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14432Re: Proof of Samson and the lion

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  • Graham Hagens
    Aug 3, 2012
      Dear Yigal
      You seem to assume the existence of a single Yahwistic tradition
      The Samson passage is a version of universal story of a talented young man led astray by a pretty girl
      No one knows how old this story was when the Yahwists absorbed it into their complex weave of pseudo-historical morality tales.
      Because of the Samson/Shemesh/Shamash similarities it is possible to imagine the existence of an early Shamash cult at Beth Shemesh  at one time linked to an earlier  Samson story, which was later Yahwised and tranposed to a Philistine context.
      Unprovable of course, but that's beside the point, as is the absence of evidence of such a Shamash cult.
      If  a reasonable explanation for any event can be conjectured, then that event need no longer to be thought of as surprising
      Graham Hagens
      Hamilton, Ontario

      From: Yigal Levin <yigal.levin@...>
      To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 2:18 PM
      Subject: RE: [ANE-2] Re: Proof of Samson and the lion

      Because, Graham, the same Yahwistic tradition in 1 Sam. 6 assumes
      Beth-Shemesh to be an Israelite city with Levites residing in it, just as
      Josh. 21 says it is. And if the Yahwistic author was so concerned about
      Beth-Shemesh having been a center of Shamash worship, why ever mention it at
      all? And why name his character "Samson", which so clearly points to
      "Shamashism"? I don't think that that's the whole story. By the way, while
      Gaza, Ashkelon and Ashdod are mentioned in the Samson stories, the two major
      Philistine centers that are closest to Samson's home territory, Ekron and
      Gath, are also not mentioned.

      Another BTW; besides its name, which is recorded only in the Bible, there is
      absolutely no evidence that Beth Shemesh was specifically a center of
      Shamash worship. None of the handful of Late Bronze or Iron Age inscriptions
      found there hint at a Shamash cult, nor does anything else found at the site
      (so far: I recently read that some sort of cult room or "temple" from the
      Iron I was found there, but saw no mention of anything that looked like a
      Sun cult).


      Yigal Levin

      Bar-Ilan University

      From: mailto:ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com [mailto:mailto:ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
      Graham Hagens
      Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2012 3:43 AM
      To: mailto:ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [ANE-2] Re: Proof of Samson and the lion

      From: Yigal Levin <mailto:yigal.levin%40biu.ac.il <mailto:yigal.levin%40biu.ac.il> >
      To: mailto:ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com <mailto:ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, July 30, 2012 3:49 PM
      Subject: RE: [ANE-2] Re: Proof of Samson and the lion

      ... the area in which he grew up, Beth Shemesh, is coincidental, why is
      the city
      itself never mentioned in the story. Samson wanders between Zorah, Eshtaol,
      Timnah, the Sorek Valley and so on, all right around the city, but
      Beth-Shemesh itself in never mentioned. Even stranger than the non-mention
      of Sepphoris in the Gospels.

      why are either strange?
      why publicise a Shamash centre in a Yahwist tradition? Or mention a Roman
      economic hub at a time when the focus of the Judean church involved Jewish

      Graham Hagens

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