials for the Assyrian Dictionary Mari: Annales de recherches interdisciplinaires Materiali Epigrafici di Ebla Mitteilungen des Instituts für Orientforschung Mitteilungen aus den Orientalis Sammlungen Mission de Ras Shamra Materialien zum sumerischen Lexikon Nouvelles assyriologiques brèves et utilitaires New Century Bible Near Eastern Archaeology Stern, E., editor. New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land. 4 vols. Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society and Carta / New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993 New Interpreter’s Bible New International Commentary on the Old Testament VanGemeren, W. A., editor. New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis. 5 vols. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997 Novum Testamentum et Orbis Antiquus Orbis biblicus et orientalis Overtures to Biblical Theology Meyers, E. M., editor. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East. 5 vols. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997 Oxford Editions of Cuneiform Texts Oriental Institute Publications Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta Orientalistische Literaturzeitung Orientalia Oriens Antiquus Old Testament Guides Old Testament Library Oudtestamentische Studiën Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish Research Publications of the Babylonian Section, University Museum, University of Pennsylvania Le Palais royal d’Ugarit Sjöberg, Åke W., editor. With the collaboration of Hermann Behrens et al. The Sumerian Dictionary of the University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia: Babylonian Section of the University Museum, 1984– Pittsburgh Theological Monograph Series Rawlinson, H. C. The Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia. 5 vols. London: Bowler, 1861–91 Revue d’assyriologie et d’archéologie orientale Revue biblique Répertoire d’épigraphie sémitique Revue de Qumran Rougé, J. de. Inscriptions hiéroglyphiques copiées en Égypte. Études égyptologiques 9–11. Paris: Vieweg, 1877–79 Page xxxvi Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


Abbreviations The Royal Inscriptions of Mesopotamia, Assyrian Periods Ebeling, E., et al., editors. Reallexikon der Assyriologie. Berlin: de Gruyter, 1928– State Archives of Assyria State Archives of Assyria Bulletin State Archives of Assyria Cuneiform Texts State Archives of Assyria Studies Studies in the Archaeology and History of the Levant Sources from the Ancient Near East Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilizations Sources bibliques Society of Biblical Literature Dissertation Series Society of Biblical Literature Monograph Series Society of Biblical Literature Septuagint and Cognate Studies Society of Biblical Literature Symposium Series Society of Biblical Literature Writings from the Ancient World Stuttgarter Bibelstudien Sources for Biblical and Theological Study Scripta Hierosolymitana Semitica Studia Judacia Studies in Judaism in Late Antiquity Society for New Testament Study Monograph Series Society for Old Testament Study Monograph Series Studies on the Texts of the Desert of Judah Studies in Oriental Religions Studia Orientalia von Arnim, H., editor. Stoicorum Veterum Fragmenta. 4 vols. Leipzig: Teubner, 1903–24. Reprinted Munich: Saur, 2004 Studia in Veteris Testamenti Pseudepigraphica Tel Aviv Transactions of the American Philosophical Society Botterweck, G. J., and Ringgren, H., editors. Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974– Botterweck, G. J., and Ringgren, H., editors. Theologisches Wörterbuch zum Alten Testament. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1973 Kittel, G., and Friedrich, G., editors. Theologisches Wörterbuch zum Neuen Testament. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1932– Jenni, E., editor, and Biddle, M. E., translator. Theological Lexicon of the Old Testament. 3 vols. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1997 Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries Transeuphratène Krause, G., and Müller, G., editors. Theologische Realenzyklopädie. Berlin: de Gruyter, 1977– Kaiser, Otto, editor. Texte aus der Umwelt des Alten Testaments. 3 vols. Gütersloh: Mohn, 1983–97 Ur Excavations, Texts Ugarit-Forschungen Page xxxvii Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

Abbreviations UNP



Parker, Simon B., editor. Ugaritic Narrative Poetry. Society of Biblical Literature Writings from the Ancient World 9. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1997 Gordon, C. H. Ugaritic Textbook: Texts in Translation, Cuneiform Selections. Rev. ed. Analecta Orientalia 38. Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1998 Vorderasiatische Bibliothek Vetus Testamentum Vetus Testamentum Supplements Word Biblical Commentary Westminster Commentaries Wissenschaftliche Monographien zum Alten und Neuen Testament Die Welt des Orients Yale Oriental Series Zeitschrift für Assyriologie Zeitschrift für altorientalische und biblische Rechtsgeschichte Zeitschrift für Althebräistik Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft Zeitschrift der deutschen morgenländischen Gesellschaft Zeitschrift des deutschen Palästina-Vereins Page xxxviii Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM Page 3 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

The Torah

Statut Public et Droit Privé dans la Tôrâh Henri Cazelles École Pratique des Hautes Études

Les publications actuelles portent surtout sur l’histoire d’Israël telle qu’on peut la reconstituer d’après les récits bibliques sur fond d’archéologie. On y est naturellement porté par la lecture des récits si vivants de la Genèse et d’Exode 1–18. La discussion se fait autour de la datation de ces récits. Sont-ils postexiliques, et, ceux qui concernent les périodes patriarcales, voire monarchiques, ne reflètent-ils que les préoccupations de l’Israël postérieur à 587 avant JC? Au mieux de l’époque de Josias au septième siècle? La plus ancienne des “strates” du Pentateuque, dite “Jahviste,” reconnaissable par l’absence de l’influence des prophètes, est-elle un pur produit d’une personnalité littéraire ou théologienne? 1 Mais d’autres exégètes s’attachent à l’aspect juridique de la Tôrâh, à sa législation. Dès le 19ème siècle on avait remarqué l’imbrication des récits et des lois dans le Pentateuque, voire l’Hexateuque. Les juristes comme Shalom Paul, 2 S. Démare-Lafond, Reuven Yaron, J. L. Vesco, Louis Epstein, G. Cardascia, Eckhart Otto, et Raymond Westbrook, pour ne citer qu’eux, ont analysé les codes et leurs rapports avec les autres législations orientales. 3 I. Jaruzelska en a souligné les aspects sociologiques. 4 Il est certain que les législations israélites ont des connexions avec les droits cunéiformes. Viennent-elles de la présence “amorite” en Canaan au 1. Voir l’analyse de J. L. Ska, “The Yahwist, A Hero with a Thousand Faces: A Chapter in the History of Modern Exegesis,” dans Abschied vom Jahwisten: Die Komposition des Hexateuch in der jüngsten Diskussion (éd. J. C. Gertz, K. Schmid, and M. Witte; Berlin: de Gruyter, 2002) 1–23. 2. Shalom M. Paul, Studies in the Book of the Covenant in the Light of Cuneiform and Biblical Law (Leiden: Brill, 1970) et ses nombreuses études de textes prophétiques. 3. Voir F. Mies, éd., Bible et droit: L’esprit des lois (Namur: Presses universitaires de Namur, 2001). 4. I. Jaruzelska, “Eléments de sociologie dans les interprétations de la Bible d’Henri Cazelles,” Poznanskie Studia Teologiczne 11 (2001) 35–43.

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deuxième millénaire avant JC, attestée par les tablettes cunéiformes qu’on y exhume et par les gloses de la correspondance des princes cananéens découverte en Egypte à El-Amarna? Ou de la présence en Babylonie des Israélites exilés au sixième siècle avant JC? 5 Les études historico-critiques du Pentateuque ont montré la complexité de la question. Les codes actuellement insérés dans la Tôrâh et les récits qui les encadrent sont d’époques différentes. Le talion n’est pas traité de la même manière dans le Code dit de l’Alliance (Exod 21:23ss), le Deutéronome (Deut 19:21) et le Code sacerdotal (Lév 24:20). Il en est de même du statut de l’esclave ou du fils rebelle, de l’érection d’un autel. . . . On ne peut considérer la Tôrâh comme un Droit unifié à analyser en articles de Loi, 613 pour certains commentateurs. Si l’on peut contester l’existence de quatre “documents” ( J: Jahviste; E: Elohiste; D: Deutéronome; P: sacerdotal) comme “sources” du Pentateuque actuel, il faut admettre des “strates” juridiques distinctes. Elles se réfèrent à des sociétés de structures sociales différentes. 6 Les divergences entre les solutions données aux conflits d’intérêts privés ou aux institutions (rois, juges, prophètes, prêtres . . .) supposent des statuts différents dans l’histoire d’Israël. 7 De ce fait, si la lecture de la Bible pourrait donner l’illusion que le Pentateuque (ou Hexateuque) témoigne de lois insérées dans l’histoire d’Israël, l’analyse du Pentateuque dévoile qu’il s’agit de récits insérés dans les problèmes juridiques du statut d’Israël au milieu des nations. La rédaction du Pentateuque n’est pas le résultat d’un “projet littéraire,” 8 mais l’enregistrement dans la vie d’Israël de statuts correspondant à des milieux différents 9 d’époques différentes dans “le champ des forces poli-

5. J. L. Ska, “Quelques remarques sur Pg et la dernière rédaction du Pentateuque,” dans Le Pentateuque en question (éd. Albert de Pury; 3ème éd.; Genève: Labor et Fides, 2002) 95–131. 6. Il ne faut pas “oublier le caractère historique et non pas simplement ‘theologicomystique’ de la Révélation judéo-chrétienne” (G. Ravasi, dans Communio 28/1 [2003] 11). Étienne Nodet a rappelé l’intérêt de la sociologie et de l’économie dans les études bibliques. Nous ne devons pas oublier les analyses philologiques des Wellhausen, Holzinger, Burney, Lagrange . . . (“Narration biblique,” RB 110 [2003] 130). 7. “Les codes n’ont pas été produits pour compléter ce qui était ancien, mais pour les remplacer” (Frank Crüsemann, “Le Pentateuque: une Tôrâh,” dans Le Pentateuque en question (éd. A. de Pury; Genève: Labor et Fides, 2002) 360; cf. p. 353. 8. Cf. A. de Pury et T. Römer, “Le Pentateuque en question,” dans Le Pentateuque en question (ibid.) 74. 9. S. Amsler, “Les Documents de la loi et la formation du Pentateuque,” dans Le Pentateuque en question (ibid.) 255: “diversité des milieux.”

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tiques et sociales.” 10 C’est la réception d’un texte dans le peuple d’ Israël qui en explique la transmission dans la Bible de génération en génération. C’est par la Tôrâh qu’après l’exil Israël a gardé son identité devant les empires perse, grec, romain et même chrétiens. Or, au troisième siècle avant JC, la Septante a traduit tôrâ par nomos (loi ou coutume). C’est parce que, sous la suprématie de ces empires et royaumes, la Tôrâh régissait la communauté juive et lui donnait son autonomie. C’est ainsi que la comprend “l’histoire sacerdotale” qui se termine en un Hexateuque avec Jos 24:25–26: Josué promulgue “lois et coutumes, écrites dans le livre de la Loi de Dieu.” C’est ce qu’enregistre le rescrit perse d’Artaxercès en Ezra 7:25– 26. Cette “histoire sacerdotale” ne contient que de brefs résumés historiques comme Gen 19:29, Exod 11:9ss. 11 mais de vastes textes législatifs. Malgré les continuités littéraires et législatives qui lient le livre de Josué au Pentateuque, le livre de Josué n’est pas inclus dans la Tôrâh selon le canon juif dont témoigne Josèphe. Le Pentateuque se termine en Deutéronome 34 avec la mort de Moïse. C’est la “Tôrâh de Moïse” qu’il a mise par écrit (Deut 31:9). 12

L’histoire deutéronomique On parle alors d’une “histoire deutéronomique.” En effet la loi de l’unité de sanctuaire de Deut 12:4 (contre Exod 20:24) rythme l’histoire d’Israël jusqu’à la fin du Livre des Rois; elle désacralise les autres lieux de culte comme Bethel (Genèse 35; cf. 1 R 12:29s) et Sichem ( Josué 23 Dt; cf. Josué 24 et ses doublets). Cette “histoire deutéronomique,” commençant en Gen 2:4b, est une édition de textes divers de styles et théologies différentes, en particulier sur la pluralité des sanctuaires. L’élément principal est le “code deutéronomique” (Deut 12–26:28). Il est inséré non pas dans une histoire d’Israël, mais dans une exhortation de type sapientiel rappelant quelques événements importants du passage au désert. Ici encore l’élément législatif est premier. Or l’“histoire deutéronomique” insère deux autres codes. L’un des deux, le “code de l’Alliance” (Exod 20:22–23:19) admet la pluralité des sanctuaires. L’autre (Exod 34:14–26) porte la marque d’une édition deutéronomique au v. 24, doublet du v. 23 dans une phraséologie différente. 10. Crüsemann, “Le Pentateuque,” 353. 11. Cf. Henri Cazelles, “La Torah ou Pentateuque,” dans La Loi et les Prophètes (éd. J. Briend et al.; Saint-Céneré: Téqui, 2000) 161–64. 12. E. Otto, Die Torah des Mose: Die Geschichte der literarischen Vermittlung von Recht und Politik durch die Mosegestalt (Hamburg: Jungius, 2001). Page 6 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


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Ce v. 23 qui concerne le triple pèlerinage annuel se retrouve dans la finale du Code de l’Alliance en Exod 23:17. De plus, les prescriptions sur le sacrifice sanglant, les prémices, le chevreau . . . (Exod 23:13–19) sont reprises presque telles quelles en Exod 34:18–23. La loi sur les prémices en 34:26 reprend en partie le v. 22 du même code. Les deux codes se terminent ainsi par deux finales quasi-identiques. On peut attribuer à l’éditeur deutéronomiste cette volonté de compléter les deux codes l’un par l’autre en fonction de l’alliance du Sinaï (34:2, 27; cf. 19:19–24:6–8), “Horeb” (Exod 3:1, Deut 1: 2 . . .) ou “montagne de Dieu” (Exod 18:5; cf. 19:1–3). Outre le nom de la Révélation, les deux codes ont un contenu bien différent: Exode 34 ( J) rituel; Exode 20–23 (E) plus juridique.

Le statut d’Israël en J et E Ces deux codes sont unis par leur vocabulaire à des récits qui, souvent, concernent le même événement de la vie d’Israël, ainsi les rapports entre Abraham et Abimelek, la naissance d’Ismaël, Jacob et Laban. . . . 13 On a remarqué que ces événements étaient relatés avec plus de fidélité à la morale des commandements mosaïques dans les récits E où le Dieu des Patriarches est appelé Elohim que dans les “doublets” J où il reçoit déjà le nom de Yhwh révélé au Sinaï (Horeb). C’est un indice, entre autres, que ces événements n’ont pas été retenus dans la tradition pour leur valeur anecdotique, mais pour leur signification théologique dans la vie d’un Israël qui veut être fidèle à l’Alliance divine qui a précédé la conquête. L’unité et la cohérence de la strate Elohiste 14 ne tient pas au fait que ce serait une histoire d’Israël. Il a la forme d’un traité d’alliance entre Israël et son Dieu. Ces traités comportaient un préambule historique, assez développé dans cette strate. Mais ce qui importe à l’Elohiste, ce sont les stipulations divines auxquelles l’Israélite s’est engagé d’obéir (Exod 24:3, 8). Le droit privé (rapports juridiques entre Israélites) domine le “code de l’Alliance.” Le droit public institutionel n’est que secondaire. Il ne reconnait pas de rois mais, incidemment des “chefs” (nasiª, Exod 22:27). Ces chefs sont mentionnés dans les récits avec une terminologie variée. L’Elohiste reconnait à Moïse et aux Anciens, le don de l’Esprit que l’onction conférait aux rois (Nom 11:16, 21); Abraham et Joseph sont prophètes. Moïse, médiateur de l’Alliance de l’Horeb, est un super-prophète (Nom 12:6–7) qui donne 13. Pour plus de détails, voir Cazelles, “La Torah ou Pentateuque,” 137–40. 14. Ibid., 143. Page 7 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

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son droit à un Israël de 12 tribus où Juda n’est pas l’ancêtre d’un roi mais doit “revenir vers son peuple” (Deut 33:7). Ce droit a de nombreuses analogies avec le droit mésopotomien; c’est de Jéthro en Madian que Moïse reçoit des conseils pour organiser la justice. Les récits ont pour thème les droits particuliers des descendants d’Abraham vis à vis de l’“Amorite” (Gen 15:13–16) dont Sichem sera donné à Joseph, père d’Ephraïm et Manassé. Israël est affranchi de la suprématie égyptienne, et sa frontière en Galaad est garantie par un traité avec l’Araméen Laban (Gen 31:49). Le caractère juridique de la strate E est bien marqué dans les lois comme dans les récits quoiqu’ils soient très différents de ceux du Code deutéronomique. La spécificité d’Israël au milieu des nations est fondée sur la révélation faite à Moïse avant la conquête du sol et sur l’Alliance qu’il scelle dans le sang entre Dieu et les 12 tribus (Exod 24:3–6, 8).

Le Jahviste et l’institution royale L’Israël de l’Elohiste se démarquait des nations avoisinantes, amorite, cananéenne ou araméenne. Dans ces nations le roi dynastique était le représentant du dieu national. La législation devait son autorité à ce dieu national, et au roi son élu, comme on le voit par exemple dans le prologue du Code de Hammurabi. Dans l’Israël de l’Elohiste, c’est une personnalité prémonarchique, un lévite, Moïse, qui est le médiateur de cette autorité. Comment le problème se pose-t-il dans les textes Jahvistes? Moïse y est aussi médiateur d’Alliance et c’est lui qui met par écrit les clauses de l’Alliance conclue par Yahweh au Sinaï “avec toi et Israël” (Exod 34:27). Ces clauses constituent le petit code de Exod 34:12–26. Nous avons vu que ce code avait été édité avec additions par le Deutéronomiste. Dégagé de ces additions, ce code apparait très différent du code elohiste de l’Alliance. Il n’est pas question des rapports juridiques entre Israélites, mais du culte et des fêtes. Les sanctuaires, leurs autels et leur culte, seront un des éléments majeurs de la tradition patriarcale et mosaïque que retiendront les récits Jahvistes, cela dès Genèse 12. 15 Ces autels sont érigés par Abra(ha)m à Sichem, près de Bethel et à Hébron, de même qu’il plante un tamaris à Beersheba et que Jacob dresse une stèle à Bethel. Le Jahviste ne cache pas que ce sont d’anciens sanctuaires cananéens (Gen 12:6), ce que confirme l’archéologie. Selon Gen 22:13 Abraham offre un holocauste sur le Mont Moriah; selon 2 Chr 3:1 ce 15. Ibid., 133–34. Page 8 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


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sergit le lieu du Temple édifié par Salomon à Jérusalem, là où Melkisedech, rois de Salem (Gen 14:18) apporte pain et vin à Abram et le bénit. Est ainsi évoqué dès l’époque des Patriarches le sanctuaire de Jérusalem. Le roi en sera le grand-prêtre, chargé du culte et de son organisation; nous savons par le livre des Rois (Salomon, Achaz, Ezechias, Josias . . .) que cette royauté sacrale ne prendra fin qu’avec la ruine politique de Jérusalem (587). Alors que le problème de l’Elohiste était celui de l’identité d’Israël sur un sol cananéen, amorite ou philistin, celui du Jahviste est celui de la légitimité de la royauté sacrale de Juda au milieu des autres royautés sacrales nationales. Les sanctuaires locaux, les ‘hauts-lieux’ (bâmôt), encore très vivants sous la monarchie, sont des vestiges des royautés locales du temps des Patriarches et des Juges. Pour le Jahviste ils ne sont légitimes que si Abraham et ses successeurs, ancêtres de Juda, y ont pratiqué un acte de culte. On sait que le Jahviste se préoccupe peu de morale et d’équité, mais il se préoccupe essentiellement de culte et de l’héritage des promesses à Abraham et à sa descendance. L’héritier n’est pas l’aîné, mais un cadet: Seth et non Caïn, Isaac et non Ismaël, Jacob et non Esaü, finalement Juda et non ses trois aînés (Gen 49:10), voire Salomon et non Adonias. La perspective du Jahviste est donc institutionelle. A la différence de l’Elohiste, du Deutéronome et du Code sacerdotal, l’institution en fonction de laquelle il recueille les traditions patriarcales, est l’institution royale, héritière des promesses divines; le roi est “oint” au sanctuaire. Ce sanctuaire sera au Mont Moriah, à Sion,et cette royauté “à la manière de Melkisedek” (Ps 109:4)” prêtre du Dieu Très Haut (ªelyôn) auquel Abram avait payé la dîme (Gen 14:20).

Conclusion Il appartenait à l’historien deutéronomiste d’unir les perspectives juridiques de l’Elohiste et les perspectives électives du Jahviste en fonction de l’Alliance mosaïque, préalable à la conquête et à la monarchie. Après l’action des Prophètes, le Deutéronome avait désacralisé l’institution monarchique, subordonnée à l’institution des Juges et à la Loi que lui dicte les prêtres-lévites (Deut 17:18). C’est la Tôrâh qui assume les lois, coutumes, et prescriptions antérieures. Le code sacerdotal, postexilique, qui donne son cadre définitif au Pentateuque, distingue le prince et le prêtre, le sacré et le profane, ce qui peut relever d’un prince étranger. Mais c’est comme législation propre à un Israël autonome que le Dieu d’Israël propose à l’Israélite d’appartenir à son peuple. Page 9 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

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C’est donc par le caractère institutionnel de la Tôrâh que son texte est reçu. Le peuple de Dieu est d’abord royauté sacrale comme les nations, mais soumis à un roi descendant d’Abraham par Juda. Ce roi ne doit pas être arbitraire. Il doit écouter Moïse et les prophètes (E) et savoir distinguer entre ceux qui se disent prophètes (D). Privé d’un pouvoir politique national, sa spécificité, son autonomie, sa vie propre au milieu des nations, lui vient de sa Tôrâh, sa Loi. Reste à l’interpréter. L’interprétation de Hillel ne sera pas celle de Shammaï, ni celle de Jésus de Nazareth, ni celle d’un autre. Page 10 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM Page 11 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

Exodus 21:22–25 Revisited: Methodological Considerations Barry L. Eichler Yeshiva University

The problems arising from a careful reading of Exod 21:22–25 are well known. The text is fraught with lexicographic and semantic difficulties as well as legal inconsistencies that drive the many different translations and interpretations of this section of the Covenant Code. These problems have been articulated most fully by B. S. Jackson and R. Westbrook. 1 One of the major problems centers around two inconsistencies that arise when this law is viewed within the broader (external) context of the preceding sections of the Covenant Code. The first legal inconsistency is found in a comparison of v. 23 with v. 13: capital punishment for homicide is qualified by allowing a manslayer to flee to a place of refuge, if the offender did not commit manslaughter by design. In this law, however, capital punishment is imposed on an offender who inadvertently kills a pregnant woman in the course of a brawl. The second legal inconsistency arises in a comparison of vv. 24–25 with vv. 18–19: if a pregnant woman is seriously injured, the law (vv. 24–25) prescribes talionic retribution; however, in a case in which one man seriously injures another man in a brawl, vv. 18–19 prescribe only limited compensation for medical expenses and inability to work. Author’s note: The substance of this paper was presented at the second international meeting of the Association for Jewish Law, held in New York, December 1982. It is a privilege and honor to offer this small contribution as a token of my friendship with and esteem for Prof. Shalom Paul, who has contributed much to the appreciation of the Bible and its ancient Near Eastern context and, particularly, to the understanding of the Covenant Code in light of cuneiform law. We share a very special and formative past. 1. B. S. Jackson, “The Problem of Exod. XXI 22–25,” VT 23 (1973) 273–304; and R. Westbrook, “Lex Talionis and Ex 21, 22–25,” RB 93 (1986) 52–69. See also L. Schwienhorst-Schönberger’s commentary Das Bundesbuch (Ex 20,22–23,33): Studien zu seiner Entstehung und Theologie (BZAW 188; Berlin: de Gruyter, 1990) 80–85.

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The usual responses to these inconsistencies have been to harmonize the sanctions in the first instance by interpreting “life for life” as non–capital punishment; 2 and in the second instance, to distinguish the situations, thus giving rise to the different judgments—for example, injuries to the pregnant woman were intentional or permanent, therefore dictating talion, while injuries in a quarrel were unintentional or nonpermanent, thereby dictating only limited compensation. 3 Jackson and others, with good reason, reject these responses, and for the most part view these inconsistencies within the Received Text as insoluble, resulting from different layers of interpolation and representing successive modifications in the meaning of the law over time or from textual confusion. 4 These solutions, which are usually too sophisticated to be very satisfying, stem from a source-oriented inquiry that addresses the origins and transmission of the biblical text. Sprinkle, in his study of the Book of the Covenant, has argued for the merits of a synchronic, discourse-oriented inquiry into the legal sections of the Bible. This approach to the study of biblical law is literary, and it seeks to uncover the inner coherence of the legal text rather than focusing on its production and transmission. 5 He considers this approach to be superior to the more widely practiced source-oriented inquiry, which often leads to excessive fragmentation of the text. A discourse-oriented critic, “when faced with an incongruity in the text, attempts to find authorial purpose where source critics tend to find scribal misadventure, seams between sources, 2. See, for example, U. Cassuto, A Commentary on the Book of Exodus (trans. I. Abrahams; Jerusalem: Magnes, 1967) 276; and Westbrook, “Lex Talionis,” 65–66. Jackson (“Exod. XXI 22–25,” 279 nn. 4 and 5) offers additional references to ancient and modern commentaries. For extensive bibliography on the interpretation of this law, see C. Houtman (Das Bundesbuch: Ein Kommentar [Documenta et Monumenta Orientis Antiqui 24; Leiden: Brill, 1997] 154–55) and Schwienhorst-Schönberger (Das Bundesbuch, 85–89); E. Otto, Körperverletzungen in den Keilschriftrechten und im Alten Testament: Studien zum Rechtstransfer im Alten Orient (AOAT 226; NeukirchenVluyn: Neukirchener Verlag / Kevelaer: Butzon & Bercker, 1991) 118–37. 3. See, for example, Jackson, “Exod. XXI 22–25,” 283–86; S. Paul, Studies in the Book of the Covenant in the Light of Cuneiform and Biblical Law (VTSup 18; Leiden: Brill, 1970) 67–68, 73–74; N. Sarna, Exodus ( JPS Torah Commentary; Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1991) 125. 4. Jackson, “Exod. XXI 22–25,” 291–304; and Westbrook, “Lex Talionis,” 54–55. 5. J. M. Sprinkle, The Book of the Covenant: A Literary Approach ( JSOTSup 174; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1994) 11–16. His study is strongly influenced by M. Steinberg, Poetics of Biblical Narrative (Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 1985) and represents an attempt to apply a similar methodology to biblical law. Page 13 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

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disorder, contradiction, or corruption.” 6 The discourse approach, which views the issues to be confronted as literary and rhetorical rather than jurisprudential does not depend primarily on comparative data from cognate cultures. Nevertheless, Sprinkle admits that comparative data would be “more than welcome.” 7 Indeed, comparative data could help not only to dispel some of the subjectivity inherent within the synchronic, discourseoriented interpretation of the biblical text 8 but also to shed light on alternative processes that could have generated and shaped the biblical text. 9 Because Mesopotamian law corpora have increasingly been viewed as literary royal inscriptions, 10 based in part on a scholastic legal tradition, 11 literary studies of the compositional structure of these corpora may prove useful in 6. Sprinkle, The Book of the Covenant, 14. 7. Ibid. 8. See the review of Sprinkle’s work by V. A. Hurowitz, in JQR 87 (1996) 188– 91, esp. p. 190. 9. See D. A. Glatt, Chronological Displacement in Biblical and Related Literatures (SBLDS 139; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1993), in which he demonstrates that an appreciation of the literary principles operative in Mesopotamian literature can shed light on the phenomenon of chronological displacement in biblical texts. 10. The notion of Mesopotamian law corpora as representing royal apologia was first articulated by J. J. Finkelstein, “Ammißaduqa’s Edict and the Babylonian ‘Law Codes,’ ” JCS 15 (1961) 103–4. For a detailed discussion of the literary tradition of royal inscriptions imbedded within the prologue-epilogue framework that encases the legal section of the Laws of Hammurabi, see V. A. Hurowitz, Inu Anum ßirum: Literary Structures in the Non-Juridical Sections of Codex Hammurabi (Occasional Publications of the Samuel Noah Kramer Fund 15; Philadelphia: Samuel Noah Kramer Fund, 1994). For a review of the current thinking on the nature of the Mesopotamian law corpora, see the following essays in E. Lévy, ed., La codification des lois dans l’Antiquité (Travaux du Centre de Recherche sur le Proche-Orient et la Grèce Antiques 16; Strasbourg: Université Marc Bloch de Strasbourg / Paris: Boccard, 2000): M. Roth, “The Law Collection of King Hammurabi: Toward an Understanding of Codification and Text”; R. Westbrook, “Codification and Canonization”; S. Lafont, “Codification et subsidiarité dans les droits du Proche-Orient ancient”; R. Yaron, “The Nature of Early Mesopotamian Collections of Law: Another Approach”; and E. Otto, “Kodifizierung und Kanonisierung von Rechtssätzen in keilschrieflichen und biblischen Rechtssammlungen.” 11. J. Bottéro, “The ‘Code’ of Hammurabi,” Mesopotamia: Writing, Reasoning and the Gods (trans. Z. Bahrani and M. Van de Mieroop; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992) 156–84; B. L. Eichler, “Literary Structure in the Laws of Eshnunna,” in Language, Literature and History: Philological and Historical Studies Presented to Erica Reiner (ed. F. Rochberg-Halton; AOS 67; New Haven: American Oriental Society, 1987) 81–84. Page 14 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


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a literary analysis of biblical law and may suggest methodological considerations for the study of Exod 21:22–25. The Mesopotamian law corpora exhibit not only shared subject matter but also shared motifs and formulations, indicating that these collections share both a common literary and a common legal tradition. 12 The basic and predominant compositional unit of the law collections is the casuistically formulated legal case. 13 The legal cases themselves are elements within a larger system of associative and ideational ordering into topical blocks. 14 One compositional principle that has been discerned is the creation of a “bridge” between two unrelated topical blocks by specifically formulating the last and first legal cases of two adjacent topical blocks in such a way as to establish a common element that links the two unrelated but adjacent topical blocks. 15 For example, Law of Hammurabi (= LH) §126, which concludes a long series of cases regarding the appropriation and misappropriation of property, deals with an unsubstantiated false claim that an individual’s deposited property had been lost. Law §127 introduces the topical block of marriage by discussing the case of one man’s unsubstantiated accusation of misconduct against another man’s wife. Thus the transition from the major topic of property law to the major topic of marriage law has been achieved through the common element of a fraudulent and unsubstantiated charge. Within a single topical block, two other compositional principles seem to be operative. The first is the principle of polar cases with maximal vari12. See Paul, Studies in the Book of the Covenant, esp. pp. 27–33 and 112–24. For references to the Mesopotamian law corpora, see M. Roth, Law Collections from Mesopotamia and Asia Minor (2nd ed.; SBLWAW 6; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1997). 13. In addition to the predominant casuistic formulation, R. Yaron (Laws of Eshnunna [Jerusalem: Magnes, 1988] 87–97) has distinguished four other legal formulations, with all five coexisting in the Laws of Eshnunna. 14. Paul, Studies in the Book of the Covenant, 106 and n. 1. Compare with J. J. Finkelstein’s discussion of the groupings and arrangements of the Laws of Eshnunna and the Laws of Hammurabi in discerning the textual context of the laws of the goring ox, in his monograph The Ox That Gored (TAPS 71/2; Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1981) 21–25. 15. H. Petschow, “Zur Systematik und Gesetzestechnik in Codex Hammurabi,” ZA 57 (1965) 146–72; and idem, “Zur ‘Systematik’ in den Gesetzen von Eschnunna,” in Symbolae iuridicae et historicae Martino David dedicata. Tomus alter: Iura Orientis antiqui (ed. J. A. Ankum et al.; Leiden: Brill, 1968) 2:131–43.

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ation: cases illustrative of any given situation are formulated as groupings in which the circumstantial variants are maximal, often leaving a large discretionary area of law that is not discussed. The second principle is the creation of a legal statement by juxtaposing legal cases, so that the legal prescription in the apodosis not only relates horizontally to the legal situation set forth in the protasis but also relates vertically to the juxtaposed legal cases within the block. This vertical interplay seems to be the dominant relationship, especially when the legal prescription is incomplete in its response to the legal situation set forth in its protasis. 16 Elsewhere, I have demonstrated that these two principles of composition provide a useful key for elucidating the literary structure of particular sections of the Mesopotamian law collections. 17 I present here one helpful example of these intentional, discernible patterns of interplay between specific legal cases from the Laws of Eshnunna (= LE) §§25–35. Within the larger corpus of the Laws of Eshnunna, these cases dealing with marriageand-family law are set between the topical blocks of contract law (LE §§15– 24) and property law (LE §§36–41). The section under discussion reads: 18 (25) If a man claimed consummation of the marriage, but his father-inlaw wronged him and gave his daughter to [another], the father of the girl shall restore the bride money he received two-fold. (26) If a man brought bride-money for a man’s daughter, but another man, without asking her father and mother, forcibly seized her and deflowered her, it is a capital offense—he shall die. (27) If a man took a man’s daughter without asking her father and mother, and did not set forth the nuptial feast and stipulations with her father and mother—should she remain in his house for an entire year, she is not his wife. 16. Eichler, “Literary Structure,” 72. 17. For the application of these compositional principles to a section of the Laws of Eshnunna, see ibid., 73–81 and in lesser detail in the discussion below. A. Guinan has demonstrated that these compositional principles are also operative in the Middle Assyrian Laws (= MAL) A §§19–20, dealing with homosexuality; see her article “Auguries of Hegemony: The Sex Omens of Mesopotamia,” in Gender and Body in the Ancient Mediterranean (ed. M. Wyke; London: Blackwell, 1998) 45–47. This literary compositional approach seems warranted by the fact that structurally it is neither the whole nor the elements that are primary but, rather, the relationships existing between and among the elements. See J. Piaget, Le Structuralisme (Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 1968) 9–10. 18. A transliteration of the cuneiform and notes on this translation may be found in my “Literary Structure,” 73–80. Page 16 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


Barry L. Eichler (28a) If [a man] set forth the nuptial feast and stipulations with her father and mother and then took her, she is a wife. (b) On the day she is seized in the lap of a(nother) man, she shall die—she shall not live. (29) If a man was taken cap[tive] on a raiding expedition or scout patrol, or was forcibly carried off, and rem[ained] in another land for a lo[ng] time, another indeed took his wife and she bore him a son—whenever he returns, he shall tak[e back] his wife. (30) If a man rejected his town and his lord and fled, another indeed took his wife—whenever he returns, he shall have no claim to his wife. (31) If a man deflowered a man’s slave-girl, he shall weigh out twothirds mina of silver; the slave-girl remains the property of her owner. (32) If a man gave his son for suckling and rearing but did not furnish the three year rations of food, oil, and wool (to the wet nurse), he shall weigh out ten shekels of silver for the rearing of his son, so that he may take back his son. (33) If a slave-girl fraudulently gave her son to a woman of the awilumclass, should his master find him, even after he has grown, he may seize him and take him back. (34) If the slave-girl of the palace gave her son or daughter to a muskenu for rearing, the palace shall take away the son or daughter whom she gave; (35) he who took the child of the slave-girl of the palace shall recompense the palace with its equivalent.

The above section of the Laws of Eshnunna discusses disparate subjects, such as aspects of betrothal and marriage (§§25–28), issues arising from a husband’s absence (§§29–30), the defloration of a slave girl (§31), and aspects of wet-nursing and child rearing (§§32–35). However, applying the compositional principles outlined above allows the literary compositional structure of the section to unfold. Law of Eshnunna §26 deals with the rape of a betrothed woman, defined in Mesopotamian law as an inchoately married woman whose bride-money has been given to her parents but whose marriage has not yet been consummated. But when LE §26 is read “vertically” as following §25, it is clear that the focus of §26 is on the obligation of the bride’s parents to ensure the complete transfer of rights over the betrothed woman to her husband by enabling him to consummate the marriage. The juxtaposition is of polar cases with maximal variation: LE §25 is a case in which the betrothed woman’s parents bear full responsibility for the abrogation of the husband’s rights, while in case §26 the parents bear no responsibility. 19 The primacy of the 19. These legal provisions do not address the gray area that includes legal cases dealing with tacit parental consent to marry another man or with the elopement of the betrothed woman with another man. Compare Hittite Law §28.

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“vertical relationship” is underscored by the incomplete apodosis of LE §26, which does not state the blamelessness of the woman. 20 Note also that LE §25 forms a bridge with LE §§22–24, which culminate a series of cases regarding contract law, loans, and interest payments and which deal with aspects of illegal distraint, whereby a “creditor” distrains a person from the “debtor’s” household even though there is no outstanding debt. Law §25 introduces the adjacent topical block of marriage-and-family law by discussing the illegal abrogation of the marriage contract. Thus the transition from the topic of contract law to marriage-and-family law has been bridged by the common element of unlawful deprivation of one person’s right over another person. 21 Ostensibly, LE §28b deals with a case of adultery, but its apodosis is incomplete, for no mention is made of the husband’s right to pardon his adulterous wife or of the punishment imposed on the paramour. 22 However, by paying attention to the vertical interplay between LE §28b and LE §28a, we see that the legal pronouncement regarding adultery is meant to underscore the definition of a “legal wife.” A legal wife who is caught in an adulterous situation is a woman who may be subject to the death penalty. The focus here is not on the adjudication of a circumstance of adultery but on the exclusive right of a husband over his legal wife. Furthermore, the juxtaposing of LE §27 with LE §28 creates the following legal statement: the setting forth of formal marriage arrangements with parental consent is necessary to effect a change in the personal status of a woman, whereby her husband gains exclusive rights over her. This statement results in the invalidation of common-law-wife status. In LE §29, which deals with the involuntary absence of a husband, the legal prescription in the apodosis is again incomplete. The returning captive is entitled to take back his wife, but nothing is said about the disposition of 20. Compare LH §130 and MAL A §12, which underscore the innocence of the woman. This emphasis may be explained by the vertical relationships existing between LH §§129 and 130 and between MAL A §§12 and 13, which result in the legal statement that duress absolves a married woman from a charge of adultery. 21. Evidence of the use of this compositional principle is further supported in the Eshnunna example by the fact that, even in the case of lawful distraint, the creditor is held capitally liable for the death of the distrained member of the debtor’s family (LH §§115–16). Hence, the formulation of LE §24 as a case dealing with unlawful distraint has no inherent legal force or advantage other than to create a bridge between the two topical blocks. 22. See LH §136, MAL A §15, and Hittite Law (= HL) §198, in which these legal issues are addressed. Page 18 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


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the child born to the second man. 23 But the vertical interplay with LE §30 indicates that LE §§29 and 30 are polar cases, the maximal variants of which are the involuntary and the voluntary absence of the husband. When the husband’s absence is involuntary, he has the right to reclaim his wife even if she has borne a child to a second man. But when the husband’s absence is willful, he loses all rights to his wife. Furthermore, the juxtaposing of LE §§29/30 with LE §28 defines the legal fact that, once a woman assumes the legal status of wife, her husband gains exclusive rights over her, whereby she becomes potentially subject to the charge of adultery. However, there are two circumstances in which the legal wife is no longer subject to the charge of adultery—one circumstance involves involuntary absence; the other, the voluntary absence of her husband. Law of Eshnunna §31 deals with the defloration of a man’s slave girl, and therefore some scholars view this case as having been displaced from its original position, following LE §26, which discusses the rape of a betrothed woman. 24 It should be noted that LE §26 does not stipulate whether the slave girl’s sexual violation was by rape, by seduction, or by her own solicitation. This omission stems from the fact that according to Mesopotamian law any sexual violation of a slave girl, no matter what the circumstances, is considered to be a property offense for which her master may seek redress. 25 By understanding that this case is an example of the unlawful deprivation of a man’s rights over a woman who is his property, we can now appreciate its compositional placement at this juncture. Law §31 serves as a bridge between the preceding cases dealing with the rights of a husband over his legal wife and the following cases dealing with the establishment of a man’s rights over his children. Law §32 deals with a breach of contract for wet-nursing and child rearing whereby the father neglected to pay the three-year wages for a wetnurse’s maintenance. However, when juxtaposed with the theme of the entire section (that is, establishing legal rights of one person over other people in various relationships), this legal case together with LE §§33–35 establishes legal rights over a child. The vertical interplay gives rise to the following legal statement: only someone who is ultimately responsible for 23. Comparison with LH §135 and MAL A §45 is instructive, for both prescribe the retention of the child by his natural father. 24. See Petschow, “Gesetzen von Eschnunna,” 138 and n. 3; and Yaron, The Laws of Eshnunna, 85. 25. J. J. Finkelstein, “Sex Offences in Sumerian Laws,” JAOS 86 (1966) 360. Page 19 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

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sustaining the life of a child may have rights over him or her. Thus the wetnursing relationship and the concomitant rights it bestows may be abrogated only if the wet nurse is paid by the biological father, who is thereby indicating that he is ultimately responsible for the child’s sustenance. If the father fails to pay for this service, the wet nurse is credited with sustaining the child and thus assuming rights over the child. Laws §§33–35 deal with legal cases in which a slave girl who desires to free her child from slavery has given the child to another person to be raised. These cases again are polar cases with maximal variation. In LE §33, the slave girl has acted with subterfuge, deceiving the recipient regarding the true status of the child, while in LE §34/35 no subterfuge is involved. 26 When read vertically with LE §32, the legal statement made by both cases is that the special relationship created by sustaining and rearing a child does not take effect when the reception of the child is unlawful; even after the child is fully grown (that is, fully reared), the owner may claim him or her. Neither the woman of the awilum-class nor the muskenu may claim rights to the slave child. Furthermore, the muskenu is fined for taking part in this unlawful act, while the woman of the awilum-class, who has been duped, is not penalized. 27 These cases mark the end of the topical block dealing with marriage-and-family law, with LE §§36–37 serving as a bridge to the topical block of property law (LE §§36–41) by focusing on the recovery of alienated property. The recognition of the compositional principles operative in the above section of the Laws of Eshnunna has revealed literary and legal cohesiveness within the section. It is now clear that the main theme explored in this section is the legal rights of one person over another person. The legal discussion may be summarized in outline form.

26. The differing details in the two cases of a slave girl and a freeman (in §33) versus a palace slave girl and a muskenu (in §§34/35) may be explained by the principle of an empirical choice of cases. The common case least likely to involve subterfuge would be the palace slave girl and the muskenu, who as an employee of the palace would be aware of the true identity of the mother as a palace slave girl. In §34, however, a slave girl could successfully pose as a free woman in dealing with a freeman. 27. Note that, here as well, the legal prescription in the apodosis is incomplete because it does not address compensation to the woman for having reared the child. Page 20 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


Barry L. Eichler Establishment of Rights over Others A.

Rights over a free woman 1. Established by betrothal (inchoate marriage) (§25/26) Unlawful deprivation of husband’s rights over wife— parental responsibility for transfer of these rights 2. Established by marriage (§27/28a) Creation of legal-wife status; nullity of common-lawwife status (§28b) Exclusivity of husband’s rights over legal wife Exemptions from this exclusivity a. (§29) involuntary absence of husband b. (§30) voluntary absence of husband B. Rights over slave girl (§31) Bridge: Unlawful deprivation of one’s rights over person who is one’s property C. Rights over child Creation of exclusive rights over child by sustaining the child Exceptions to exclusive bond created by sustaining the child a. (§32) payment for services rendered b. (§33–35) unlawful reception of child I have shown that specific compositional principles applied to the above section of the Laws of Eshnunna aid our understanding of the literary structure and legal message of the text. It therefore seems appropriate to discern whether these same compositional principles may be applied to the problematic passage Exod 21:22–25. It is also important to determine whether literary awareness prompts new methods for solving problems of biblical law and for evaluating solutions that have derived from studying the text only from the standpoint of jurisprudence. In addressing Exod 21:22–25, I must therefore begin by placing these laws within the literary compositional structure of the Covenant Code. Scholars have long been aware of the systematic verse arrangement of the individual laws and broader groupings of the Covenant Code. 28 The 28. Paul, Studies in the Book of the Covenant, 106–11; Finkelstein, The Ox That Gored, 25–26; and Sprinkle, The Book of the Covenant, 199–203. L. SchwienhorstSchönberger, Das Bundesbuch, presents a detailed analysis of his understanding of the origin, growth, and development of Exod 20:22–23:33, with a brief history of earlier research. He discusses the arrangement of the laws in the original core of casuistic Page 21 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

Exodus 21:22–25 Revisited: Methodological Considerations


laws of miscarriage and lex talionis are situated within the following series of laws pertaining to criminal offenses committed by one person against another: Exodus 21 (12) He who fatally strikes a man shall be put to death. (13) If he did not do it by design, but it came about by an act of God, I will assign you a place to which he can flee. (14) When a man schemes against another and kills him treacherously, you shall take him from My very altar to be put to death. (15) He who strikes his father or his mother shall be put to death. (16) He who kidnaps a man—whether he has sold him or is still holding him—shall be put to death. (17) He who reviles his father or his mother shall be put to death. (18) When men quarrel and one strikes the other with stone or fist, and he does not die but has to take to bed— (19) If he then gets up and walks outdoors upon his staff, the assailant shall be acquitted (of bloodguilt); still, he must pay for his idleness and cure. (20) When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod, and he dies there and then, he must be avenged. (21) But if he survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, since he [the slave] is his own property. (22) When men fight, and one of them pushes a pregnant woman and a miscarriage results, but no calamity ensues, he shall be fined according as the woman’s husband may exact from him, the payment to be based on reckoning. (23) But if calamity ensues, you shall give life for life, (24) eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, (25) burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise. (26) When a man strikes the eye of his slave, male or female, and destroys it, he shall let him go free on account of his eye. (27) If he laws, Exod 21:18–22:16 in chap. 4, esp. pp. 44–51, while the pre-Deuteronomic, Deuteronomic, and Priestly redactions of the Covenant Code are discussed in chap. 5. C. Houtman’s commentary, Das Bundesbuch, briefly addresses the issues dealing with composition, structure, and origin in the introductory chapter (pp. 7–48), together with other relevant topics. Page 22 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


Barry L. Eichler knocks out the tooth of his slave, male or female, he shall let him go free on account of his tooth. 29

In attempting to understand the placement of the law of miscarriage within the larger compositional structure of this series of laws (Exod 21:12–27), we must discern the relationship between the individual elements and the whole. Exod 21:12–14 deals with the laws of homicide. Verse 12 states that homicide is a capital crime. Verses 13–14 modify this general statement: in the case of accidental homicide, the law allows asylum for the manslayer; in the case of premeditated murder, even the altar will not afford asylum. These two legal cases are polar with maximal variation. The whole gray area of voluntary manslaughter, negligent homicide, and justifiable homicide is not addressed. 30 In light of the cuneiform parallels, this sort of presentation should not be unexpected. The following verses (15–27) discuss the topics of filial disrespect (15 and 17), kidnapping (16), and bodily injuries to freemen and slaves. It appears that vv. 12–17 are united by the theme of capital crimes committed against the person (as opposed to the property) of a human being—his life, freedom, and parental status. The separation of v. 17 from v. 15 reveals that the internal structure of this grouping is not based on subject matter (that is, crime of filial disrespect). It seems rather to be based on the gravity of the physical violence of the illegal act committed against the person of the aggrieved party, and the cases are presented in descending order of gravity. 31 The next grouping (vv. 18–21) also deals with offenses against the person of a human being—this time, bodily injuries. However, in juxtaposition with the theme of the above grouping, which is capital offenses against the person of a human being, vv. 18–21 manifest a theme of noncapital offenses. A closer study of the two legal cases in this latter grouping reveals that both are concerned with legally delineating the point at which bodily injury ceases to be a capital crime: 32 vv. 18–19 state that, in the case of a 29. The translation is based on the NJPSV, with a few changes of my own. 30. Note that these categories of homicide are either implied or recognized in the Covenant Code: compare Exod 21:18–21, 28–33; and 22:1. 31. This explanation was first offered in 1871 by S. D. Luzzatto, Commentary on the Pentateuch (Tel-Aviv: Dvir, 1965) 343; and used subsequently by Cassuto, Exodus, 271; Paul, Studies in the Book of the Covenant, 108 and n. 1. Compare Sprinkle, The Book of the Covenant, 79–80; and Houtman, Das Bundesbuch, 128–29. Note that the Septuagint follows a topical verse order, placing v. 17 after v. 15. 32. M. Greenberg, “More Reflections on Biblical Criminal Law,” in Studies in Bible (ed. S. Japhet; ScrHier 31; Jerusalem: Magnes, 1986) 11–14. Compare Schwienhorst-

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Exodus 21:22–25 Revisited: Methodological Considerations


freeman, capital liability ceases with the victim’s ability to walk outdoors, even though he may still need to support himself on a staff; vv. 20–21 state that, in the case of one’s slave, capital liability ceases with the slave’s survival for a day or two after his master’s beating. This last criterion is explained by the statement “since the slave is his own property”—that is to say, the master had the right to discipline his slave, and the fact that the slave did not die immediately under the blows of the rod indicates that there was no excessive use of authorized force. These two polar cases thus represent two exemptions from the category of capital crimes against the person of a human being: one, dealing with the unauthorized use of force; the other, dealing with the authorized use of force. This literary compositional structure, which is parallel to the legal wife’s exemptions from incurring adultery in the Laws of Eshnunna, 33 explains why vv. 26–27 are separated from vv. 20–21, despite their similarity in subject matter (the beating of one’s slave). 34 The next grouping begins with the problematic legal case of assault on a pregnant woman. In its relationship to the preceding two cases, this case asserts that bodily injury to a pregnant woman resulting in the death of the fetus is a noncapital crime as long as the woman does not die. Accordingly, vv. 18–23 are united under the theme of exemptions from capital punishment for offenses against human beings. 35 They also determine when the Schönberger, Das Bundesbuch, 54, quoting G. Liedke, Gestalt und Bezeichnung alttestamentlicher Rechtssätze: Eine formgeschichtlich-terminologische Studie (NeukirchenVluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1971) 48 n. 1 (with reference to vv. 18–19), and 64– 68 (with reference to vv. 20–21). 33. See above, p. 17. 34. Compare the compositional structure of the biblical text, which separates the laws regarding an ox that gores another ox (Exod 21:35–36) from the laws regarding an ox that gores a human being (Exod 21:28–32), in order to underscore that these two laws, despite their similar subject matter, belong to two very different judicial categories in biblical thought: the former to wrongs against property and the latter to wrongs against the person. In the Laws of Eshnunna, these two laws appear side by side (LE §§53–55). This phenomenon has been discussed in greater detail by Finkelstein, The Ox That Gored, 36–37. 35. This theme of exemptions from the category of capital offenses committed against a human being seems to be the reason for the insertion of the case of the killing of a burglar (Exod 22:1–2a) within the first law of the larger grouping of property offenses committed by a human being. Note also that the first law in the larger grouping of offenses committed by one’s animal against a human being also deals with exemption from the category of capital offenses (Exod 21:28). Compare Finkelstein, The Ox That Gored, 38–39. Page 24 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


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capital liability ceases—when a calamity does not ensue. The fact that “calamity” refers to the death of the woman is clear from the legal prescription “life for life.” Further support for this interpretation of “calamity” as referring to the death of the woman may be found in the cuneiform comparative data. Laws of Lipit Ishtar (= LL) §§d–e, LH §§209–14, and MAL A §50 juxtapose the death of the fetus on the one hand, with the death of the pregnant woman on the other, in their formulation of legal cases dealing with miscarriage. But if this is the purport of the legal case in Exodus 21, then two questions arise: (1) Why is the ambiguous term calamity used instead of the word death? 36 (2) Why does the protasis introduce the biblical legal case of miscarriage with a brawl situation rather than with the words “If a man strikes a pregnant woman,” as formulated in the cuneiform legal cases? Again, before attempting to answer these questions, I suggest that we look at the literary compositional structure of the last grouping. In the grouping (vv. 24–27), both legal cases deal with bodily injury. In the case of a freeman, the principle of talion is prescribed. This talionic prescription indicates that physical injury of a freeman is not considered a private wrong or civil damage but is recognized as detrimental to the welfare and moral order of society as a whole, and it is elevated, therefore, to the status of a crime. 37 Hence the talionic sanction is not compensatory but penal. In the case of serious bodily injury to one’s slave, the master is fined with the loss of his slave. Thus both cases declare the criminality of nonfatal bodily harm of individuals. It now becomes apparent that the law of miscarriage occupies a pivotal position between two groupings that are making two different legal statements. The first grouping (vv. 18–21) delineates the point at which bodily injury ceases to be a capital crime, while the second grouping determines the criminality of inflicting nonfatal bodily injury on a human being (vv. 24–27). This realization allows scholars to explain the difficulties in the formulation of the law of miscarriage (which are the use of “calamity” instead of “death” and the prefacing of the law with a brawl) as resulting from the compiler’s intention to use this legal case as a bridge to link the 36. Chaim Cohen, in an unpublished lecture, “The Ancient Critical Misunderstanding of Exod 21:22–25 and Its Implications for the Current Debate on Abortion,” explained the Biblical Hebrew term ªason as being limited in meaning to ‘tragic death’ rather than being a broader term that included the meaning ‘tragic mishap’. Accordingly, the talionic principle is quoted in full, although only the first section is relevant (personal communication). 37. See Paul, Studies in the Book of the Covenant, 75–77 with bibliography.

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Criminality of Offenses against Human Beings A.


Capital crimes (vv. 12–17) Offenses against the life, parental status, and freedom of a human being in descending order of the physical severity of illegal act 1. Homicide (vv. 12–14) accidental vs. premeditated—right or asylum 2. Striking parents (v. 15) 3. Abduction (v. 16) 4. Reviling parents (v. 17) Noncapital crimes Offenses of assault and battery (vv. 18–27) 1. Exemptions from capital liability a. Striking freeman (vv. 18–19) Capital liability ceases with victim’s ability to walk outdoors. b. Striking one’s own slave (vv. 20–21) Capital liability ceases with victim’s ability to survive a day or two. c. Striking pregnant woman (vv. 22–23) Bridge: Bodily injury to woman resulting in death of fetus is noncapital as long as woman does not die. Although death of fetus is compensatory wrong, bodily injury to woman is criminal. 2. Noncapital criminality a. Striking freeman—talion (vv. 24–25) b. Striking slave—penal loss of slave (vv. 26–27)

two aforementioned groupings. 38 Prefacing the decision with “men fighting” heightens its connection to v. 18, but the decision also participates in 38. Note that, in the Laws of Hammurabi, the section dealing with miscarriage (LH §§209–14) immediately follows the section dealing with assault and battery (LH §§196–208), which contains the talionic principle for injuries inflicted on an awilum by an awilum and which ends with the laws of striking another person during a brawl (LH §§206–8). In the Laws of Hammurabi, the section on miscarriage serves as a bridge between cases dealing with unlawful injuries inflicted upon a human being and cases dealing with medical procedures, which comprise lawful injuries Page 26 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


Barry L. Eichler

the legal theme of the grouping by stating that injury to a pregnant woman ceases to be a capital crime if the woman lives even though her fetus has died. Furthermore, the use of the term calamity broadens the ensuing harm to include not only fatal injury to the woman but nonfatal injuries as well, which links the law to the second grouping by dealing with the criminality of nonfatal bodily injury. As with analyzing the Laws of Eshnunna, recognition of the compositional principles that are operative in the above section of the Covenant Code has allowed the reader to find literary and legal cohesiveness within the section. It is now clear that the main theme being explored in this section is the criminality of offenses committed against human beings. The legal discussion may be summarized in outline form above (see p. 25). Based on the analysis of the compositional structure of this section of the Covenant Code, we have adduced new methods for considering the two major contextual problems arising from Exod 21:22–25 that were noted in the beginning of this essay. The first problem was the “external” legal inconsistency arising from a comparison of v. 23 with v. 13: the law of homicide is qualified by allowing a manslayer to flee to a place of refuge, if the offender did not commit manslaughter by design. However, v. 23 requires capital punishment when a pregnant woman is killed in the course of a brawl. This legal inconsistency is predicated on the supposition that vv. 13–14 represent an all encompassing statement, regulating all aspects of the laws of homicide in its varying degrees, creating asylum for all but premeditated murder. However, based on the above compositional analysis, vv. 13–14 may be viewed, alternatively, as polar cases—with accidental homicide at one pole and premeditated murder at the other. These polar cases were juxtaposed only to demonstrate that biblical law recognizes asylum. Therefore, these verses may not be used to infer anything about the applicability of capital punishment or the right of asylum for other acts of homicide in inflicted by a physician. Note also that in the Hittite Laws, the cases of miscarriage (HL §§17–18) also follow the section dealing with assault and battery and bodily injuries (HL §§7–16). Compare Paul, Studies in the Book of the Covenant, 73 n. 5; and Schwienhorst-Schönberger, Das Bundesbuch, 62–63. For a full discussion of the more formal relationship between the subject matter in the Laws of Hammurabi and the Covenant Code, see D. P. Wright, “The Laws of Hammurabi as a Source for the Covenant Collection (Exod 20:23–23:19),” Maarav 10 (2003) 11–87. The similar placement of particular topics within the Laws of Hammurabi, the Hittite Laws, and the Covenant Code may reflect a common scholastic tradition of legal topoi rather than direct borrowing. Page 27 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

Exodus 21:22–25 Revisited: Methodological Considerations


the full gamut of voluntary-manslaughter cases. 39 To be sure, v. 23 clearly addresses this case of voluntary manslaughter and states that it is viewed as a capital crime. If this literary analysis is valid, there is no external legal inconsistency between the two verses. The second problem was the external legal inconsistency arising from a comparison of vv. 24–25 with vv. 18–19: if a pregnant woman is injured, the law prescribes talionic punishment, while vv. 18–19 prescribe only limited compensation for medical expenses and for the period of forced idleness during recuperation. It has been argued that vv. 24–27 form a grouping based on the criminality of the act of inflicting nonfatal bodily harm. To be sure, this grouping is related ultimately to the grouping of vv. 18–21. Both groupings deal with bodily injuries and follow the descending internal order of freeman to slave. The connection is further enhanced by the fact that this formulation of the talionic principle represents the fullest expression of the talionic statement: 40 “burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise”—typical injuries incurred during a fight. 41 However, the first grouping (vv. 18–21) is making a completely different legal statement from the last grouping. The purpose of the first grouping is to delineate the point at which bodily injury ceases to be a capital crime. As scholars have noted in the Laws of Eshnunna, a vertical reading of the legal cases creates

39. See above, n. 30. 40. Westbrook (“Lex Talionis”) does not view the Exod 21:24–25 passage as demanding talionic retribution for physical injury but as establishing fixed sums to be paid to the victim by the communal authorities when the assailant is unknown. According to Westbrook, the idea of talionic retaliation without the possibility of ransom is first expressed by the Priestly source in Lev 24:19–20 (Studies in Biblical and Cuneiform Law [CahRB 26; Paris: Gabalda, 1988] 80). 41. Sprinkle has remarked that burning is an unlikely injury in the context of a blow to a pregnant woman (The Book of Covenant, 92). In the context of the times, any brawl that occurred at night in which people were pushed against an object or knocked to the ground could easily result in the overturning of oil lamps, with the ensuing spill of ignited oil on one’s clothing or skin, causing serious burns. Others have raised the issue of the prevalence of injury to pregnant women in the ancient Near East. Paul (Studies in the Book of the Covenant, 71 n. 1) and Finkelstein (The Ox That Gored, 19 n. 11) both explain the widespread appearance of the case of the pregnant woman in the Mesopotamian law collections as a literary topos that reflected a scholastic tradition. Schwienhorst-Schönberger (Das Bundesbuch, 112– 15), on the other hand, views it as a legal case that reflected a common reality, in which a wife (frequently pregnant) would attempt to protect her husband against his adversary (cf. Deut 25:11–12). Page 28 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


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the legal statement, and in cases of this sort the legal prescription, when read horizontally, is often incomplete. 42 It seems that here too (vv. 19 and 21) the apodoses are incomplete in that they do not discuss punishment for inflicting nonfatal bodily injuries on another person or on one’s own slave. Although v. 19 does mention the matter of compensation for medical expenses and involuntary idleness during recuperation, no punishment is set forth for the inflicting of bruises, wounds, or more serious bodily injuries. 43 Again parallel to the cuneiform cases, these omissions result from the tendency of the legal prescription to focus narrowly on the nature of the statement being made. In this grouping, the focus is on the point at which bodily injury ceases to be a capital crime. Punishment for nonfatal bodily injury is the theme of the latter grouping. Once again, from the standpoint of literary analysis, there is no contradiction between the legal prescriptions in vv. 24–25 and vv. 18–19. These observations, based on an understanding of the compositional principles and techniques found in cuneiform law collections, will not solve the complex lexicographic and semantic difficulties inherent in the text of Exod 21:22–25. However, they do raise important methodological considerations. If the compositional structure of this section of the Covenant Code exposes an inner cohesion to the legal text and demonstrates that there is no basis for assuming legal inconsistencies with other verses in the larger text, then these assumed inconsistencies can no longer be the starting point for and driving force behind proffered interpretations of the text. Furthermore, broader observations—such as the fact that certain apodoses are incomplete, that the vertical interplay between legal cases to form a legal statement at times dominates, and that selected legal cases are purposely constructed to form bridges between sections—support the thesis that the Covenant Code shares with the Mesopotamian law collections not only a legal tradition but also a common literary and scholastic tradition that was governed by common compositional principles. 44 Thus, we must 42. See the above discussions on LE §28b and LE §29 (pp. 17–18), in which the apodoses are incomplete. 43. It is unclear whether the apodosis of LH §206 is incomplete. The legal case prescribes only payment of medical expenses, with no mention of compensation for idleness or for bodily injuries. Compare Hititte Laws §10. 44. For evidence of the close compositional structure between sections of the Laws of Hammurabi and the Laws of Eshnunna, see my “Literary Structure,” 82–84. These affinities suggest that both law corpora stem from a common scholastic source. This scholastic tradition should be considered one of the major sources from Page 29 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

Exodus 21:22–25 Revisited: Methodological Considerations


not study biblical legal cases from a jurisprudential point of view without fully appreciating the implications of the compositional principles inherent within their literary formulation. which the legal provisions may have been derived and should be added to the other sources discussed by R. Yaron, “Forms in the Laws of Eshnunna,” RIDA 3rd series 9 (1962) 137–53; idem, The Laws of Eshnunna, 96–113. Another important methodological consideration is the nature of the penalties prescribed in the law corpora. At issue is whether all penalties are meant to be complied with literally as legislated law or whether some serve as admonitions and expressions of societal disapproval as preserved in the scholastic tradition (cf. Finkelstein, The Ox That Gored, 35–39). Page 30 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM Page 31 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

Three Major Redactors of the Torah Richard Elliott Friedman University of Georgia

This work and, in a way, all of my work reflects a debt to Shalom Paul. He was on the faculty of the Jewish Theological Seminary when I was still a student there, but he treated me with the kindness and respect that one shows a colleague. Years later he actually was my colleague when he came to San Diego as a visiting professor at the University of California. The friendship has endured over the 25 years since then, so it is difficult to estimate the many ways that he has taught me and influenced the way that I see the Bible and the field of biblical studies. Shalom Paul has been a genuine blessing to our field, a teacher-scholar to me and to thousands more. It is an honor to be included in a volume that is dedicated to him. This will be a comparative treatment of the major redactors of the Torah: known as R, RJE, and Dtr. Redactors are the most over- and underappreciated persons of the Bible. On one hand, both lay readers and classical scholars do not sufficiently identify what exactly they did, how they did it, or how important it is. On the other hand, there are individuals who ascribe the whole thing to them—as if the redactors had come up with the ideas: the plots, the puns, the character development. The implicit formulation of these scholars seems to be: we cannot know intention, but, if we could know intention, it would be the redactors’ intentions that count, not the intentions of the authors. At both of these ends of the spectrum—the murky redactor and the omnipotent redactor—we lose something, because we are not observing the actual facts of redaction and discovering who these persons were and precisely what they did. Thus, redaction is probably the least-understood element of the formation of the Torah and the Deuteronomistic History. This situation may be understandable, because it was natural for scholars first to try to separate and identify the sources and then to figure out the editing process. But really, the relationship between identifying the sources and identifying the process by which they were edited together is dialectical. Eventually one 31 Page 32 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


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must perform the two tasks in conjunction with one another. And we are now at this stage. Views of the process of the redaction vary almost as much as views of the sources. The founding view was that the redactor was primarily a tradent of received texts. My teacher, Frank Cross, argued instead that P = R. In his view, the Priestly source was composed around the other sources in a single authorial and editorial process. 1 I argued against this view as far back as my dissertation, which I wrote under Cross. 2 The fact that P and JE each read as a continuous, nearly unbroken narrative goes against his and other supplementary models. 3 The well-known contradictions and doublets between P and the other sources likewise militate against these models. I wrote then that there were two stages of P and that the entire Priestly narrative was part of the first stage. It was in the second stage that some new legal texts were added and redacted together with the other sources to form the Torah.

1. F. M. Cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1973) 293–325; see also P. Volz and W. Rudolph, Der Elohist als Erzähler: Ein Irrweg der Pentateuchkritik? (BZAW 63; Giessen: Alfred Töpelmann, 1933) 135–42; F. V. Winnett, “Reexamining the Foundations,” JBL 84 (1965) 1–19; J. Van Seters, Abraham in History and Tradition (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1975) 279–95; R. Rendtorff, Das überlieferungsgeschichtliche Problem des Pentateuch (BZAW 17; Berlin: de Gruyter, 1977); S. Tengström, Die Toledot-Formel und die literarische Struktur der priesterlichen Erweiterungsschicht im Pentateuch (Lund: CWK Gleerup, 1981); E. Blum, Studien zur Komposition des Pentateuch (BZAW 189; Berlin: de Gruyter, 1990) 221–85. 2. R. E. Friedman, The Impact of Exile on the Character of Biblical Narrative (Ph.D. diss., Harvard University, 1978). This was later published as a monograph, The Exile and Biblical Narrative (HSM 22; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1981); see pp. 44–132. 3. Other studies supporting the view that P is essentially a continuous narrative include: M. Noth, Überlieferungsgeschichte des Pentateuch (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1948) 7–19; K. Elliger, “Sinn und Ursprung der priesterlichen Geschichtserzählung,” in Kleine Schriften zum Alten Testament (ed. H. Gese and O. Kaiser; Munich: Chr. Kaiser, 1966) 174–98; N. Lohfink, “Die Priesterschrift und die Geschichte,” Congress Volume: Göttingen, 1977 (VTSup 29; Leiden: Brill, 1978) 189–225; K. Koch, “P—kein Redaktor!” VT 37 (1987) 446–67; E. W. Nicholson, “P as an Originally Independent Source in the Pentateuch,” Irish Biblical Studies 10 (1988) 192–206; J. Blenkinsopp, The Pentateuch (ABRL; New York: Doubleday, 1992); A. F. Campbell, “The Priestly Text: Redaction or Source?” in Biblische Theologie und gesellschaftlicher Wandel (ed. G. Braulik et al.; Freiburg: Herder, 1993) 32–47; D. M. Carr, Reading the Fractures of Genesis (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1996) 43–140; W. H. C. Propp, “The Priestly Source Recovered Intact?” VT 41 (1996) 458–78. Page 33 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

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I initially designated these two proposed stages P1 and P2. Subsequently, I began to refer to them simply as P and R. Israel Knohl has also proposed that there were two components, or schools, of Priestly composition, which he identifies as P and H, and has argued as well that the latest stage of H involved both composition and redaction—thus, in effect, H = R. 4 In this matter, Knohl has been followed by Jacob Milgrom. Milgrom shocked me a couple of years ago by telling me that I had been the first to say this, with my model of a two-stage Priestly composition. I still have not decided if this is an honor that I want or not because, despite its similarity to my own view, I do not think that the model proposed by Knohl and Milgrom is correct. I do not know of a single passage that is unquestionably attributable to the redactor that bears the characteristics of H. For myself and others, the classic view remains the most probable in the light of the evidence: namely, an initial redactor cut and combined J and E into a single continuous text. We call this redactor RJE. A second redactor merged this combined JE text with the Priestly text, added the Deuteronomic corpus at the end, and moved the JE and P accounts of the appointment of Joshua and death of Moses to the end of the full work. This second redactor is identified as R. The Deuteronomic corpus that R incorporated in his composition had itself been composed around old sources and assembled in two editorial stages—the first Josianic and the second exilic. 5 This is the model that I am treating here.

4. I. Knohl, The Sanctuary of Silence (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1995; reprinted, Winona Lake, IN: 2007); J. Milgrom, Leviticus 1–16 (AB 3; New York: Doubleday, 1991) 13–35. 5. J. A. Montgomery, The Book of Kings (ICC; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1951) 44– 45; W. Richter, Traditionsgeschichtliche Untersuchungen zum Richterbuch (Bonn: Hanstein, 1963); idem, Die Bearbeitungen des “Retterbuches” in der deuteronomischen Epoche (Bonn: Hanstein, 1964); F. M. Cross, “The Structure of the Deuteronomic History,” in Perspectives in Jewish Learning, vol. 3 (Annual of the College of Jewish Studies; Chicago: Spertus College of Judaica Press, 1968) 9–24; idem, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1973) 274–89; J. Gray, I and II Kings (2nd ed.; OTL; Philadelphia: Westminster, 1970) 6–9; I. Schlauri, “W. Richters Beitrag zur Redaktionsgeschichte des Richterbuches,” Bib 54 (1973) 367–403; E. Cortese, “Problemi attuali circa l’opera deuteronomistica,” Rivista biblica italiana 26 (1978) 341–52, esp. pp. 343–47; R. E. Friedman, “From Egypt to Egypt: Dtr1 and Dtr2,” in Traditions in Transformation: Turning Points in Biblical Faith (F. M. Cross Festschrift; ed. B. Halpern and J. D. Levenson; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1981) 167–92; idem, The Exile and Biblical Narrative; R. Nelson, The Double Redaction of the Deuteronomistic History ( JSOTSup 18; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1981); H. G. M. Williamson, “The Death of Josiah and the Continuing Development of the Deuteronomic Page 34 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


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First I shall address the editorial task of RJE, a task of organizing and reconciling portions of his two sources, J and E, into a coherent whole. 6 If we read the combined JE, it reads as a complete, continuous story, with almost no gaps. But its two component texts, J and E, when looked at individually, both contain major gaps. Neither is complete. 7 So, first point of editorial method: J and E must have been cut and fashioned into a united text prior to their being merged with P and D. This is the stage called RJE. What do the sources J and E, to the extent that they have been preserved in that united text, look like? If we separate J from the other sources, we find that it reads as a continuous story, without a break, until the birth of Jacob’s sons, where the narrative has a visible gap: it jumps from Rachel’s giving Bilhah to Jacob (Gen 30:1a, 4) to the birth of Joseph (30:24b). The only other element missing from the flow of the story in J prior to the exodus is Joseph’s rise from prison to high rank. (He is in charge of the other prisoners in 39:23, but in the next J text [42:1–4, 6, 8] he is over the whole land.) This picture of a largely continuous J text changes in Exodus, where the gaps are huge and are not restricted to minor points. For instance, there is no story in J of the enslavement of Israel or of the plagues or of the exodus itself or of the arrival at Sinai. When we separate E from the other sources, the picture is different. The beginning of the story is gone, so that we cannot even tell if E originally began with a creation story or with Abraham, or perhaps with something in between. The first time we find a text that bears the classic signs of E, we are in the middle of a narrative, and someone named Abraham is telling the History,” VT 32 (1982) 242–43; P. Buis, “Rois,” Dictionnaire de la Bible: Supplément 9 (1982), cols. 695–750, especially cols. 728–31; N. Lohfink, Rückblick im Zorn auf den Staat: Vorlesungen zu ausgewählten Schlüsseltexten der Bücher Samuel und Könige (Frankfurt: privately printed, 1984); Iain Provain, Hezekiah and the Books of Kings: A Contribution to the Debate about the Composition of the Deuteronomistic History (BZAW 172; Berlin: de Gruyter, 1988); Steven L. McKenzie, The Chronicler’s Use of the Deuteronomistic History (HSM 33; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1984); idem, The Trouble with Kings: The Composition of the Book of Kings in the Deuteronomistic History (VTSup 42; Leiden: Brill, 1991). On the various terms and models used to distinguish the two (or more) editions of the Deuteronomistic History, see Baruch Halpern, The First Historians: The Hebrew Bible and History (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1988) 111–18. 6. D. N. Freedman, “The Pentateuch,” in Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003) 28. 7. The text of the Torah with the sources identified by distinct colors and fonts appears in my Bible with Sources Revealed (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 2003), so the individual can read each of the sources separately and also read the united JE.

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king of Gerar that Sarah is his sister (Genesis 20). That is one of the reasons that some scholars think that E is merely fragments, and others think that it does not exist at all—despite the fact that the evidence for E’s being an independent source is substantial. 8 For the rest of E, it flows no better or worse than J, the signs that identify its passages are no less numerous or prominent than those of J, and it is nearly exactly the same length as J. But some of our colleagues have followed “Noth’s law”: when in doubt, it’s J. 9 So E passages are passed to J, and then these scholars conclude that E is just fragments, or even that it does not exist. But, when Abraham tells the king of Gerar that Sarah is his sister, suddenly, for the first time in the JE corpus, God is referred to in narration as Elohim, four times, which never happens in J; and Abraham is living in the Negeb, whereas in J he was last seen in Mamre. Furthermore, the whole narrative is a doublet of the wife-sister story that already occurred in J. RJE just fixes the geography by adding the words: “And Abraham traveled from there to the Negeb region” (Gen 20:1). From here, E parallels J in stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, but it still has gaps. There is no story of the birth or childhood of Jacob or Esau in E, but they both appear later. Jacob appears out of nowhere, dreaming about angels on a ladder (Gen 28:10b). In the next E scene, Rachel and Leah appear out of nowhere and are dueling to produce babies (30:1ff.). When we come to the exodus and enslavement, however, there is far more of E than J. J tells about Moses’ early life from the basket to his marriage to the daughter of Reuel, the Midianite priest (Exod 2:1–22). But E, beginning with Moses’ shepherding the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the Midianite priest, has much more at the burning bush and almost the entire account of Moses versus Pharaoh. So, second point of editorial method: RJE appears to be keeping J in its entirety until shortly after the point at which he starts blending in E. He favors J for the primal and patriarchal history but favors E for the Mosaic history. This is consistent with the view that the E source derived from the nonAaronid Levites, who favored Moses and therefore concentrated on the Mosaic age, in which case this would be an understandable editorial decision. 10 8. A summary of the evidence that J and E each originally existed as a complete, independent source appears in my Hidden Book in the Bible (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1998) 353–58. 9. “In Zweifelsfalle eher für J als für E zu entscheiden ist” (emphasis in original); Noth, Überlieferungsgeschichte des Pentateuch, 48. 10. O. Procksch, Das nordhebräische Sagenbuch: Die Elohimquelle (Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1906); Cross, Canaanite Myth, 195–215; A. Jenks, The Elohist and North Israelite Page 36 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


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Third point of editorial method: RJE does not write. He is an editor, not an author. He adds occasional phrases to solve specific editorial challenges. For example, when he includes the J story of Moses’ taking his wife and sons with him to Egypt but then also includes the E story of Zipporah and sons’ coming out to meet Moses after the exodus because they have been in Midian all along, RJE adds “after her being sent back” (Exod 18:2). This was added in order to get Zipporah back to Midian. And when he includes both the E and the J stories of Moses’ getting tablets, he leaves in the part in E in which Moses shatters the tablets; then, when he comes to the part in J relating that God instructs Moses, “Carve two tablets of stones,” RJE adds the words “like the first ones . . . which you shattered” (Exod 34:1). There may be one, exceptional instance in which RJE was moved to write a few lines. This is in the case of the binding of Isaac (Genesis 22). It is possible that in the original E story Abraham actually carries out the sacrifice of Isaac and that RJE added vv. 11–14, in which the sacrifice is stopped. The evidence for this is as follows: (1) The Akedah narrative is an E text, referring to the deity as Elohim in narration three times (vv. 1, 3, 9); suddenly, however, as Abraham takes the knife in his hand, the text switches to “an angel of YHWH.” (2) Verses 11–15, which describe the angel’s instructions to Abraham not to sacrifice his son after all, are enclosed in a resumptive repetition in which the angel calls out two times (vv. 11, 15). (3) Following this resumptive repetition, the angel says, “because you did this thing and did not withhold your son” (v. 16). (4) The story concludes, “And Abraham went back to his boys” (v. 19). Isaac is not mentioned—even though Abraham had explicitly told the boys, “We will come back to you” (v. 5). (5) Isaac never appears in E after this. (6) In the E story of a revelation at Mt. Horeb in Exodus 24, there is a chain of 18 parallels of language with this story of Isaac, but not one of those parallels comes solely from the verses in question (Gen 22:11–15). 11 (7) There is a group of midrashic sources on this text that say that Isaac was in fact sacrificed. 12 In light of these factors, it is possible that in the E story Abraham sacrifices Isaac but that later this idea of a human sacrifice became repugnant, Traditions (SBLMS 22; Missoula: Scholars Press, 1977); W. H. C. Propp, Exodus 1– 18 (AB 2; New York: Doubleday, 1999) 284–86; R. E. Friedman, Who Wrote the Bible? (New York: Summit / Simon & Schuster, 1987) 70–83. 11. See my Bible with Sources Revealed (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 2003) 160. 12. Shalom Spiegel, The Last Trial: On the Legends and Lore of the Command to Abraham to Offer Isaac as a Sacrifice (trans. Judah Goldin; Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights, 1993).

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so RJE added the lines in which Isaac is spared. It is not possible to say how the original E version accounted for the introduction of Jacob. Notably, however, it is in E—in fact, in the very next passage that is traced to E—that Abraham has another wife, Keturah, and has more children. And it was probably RJE who added two brief sentences after the Keturah report, saying: “Abraham gave everything that he had to Isaac. And Abraham gave gifts to the children of the concubines that Abraham had, and he sent them away from Isaac, his son, while he was still living: east, to the land of the East” (Gen 25:5–6). Overall, the Jacob, Joseph, and Exodus stories show much more effort by RJE to retain and intertwine J and E than is shown in the earlier stories. Is it that E simply had too little about Abraham? Or is it rather that the differences between J and E about the earliest history were just too much to be overcome editorially? Or is RJE perhaps learning as he goes, mastering a new, one-time-only editorial task and refining his skills as he encounters the unique problems that his project presents to him? I shall return to these questions below. Both J and E are preserved almost in their entirety in their respective accounts of the Sinai revelation; only at one point, the point at which they merge at the end of Exodus 33, is there some uncertainty. And this is the last time that J and E are visibly merged by RJE. For the entire wilderness narrative, this redactor simply lines up the two sources. J has the departure from Sinai, the episode of the scouts, the rebellion of Dathan and Abiram, the encounters with Edomites, Amorites, Arad, and Baal Peor, and then the death of Moses. E has the quail, the 70 elders, Miriam’s leprosy, the brass snake, and the appointment of Joshua as Moses’ successor. This leaves only the Balaam episode, which is possibly the hardest section in the Torah in which to delineate sources. Most scholars regard it as composite; first, because they think of the accounts of repeated sets of ambassadors to Balaam as a doublet; and, second, because they think there is a contradiction in the story when God tells Balaam to go with the Moabites but then is angry at him for going. 13 I am not at all certain that these difficulties are evidence of two sources. The several embassies to Balaam, each

13. G. B. Gray, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Numbers (ICC; New York: Scribner’s, 1903) 309–12; M. Noth, Numbers: A Commentary (trans. J. D. Martin; Philadelphia: Westminster, 1968) 171; cf. A. Rofé, The Book of Bileam ( Jerusalem: Simor, 1981) [Heb.]; B. Levine, Numbers 21–36 (AB 4A; New York: Doubleday, 2000) 137–41. Page 38 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


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composed of more distinguished ambassadors, may well be the original progression of the story. The confusion over God’s sending Balaam and then being angry at him is surprising but still conceivable as a single author’s development, and it is not easily resolved by separating this section into two sources in any case. Evidence of language is a stronger marker of sources than these considerations. The vast majority of the terms and phrases here that are identifiable with a particular source are typical of E, while only three are typical of J (Num 22:5, 15, 26). Furthermore, there is a particular cluster of terms and phrases here that is also found in Exodus 10, which is E, 14 and the deity is referred to as Elohim in narration seven times. I therefore consider the story to be almost wholly E, except for the three J passages mentioned. The first verse of the story states, “Balak, son of Zippor, saw everything that Israel had done to the Amorite,” referring to the defeat of the Amorites, which appeared only in J, not in E. This verse therefore either comes from J or else was added by RJE as a means of connecting the J story of the defeat of the Amorites to the E story of Balaam and the defeat of the Moabites. This is the sort of brief link that we see RJE has added elsewhere. From such data, we can observe the methods, devices and, to some extent, the values of the editor RJE. He was able to combine his two sources, sometimes side by side and sometimes merged into a united story. Above all, this person was willing to cut out portions of his sources. This may seem obvious, but it is by no means a given, as we see when we compare RJE’s editorial methods with R’s. The editorial task of R was different from the task of RJE. At some time following RJE’s completion of the combined JE text, a new text, the one now known as P, had been composed, and it had been written as an alternative to the existing JE version of Israel’s history. The author of P followed the order of the combined JE narrative, changing, adding, or deleting episodes only when he deemed it necessary. This fact—that P follows JE—was pointed out by Martin Noth, demonstrated by Sigmund Mowinckel, then followed and detailed by others of us. 15 What this means is that the redac-

14. Friedman, The Bible with Sources Revealed, 280–87. 15. M. Noth, A History of Pentateuchal Traditions (trans. B. W. Anderson; Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1972) 8–19, 234; S. Mowinckel, Erwägungen zur Pentateuch Quellenfrage (Trondheim: Universitetsforlaget, 1964) 26–43; N. Lohfink, “Die Priesterschrift und die Geschichte,” in Congress Volume: Göttingen, 1977 (VTSup 29; Leiden: Brill, 1978) 189–225; Friedman, The Exile and Biblical Narrative, 44–132; Page 39 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

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tor of the full Torah, ironically, had the task of taking two texts, P and JE (one of which had been composed deliberately as an alternative to the other one), and combining them into a single work. But his task was not just more ironic; it was far more difficult. When we read the text of P by itself, separated from the other sources, we find that it reads as a nearly complete narrative from beginning to end, with hardly a single gap. And when we read through the combined JE text by itself, separated from the other sources, we find that it too reads as a nearly complete narrative from beginning to end, with hardly a single gap. This indicates that R did not allow himself the freedom that RJE had enjoyed: to cut his sources. He apparently tried to keep both of his main sources complete. Why did he do it? It may be that both versions were well known by then, so R was not free simply to discard whole sections and get away with it. It may be that R had such respect for his source texts that he did not believe himself to be at liberty to cut them. It may be that he enjoyed the challenge. It may have been a political compromise, a means of satisfying advocates of each version. But whatever the reason, we are now at a point at which we can observe the respective products of these different editors and compare them. How, exactly, did R combine two alternative texts into one without making numerous large cuts and changes? The first issue was arrangement. In the placement of doublets, we can observe that in some cases it was possible to include both versions of the double stories, keeping the two separate from each other. For example, compare the two creation stories: each is complete; they are set back to back, and they do not intersect one another. The redactor placed the P version first. Why? Just try it the other way around. It does not work. JE can appear as a specification, as a narrowing of focus after P. But the reverse makes no sense at all. The two versions of the Abrahamic covenant are similar to the double stories of creation in this respect. The JE version in Genesis 15 takes place before the birth of Ishmael, but in the P version in Genesis 17 Abraham refers to Ishmael by name. Thus, here, too, the redactor kept the two versions separate but, unlike the creation stories, did not place them back to back; rather, he placed the story of Ishmael’s birth in between them, in Genesis 16. In the case of the two versions of Moses’ striking the rock at Meribah, the redactor separated them by 70 chapters, leaving no question that they Carr, Reading the Fractures of Genesis, 43–140; Propp, “The Priestly Source Recovered Intact?” 466–67. Page 40 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


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must be two different events. And why did he put them in the order they are in? Because Moses cannot get in trouble for hitting the rock—and then be told to hit the second rock. The P version, in which Moses commits a terrible sin at Meribah, makes more sense by coming after the JE narrative. And so on. Usually (perhaps almost always), R’s decisions regarding the order and placement of whole stories are governed by the material itself in a way that can be readily understood. However, R had an entirely different challenge when it came to doublets that had to be combined. He could have Moses hit rocks twice, but he could not have Noah survive two floods in two arks. And so he used a different editorial mechanism, dividing each of the two flood stories into segments and placing the parallel segments in sequence. Sometimes he set the P segment first, sometimes the J segment first, as the logic of each pair of segments dictated. Thus he had Noah send out P’s raven first, and then he had him send out JE’s three doves (or one dove three times). In the logic of this arrangement, a reader would understand that the raven was sent out and did not come back. Consequently Noah, unable to know what this meant, then sent out the doves. But if he had had Noah send out the three doves first, after one dove came back with an olive branch and a second dove did not come back at all, what point would there be in Noah’s then sending out a raven? The point here is that, in this editor’s approach to merging his doublet texts, his editing was governed by his material no less than when he kept his doublets whole and placed them sequentially. This applies to all of his other cases of merged texts, including the accounts of the plagues, the Red Sea, the theophany at Sinai, the scouts, and the rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. To me, the most brilliant achievements of this redactor were these units in which he combined the JE and P texts in their entirety. Now let us consider the points at which R actually had to change texts or add to them. In some cases, his task was to add a reconciling line, just as RJE had done. For example, when he included both the JE Kenite genealogy and the Toledot Book’s Sethite genealogy, he appears to have added the words, “And Adam knew his wife again” (Gen 4:25) to connect Seth with the story. When he came to the notice that “Jacob came, safe, to the city of Shechem,” he added the words “which was in the land of Canaan, when he was coming from Paddan Aram” (Gen 33:18). The reason for the addition may be that the combination of the sources now made it seem that Jacob’s return to his father, Isaac, was taking an excessive amount of time. P had said that Jacob had set out for Canaan all the way back in Genesis 31

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(v. 18), but he does not arrive until the P notice in Genesis 35 (v. 27). This addition identifies his stay at Shechem as just a stop on the way. In other cases, R’s task was broader than this. For example, he apparently changed the names Abram to Abraham and Sarai to Sarah consistently after the P story of the name changes (Gen 17:5, 15). Or even more crucially, he added the word Elohim after every occurrence of the divine name in Genesis 2 and 3. That is, he edited it to read YHWH Elohim. This double identification, “YHWH God,” occurs only in these introductory chapters and nowhere else in the Pentateuch. It softened the dramatic shift from P in Genesis 1, using Elohim exclusively, to all the J narration, using YHWH exclusively. Unlike RJE, this redactor appears to have composed whole texts himself, specifically legal texts, that reflect a much later stage of Hebrew and the concerns of a much later historical moment—texts such as Numbers 15 and 28–29. These texts reflect visibly Priestly concerns, which is what led me initially to identify this redactor as a sort of second stage of P 16 and led Knohl to his even broader model of the redactor as being a priest of the socalled “Holiness School.” The redactor also used additional sources as frameworks: the Toledot Book and the Wilderness Journey Itinerary of Numbers 33. He cut these into segments and distributed them—the Toledot lists to organize the Genesis stories in chronological order, and the Itinerary notices to organize the stories of the Israelites’ travels in geographical order. 17 There is no comparable editorial framework in RJE. The work of R does not therefore exhibit one method alone. This editor, like RJE, used a variety of editorial approaches and devices, as required by the nature of his source texts. And, while he seems to have had a more consistent design for his whole project than RJE did, I also think we can observe him, like RJE, refining his technique over the course of the project—in a sense, learning as he goes. Now one could hardly be more different from these two editors than the Deuteronomistic Historian was. He was not really an editor, or redactor, in the way that RJE and R were. He was both an editor and a writer. He started with the law code that is now contained in Deuteronomy 12–26, made some changes in wording, added an introduction (now contained in 16. Friedman, The Exile and Biblical Narrative, 108, 115, 118–32. 17. Cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic, 301–17. Page 42 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


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Deuteronomy 1–11) and a stunningly beautiful conclusion (now contained in Deuteronomy 29–30), and then added a report of the last acts of Moses. In that closing section he added the old poem, The Blessing of Moses. This was just the beginning of his larger editorial project, which was to connect these Mosaic beginnings to a full history of Israel down to the time of Josiah, but I am focusing here on his work in Deuteronomy because this is the part of his history that was blended into the product of the other two redactors. Nowhere in this work did he merge his source texts in the way that R and RJE did. His was a manifestly simpler task: to introduce them, lay them out in order, and conclude. One might say that this is an incomplete assessment, because it pertains only to Deuteronomy and not to the entire Deuteronomistic History. However, even if we were to consider the entire history, we would not find the merging of sources into a single narrative, like the flood story in R or the story of Jacob at Beth-El in RJE. Instead, the Deuteronomist intersperses the accounts of the Kings of Israel between the accounts of the Kings of Judah, but rarely do the two sources meet in the account of any one king. The closest the Deuteronomist comes is the interspersing of Samuel A and Samuel B in the book of 1 Samuel, but even there we get alternating episodes, not brilliantly combined sources such as the Red Sea account that R gave us. 18 On the one hand, therefore, this Deuteronomistic editor gave us less than the others. On the other hand, this artist could include 15 chapters of law and then compose a conclusion for it that reads: This commandment that I command you today: it’s not too wondrous for you, and it’s not too far. It’s not in the skies, that one would say, “Who will go up for us to the skies and get it for us and enable us to hear it so we’ll do it?” And it’s not across the sea, that one would say, “Who will cross for us, across the sea, and get it for us and enable us to hear it so we’ll do it?” But the thing is very close to you, in your mouth, and in your heart, to do it.

There is nothing like this by R or RJE. Those of us who see the Deuteronomist’s project as coming from the Josianic age use the term Dtr1 to identify this original edition of the work. Following the age of Josiah, catastrophic turns of events moved someone to make a second edition, adding an account of Judah’s fall at the end of the 18. I have separated the Samuel B text from the Samuel A text in my Hidden Book in the Bible, 193–237. Page 43 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

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work and writing some supplements into Deuteronomy. Dtr1 had developed the Davidic covenant and evaluated each king by its standard. However, the Davidic covenant promised eternal, unconditional reign over Jerusalem and Judah by David’s descendants. When the Babylonians put an end to this idea, Dtr2 emphasized the Mosaic covenant, which superseded the Davidic promises. It focused on the people rather than on the kings. Dtr2 said, implicitly: the Davidic covenant promises eternal kingship, yes, but if the people fail to keep the Mosaic covenant and bring about destruction or exile, over whom does the king rule?! These supplements are stylistically indistinguishable from Dtr1 and could even be by the same editor. 19 What Dtr1 and Dtr2 have in common that is more significant than their style, however, is that the lines they introduced were designed to give a particular direction to history. This editor-writer-historian was less governed by his materials than were R and RJE. He took a firmer hand, retaining his sources, respecting them, but also designing a framework that was more purposive and more ideological than the Toledot Book and Wilderness Itinerary that R used. What are the possible reasons for the differences in these three redactors’ attitudes toward their sources? RJE cut his sources more than R did, perhaps because J and E were more susceptible to cutting and combining. In the first place, they are stylistically indistinguishable from each other; and second, they were more similar to each other to begin with than they were to P or D, or than P and D were to each other. It may be that these different editors were different in their respect for their sources. It may be that by R’s time the sources had acquired more sanctity or simply had become more widely known and therefore could not be cut. The reason may simply be the idiosyncratic qualities of the respective editors—just like our editors! I have been edited by David Noel Freedman, Arthur Samuelson, and Hershel Shanks! Why would we think that the ancient editors were any less varied in every way than our own editors?! The point is that the construction of a Torah out of the sources was a dynamic between the nature of the materials and the intellect and skills of the redactor. There are passages that are embroideries of genius, and there are 19. On these two editions of the Deuteronomistic History, see n. 5 above and my “Deuteronomistic School,” in Fortunate the Eyes That See: Essays in Honor of David Noel Freedman in Celebration of His Seventieth Birthday (ed. A. Beck et al.; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995) 70–80. Page 44 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


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passages that are what is known as “no-brainers.” I could not address all of these here. What I mean to establish in this presentation is that we have reached a point in our field at which we can finally address these more interesting questions of how the Torah was put together. We can actually observe the editors at work and determine what their plan was, what they especially valued, and what the “rules of the game” were that they imposed on themselves. While new models are being proposed left and right, the classic model is at end-game: it has arrived at the point where we can actually answer these questions of how three great editors fashioned the Torah. Page 45 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

Nimrod, Son of Cush, King of Mesopotamia, and the Dates of P and J Israel Knohl The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The first eleven chapters of Genesis describe the period of creation and the dawn of humanity during which the foundations of human society were created. The main institution governing this earliest form of biblical society was kingship. Although the Bible does not describe the way kingship was established, the book of Genesis does mention one king who ruled already in this early period. This king is Nimrod, the son of Cush: Cush became the father of Nimrod; he was the first on earth to be a mighty man. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the Lord.” The beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, and Akkad, all of them 1 in the land of Shinar. From that land he went into Assyria 2 and built Nineveh, Rehoboth-Ir, Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah; that is the great city. (Gen 10:8–12)

Author’s note: I would like to thank E. Weissert for his significant comments. 1. In the Hebrew text, the word hnlkw is punctuated as a city name, ‘and Calneh’. However, no such Babylonian city is recorded. For this reason, scholars have suggested the repointing of the Hebrew text to wékullannâ ‘and all of them’, a form attested in Gen 42:36. See W. F. Albright, “The End of ‘Calneh in Shinar’ (Gen 10:10),” JNES 3 (1944) 254–55; E. A. Speiser, Genesis (AB 1; Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1964) 67. 2. For the understanding that the reference here is to the movement of Nimrod from Babylon to Assyria, see Speiser, ibid.; H. Gunkel, Genesis (trans. M. E. Biddle; Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1997) 89. As noted by Skinner and Westermann, there is a historical fact behind these verses. Babylon was an older civilization than Assyria and influenced the cultures in the north. See J. Skinner, Genesis (ICC; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1930) 211; C. Westermann, Genesis 1–11 (trans. J. J. Scullion; Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1994) 518.

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The use of the name YHWH ‘Lord’ in these verses shows that they derive from the J source. This source describes Nimrod as the individual who was the first mighty man on earth. He was probably also the first king on earth. 3 Kings in the ancient Near East were proud of their achievements in hunting. 4 Nimrod is also described here as a builder of cities, one of which is “the big city,” probably Nineveh. 5 Thus, Nimrod can be seen here as a prototype of a Mesopotamian king. 6 Chapter 10 of the book of Genesis, which tells us about Nimrod, is composed of two sources. 7 The chapter opens with the heading: “These are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth; children were born to them after the flood.” The style of this heading is typical of the P source. After this heading, there is a schematic list of the descendants of Japheth. This list is arranged according to a consistent format: “The sons of so and so, A, B, and C, and the sons of so and so, X, Y, and Z.” The list ends with a concluding formula: “From these the coastland peoples spread, each with their own language, by their families, in their nations” (Gen 10:5). The style of this concluding formula is also typical of P. The next verses, 6– 7, list the sons of Ham in the same fashion. In light of this model, we would expect a concluding formula at the end of the listing of Ham’s descendants. Instead, in v. 8 we find the beginning of the story of Nimrod, which as I mentioned above, stems from the J source. The next two paragraphs, after the Nimrod story, deal with the descendants of Egypt (10:13–14) and the descendants of Canaan together with the borders of the Canaanite territory (10:15–19). These two paragraphs are not constructed in the same format as the lists discussed above. In3. See S. Abramsky, “Nimrod and the Land of Nimrod,” Beth Mikra 25 (1980) 241 [Heb.]. 4. On the Neo-Assyrian kings as hunters, see the bibliography noted by E. Weissert, “Royal Hunt and Royal Triumph in a Prism Fragment of Ashurbanipal (82-522,2),” in Assyria 1995: Proceedings of the 10th Anniversary Symposium (ed. S. Parpola and R. M. Whiting; Helsinki: Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, 1997) 339 n. 3. 5. See Jonah 1:2; Westermann, Genesis 1–11, 518. See, more recently, D. Marcus, “Nineveh’s ‘Three Days’ Walk’ ( Jonah 3:3): Another Interpretation,” in On the Way to Nineveh: Studies in Honor of George M. Landes (ed. S. L. Cook and S. C. Winter; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1999) 42–53. 6. See Abramsky, “Land of Nimrod,” 251–55. 7. The classical discussion followed here is by J. Wellhausen, Die Composition des Hexateuchs und der historischen Bücher des Alten Testaments (Berlin: Reimer, 1899) 6–8.

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stead, they use the form “and so and so begot (dly) the A, the B, and the C, and so and so begot the X, the Y, and the Z.” Unlike the first model, attributed above to P, in which the nations are presented as individual sons, here the nations are mentioned in the plural: µybhl µymn[ µydwl. It therefore seems that these two passages do not stem from P but, rather, like the description of Nimrod, from the J source. After these two passages, this verse appears: “These are the sons of Ham, by their families, their languages, their lands, and their nations” (10:20). On the basis of its style, we can identify this verse as the original concluding verse immediately following the list of the descendants of Ham in the Priestly source. Verse 21 is a heading for the list of the sons of Shem. The use of the verb dly, which we identified above as a sign for J materials in this chapter, indicates that this verse also stems from J. In v. 22, the first two words, µç ynb ‘the sons of Shem’, also introduce the list of Shem’s sons. The style, which is similar to the style in vv. 2 and 7, is clearly the P style. Verse 23, which continues the list of Shem’s descendants, is also written in the P style. On the other hand, vv. 25–30, which list the sons of Shem and their territory, are in the J style (as indicated by the use of dly). Verse 31 is a concluding formula for the list of Shem’s descendants. It is written in the P style and is similar to the concluding formulas for the lists about the sons of Japheth (10:5) and the sons of Ham (10:20). Verse 32 is a general concluding formula for the descendants of Noah. It is written in the P style, and it matches the general heading in v. 1. I summarize these findings thus: the core of this chapter includes a full list of the descendants of Noah, deriving from the P source. The succeeding verses belong to this list: vv. 1–7, 20, 22–23, and 31–32. To this basic list, the J vv. 8–19, 21, and 24–30 were added. The P list has a general heading and conclusion (vv. 1 and 32) and headings and concluding formulas for each of the three subunits ( Japheth’s sons, 2 and 5; Ham’s sons, 6 and 20; and Shem’s sons, 22 and 31). On the other hand, in the J verses, a list of Japheth’s sons is missing, and there is only one heading, which is for the list of Shem’s descendants (10:22). Most commentators see here the work of a later editor, who took pieces of an original J tradition and inserted them into the P tradition. 8 For this explanation, the reader must assume that “the original list of the sons of Noah in J was in almost complete agreement with that of P” and that “R, 8. See Gunkel, Genesis, 86; Westermann, Genesis 1–11, 498–501. Page 48 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


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when using P as his base, must have omitted the same names occurring in J.” 9 The discussion of Japheth’s sons in the J material, however, which starts with the description of Nimrod, son of Cush, seems to be an elaborated comment linked with the reference to Cush in the previous P verses (10:6–7) and not an independent source. Thus it seems that Wenham is right in saying, “It would be easier to regard the J verses as an expansion of the P material than as a duplicate source.” 10 Therefore, one may conclude that the basic stratum of the chapter stems from P, and the J materials are secondary additions, bringing the total number of nations mentioned in this chapter to 70. 11 The two strata of the chapter do not agree on several points: the P stratum lists Sheba and Havilah among the descendents of Ham (10:6–7) and Asshur among the sons of Shem (10:22), while J lists Sheba and Havilah among the descendents of Shem (10:28–29), and Asshur-Assyria is mentioned here among the territories ruled by Nimrod, who is among the sons of Cush (10:10–11). The location of Sheba and Havilah is the Arabian Peninsula. 12 P mentions Cush as the brother of Egypt and the father of Sheba and Havilah (10:6–7). Cush of P is thus to be located either in the Arabian Peninsula or on the eastern coast of Africa. 13 On the other hand, Cush of J, who is the father of Nimrod, the king of Mesopotamia, according to some scholars should be identified with “Kashshu, Kushshu,” the Kassites who ruled over Babylon until the 12th century B.C.E. and who are mentioned as late as the Sennacherib inscriptions. 14 Y. Levine suggested recently that this is an allusion to the ancient city of Kish, where it was believed that kingship was lowered from heaven after the flood. 15 Why does J list Assyria and other Mesopotamian peoples among Ham’s descendants? Ham is described earlier in the J source as the cursed son of 9. Ibid., 501. 10. G. J. Wenham, Genesis 1–15 (WBC; Waco, TX: Word, 1987) 215. Compare with his general arguments for the priority of P over J in the book of Genesis, in “The Priority of P,” VT 49 (1999) 240–58. 11. On the significance of the number 70 in this context, see M. D. Cassuto, A Commentary on the Book of Genesis ( Jerusalem: Magnes, 1964) 177–79. 12. See Westermann, Genesis 1–11, 217–18, 512. 13. Ibid., 510; Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 221; J. Liver, “çwk,” EncMiq 4:67–68. 14. Ibid., 68–69; Speiser, Genesis, 72. 15. Y. Levine, “Nimrod the Mighty, King of Kish, King of Sumer and Akkad,” VT 52 (2002) 350–66. Page 49 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

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Noah who committed a sexual offense against his father (Gen 9:22–27). Hence, it seems that J wanted to stress the negative origins of the Mesopotamian peoples. This should be compared with the other story in the J tradition, in which the Moabites and the Ammonites are described as coming into existence as a result of the sexual offense of Lot and his daughters (Gen 19:30–38). In the subsequent J verses regarding the descendents of Ham, J mentions the Egyptians (10:13), the Philistines (10:14), and the Canaanites (10:15–19). Thus J places the Mesopotamian peoples in the group with the traditional enemies of Israel. I now turn to the portrait of Nimrod. Scholars have suggested connecting this name with various Mesopotamian gods and kings. 16 Levine suggested that biblical Nimrod is a combination of the figures of Sargon of Akkad (who began his kingship as the ruler of Kish) and his grandson Naram-Sîn. 17 Both Sargon of Akkad and Nimrod began their reigns in Sumer/r[nç, “building” Akkad and Babylon and continuing north to Assyria, and both were considered to be the first postdiluvian figures to hold royal power in a new way. Thus, the main image behind the biblical Nimrod, son of Cush, is Sargon the Great, who started his career as the king of Kish. As Levine suggested, it is possible that the name Nimrod reflects the name of Sargon’s grandson Naram-Sîn. Levine also noted that the title sarkissati ‘King of Kish’, was used by the Neo-Assyrian kings to mean ‘King of the Universe’. Sargon II used this title in his royal inscriptions. 18 I now turn to the list of the cities that according to the biblical account were built by Nimrod. On the one hand, Akkad and Babylon appear, which were connected with the early Sargon. 19 On the other hand, the description of Nineveh as “the big city” is appropriate for the status of this city in the time of Sennacherib. 20 V. A. Hurowitz suggests in his detailed and convincing contribution to this volume that ˆsr should be identified with a village 16. See the survey of earlier literature and the suggestion by E. A Speiser (“In Search of Nimrod,” ErIsr 5 [Mazar volume; 1959] 32–45) to identify Nimrod with Tukulti-Ninurta I and the critique of Abramsky, “Land of Nimrod,” 253–54. See also K. van der Toorn, “Nimrod before and after the Bible,” HTR 83 (1990) 7; and Levine, “Nimrod the Mighty,” 358. 17. Ibid., 359–61. 18. Ibid., 361–62. 19. Ibid., 360. 20. For the understanding of the title “the big city” as a reference to Nineveh, see Westermann, Genesis 1–11, 518; Marcus, “Nineveh’s ‘Three Days’ Walk.” For Sennacherib, see Abramsky, “Land of Nimrod,” 249. Page 50 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


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called Res-eni located near Sargon II’s capital, Dur-Sarru-Kin. As Hurowitz suggests, the biblical author probably mentions the name of the village rather than the capital in order to avoid anachronism. 21 In my view, the description of Nimrod as uh ynpl dyx rbg ‘a mighty hunter before God’ also reflects the reality of Mesopotamian culture. A hymn from Ashurbanipal’s library about a hunter king remarks similarly, “Before (ina pa-ni) Nergal, he has no rival.” 22 Thus, according to this description, the acts of hunting are performed in the presence of Nergal. 23 It seems that the concept is the same in the biblical account of the first king, Nimrod. This understanding of the biblical description was also reflected in Ibn Ezra’s commentary: uhl hlw[ twyjh µtwa hl[mw twjbzm hnwb hyhç ‘he [Nimrod] was building altars and sacrificing those animals to God’. Ibn Ezra understands the expression uh ynpl in this verse to have its usual meaning in many other texts: a cultic act that is done in God’s presence. 24 Unlike the Mesopotamian kings who proved their heroic might by hunting lions in the presence of Nergal, Nimrod, the first king of Mesopotamia is described by the biblical author as performing before the God of Israel. The biblical words uh ynpl dyx rwbg drmnk rmay ˆkl were probably a popular saying. According to my above understanding of the words uh ynpl, Nimrod seems to be perceived here in a positive way. Thus, we may assume that, at an early stage, 25 positive stories were told about Nimrod among the Israelites. He was described as a hero to whom God granted extraordinary might and as the first king of Mesopotamia, who founded the ancient cities of Babel, Erech, Akkad, and Calah. This assumption of an early Israelite tradition about Nimrod is supported by the fact that the “land of Nimrod” is mentioned in Mic 5:5 parallel with the land of Assyria. Here, too, Nimrod seems to be a legendary founder figure known from an ancient tradition. 26 21. I would like to thank Victor Hurowitz for allowing me to read his essay before its publication (“In Search of Resen [Genesis 10:12]: Dur Sarrukin?” pp. 511– 524 in the present volume). 22. K.8414. The text will be published by E. Weissert. I would like to thank him for referring me to this text. 23. On the religious and cultic significance of the hunting of the king during the New Year Festival, see Weissert, “Royal Hunt,” 348–49. 24. See, N. Rabban, “uh ynpl,” Tarbiz 23 (1952) 1–8 [Heb.]. 25. Note that a parallel tradition about Sargon of Akkad appeared in the Amarna tablets (see Levine, “Nimrod the Mighty,” 363). 26. See Westermann, Genesis 1–11, 515–16. There is no real evidence for the argument that Mic 5:4–5 is not an original prophecy by the prophet Micah, who lived Page 51 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

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At a later time, however, the attitude toward Nimrod changed, and he was included among the cursed descendants of Ham. Within this framework, the very name Nimrod could be understood negatively: the basic meaning of the word dwrmn is ‘let us rebel’. Nimrod is thus (according to this later tradition) a mighty man and a rebellious king who ruled over Babylon and Assyria. He is best associated with the next tradition in J about the rebellious builders of the Tower of Babel (Gen 11:1–9). 27 It appears that, during the process of the negative rework of the tradition about Nimrod, two new city names were added: Resen (= Dur-Sarru-Kin) and Nineveh. Thus, the process of the negative rework took place no earlier than the time of Sennacherib, the king who made Nineveh his capital. I have mentioned the view that the heroic king Sargon of Akkad stands behind the figure of Nimrod. It is interesting to note that a similar change in attitude can be detected also with regard to the perception of Sargon of Akkad in the Mesopotamian traditions: while the old traditions see him in a completely positive light, in texts from the Neo-Assyrian period we find a negative tone. Sargon committed a sin by founding a new city 28 and, as a punishment for that sin, “the Great lord Marduk became angry and wiped out his people with famine. From east to west they rebelled against him, and he (Marduk) afflicted him with insomnia.” 29

in the second half of the 8th century B.C.E., but is instead a later edition to the book. See J. M. P. Smith, Micah (ICC; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1985) 107. I tend to accept the view of C. S. Shaw that Mic 4:9–5:14 should be connected with the SyrianEphraimite invasion of Judah in 733 B.C.E. (The Speeches of Micah: A RhetoricalHistorical Analysis [JSOTSup 145; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1993] 156–60). Compare with the discussion by F. I. Andersen and D. N. Freedman, Micah (AB 24; Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 2000) 480–81. 27. See Wenham, Genesis 1–11, 222. The connection between Nimrod and the builders of the tower was pointed out long ago by Josephus (Ant. 1.114) and Pseudo-Philo (L.A.B. 4.7, 6.13). This motif is also mentioned in rabbinic literature. See b. Pesa˙. 94b; b. Óul. 89a; Pirqe Rabbi Eliezer, chap. 24; and the early poem published by M. Sokoloff and Y. Yahalom, Jewish Palestinian Aramaic Poetry from Late Antiquity ( Jerusalem: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 1999) 204–5. Compare J. Kugel, Traditions of the Bible (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998) 229–32. 28. The identity of the city is not clear, although some of the sources mention Babylon. See the discussion of M. Van de Mieroop, Cuneiform Texts and the Writing of History (London: Routledge, 1999) 72–75. 29. See “The Chronicle of Early Kings,” in Van de Mieroop, Cuneiform Texts, 73. Page 52 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


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C. Uehlinger and M. Van de Mieroop suggest that the figure of Sargon of Akkad is Sargon II and that the condemnation of the building of the city is actually a condemnation of the building of Dur-Sarru-Kin. 30 Thus the introduction of the negative element into the story about Sargon of Akkad happened no earlier than in the last quarter of the eighth century B.C.E. It seems that the perceptions of Nimrod and of Sargon of Akkad went through a similar transition. Early on, both were positive figures and mighty kings. However, at a later time, a negative tone was introduced, and this negative tone was connected with the founding of a new city. Uehlinger points out the great similarity between Sargon II’s description of the building of Dur-Sarru-Kin and the biblical account of the building of the city and the Tower of Babel. 31 He argues convincingly that the story of Genesis 11 is a response to the building of Dur-Sarru-Kin by Sargon II. 32 Thus, the change in the perception of Nimrod in Israel apparently took place at the same time as the change in the image of Sargon of Akkad in Mesopotamia, and both changes are connected with the figure of Sargon II and the building of Dur-Sarru-kin. The negative attitude toward the Mesopotamian peoples and Nimrod in J reflects the conflict between Assyria and Israel in the second half of the 8th century b.c.e. The earlier stratum of Genesis 10, that of P, was probably written before the time of this conflict. 30. C. Uehlinger, Weltreich und “eine Rede”: Eine neue Deutung der sogenannten Turmbauer-Zählung (Gen 11,1-9) (OBO 101; Freiburg: Universitätsverlag / Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1991) 492–503; Van de Mieroop, Cuneiform Texts, 74–76. On Sargon II’s wish to emulate the actions of Sargon of Akkad, see H. Tadmor, B. Landsberger, and S. Parpola, The Sin of Sargon and Sennacherib’s Last Will (SAAB 3; Helsinki: Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, 1989) 46; D. Stronach, “Notes on the Fall of Nineveh,” in Assyria 1995 (ed. S. Parpola and R. M. Whiting; Helsinki: NeoAssyrian Text Corpus Project, 1997) 310. 31. Uehlinger, Weltreich und “eine Rede,” 503–19. See especially Sargon II’s words in the Cylinder Inscription 122: “Peoples of the four regions of the world, of foreign tongue and divergent speech, dwellers of mountain and lowland . . . I made them of one mouth.” See D. D. Luckenbill, Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylonia (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1926) 64–65. 32. J. Van Seters, Prologue to History [Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1992] 182–83) identifies the tower with the ziggurat Etemenanki in Babylon, and thus he dates the story to ca. the 7th–6th centuries. I find the arguments of Uehlinger more convincing. Page 53 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

A Linguistic Analysis of the Phrase wtn[çm l[ (Exodus 21:19) and the Homiletic Sense wyrwb l[—wtn[çm l[ Simcha Kogut The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

One of the cases mentioned among the tort laws in Exodus 21 deals with a man who is bedridden due to being struck with a stone or fist (v. 18). His recovery is thus described: apry aprw ˆty wtbç qr hkmh hqnw wtn[çm l[ ≈wjb ˚lhthw µwqy µa If he then gets up and walks outdoors upon his staff, the assailant shall go unpunished, except that he must pay for his idleness and his cure.

The prepositional phrase wtn[çm l[ functions as an adverbial complement of the durative verb ˚lhth, 1 while the meaning of tn[çm (both in its context here and in its other biblical appearances) is ‘a staff, a walking stick’. The injured man is portrayed as still being in the process of recuperation, unable to walk without the aid of a staff. This explanation was accepted by various classical Jewish exegetes: Ibn Ezra, in his Short Commentary on Exodus, stated: “.wdyb wtn[çm çyaw” :wmk—wtn[çm l[ hnhw wtn[çm l[—[meaning the same] as ‘each with staff in hand’. (Zech 8:4)

Nachmanides had this to say: rmayw . . . “µymy bwrm wdyb wtn[çm çyaw” :wmk ,wfwçpk wtn[çm yk yt[d yplw [ˆ[çn awh µa µg] . . . ≈wjb dymt ˚lhtm awhw hkwmh qzjty rçak yk bwtkh “.hkmh hqnw” [za] ,ylwjm waprtnç µyçwljh fpçmk wtn[çm l[ in my opinion wtn[çm (should be understood) in its plain sense, as “each with staff in hand because of their great age” (Zech 8:4). . . . Scripture

1. For the durative meaning of Hithpael, see E. A. Speiser, “The Durative Hithpaºel: A tan-Form,” JAOS 75 (1955) 118–21.

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Simcha Kogut states that when the stricken man regains his strength and is able to walk outdoors . . . (albeit leaning) on his staff, as do the frail who have been cured from illness, (then) “the assailant shall go unpunished.”

Hezekiah ben Manoah (Hizquni) explained the phrase this way: “.˚dyb ytn[çm jqw” :wmk ,wlqm—wtn[çm l[ wtn[çm l[—his staff, as in: “take my staff in your hand.” (2 Kgs 4:29)

The equation tn[çm = ‘staff’ is supported by the Septuagint as well: ejpµ rJavbdou. The aforementioned commentators as well as the Septuagint seem not to have been perturbed by the verse’s linguistic employment of “˚lhth / ˚lh X l[,” even when X (that is, a walking stick) deviates from the normal usage of the full phrase. Usually, the X in “X l[ ˚lhth / ˚lh” denotes the surface being walked upon. This typical meaning is clearly found throughout the Hebrew Bible: for example, hyl[ ˚lh ykna rça ykrd jylxm an ˚çy µa (Gen 24:42); wjyç ˚rd l[ yklh ( Judg 5:10); and especially when X is unmistakably a concrete noun, for example, ˚lmh tyb gg l[ ˚lhtyw (2 Sam 11:2); µyljgh l[ çya ˚lhy µa (Prov 6:28). The following words from the above examples, ˚rd, gg, and µyljg indicate the surface upon which the walker treads. How, then, was tn[çm interpreted as a walking stick in the phrase wtn[çm l[ . . . ˚lhth? The commentators who opted for this explanation undoubtedly construed the preposition l[ based on one of the biblical usages of the preposition b, namely, ‘by means of’. Compare, for example, wtn[çm l[ . . . ˚lhth with hzh ˆdryh ta ytrb[ ylqmb yk (Gen 32:11). 2 The preposition b, found in the phrase ytrb[ ylqmb, is the common preposition used in Biblical Hebrew to signify ‘by means of’, as in the following examples: lqmb ˆwtah ta ˚yw (Num 22:27); larçy fpç ta yjlh l[ wky fbçb (Mic 4:14). 3 But because obligatory prepositions depend on the verb’s lexical entry, alongside b, the preposition l[ can also be used when attached to certain verbs to convey this meaning, as in: hyjt ˚brj l[w (Gen 27:40); µdah hyjy wdbl µjlh l[ al yk (Deut 8:3). 4 Consequently, it may be said that the word tn[çm in ˚lhth 2. GKC §119n / p. 380. 3. See B. K. Waltke and M. O’Connor, An Introduction to Biblical Syntax (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1990) §11.2.5d / p. 197. 4. This was demonstrated by C. Yalon, “(‘b’ = ‘l[’ sjyh tlm) rwdysbw arqmb,” Les 31 (1967) 283–86. See also N. Sorek, :tyarqmh tyrb[b sjyh twlym ˆyb “l[” lç hdm[m µyynwlymw µyyfnms ,µyyrybjt µyrwryb (M.A. thesis, Hebrew University, 1999) 62. Page 55 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

A Linguistic Analysis of the Phrase wtn[çm l[ (Exod 21:19)


wtn[çm l[ . . . does not signify the surface walked upon but, rather, the apparatus by means of which the recuperating man is able to walk. This interpretation, albeit linguistically possible, meets with difficulty on the contextual level and was, therefore, not uniformly accepted. One must consider the fact that, if the stricken man is unable to walk without the support of a cane, he is clearly still injured. How, then, can the law determine at this stage that “the assailant shall go unpunished” (v. 19)? It was due to this difficulty that Tg. Ps.-Jonathan added to the translation of these words the restriction lwfq ˆydm (‘from the death penalty’), which exonerates the assailant from capital punishment only. However, this restriction goes without saying, even without an explicit statement of the law, as articulated by the rabbis: ?wydy l[ grhn hlhw qwçb ˚lhm hz ahyç ˚t[d l[ tl[ ykw Do you deem it possible that this [the stricken] one is walking in the marketplace, while that one [the assailant] is put to death on his account? (y. Ketub. 4.28c)

It is clear from this question that the punishment alluded to in the ruling “the assailant shall go unpunished” cannot be the death penalty. But if this is the case, considering that the injured man’s recuperation is incomplete and he still needs the aid of a walking stick, why does the law clear the assailant at this early stage? This question led the following midrash to offer another explanation of wtn[çm l[ . . . ˚lhth, an explanation that deviates from the plain sense of the verse: ˆ[çnk wpwg bwtkh arqç dmlm ala ;awh hlwj ˆyyd[—wlqm l[ rmwa hta µaç .wlqm l[ If you say [that the injured man is forced to walk] on his staff—he is still ill; it should, therefore, be understood that the scripture describes his body as one which leans on his staff. (Mishnat R. Eliezer, 2) 5

In contradiction to the plain sense that wtn[çm l[ . . . ˚lhth means ‘walked [while leaning] on his staff’ or ‘walked by means of his staff’, we can now speak of the homiletic sense, which is that wtn[çm l[ . . . ˚lhth means ‘walked by supporting himself on his own body’. This meaning was elucidated by Ibn Ezra as follows:

5. Mishnat R. Eliezer, or Midrash Shloshim u’Shtayim Middot (Hillel Gershom edition; also known as wal[n[ ˆmyh); New York: Blokh, 1934) 36. Page 56 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


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Short Commentary on Exodus: .rja l[ ˆ[çy alç :µ[fhw .wmx[b—wtn[çm l[ çwrypç wrma µymkjhw The sages said that wtn[çm l[ means—by himself. Its interpretation: that he does not lean on another person.

In further detail, in his Long Commentary on Exodus: ,µylwjh fpçmk ,rja l[ ˆ[çy alç—wtn[çm l[ uypç ,˚wmsn luuzj l[—µwqy µa .wmx[ l[ qr ‘If he then gets up’—we rely on the rabbis, that the interpretation of l[ wtnçm—[is] that he does not lean on another person, as do the ill, but rather on himself.

It may be said, based on this explanation, that wtn[çm l[ . . . ˚lhth means ‘to walk [leaning] on his own body’, and the employment of tn[çm is but a metaphor describing the walker’s stability. The rabbis defined this metaphor as an allegory, noting: ≈wjb ˚lhthw µwqy µa .lçmb hrwtb wrmanç (twarqm =) twyrqm hçlçm dja hz .wyrwb l[—?wtn[çm l[ whm . . . :hkmh hqnw wtn[çm l[ This is one of three passages that were stated in the Torah allegorically. “If he then gets up and walks outdoors wtn[çm l[, the assailant shall go unpunished”: . . . what is wtn[çm l[?—wyrwb l[. (y. Ketub. 4.28c) 6

It was on the basis of this teaching that Onqelos translated wtn[çm l[: ‘hyrwb l[’. Rashi also used this explanation (ad loc.): wjkw wyrwb l[—wtn[çm l[. Rashi also clarified the phrase wyrwb l[ by adding the word wjkw to it. In this broader phrase, wjkw wyrwb l[, the familiar word wjk (‘his strength’) elucidates the less-common term wyrwb, and the waw connecting the two is an explicative waw. 7 In light of this, wyrwb l[ ˚lhth means wjwkb ˚lhth ‘he walked by means of his own strength’. The word wyrwb, derived from yriBø, is a state of full health, an absence of illness. 8 Observe how the meaning of 6. This midrash can be found in other rabbinic sources as well, for example, Mek. Nez. 6 (ed. Horowitz-Rabin; Jerusalem, 1970) 270; ibid., 13 (p. 293); Mek. Rab Sim. b. Yoh. Exod 21:19 (ed. Y. N. Epstein and E. Z. Melamed; Jerusalem, 1955 [2nd ed., E. Z. Melamed; Jerusalem, 1979]) 174. 7. Its meaning being ‘id est’. See examples of waw explicativum in GKC §154a, n. 1b / p. 484. 8. See E. Ben-Yehuda, A Complete Dictionary of Ancient and Modern Hebrew ( Jerusalem: Laºam, 1948–59 [Heb.]), s.v. yriBø; see also s.v. yriB:, which is similar in meaning and denotes ‘strength’ and ‘steadfastness’ in the phrases yl yrb and amçw yrb. Page 57 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

A Linguistic Analysis of the Phrase wtn[çm l[ (Exod 21:19)


the Hebrew tn[çm l[ ˚lhth (‘he walked by means of a staff’) is now turned entirely around: ‘he walked without a staff’. How could the midrash linguistically justify this full reversal? The midrash would have undoubtedly found it very difficult to equate wtn[çm l[ with wyrwb l[ if the biblical text were tn[çm l[ ˚lhth and not wtn[çm l[. The midrash bases its interpretation on the pronominal suffix of the word wtn[çm, a pronoun that is unnecessary if tn[çm means a walking stick. The midrash focused on the pronoun, and this led to the equation wtn[çm = ‘he himself’, that is, his body and not an external aid. The phrase X l[ ˚lhth may now have another meaning. As stated above, when X = a walking stick, X cannot be regarded as the surface walked upon but, rather, the apparatus by which walking is made possible. The midrash does not use this explanation, although it does not contradict it. The author of the midrash most likely was aware of yet another biblical usage of X l[ ˚lhth, in which X denotes inherent bodily organs of the individual who performs the action. For example: ˚lt ˚njg l[ (Gen 3:14); [bra l[ tklhh hyjh lkb wypk l[ ˚lwh lkw (Lev 11:27); lkw ˆwjg l[ ˚lwh lk [bra l[ ˚lwh (Lev 11:42). 9 In contrast to phrases such as l[ çya ˚lhy µa µyljgh (Prov 6:28), in which two separate entities are involved in the action of walking (çya and µyljg), the complements of l[ ˚lwh in the above examples (ˆwjg, µypk, and [bra) should not be regarded as external participants in the action. The midrash’s reading in effect categorizes l[ . . . ˚lhth wtn[çm with these latter examples that do not contain two separate participants. In these examples, when X l[ ˚lhth / ˚lh Y, X is not external to Y; instead, X is part of Y. Perhaps the midrash viewed the stricken man’s body as part of his complete entity: the body is but a walking stick for the soul. Once we discern the meaning of wtn[çm l[ to be an “inherent complement” of l[ ˚lhth / ˚lh, we can use it to understand better the plain meaning of the verse. A man who is unable to walk without the aid of a walking stick considers the stick to be an additional leg, a part of his body. The tn[çm (his ‘staff’ = his ‘additional leg’) should, therefore, not be considered an external participant or apparatus. 9. This is also the case with other intransitive verbs, for example: wkry l[ [lx awhw (Gen 32:32); wylgr l[ µqyw yjyw (2 Kgs 13:21). Page 58 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM Page 59 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

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Burnt Offering of Head, Peder, and Kidneys Edward Lipin! ski Brussels

The ritual law with regard to burnt offerings (ºolâ) in Leviticus 1 directs that the Aaronide priests performing the sacrifice present a male without blemish and offer it with the head and the peder (Lev 1:8, 12). Lev 8:20, which describes the sin offering of a ram performed by Moses himself, indicates that he cut the animal and burned the head, the pieces, and the peder. According to the mishnaic tractate m. Tamid 4:2–3, regarding the daily whole-offering of a lamb, the sacrificer must “remove the peder and to put it above where the head was cut off.” Detailing the next stage of the ritual, the bringing of the pieces to the altar, the text reports that the first ministrant “bore the head and a hind-leg, the head in his right hand, its muzzle along his arm, and its horns in his fingers, and the place where it was slaughtered upwards, with the peder thereon.” The word peder is usually translated ‘suet’. 1 This is one of the translations that has gained universal acceptance simply by constant repetition, despite the inadequacy of the arguments for it. True, Targum Onqelos translates peder as tarbaª 2 ‘fat’, and the Greek Septuagint renders it stevar ‘suet’, but these translations are either approximate or euphemistic. The key to understanding this lexeme appears in Ugaritic. In Ugaritic, one should distinguish two roots with the spelling pdr, the first of which derives from pqr and corresponds to Akkadian pazaru. The Akkadian noun puzzuru designates a ‘dwelling’, and puzru means ‘hiding-place’, and so on. 3 1. Rolf Rendtorff, Leviticus (BKAT 3/1; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1985) 58; Jacob Milgrom, Leviticus 1–16: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (AB 3; New York: Doubleday, 1991) 133, 159, 493, 526. 2. Alexander Sperber, The Bible in Aramaic (4 vols.; Leiden: Brill, 1959–73) 1:165 and 176. 3. AHw 885. Only non-Semitic etymologies are proposed for Ugaritic pdr I by Gregorio del Olmo Lete and Joaquín Sanmartín, Diccionario de la lengua ugarítica (2 vols.; Sabadell-Barcelona: AUSA, 1996–2000) 2:344.

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The Ugaritic word pdr < pqr, the vocalization of which is so far unknown, clearly refers to a ‘shelter’. 4 It did not disappear and is still preserved in Lebanese place-names in the Byblos area: Upper Fdar, Lower Fdar, and Fidar. 5 The second root, which is the root that pertains to Biblical Hebrew peder, appears in the divine names Pidar and Pidraya. Pidar is listed among Semitic gods and goddesses who received sacrificial offerings: [. . .]l-Pdr[. . .] ‘for Pidar’, andß[ªin] ‘for Pidar, six pieces of small cattle’. 6 The context of a mythological poem suggests that Pidar is a byname or title for Baal. 7 Pidraya, however, is the name of one of Baal’s daughters. 8 Various etymologies have been proposed for her name and thus for her father’s surname, Pidar, 9 but none is convincing. The context of a mythological passage suggests the meaning ‘penis’ for Pidar. Pdr is used there in parallelism with ªapn, likewise meaning ‘penis’ or ‘phallus’, which we know from comparison with a variant passage of the same poem. There, rb.pdr is replaced with rb.dd ‘great delight’, and ªar.ªapn appears as ªar.ªahbt ‘glow of love’. 10 The noun rb is often translated ‘shower’, ‘rain’, although, if it meant this, it should have been written rbb. Instead, it very likely means ‘great’ or ‘abundance’, as shown by the elative ªarb in ªarb dd ‘immense delight’, in yet another passage of the same poem. 11 4. CAT 1.4:VII 8; 1.14:III 7; 1.16:VI 7. 5. Elie Wardini, Lebanese Place-Names (Mount Lebanon and North Lebanon: A Typology of Regional Variation and Continuity (OLA 120; Leuven: Peeters, 2002) 185–86, 342–43. 6. CAT 1.49:4; 1.50:5. 7. CAT 1.3:I 25; cf. John C. L. Gibson, Canaanite Myths and Legends (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1978) 47 n. 1. 8. CAT 1.3:I 23; III 6; 1.4:I 17; IV 55; VI 10; 1.5:V 10; 1.24:26; 1.39:15; 1.47:17; 1.48:4; 1.91:7; 1.102:7; 1.106:11; 1.109:14, 18; 1.118:16; 1.132:2–3; 1.134:8; 1.139:13; 1.148:6; RIH 78/4:6; RS 17.116:3u, in Jean Nougayrol, Le Palais royal d’Ugarit IV: Textes accadiens des archives sud (Paris: Klincksieck, 1956) 132; compare with William Foxwell Albright’s review in BASOR 146 (1957) 35; Albright, Yahweh and the Gods of Canaan (London: Athlone, 1968; repr. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1990) 109 n. 38. 9. See the survey in Michael C. Astour, “La triade de déesses de fertilité à Ugarit et en Grèce,” in C. F.-A. Schaeffer, Ugaritica VI (MRS 17; Paris: Geuthner, 1969) 9– 23; André Caquot, Maurice Sznycer, and Andrée Herdner, Textes ougaritiques, vol. 1: Mythes et légendes (Littératures anciennes du Proche-Orient 7; Paris: Cerf, 1974) 78 n. 3. 10. CAT 1.3:III 6–7. 11. CAT 1.3:III 17. This explanation is proposed by Caquot, Sznycer, and Herdner, Textes ougaritiques, 1:164–65. Page 61 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

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The word ªawr > ªar, ªor, or ªur means ‘fire’, ‘light’, ‘heat’; its precise connotation depends a great deal on the context. The translations ‘honey-dew’ and ‘mist’ result mainly from poetic and metaphorical considerations, which cannot be used to establish basic meaning. 12 A word related to Arabic ªary(un), designating ‘honey’ in modern usage, would probably require the spelling ªary. The word ªapn is the same word as Gurage äfuna ‘nose’, 13 which may appear as ªfn (or ªf-n) in a number of late-period Sabaic inscriptions. 14 Its use at Ugarit may be metaphorical or euphemistic. There is another poetic passage in an Ugaritic text in which ªapn appears. 15 Unfortunately, the context is fragmentary, but the word is apparently used in parallelism with ydm ‘hands’. It seems, therefore, that it designates a body part in this instance as well. At any rate, ªapn demonstrates the fact that the grammatical gender of names of body parts in Semitic was indicated by the postpositive determinant -n. 16 Because the word ‘nose’ is sometimes used in a metaphorical sense, for instance as the name of a promontory, it is likely that ªapn in some placenames of the Bronze and Iron Ages should be understood in this sense. Although the f in Gurage äfuna is never geminated, one may compare this noun to the city name Appan, probably meaning ‘nose’ and thus a ‘promontory’ on the Euphrates or on a channel. It is attested around 1700 B.C.E. in the area northeast of Mari. 17 Another example is uruAp-pu-ú-ni, which appears in a Neo-Assyrian text. 18

12. Johannes C. de Moor, “ªar ‘Honey-Dew’,” UF 7 (1975) 590–91; also Marjo C. A. Korpel, A Rift in the Clouds (Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, 1990) 597. For the meaning ‘mist’, see Gibson, Canaanite Myths and Legends, 46 and 142. 13. Wolf Leslau, Etymological Dictionary of Gurage (3 vols.; Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1979) 3:21. One can also refer to Amharic and Argobba af enc5a ‘nose’. 14. A. F. L. Beeston et al., Sabaic Dictionary/Dictionnaire sabéen (Louvain-la-Neuve: Peeters / Beirut: Librairie du Liban, 1982) 6, s.v. ªNF, without translation. 15. CAT 1.16:II 57. 16. Edward Lipinski, Semitic Languages: Outline of a Comparative Grammar (OLA 80; 2nd ed.; Leuven: Peeters, 2001) §30.11. 17. Brigitte Groneberg, Répertoire géographique des textes cunéiformes, vol. 3: Die Orts- und Gewässernamen der altbabylonischen Zeit (Beihefte zum Tübinger Atlas des Vorderen Orients, Reihe B, 7/3; Wiesbaden: Reichert, 1980) 19. 18. Raija Mattila, Legal Transactions of the Royal Court of Nineveh, Part II (SAA 14; Helsinki: Helsinki University Press, 2002), no. 46:2u. One could also mention uruAppi-na in Giovanni R. Lanfranchi and Simo Parpola, The Correspondence of Sargon II, Part II (SAA 5; Helsinki: Helsinki University Press, 1990), no. 245:4, 12. Page 62 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


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The same noun apparently is found much later, in Mishnaic Hebrew. It is spelled ªpwn and apparently means ‘phallus’ in y. Sabb. 9:1 (114a) and y. ºAbod. Zar. 3.6 (43a) in the Palestinian Talmud. Both talmudic texts refer to (the) Baal of the Promontory, most likely the Baal worshiped at Ras anNaqura. 19 They qualify him as a ‘corpse’ or ‘carcass’ (géwiyya) and compare him to a ªpwn, apparently ‘phallus’, as suggested by the obviously disparaging purpose of the comparison: Bºl rªs gwyyh hyh wkªpwn hyh 20 ‘(the) Baal of the Promontory is a carcass and he is like a phallus’. 21 The translation ‘tail’ would also fit the context, because this word was sometimes used with a derogatory connotation, as in Deut 28:13, 44; and Isa 9:13–14; 19:15, but qnb(t) and its allographs are well known in all Semitic languages and do not need to be replaced by another, possibly euphemistic term. The talmudic variant reading h-Bºl rªs implies a somewhat different interpretation, because a noun in the construct state cannot be used with the article: 22 ‘The Baal is the head of a carcass and he is like a phallus’. However, the qualification ‘head of a carcass’ is not clear, and one should thus favor the reading Bºl rªs, without the article. If this interpretation of ªpwn is correct, the whole sentence must refer to the phallic cult, well attested in Syria–Phoenicia in Greco-Roman times—for instance, in the Cave of Was†a, north of Tyre. 23 The Ugaritic passage under consideration, CAT 1.3:I 22–25, refers to the three daughters of Baal: Pidraya, ˇallaya, and Arßaya. Unfortunately, the sentence about the third daughter is badly damaged. These three daughters are personifications of Baal’s activity, seen from the point of view of an agrarian cult. The name Pidraya alludes to Baal’s penis (pidr-); ˇallaya refers

19. Edward Lipinski, Itineraria Phoenicia (OLA 127; Leuven: Peeters, 2004) 10. 20. It is uncertain whether ªpwn is the same word as ªappon < ªappan ‘small nose’, which was used eventually as a euphemism. The translation of ªpwn as ªapun ‘bean’ or, better, ‘chick-pea’ seems unlikely in this context. 21. As observed by Victor Hurowitz (personal communication), Middle Assyrian Laws regarded the ablation of the nose and emasculation as equivalent punishments for adulterers caught in the act: “if he cuts off his wife’s nose, he shall turn the man into a eunuch” (tablet A: 53–54, §15). This implies the correlation ‘nose’ = ‘penis’. 22. No such cases occur in Phoenician, despite some allegations in the contrary, while the apparent Hebrew cases can be explained in the light of comparative Semitic grammar; see my Semitic Languages, §33.3, 9; §51.16. 23. Edward Lipinski, Dieux et déesses de l’univers phénicien et punique (OLA 64; Leuven: Peeters, 1995) 215–18.

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to the dew (†ill-), perceived as his semen; 24 and Arßaya stands for the earth (ªarß-) that is fertilized by his sperm. We may translate the text as follows: ytmr.Bºl bnth.yºn Pdry bt.ªar.ªapn ˇly [bt.]rb.pdr ydº[. . .]

Baal perceived his daughters, he saw Pidraya, the daughter of the glow of his phallus, ˇallaya, the daughter of the great penis, he recognised [. . .].

This metaphorical language of the agrarian myth preserved at Ugarit does not play any role in the regulations of burnt offerings in the temple of Jerusalem, but it supports the translation of peder as ‘penis’. This translation is also supported by the Ugaritic proper name ºbdpdr, ARAD-Pí-dar6, 25 borne by the son of an anonymous hierodule or temple prostitute: DUMU qa-dis-ti. This qualification does not, however, support the idea that the man called “Servant of the Penis” was a male prostitute. The name instead alludes to the origins of the man, whose father was unknown. This is why it is coined using Baal’s byname, Pidar. If we accept this interpretation of the word peder, the head and the penis of the sacrificed animal in Leviticus had to be placed on the altar to be burned. Now, this ritual practice continued an old cultic practice attested in tablets from Emar. Ritual texts dating to the 13th or early 12th century B.C.E. direct the priests to put the head and the PA.AN of the offered animal on the altar. 26 The cuneiform signs PA.AN, which do not occur elsewhere in a similar context, have been explained syllabically as pa-an ‘in front’, 27 or ideographically as GARZA, that is, parßu ‘ritual’. 28 However, these explanations are not satisfactory. The difficulties with the first explanation have 24. The euphemistic use of †al occurs also in Cant 5:2 (V. Hurowitz, private communication). 25. For ºbdpdr, see Frauke Gröndahl, Die Personennamen der Texte aus Ugarit (Studia Pohl 1; Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1967) 105, 172, 375. For aradPí-dar6, see RS 17.36:14, in Jean Nougayrol et al., Ugaritica V (MRS 16; Paris: Geuthner, 1968) 11 and 373, no. 7. 26. Daniel Arnaud, Recherches au pays d’Astata: Emar VI (4 vols.; Paris: Éditions Recherche sur les Civilisations, 1985–87), nos. 63:2u; 369:11, 28, 37, 49; 370: 46u, 49u, 52u, [60u], 67u; 371:12u, 13u; 385:13; 387:13; 388:3; 391:3u; 404:7u; 535:5u. 27. This explanation is adopted obviously by Arnaud (ibid.), who transliterates pa-an syllabically and translates ‘l’avant’. However, pa-an is translated ‘das Beste’ by Manfried Dietrich, “Das Einsetzungsritual der Entu von Emar (Emar VI/3, 369),” UF 21 (1989) 47–100. There is no justification for this understanding of pa-an. 28. Daniel E. Fleming, The Installation of Baal’s High Priestess at Emar: A Window on Ancient Syrian Religion (HSS 42; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1992) 33 and 136–40. Page 64 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


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been described by Fleming, 29 but his own interpretation is too general and refers only vaguely to rites. Instead, the context requires designating which specific organ of the victim is to be placed before the gods. Fleming thus translates ‘ritual portion (?)’, 30 although the texts obviously mention a specific part of the animal. Therefore, as explained below, one should assume that the signs PA.AN represent a synonym of Hebrew peder—whatever the lexemes basically mean. The easiest solution consists of regarding PA.AN as equivalent to Ugaritic pºn and Phoenician and Hebrew paºam ‘foot’. However, it cannot designate the paws of the sacrificed animal, because it is generally employed in the singular. Now, in Ugaritic and in Phoenician, this word was also used as a euphemism for penis, just as raglayim is used in Hebrew. In a controversial context, bovine-shaped beings seem to be coveted and desired by Baal-Haddu, who goes to the steppe in search of them. BaalHaddu may be conceived here in a bull shape as well, but even an anthropomorphic god can have intercourse with animals. Bestiality is tolerated and even approved by some communities, while other societies condemn it, and a few punish it with death. Old Hittite laws thus punish bestiality with a cow, a sheep, a pig, or a dog but not with a horse or a mule. 31 Biblical law passes strict censure on sexual behavior of this sort 32 but proves at the same time that these practices existed in Israel and Judah, and not only among the populations living in Palestine before the Israelite settlement (Lev 18:24–25). Baal’s intercourse with animals can thus belong to a myth, the deeper significance of which is not clear. The word pºn apparently means ‘penis’ in this context, as well as the parallel term hr˛º, which seems to be Hurrian: 33 29. Ibid., 137. 30. Ibid., 33, 50, 52, 53, 55. Equivalent translations are proposed by Victor A. Hurowitz, “Emar GARZA and Hebrew Terms for Priestly Portions,” NABU 1998, no. 64; and CAD P, s.v. parßu, 7b, 202 (uncer. mng.), and pemu, 322–23, ‘a cut of meat’. They simply miss the point, although the problem was clearly defined by Fleming, The Installation of Baal’s High Priestess, 137: “The problem is that the GARZA appears to be treated as a specific cut of meat” (writer’s italics). 31. Harry A. Hoffner, The Laws of the Hittites: A Critical Edition (Documenta et Monumenta Orientis Antiqui 23; Leiden: Brill, 1997) §§187, 188, 190, 200A. 32. Exod 22:18; Lev 18:23; 20:15, 16; Deut 27:21. 33. CAT 1.12:I 38–41. The term hr˛º is translated ‘paw’ by Gregorio del Olmo Lete and Joaquín Sanmartín, Diccionario de la lengua ugarítica (2 vols.; AuOrSup 7– 8; Sabadell-Barcelona: AUSA, 1996–2000) 1:200. The only reason appears to be the obvious parallelism with pºn.

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Burnt Offering of Head, Peder, and Kidneys Bºl.˙mdm.y˙mdm bn.Dgn.yhrrm Bºl.ngthm.b pºnh wªil Hd.b hr˛ºh


Baal covets them greatly, the son of Dagan longs for them. Baal approached them with his penis, so the god Haddu, with his phallus.

The fragmentary nature of col. II precludes deciding whether pºn.Bºl there means ‘penis of Baal’. At any rate, the word ends in -n, which was the postpositive determinant of grammatical gender for names indicating body parts. 34 The Ugaritic form pºn is thus certainly older than Phoenician and Hebrew pºm. The “matrix” paº of this noun (to use G. Bohas’s terminology) 35 can be related to Egyptian b·˙ and Coptic ba˙ or fa˙ ‘penis’, because both words consist of a labial, an a-vowel, and a pharyngeal. The correspondence is strengthened on the phonological level by the alternation of voiceless (p and ˙) and voiced (b and º ) sounds. This corroborates the meaning ‘penis’, and the relation between feet and sexual organs has been confirmed by modern psychoanalysts. Phoenician Paºam was worshiped at Was†a, 36 north of Tyre, in the Greco-Roman period, but proper names bear witness to his cult as early as the 7th century B.C.E. The synonym ªpn ‘Phallus’ appears in the proper name mAb-da-ba-a-ni, 37 which apparently corresponds to ºAbd-ªApani, given that Neo-Assyrian spelling did not distinguish b/p adequately. 38 It is attested at Nineveh, in 680 B.C.E. Somewhat later, in the 6th century B.C.E., ºbdpºm ‘Servant of the Phallus’ appears in Phoenician script at Abu Simbel, Egypt. 39 It appears, therefore, that one should consider PA.AN on the Emar tablets to be a logographic notation of the Northwest Semitic word pºn ‘foot’, employed at least as a euphemism for ‘penis’. Euphemisms are extensively used for the privy parts of the body and their functions, especially for the male genital organ. The reference to a “PA.AN of the a††uhu-bird” in an Emar text does not create a problem, 40 because a few male birds possess 34. Lipinski, Semitic Languages, §30.11. 35. Georges Bohas, Matrices, étymons, racines: Éléments d’une théorie lexicologique du vocabulaire arabe (Orbis Supplementa 8; Leuven: Peeters, 1997); idem, Matrices et étymons: Développements de la théorie (Instruments pour l’étude des langues de l’Orient Ancien 3; Lausanne: Zèbre, 2001). 36. Lipinski, Dieux et déesses, 215–18. 37. T. Breckwoldt, “Abdabani,” in The Prosopography of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, 1/1 (ed. Karen Radner; Helsinki: Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, 1998) 4. 38. Lipinski, Semitic Languages, §11.4. 39. CIS 1:112c. 40. Arnaud, Emar VI, no. 371:13u. Page 66 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


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an erectile copulatory organ similar in several respects to the mammalian penis. Notably, ganders, drakes, and other male birds belong to the order Anseriformes. However, the syllabic rendering pa-an is hampered by the use of PA.AN in a nongenitival construction and in the plural. 41 A vocalic ending would be required in both cases, and its absence is a clear indication that PA.AN is a Syrian logogram, comparable to akkadograms in Hittite texts. Therefore, we are not certain whether it was pronounced paºan, paºnu, paºnu, or some other way (penu being excluded as properly Akkadian). It may have been read pidru, like peder in the biblical laws, but was indicated by means of the possibly euphemistic PA.AN. A good parallel is the use of the Syrian logogram (na4)ZI.KIN, designating a betyl, to write the Hittite word huwasi-, which had the same meaning. 42 The parallelism between the Emar ritual and the passages in Leviticus and m. Tamid indicates that “the head and the peder” are not later insertions in the biblical passages, as some authors assume, 43 but belong to the original text. The practice of presenting the deity with the head and the penis of the sacrificed animal had a special significance, as we know because these parts of the animal are clearly exposed in iconography. The oldest example, as far as I have seen, appears on the Egyptian Stele of Mentuhotpe, son of It, dating to the early Twelfth Dynasty—around 1800 B.C.E., using the low chronology. The stele, which is housed in the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow, is of unknown provenance. 44 Mentuhotpe is standing in front of an altar used for burnt offerings; the head of the sacrificed animal is represented on the front side, and its penis, it seems, is in the rear, on the higher back stone of the altar. A similar representation of the sacrifice appears on two exceptional steles from Carthage, dating to the 3rd or the first half of the 2nd century B.C.E. Both represent a woman in prayer in front of 41. Nongenitival: ibid., nos. 369:11; 371:12u, 13u. Plural: ibid., nos. 388:3; 391:3u; 407:7u. 42. Maciej Popko, Kultobjekte in der hethitischen Religion (Dissertationes Universitatis Varsoviensis 161; Warsaw: Warsaw University Press, 1978) 123–27; idem, “Anikonische Götterdarstellungen in der altanatolischen Religion,” in Ritual and Sacrifice in the Ancient Near East (ed. Jan Quaegebeur; OLA 55; Leuven: Peeters, 1993) 319–27, especially pp. 324–25; Lipinski, Dieux et déesses, 178. 43. For instance, Karl Elliger, Leviticus (HAT, 1st series 4; Tübingen: Mohr, 1966) 26 and 105. 44. Svetlana Hodjash and Oleg Berlev, The Egyptian Reliefs and Stelae in the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow (Leningrad: Aurora, 1982), no. 28 with an excellent color photograph on p. 75. Page 67 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

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an altar on which the head of a bull is burning. 45 On the better-preserved stele, housed in the Czartoryski Museum in Kraków, what is possibly its penis lies in the rear, on a higher socle in the back part of the altar, or on a piece of the animal, just as apparently prescribed in m. Tamid 4:3. The reason for offering the head and the penis of the victim to the divinity as special signs of veneration are quite understandable. The importance of the head is obvious, while the penis was regarded as the organ that transmitted life and was imbued with cultic significance, as evident also in the rite of circumcision. Another biblical ritual relates to shared offerings (sélamîm). It mandates burning the entrails and specifies in Lev 3:4, 10, and 15 that “the two kidneys (kélayot) with the fat on them” should be presented as an offering to the Lord. The same injunction appears in Exod 29:13, 22, in the ritual for the consecration of the priests who were to serve in the tabernacle. In this context, special attention should also be paid to the injunction in Lev 3:11, 16 that the priest should burn the entrails on the altar as ‘food’ (le˙em) offered to the Lord. Furthermore, at Emar, the kidneys, which are called kalitu in Akkadian and gessu in the local language of Emar, were a part of the sacrificed animal that the rituals regularly allocated to the king or his representative who was present at the ceremony. 46 The Ugaritic epic of King Keret shows that kidneys were indeed regarded as comestible delicacies. One of Keret’s offerings mentioned in the epic is klt.l˙mh.d nzl ‘the kidneys of his own food, which are a delicacy’. 47 This opinion was widely held, and the Song of Moses in Deut 32:14 also mentions “the fat of the kidneys” as being one of the choicest products of “the land flowing with milk and honey.” At this point, one can only raise the question whether the kidneys were presented as a food-offering to the Lord and burned on the altar simply because they were one of the choicest parts of the sacrificed animal, or whether the injunctions in the biblical texts implied that the kidneys were to be offered to the Lord because there was no longer a king present or represented

45. Photographs are reproduced in my “Rites et sacrifices dans la tradition phénico-punique,” in Ritual and Sacrifice in the Ancient Near East (ed. Jan Quaegebeur; OLA 55; Leuven: Peeters, 1993) 257–81; see fig. 2 on p. 262 and fig. 3 on p. 267. 46. Arnaud, Emar VI, nos. 369:58, 79; 370:[35u]; 394:42 (uzuELLÁG , Akkadian kalitu); 388:62 (uzu ge5-es-sa); 406:2u (uzuELLÁGsu); 447:3u (uzu ge-es-su); Fleming, The Installation of Baal’s High Priestess, 153. 47. CAT 1.14:III 58; cf. II 16. Arabic nuzl designates food served to a guest. Page 68 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


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at the ceremonies. Whatever the answer might be, it is clear that some of the ritual regulations in the Bible have a long history, harking back to Canaanite times. Page 69 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

The Desecration of YHWH’s Name: Its Parameters and Significance Jacob Milgrom The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The expression hwhy µçAta llj is found 19 times in the Hebrew Bible: 7 times in H, all in Leviticus; 8 times in Ezekiel; and 4 elsewhere—but not once in P. The absence of this expression in P is resolved in the first 2 instances discussed below. They both appear in Leviticus 19. 1. Leviticus 19:8—llj hwhy çdqAta yk ‘because he desecrated what is sacred to YHWH’. The pericope on the well-being offering (vv. 5–8) is a reworking of Lev 7:16–18 (P). 1 The deliberate abuse of a sanctum is punishable by trk (19:8; cf. 7:18). If the abuse is inadvertent, it is nonetheless a hb l[m ‘a sacrilege against YHWH (5:15), but it is expiable by an µça ‘a reparation offering’ (5:14–16). 2 2. Leviticus 19:12—˚yhla µçAta tlljw rqçl ymçb w[bçt ‘and you shall not swear falsely by my name, lest you desecrate the name of your God’. There are only two sanctums that can be used or abused by the laity, and both are found in Leviticus 19: the tangible well-being offering (v. 8 [no. 1]) and the intangible divine name in an oath (v. 12). As sanctums, they are the property of YHWH, and their abuse is expressed either by llj hwhy çdq ‘desecrate what is sacred to YHWH’ (v. 8), if tangible, or more frequently by the expression ˚yhla µçAta llj ‘desecrate the name of your God’ (v. 12), if intangible (qualified in the conclusion, below). In v. 12, this indictment applies only to the adjoining false oath, not to the ethical violations in v. 11. 3 P also deals with the issue of false oath, but it uses a different term for this violation, hwhyb l[m ‘committing a sacrilege against YHWH’ (5:21). H abandons P’s l[m ‘sacrilege’ for llj ‘desecrate’ so it can also use the antonym çdq ‘sanctify’. When Israelites violate a divine commandment, they 1. J. Milgrom, Leviticus 17–22 (AB 3A; New York: Doubleday, 2000) 1616–19. 2. Ibid. 3. Ibid., 1635.

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desecrate (desanctify) their own sacred status, 4 as well as YHWH’s sacred status in the community (see the conclusion). Two verses indict Molek worship—the only offenses in the two lists of sexual violations (Lev 18:6–23; 20:9–21) labeled ‘desecrating the name of YHWH’. They are: 3. Leviticus 18:21—˚yhla µçAta lljt alw ‘you shall not desecrate the name of your God’. Molek worship desecrates the divine name because it is associated with the worship of Yhwh. 5 This can be derived from two bits of biblical evidence: first is Zeph 1:5b µklmb µy[bçnw hwhyl µy[bçnh ‘those who swear [loyalty] to Yhwh but swear by their king’ (that is, Molek); 6 then there is evidence that YHWH acquiesced to Molek worship. Three times Jeremiah accuses his people: blAl[ htl[ alw ytywx al rça ‘which I (YHWH) did not command and which did not rise to my mind’ ( Jer 7:31, 19:5, 32:35). In the popular mind, YHWH accepted Molek worship because YHWH relinquished control of the underworld to Molek, an underworld deity. Therefore, if a person wanted access to his ancestors, he or she could do so only if the requisite offering was made to Molek—child sacrifices. This double capital crime is vehemently denounced by both priests (H) and prophets (for example, Jeremiah). 4. Leviticus 20:3—yçdq µçAta lljlw (yçdqmAta amf ˆ[ml) ‘(thus defiling my sanctuary) and desecrating my sacred name’. The divine name is explicitly a çdq ‘a sanctum’. Hence, Molek worship defiles/desecrates two sanctums: the sanctuary, the residence of the divine presence; and the sacred divine name. Molek worship contaminates the sanctuary from afar by means of the principle of “Dorian Gray.” 7 This verse, however, may have direct contact in mind. Molek was worshiped mainly (if not exclusively) at the foot of the Temple Mount. Thus it was possible awhh µwyb ‘on the same day’ (Ezek 23:38–39) for a person to worship Molek and ascend to the temple, thereby contaminating it. Molek worship is associated with YHWH’s name (see no. 3, above) and automatically desecrates it. 8 The use of the verb llj is further explained in no. 5, below. 4. Ibid., 1711–26. 5. Ibid., 1590. 6. Ibid., 1556–57. 7. Ibid., 1560–61. 8. Ibid., 1735–36. Page 71 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

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The next two verses are directives to the priests, who are sacred (that is, sanctums) from birth. 5. Leviticus 21:6—µhyhla µç wlljy alw µhyhlal wyhy µyçdq ‘They shall be sacred to their God and not desecrate the name of their God’. The immediately preceding verse (v. 5) deals with mourning rites that are not amf ‘defiling’ and can only be defined as llj ‘desecrating’. Moreover, the priestly offenses that fall into the category of llj are also found in the following verses: illicit priestly marriages (vv. 7–10). Thus, v. 6 is a bridge connecting the nonritual offenses of v. 5 and vv. 7–9. 6. Leviticus 22:2—µh rça yçdq µçAta wlljy alw larçyAynb yçdqm wrznyw yl µyçydqm ‘Be scrupulous concerning the sacred donations that the Israelites consecrate to me, so that they do not desecrate my holy name’. The ‘sacred donations’ here refer to the µyçdq, sacred food, that the priests are forbidden to eat in a state of impurity (vv. 3–8) and that the lay person is unqualified to eat (vv. 9–16). In either case, the impure priest who eats the sacred food or the priest who gives sacred food to an unqualified person has desecrated the name of YHWH. 9 The latter priest is not impure (amf); he can only be qualified as llj ‘desecrating’. 7. Leviticus 22:32—hwhy yna larçy ynb ˚wtb ytçdqnw yçdq µçAta lljt alw µkçdqm ‘You shall not desecrate my sacred name that I may be sanctified among the Israelites, I, the Lord, who sanctifies you’. Verses 17–28 refer to illicit sacrificial animals and rites. The word hdwt ‘thank offering’ (vv. 29– 30) has deliberately been removed from Lev 19:5 to create an inclusio for spatial holiness (19:1–22:33). 10 There is a seven-day minimum for a newborn animal to remain with its mother (v. 27). Moreover, a newborn animal and its mother may not be slaughtered at the altar simultaneously (v. 28). Thus, all these verses refer to sacrificial rites that are not defiled (amf) but desecrated (llj). Because v. 32 is the last mention of spatial holiness, which begins in 19:2, it is also possible that the exhortation (vv. 31–33) applies to chaps. 19–22. This possibility is supported by the general term twxm ‘my commandments’, 11 which would include the many noncultic commandments incumbent upon all of Israel (19:2–20:27; 22:17–33), the violation of which causes defilement (amf) but not desecration (llj).

9. Ibid., 1849. 10. Ibid., 1885–87. 11. Ibid., 1882. Page 72 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


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Seven verses from Ezekiel add a new dimension to the topic of the desecration of YHWH’s name: 8–10. Ezekiel 20:9 (14, 22)—Arça µywgh yny[l ljh ytlbl ymç ˆ[ml ç[aw µkwtb hmh ‘But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be desecrated in the sight of the nations among whom they were’. Ezekiel uses the expression ymç llj (Niphal) ‘my name would be desecrated’ 3 times in chap. 20 with a new twist. Clearly, Ezekiel is influenced by the forensic arguments attributed to Moses (Exod 32:12). YHWH forbears punishing Israel for their sins lest he fall into disrepute µywgh yny[l ‘in sight of’ the nations for not fulfilling his oath to the patriarchs to take them out of Egypt and bring them to the land of Canaan (Exod 6:7–8, 32:13). The Ezekielian expression refers to three historical episodes. The first time (v. 9) God deferred punishing Israel was in Egypt, despite Israel’s idolatry (vv. 7–8). The second time was in the wilderness (v. 14), though Israel violated the life-giving laws (see Lev 18:15) revealed to them at Sinai (vv. 11–13). The third time (v. 22), YHWH spared their children (see Numbers 14), even though Israel violated his commandments (note Moses’ argument, Num 14:13–16). 12 11. Ezekiel 20:39—µkylwlgbw µkytwntmb dw[Awlljt al yçdq µçAtaw ‘And you shall not desecrate my sacred name any longer with your gifts and your idols’. Here Ezekiel turns back to the H usage of the expression llj µçh—that Israel has desecrated the divine name (nos. 2–7)—but particularly, back to the precedent of Molek worship (no. 3). That Ezekiel has Molek worship in mind is clear from the previous verse: ‘You defile yourselves by the offer of your gifts (µkytntm) and by delivering your sons to the fire (çab µkynb ryb[b)’ (v. 31). This is an explicit admission that Israel’s idols as well as their gifts were dedicated to, or harmonized with, the worship of YHWH (nos. 3 and 4). 13 12–13. Ezekiel 36:20, 23, 24; 39:7—ta wlljyw µç wabArça µywghAla awbyw lljmh lwdgh ymçAµa ytçdqw . . . waxy wxramw hla hwhyAµ[ µhl rmab yçdq µç . . . µywgb ˆm µkta ytjqlw µhyny[l µkb yçdqhb . . . µkwtb µtllh rça µywgb µktmdaAla µkta ytabhw ‘When they came to the nations to which they came they desecrated my holy name, in that it was said of them, “These are YHWH’s people and from his land they came forth.” . . . I will sanctify my great name that has been desecrated among the nations, which you dese-

12. W. Zimmerli, Ezekiel 1 (trans. R. E. Clements; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1919) 409–10. 13. M. Greenberg, Ezekiel 1–20 (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1983) 374. Page 73 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

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crated among them . . . when I sanctify myself through you in their sight, I will take you from the nations . . . and bring you to your soil’. 14 Ezekiel uses the same approach as in chap. 20 but, again, with a novel twist. In Exile, the Israelites are not deliberately defying God as in the past. Rather, their involuntary, exilic presence desecrates (that is, defames) the divine name because it implies YHWH’s impotence. Hence, in coining a new phrase, µçh çwdq ‘sanctification the name’—the opposite of lwlj ‘desecration of the name’ 15—Ezekiel prophesies that YHWH will sanctify his name, that is, enhance his reputation among the nations, by returning the people of Israel to their soil. 16 Indeed, YHWH’s victory over Gog and Magog will be a further demonstration to both Israel and the nations that rw[ yçdqAµçAµa ljaAalw ‘never again will I let my sacred name be desecrated’ (39:7)—that is, fall into disrepute. 14. Ezekiel 43:7b–9—µtwnzb µhyklmw hmh yçdq µç larçyAtyb dw[ wamfy alw µhynybw ynyb ryqhw ytzwzm lxa µtzwzmw ypsAta µps µttb µtwmb µhyklm yrgpbw .wç[ rça µtwb[wtb yçdq µçAta wamfw ‘The house of Israel shall no more defile my sacred name, neither they nor their kings, by their whoring and by the corpses of their kings at their death [reading bémotam]. When they placed their threshold by my threshold and their doorposts beside my doorposts, with only a wall between me and them, they were defiling my sacred name by their abominations that they committed’. The subject here appears to be ritual impurity. The Jerusalem temple was a royal chapel adjoining the palace. At the end of the first commonwealth, the two were connected by a garden, where Manasseh (2 Kgs 21:18, 2 Chr 33:20) and Amon (2 Kgs 21:26) were buried—a veritable cemetery adjoining the temple! In theory (halakically), however, pathways through a garden can prevent contamination. Thus, the impurity of God’s name described here is not ritual but figurative. Nonetheless, for Ezekiel, the very juxtaposition of a cemetery to the temple, though separated by the temple wall, was uncompromisingly defiling. 17 One should note that Ezekiel twice uses the expression ymçAta amf ‘defile my name’ instead of ymçAta llj

14. W. Zimmerli, Ezekiel 2 (trans. J. D. Martin; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1983) 247–48. 15. Greenberg, Ezekiel 1–20, 384; idem, Ezekiel 21–37 (New York: Doubleday, 1997) 729–30. 16. Ibid. 17. Zimmerli, Ezekiel 2, 417. Page 74 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


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‘desecrate my name’ to emphasize the gravity of the impurity of the royal corpses, death being the ultimate impurity—or, in the rabbis’ words, yba hamwfh twba ‘the father of the fathers of impurity’. 18 The final 5 appearances of hwhy µç (amf) llj stem from other prophets: 15. Isaiah 48:9aa, 11a—˚ya yk hç[a yn[ml yn[ml . . . ypa ˚yrw[a ymç ˆ[ml ljy ‘For the sake of my name I control my wrath. . . . For my sake, my own do I act—lest [my name] be desecrated’. This thought flows in the same stream as Ezek 36:20–23. YHWH will not destroy Israel, so as not to desecrate his name among the nations. 16. Isaiah 52:5b—≈anm ymç µwyhAlk dymtw hwhyAµan wlylyhy wlçm ‘Their mockers howl—declares YHWH—and constantly, unceasingly, my name is reviled’. This difficult stiche has been playsibly emended by Blank as follows: ≈azm ymç µwyhAlk ,dymt ynwllj wlçm ‘Their mockers desecrate me constantly; unceasingly my name is reviled’. 19 The improvements are striking: (1) parallel metric structure (3/3) is gained; (2) the superfluous hwhy µan is eliminated; (3) so is the meaningless wlylyhy ‘howl’; (4) the latter two are merged into ynwlljy ‘desecrate me’ (see Ezek 13:19); (5) which provides an apt twin for ≈anm ymç ‘my name is reviled’. If correct, the emended verse is in tune with Ezekiel 36 and 39 (nos. 12–13) and Isaiah 48 (no. 15). 17. Amos 2:7b—çdq µçAta llj ˆ[ml hr[nhAla wkly wybaw çyaw ‘A man and his father cohabit with the same maiden, thereby desecrating my sacred name’. I have not found a completely acceptable commentary on this stich. The best is Shalom Paul’s. 20 The expression la ˚lh is an idiom meaning ‘have extramarital intercourse’. 21 It is the last of 5 ethical crimes listed here by Amos, and the desecration of the divine name refers to all 5. If a father and son have sex with the same woman, it is not a legal but a moral offense, a matter of shame. 22 This shows that the expression hwhy µç llj ‘desecrate the name of YHWH’ here is nonlegal and noncultic. It was used among the populace in reference to moral offenses.

18. The idiom is based on m. Kelim 1:1, which enumerates “the fathers of impurity.” 19. S. Blank, “Isaiah 52:5 and the Profanation of the Name,” HUCA 25 (1954) 1–8. 20. S. M. Paul, Amos (Hermeneia; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1991). 21. Ibid., 82. 22. Ibid., 83. Page 75 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

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18. Jeremiah 34:15b–16—wbçtw wyl[ ymç arqnArça tybb ynpl tyrb wtrktw . . . wdb[Ata çya wbçtw ymçAta wlljtw ‘and you made a covenant before me in the house that bears my name. But now you have turned back and have profaned my name; each of you has brought back your male [and female] slave . . . ’. The Judahite slave owners had taken an oath in YHWH’s name, in the temple bearing his name, to release their slaves. Shortly thereafter (when the danger elapsed), they seized their erstwhile slaves and reenslaved them. 23 It was established in Lev 19:12 (no. 2) that an oath violation is a desecration of YHWH’s name. This is an intangible sanctum. Hence, the expression µç llj is employed. 19. Malachi 1:11b–14—ˆjlç µkrmab wta µylljm µtaw . . . µywgb ymç lwdg yk . . . hlwjhAtaw jsphAtaw lwzg µtabhw . . . hzbn wbynw lagm hwhy ‘my name is honored among the nations. . . . But you desecrate it when you say, “The table of YHWH is defiled and the meat, the food, can be treated with scorn” . . . and you bring the stolen, the lame, and the sick’. This is the reverse of the prophecies of Isaiah and Ezekiel (nos. 11, 12, 14–15). There, it was YHWH who was being desecrated by the nations because of Israel’s inactive presence in Exile. Here, YHWH’s name is honored among the nations while the Israelites, back in their land, are desecrating YHWH’s name with defective sacrifices. The offense clearly derives from Lev 22:32 (no. 7). Here, however, the prophet has added a moral deficiency—a stolen animal. 24 Moreover, in Mal 1:6b–8a (compare vv. 22–25), the priests despise YHWH’s name (ymç yzwb) by offering blemished sacrifices. In vv. 12–14, the weight of responsibility has shifted to the laity. The desecration of the divine name lies, not in the people of Israel’s defective sacrifices, but in their disparaging remarks concerning the efficacy of the sacrificial service. In this context, therefore, ‘desecrate the divine name’ is used metaphorically to describe Israel’s contempt for YHWH in contrast with the respect and honor that YHWH receives from other nations.

Conclusion At first glance, one might think that the term µç ‘name’ is a euphemism that has been inserted in the expression µçh llj to avoid the gross anthropomorphism that damage is inflicted directly on the godhead. Ostensibly, 23. W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah 2 (Hermeneia; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1989) 242. 24. A. E. Hill, Malachi (AB 25D; New York, Doubleday, 1998) 189–96. Page 76 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


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support for this interpretation can be brought from its negation wlljt alw larçy ynb ˚wtb ytçdqnw yçdq µçAta ‘You shall not desecrate my sacred name that I may be sanctified among the Israelites’ (Lev 22:32). Namely, when Israelites refrain from desecrating the divine name, they contribute to God’s holiness. 25 Thus, if sanctifying God’s name supplements his holiness, desecrating God’s name reduces it. This interpretation must be rejected out of hand. The very verse that seems to support this, Lev 22:32, actually implies the reverse. The sanctification takes place among the Israelites. That is, when Israel refrains from violating God’s commandments, God becomes acknowledged by more Israelites. Conversely, when God’s name is desecrated, he becomes discredited by more Israelites. Evidence that this interpretation is probably correct is located in the added phrase µywgh yny[l ‘in the sight of the nations’ (Ezek 20:9, 14, 22). Thus, it is not God who is desecrated but his reputation. Israel in Exile desecrates YHWH because the nations sneer contemptuously: “These are YHWH’s people; and from his land they came forth” (Ezek 36:20). By the same token, the people of Israel in his land (nos. 1–7) desecrate God by dishonoring his reputation—that is, by violating his commandments. There is no doubt that the term µç ‘name’ is a euphemism, used to prevent saying that God himself is desecrated. But this explanation is superficial. It skirts the real question, which is why the term µç was chosen and not some other euphemism. An investigation of this term, albeit brief, is indicated. First, it should be noted that having a name is a prerequisite to being. Indeed, naming is even coupled with creation: When on high the heavens had not been named . . . when no gods whatsoever had been brought into being, uncalled by name. (Enuma Elish 1:1) I (Atum) am the great god who came into being by himself. He who created his names, the lord of Ennead (the first nine gods). (“The Creation of Atum,” ANET 4) So out of the ground YHWH God formed every beast of the field . . . and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. (Gen 2:19)

These illustrations from the creation stories of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Israel indicate that to name something is to assert authority over it. For ex25. Milgrom, Leviticus 17–22, 1888. Page 77 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

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ample, though it is not expressly stated that God created darkness, darkness is still named by God (Gen 1:5). When the Kingdom of Judah is conquered by Neco of Egypt and Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, respectively, they appoint new kings over Judah and give them new names (2 Kgs 23:34, 24:17). Thus, the assignment of a name denotes sovereignty and dominance. On the other hand, bestowal of a name can also denote the granting of power and authority to the recipient. Thus, when the gods wish to grant their savior, Marduk, all-embracing power and authority, they bestow upon him 50 names, each name representing a distinctive force. 26 This implies that power inheres in a name. So, indeed, the psalmist declares: ynnydt ˚trwbgbw yn[yçwh ˚mçb µyhla ‘O God, deliver me by your name; by your power, vindicate me’ (Ps 54:3); here, ˚mçb ‘your name’ is parallel and synonymous with ˚trwbgbw ‘by your power’. The most common use of ‘the name’ in the Bible is to denote fame or reputation. In the earliest narrative sources, we find ˚mç hldga ‘I will make your name great’ (Gen 12:2), and µç wnl hç[nw ‘let us make a name for ourselves’ (Gen 11:4; cf. 2 Sam 8:13). Note that a good or bad reputation is expressed by the words bwf µç ‘a good name’ (Qoh 7:1) and [r µç ‘a bad name’ (Deut 22:14, 19) or µçh tamf ‘besmirched of name’ (Ezek 22:5). 27 Thus, the functions of ‘the name’ can be grouped in two main categories: power (authority) and reputation. When these categories are studied in relation to the phrase µçhAta lljl ‘to desecrate the name’, it becomes apparent that the category ‘reputation’ does not apply to the formula’s appearances in Leviticus (nos. 2–7). This category only begins to surface in Ezekiel (nos. 8–10, 12–13). This leaves ‘power (authority)’ as the only category that fits Leviticus. But what could possibly be the meaning of ‘desecrating the power of YHWH’? I submit that uh µç in Leviticus is probably an embryonic form of the Name Theology that is fully developed in D. 28 It represents the earthly presence or power of YHWH. Thus, µçhAta lljl ‘to desecrate the name’ means to tarnish or blemish the earthly presence of the deity. It must be distinguished from µçhAta llql ‘to curse the name’ (Lev 24:11, 14, 15, 23) and ˚mç (wxan) πany ‘revile your name’ (Ps 74:10, 18), which means to wish harm on the earthly presence of the deity. 26. Enuma Elis VI 123–VII 144. 27. See BDB 1028b. 28. Compare M. Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School (Oxford: Clarendon, 1972; repr. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1992) 191–97. Page 78 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


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It was assumed in the ancient world that cursing derived its powers from the gods. For example, Goliath cursed David in the name of his god (1 Sam 17:43); merely expressing a negative wish would have little effect. A curse also derived its force from (black) magic, that is, from the metasupernal realm upon which the gods themselves were dependent. 29 Balaam was a famed magician who was reputed to be capable of tapping into this realm (Num 22:6). However, our formula does not use the verb llq ‘curse’ but llj ‘desecrate’. The two are entirely distinct. Whereas it is possible to curse God directly (Lev 24:11, 14, 15, 23), one desecrates God only indirectly by violating one of the divine prohibitions. That is, one cannot desecrate God or his name directly; desecration must be the result of an illicit action. As will be indicated below, if the object of llj is a sanctum (çdq, no. 1), then the sanctum itself is desecrated; however, if the object is intangible (nos. 2, 7) or illicit (nos. 3–6), the object desecrated is uh µç ‘the name of YHWH’. Thus, the µç ‘name’, no less than a sanctum, is an object, a representation of the deity, his earthly presence. An ancillary question is this: Why the need for the specific expression uh µç lljl? First, we turn to its use in H (nos. 2–7). It can be shown that, if the desecrated object is a sanctum, either human (for example, a ˆhk, Lev 21:15), structural (for example, the çdqm, Lev 21:12), or temporal (for example, tbç, Exod 31:14), it is the direct object of the verb llj, without modifying words. But, if a violation of a prohibition results in desecration, the violation is expressed as a µçhAta llj ‘desecration of the name’ (see no. 2). 30 Further, why was µçh ‘the name’ not chosen by itself, without the Tetragrammaton, particularly since H testifies to its use as a euphemism for YHWH (Lev 24:11)? Alternatively, H could have changed the Tetragrammaton to µyhla, the general name for god, and H also bears witness to its use as the object of llj in µyhla llj (v. 15)! The answer seems to be that the entire term hwhy µçAta llj was already in use by the people at large. Amos 2:7b (no. 18) testifies that it was commonly applied to moral offenses. This is precisely what H wanted. It needed

29. See Y. Kaufmann, Toldot ha-Emunah ha-Yisraelit (Tel Aviv: Dvir, 1938) 1:297– 303; ET: The Religion of Israel, from Its Beginnings to the Babylonian Exile (trans. and abridged M. Greenberg; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1960) 21–24. 30. Lev 22:2 and 3 must be distinguished from each other: Verse 3 heads vv. 4– 7, dealing with specific sanctums; v. 2, however, is a general statement inclusive of all sacrificial donations, including spontaneous, nonritual sacrifices. Page 79 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

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a term that could be applied to nonritual and moral offenses—a term the import of which would be understood (and feared) at its first hearing by all the people. 31 Thus, we see that H had good reason to abandon P’s term l[m and seek a substitute. It did not want to be circumscribed by the meager scope of sacrificial sanctums affected by P’s l[m. It wished to embrace offenses that were derivative expansions of the prescribed (P’s) sacrificial service, such as the false oath (no. 2), Molek worship (nos. 3 and 4), noncultic mourning and marital rites (no. 5), illicit receipt of sacred food (no. 6), and humanitarian rites at the altar (no. 7). H had a larger world in mind. The formula hwhy µçAta lljl answered its need.

Excursus: The Revelation of God’s Name (Exodus 3:13–15) To the ancient, the name was an element of personality and of power. It might be so charged with divine potency that it could not be pronounced. Or the god might retain a name hidden for himself alone, maintaining this element of power over all other gods and men. ( John A. Wilson, ANET 12)

In accord with the description of the Egyptian god (above), the name of Israel’s God is also “an element of personality and power.” It was also so potent that it could not be pronounced except by taking every precaution (see Lev 24:15–16). However, in contrast to Egyptian myth(the)ology, there is no indication anywhere that the God of Israel was reluctant to reveal his name. Yet Exod 3:13–15 presents an enigma that has resisted a satisfactory solution. With trepidation, I present my own solution. 13Moses

said to God, “When I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you’, and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14God said to Moses, “Ehyeh-AsherEhyeh.” He continued, “Thus shall you say to the Israelites, ‘Ehyeh sent me to you.’ ” 15And God said further to the Israelites, “YHWH, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.”

31. The same distinction holds for the 7 appearances of hwhy µç llj in Ezekiel (nos. 8–14). All of them represent nonritual, metaphorical desecration. The remaining 5 appearances, outside H and Ezekiel, also manifest nonritual impurity. Page 80 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


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When Moses asks for God’s name, he initially receives the answer hyha hyha rça (v. 14ab). In actual fact, this is not God’s name but the meaning of the name. 32 The construction is the same as Exod 33:19b, rçaAta ytnjw µjra rçaAta ytmjrw ˆja ‘I will show grace to whomever I will show grace, and I will show mercy to whomever I will show mercy’. Similarly, rça hyha hyha is to be rendered ‘I will be present whenever I will be present’. That is, there is no guarantee that God will always be available (or show mercy) whenever Israel seeks him—hardly an assurance of help and support for enslaved Israel! Hence, God reveals the full name only to Moses but charges him to disclose the truncated name hyha ‘I will be/am present’ to Israel. It is equivalent to God’s assurance to Moses himself: ˚m[ hyha ‘I will be with you’ (3:12aa). Hence, hyha rça hyha is God’s private disclosure to Moses of the meaning of his name. If it were meant for Israel’s ears, then the following hyha message would have been introduced by the addition of dw[: larçy ynbl [dw[] rmat hk rmayw (v. 14b), akin to hçmAla µyhla dw[ rmayw (v. 15; see also Exod 4:6). The fact God will on occasion allow Moses to be privy to a separate revelation in addition to the message he delivers to the people is best exemplified in Leviticus 17, where precisely as in Exod 3:13–14 Moses transmits to Israel only the law, but three times he is told privately the meaning (rationale) of the law (Lev 17:5–7, 11–12, 14). Here in v. 15, the actual name of the deity, hwhy (the third person of hyha), is transmitted to Israel. 33 In sum, Israel now possesses the name of God, whom they can always address in times of need, but the full meaning of the name (that is, the qualified assurance of God’s response) is withheld. It is broadly accepted in all branches of scholarly writing that the Tetragrammaton YHWH should be pronounced Yahweh. 34 Exodus 3, the chapter 32. See Ibn Ezra, long comment. 33. I now believe that H’s radical revelatory division between Moses and Israel in Leviticus 17 was not conceived by H de novo, as shown elsewhere, for example, in Lev 25:2–7; see my Leviticus 23–27 (AB 3B; New York: Doubleday, 2001) 2152–56. 34. E.g., W. F. Albright, “Contributions to Biblical Archaeology and Philology: The Name Yahweh,” JBL 43 (1924) 370–78; idem, Yahweh and the Gods of Canaan (New York: Doubleday, 1968; repr. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1990) 168–72. D. N. Freedman, “The Name of the God of Moses,” JBL 79 (1960) 151–56; idem, “YHWH,” TDOT 5:513–16 (ThWAT 3); Y. Kinyogo, Origine et signification de nom divín Yahvé à la lumière de récents travaux et traditions sémitico-bibliques (BBB 35; Bonn: Hanstein, 1970) 69–82; F. M. Cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1973) 60–75. Page 81 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

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revealing YHWH’s name, calls this reading into question. 35 First, if so one would expect God’s name to be ahyeh not ehyeh (v. 14). Second, Yahweh, a Hiphil formation, means “He who causes to be” and refers to God, the Creator—an identification neither relevant nor comforting to Israelites in desperate need of redemption. However, the name YHWH, an imperfect Qal (the vocalization of which has been lost) meaning ‘I am/will be present’, is precisely the assurance that Israel’s God, the God of the fathers, has heard their cries and will rescue them (Exod 3:7–9). 35. R. de Vaux (The Early History of Israel [trans. D. Smith; Philadelphia: Westminster, 1973] 353) also rejects the causative in favor of the simple (Qal) tense, which, however, he renders ‘I am the Existing One’ (equivalent to uuh yna). Page 82 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM Page 83 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

Alliteration in the Exodus Narrative Gary A. Rendsburg Rutgers University

The recent decades have seen a flowering of literary study of the Bible. Scholar after scholar has uncovered technique after technique in his or her reading and interpretation of biblical literature, both prose and poetry. In my reading of this vast amount of secondary literature, from which I and many others have learned a great deal, I am struck by how relatively little attention has been paid to the use of alliteration. Obviously, various examples of alliteration have been pointed out in certain instances. Scholars still cite the classic work of Immanuel Casanowicz, 1 and a glaring example such as the collocation of µymwr[ ‘naked’ in Gen 2:25 and µwr[ ‘cunning’ in Gen 3:1 is noted by nearly every commentator on the Garden of Eden story. But on a relative scale, I believe that my observation above is accurate—that in general, scholars have not paid sufficient attention to the role of alliteration in biblical literature, especially prose texts. 2 1. I. M. Casanowicz, Paronomasia in the Old Testament (Boston: Cushing, 1894). Paronomasia and alliteration are not the same phenomenon, rather, in Casanowicz’s words, “Alliteration is the simplest, most frequent, and probably the oldest form of paronomasia” (p. 8). 2. Thus, for example, one finds no treatment of alliteration in the following books devoted to biblical narrative: R. Alter, The Art of Biblical Narrative (New York: Basic Books, 1981); A. Berlin, Poetics and Interpretation of Biblical Narrative (Bible and Literature 9; Sheffield: Almond, 1983; repr. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1994); M. Sternberg, The Poetics of Biblical Narrative: Ideological Literature and the Drama of Reading (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985); and H. C. Brichto, Toward a Grammar of Biblical Poetics: Tales of the Prophets (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992). I realize that the aim of these books is not to catalog the various literary devices employed by the ancient authors; and in fact, quite the contrary, these valuable contributions typically seek to address much larger questions. Nevertheless, the point stands. (I intend no criticism here, because I consider all of these works to be major contributions to the field.) A work that comes closer to cataloging literary devices in biblical prose is S. Bar-Efrat, Narrative Art in the Bible ( JSOTSup 20; Sheffield: Almond, 1989; Hebrew original, 1979/1984); happily, one does find reference

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In a number of recent articles, I have observed that alliteration frequently governs the specific word choice made by biblical authors, not only in poetic texts, in which readers are more likely to recognize the feature, but in prose narratives as well. 3 As a paradigm, note the use of the hapax legomenon hatçm ‘gaze, watch’ in Gen 24:21, alliterating with the roots htç ‘drink’, appearing 7 times in the chapter (including nearby in vv. 18, 19, 22), and baç ‘draw (water)’, also appearing 7 times in the chapter (including nearby in vv. 19 and 20). Note especially the form baçtw in v. 20, which alliterates most closely with hatçm, following four words later, because of the presence of the 3rd-feminine-singular preformative -t (the alliteration is completed by the correspondence of the labial consonants bet and mem in these two words). 4 There is no doubt, to my mind, that the author of Genesis 24 reached deep into the Hebrew lexicon in order to select this rare word alliterationis causa. 5 In the present essay, I wish to expand the discussion to demonstrate the variety of ways that alliteration works in an extended narrative. I have selected the Exodus narrative as a good example thereof, though in truth alto alliteration therein (p. 203), though only in a very limited way. The one work associated with the literary approach to Bible that is most replete with examples of alliteration is the magnum opus of J. P. Fokkelman, Narrative Art and Poetry in the Books of Samuel (4 vols.; Assen: Van Gorcum, 1981–93); consult the index to each volume for references. For poetry, see W. G. E. Watson, Classical Hebrew Poetry: A Guide to Its Techniques ( JSOTSup 26; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1986) 225–29. Another important study is L. Boadt, “Intentional Alliteration in Second Isaiah,” CBQ 45 (1983) 353–63. Also of interest is the two-part study of B. Margalit (“Alliteration in Ugaritic Poetry: Its Role in Composition and Analysis [I],” UF 11 [1979] 537–57; idem, “Alliteration in Ugaritic Poetry: Its Role in Composition and Analysis [II],” JNSL 8 [1979] 57–80), though I do not adhere to Margalit’s approach throughout. 3. For examples in poetry, see my “Talpiyyôt (Song 4:4),” JNSL 20 (1994) 13–19; idem, “Psalm cx 3b,” VT 49 (1999) 548–53; and J. P. Fokkelman and G. A. Rendsburg, “wm[ lkl an hdgn (Psalm cxvi 14b, 18b),” VT 53 (2003) 328–36. For examples in prose, see my “Some False Leads in the Identification of Late Biblical Hebrew Texts: The Cases of Genesis 24 and 1 Samuel 2:27–36,” JBL 121 (2002) 23–46, especially pp. 28, 36; idem, “Hurvitz Redux: On the Continued Scholarly Inattention to a Simple Principle of Hebrew Philology,” in Biblical Hebrew: Studies in Chronology and Typology (ed. I. Young; JSOTSup 369; London: T. & T. Clark, 2003) 104–28, especially pp. 106–7, 118. For the same phenomenon in a classic Egyptian prose tale, see my article “Literary Devices in the Story of the Shipwrecked Sailor,” JAOS 120 (2000) 13–23. 4. This passage was treated in my “Some False Leads,” 28. 5. The term is borrowed from Margalit, “Alliteration in Ugaritic Poetry.” Page 85 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

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most any chunk of biblical prose could serve as an equally successful model. 6 In choosing alliteration as the subject of my contribution to this volume, I am pleased to point out that our honoree has himself taken note of this literary device in his own publications, most notably in his superb commentary on Amos. 7 I dedicate these words to my dear friend Shalom Paul, whose warmth, humor, and good cheer are unceasing, as a token of my appreciation for the many kindnesses he has extended to me over the course of time, oceans, and continents. 1. Exodus 1:21 Previous scholars have noted that the word tb ‘daughter’ serves as a Leitwort in the first two chapters of Exodus (see 1:16, 22; 2:1, 5, etc.). 8 To enhance the texture of this pericope further, the author introduces the word µytb, literally, ‘houses’, in 1:21. When we realize further that the idiom µytb hç[ is used here in a special, legal-technical sense with the meaning ‘to found a family’, as noted in fact by our jubilarian (!), 9 we gain an added appreciation of the author’s tack in making use of the full range of connotations of words in his lexis.

6. The present essay is part of a large ongoing project of mine; I hope one day to communicate the results of my research in a monograph. In lieu of this, I would gladly share with any interested reader the handout used in several public presentations of my work on alliteration, most recently at the University of California at San Diego, December 2003. I am happy to note that my two main hosts in San Diego, Richard Friedman and William Propp, are among the scholars who have paid attention to the presence of alliteration in the Bible. A number of fine examples are observed in their respective works: R. E. Friedman, A Commentary on the Torah (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2001) 440, 466, 510, etc.; and W. H. C. Propp, Exodus 1–18 (AB 2; New York: Doubleday, 1999), though the vast majority of these examples concern the poem in Exodus 15 (for references, see the index on p. 646, under both “alliteration” and “assonance”). For another recent contribution that focuses on alliteration, indeed sound play with a specific purpose, see V. A. Hurowitz, “Healing and Hissing Snakes: Listening to Numbers 21:4–9,” Scriptura 87 (2004) 278–87. 7. S. M. Paul, Amos (Hermeneia; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1991) 117, 163, 220 n. 21, 257 n. 13, 276 n. 33. 8. See, e.g., U. Cassuto, A Commentary on the Book of Exodus ( Jerusalem: Magnes, 1967) 17; and E. Fox, The Five Books of Moses (New York: Schocken, 1995) 260. 9. S. M. Paul, “Exodus 1:21: ‘To Found a Family’—A Biblical and Akkadian Idiom,” Maarav 8 (Let Your Colleagues Praise You: Studies in Memory of Stanley Gevirtz; 1992) 139–42. Page 86 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


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2. Exodus 2:3 In line with the above, we also may note the introduction of the word tbt ‘basket of’ in 2:3, in proximity to the Leitwort tb. Clearly, this is a rare word in Hebrew, used in specific contexts only—namely, here in Exod 2:3 (and in v. 5 in the absolute form) and in Genesis 6–9 (26x). As previous scholars have noted, the author of Exodus 1–2 evokes the language of the early chapters of Genesis (see, for example, the shared vocabulary of Exod 1:7 and Gen 1:28, and the expression bwf yk ‘that it/he was good’ in Exod 2:2 and Gen 1:4, and so on), with the theological message that the two greatest events in the history of the world were the creation of the world and the creation of the people of Israel (note the phrase larçy ynb µ[ ‘the people of the children of Israel’, used for the first time in Exod 1:9). Accordingly, the use of hbt in the Exodus narrative can be explained along the same lines. 10 At the same time, however, we should note the sound effected by placing this word in our narrative, surrounded by repeated use of the word tb. Moreover, the construct form tbt produces the exact same syllable as tb. 11 But regardless of the construct form tbt, the absolute form hbt itself alliterates with tb, with the two consonants of the two words in anagrammatic order. Naturally, these two consonants, /b/ and /t/, are among the most common in the language—and among the most common in any language—but given the rarity of both the word hbt and the technical term µytb, I conclude that these lexemes were intentionally selected by the author to elicit the greatest sound effect possible. 3. Exodus 2:2–3 The Hebrew lexicon includes two words for ‘month’: the more common çdj (attested 281x in the Bible, 2x in Ben Sira, 87x in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and 8x in inscriptions) and the far less common jry (attested 12, 0, 4, and

10. See I. Kikawada, “Literary Convention of the Primeval History,” AJBI 1 (1975) 3–22; J. S. Ackerman, “The Literary Context of the Moses Birth Story (Exodus 1–2),” in Literary Interpretations of Biblical Narratives (ed. K. R. R. Gros Louis, J. S. Ackerman, and T. S. Warshaw; Nashville: Abingdon, 1974) 74–119; and Fox, Five Books of Moses, 256, 263. 11. Note, of course, that the spirantization of postvocalic [b] to [v] present in the Masoretic text arose only at a later date (see, similarly, n. 40 below). For this and all other phonological issues raised in the present essay, see the convenient summary in my “Ancient Hebrew Phonology,” in The Phonologies of Asia and Africa (ed. A. S. Kaye; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1997) 65–83. Page 87 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

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9x in the corresponding corpora). 12 The distribution of jry in Hebrew (Deut 33:14, 2 Kgs 15:13, etc.) and in cognate languages (Ugaritic, Phoenician, Aramaic) indicates that it is an Israelian Hebrew (IH) lexeme. 13 Its presence in the Moses birth story, in the expression µyjry hçlç ‘three months’ at the end of Exod 2:2, in a narrative otherwise devoid of IH features, must be explained on grounds other than its northernness. 14 In the following v. 3, we read rmjb hrmjtw ‘and she loamed it with loam’. Note that the three consonants of this root, which appears here as both a verb and a noun, are the same three consonants present in the plural form, µyjry. Actually, this statement is not 100% accurate, because the two ˙ets in these two lexemes represent different sounds: cognate data inform us that the root rmj ‘loam’ has the pharyngeal fricative /˙/, while jry ‘month’ has the velar fricative /h/. 15 But this minor difference in the articulation of these two phonemes does not lessen the aural impact created by the juxtaposition of these words, especially in light of the exact match between the other two consonants, mem and res. Furthermore, while the word rmj ‘clay’ in 1:14 appears at quite a distance from the like-sounding words in 2:2–3, its presence in the narrative should also be noted. All of this, then, explains the author’s choice of the word µyjry ‘months’ in 2:2. The use of the standard word µyçdj ‘months’ would not have produced the same literary result.

12. For the data, see DCH 3:165, 4:296. Of the 9 epigraphic attestations of jry, 8 appear in one inscription, the Gezer Calendar. The remaining attestation of jry is in Arad ostracon no. 20, though only the last letter can be read with certainty. See G. I. Davies, Ancient Hebrew Inscriptions: Corpus and Concordance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991) 378. 13. G. A. Rendsburg, Israelian Hebrew in the Book of Kings (Bethesda, MD: CDL, 2002) 127–28; idem, “A Comprehensive Guide to Israelian Hebrew: Grammar and Lexicon,” Orient 38 (2003) 26. 14. True, Exod 2:1–10 is usually ascribed to E, and this source is typically considered to be of Northern origin. But the whole existence of the Elohist source has been called into question by many scholars, and in any case I (and many other readers) prefer to treat the narratives as literary wholes, without recourse to source division. Accordingly, I set aside any suggestions of this sort. In addition, the main point is unchanged: there is no concentration of IH features in the story to warrant ascribing it to Northern provenience. 15. See the information provided in HALOT 331, 437–38. Page 88 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM


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4. Exodus 2:2–3 This same pair of verses includes another set of alliterative words. The verbal root ˆpx ‘hide’ appears twice, in both v. 2 and v. 3. Its presence triggers the realization that three words have the combination sibilant + pe: tpz ‘pitch’, a rare word, attested only 3x in the Bible; πws ‘reeds’, another rare word, attested only 4x (not including instances of πws µy ‘Sea of Reeds’); and tpç ‘lip of (the Nile)’ = ‘riverbank’, a common usage. While none of these words is as unexpected as the presence of µyjry in example no. 3 above, the overall effect is a first-rate alliterative chain. 5. Exodus 5:9 The root h[ç ‘pay heed, have regard’ appears in the narrative corpus only here and in Gen 4:4–5 in the Cain and Abel story (2x). 16 It clearly is invoked to alliterate with the common root hç[ several words earlier in the verse. 17 The two expressions hb wç[yw ‘and they shall do it [the work]’ and w[çy law ‘and they should pay no regard [to words of falsehood]’ appear in quick succession, albeit separated by an ªatna˙. In addition to the alliteration present, note the assonance created by the final -û vowels in both verbs, 18 though admittedly, this would have to be the case, given that both are 3rd-masculine-plural prefix-conjugation forms. 6. Exodus 5:11, 14 Exod 5:14 includes the following phrase: µkqj µtylk al [wdm ‘why did you not finish your quota?’ The use of qj for ‘quota’ is essentially unique in the Bible. 19 And while there is nothing unusual about the verb hlk ‘finish’ in this context, by collocating these two words, the author creates an echo of the short phrase that appears three verses earlier: wjq wkl ‘go, take’ (v. 11). Furthermore, while there is not an exact correspondence between the terms used to refer to the speakers who issued these commands in the name of the Pharaoh (5:11 has wyrfçw µ[h yçgn, while 5:14 has larçy ynb yrfç), note that 16. The root appears 12 times in poetic texts; it is especially common in Isaiah, wherein are found 7 attestations. 17. Thus already Cassuto, Exodus, 68. 18. I use the term assonance in its more limited sense, with reference to likesounding vowels, as opposed to consonants. See, for example, the entry in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (4th ed.; Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000), available online at either assonance or 19. Thus BDB 349. Similar meanings are attested in passages such as Gen 47:22 (2x) and Prov 31:15. Page 89 Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

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these are the only two instances in the narrative in which the µyrfç ‘officers’ address the people directly. Accordingly, near the beginning of their words, one finds the consonantal string lamed-kap qop-˙et, and then, near the end of their words, one hears the string kap-lamed ˙et-qop, all in the same voice. 7. Exodus 8:10 The root rbx ‘heap up’, present in the form wrbxyw ‘they heaped up’ in Exod 8:10, is a relatively rare lexeme in the Bible. It appears only 7x in the Bible, 6x as a verb and once as a noun in 2 Kgs 10:8. 20 Space does not allow me a detailed discussion, but note that in all 6 attestations of the verb in the Bible, the sounds of this root echo the sounds of nearby words. 21 In the present instance, the alliterative match is quite obvious. The form wrbxyw follows the elevenfold use of the word [drpx ‘frog’ (10x in the plural, 1x in the singular) in Exod 7:27–8:9. 22 The first and third consonants of this pair of words are identical, while the corresponding second letters represent the voiced and voiceless labials /b/ and /p/, respectively. 8. Exodus 9:1 In 5 places in the account of the plagues, God instructs Moses to warn Pharaoh of the impending disaster. In 4 of these cases, God uses the word trmaw ‘and you shall say’ (7:16 [1st plague], 7:26 [2nd plague], 8:16 [4th plague], and 9:13 [7th plague]). 23 In one passage, 9:1, in anticipation of the 5th plague, we encounter the divergent form trbdw ‘and you shall speak’. 24 The author has altered the verb of speech at this specific point in order to produce alliteration with the name of the 5th plague, rb