Re: [ANE-2] Elephantine ostraca ed. Lozachmeur
- I located your original posting. I"m at the office at the moment and my
copy of Porten-Yeardeni is at home, so it will have to wait until this
On Sat, 2 Jan 2010 RUSSELLGMIRKIN@... wrote:
> I would appreciate that, Victor. (The closest available copy of
> Porten/Yardeni is the University of Washington.) Here is my original posting (the
> relevant part):
> Additionally, I recently ran across some references to an ostracon from
> Syene, published by Dupont-Sommer in ââBÄl et NabÃ», Å amaÅ¡ et Nergalâ
> un ostracon aramÃ©en inÃ©dit dâElÃ©phantine,â RHR 128 (1944): 28-39, in
> one party greets the other by the gods "Bel and Nabu, Shamash and Nergal."
> All secondary literature agrees that the recipient was Jewish, but the
> sender is identified as Jewish by Karel van der Toorn and Aramean by
> none giving arguments. I haven't acquired Dupont-Sommer'none giving argume
> I'm champing at the bit. Can anyone on the list shed light on this text
> the evidence regarding the ethnicity of the first party?
> Best regards,
> Russell Gmirkin
> Portland, OR
> I forget who asked the question abuot the ostraca as well as the details
> of the question. It was something about how did so and so know that a
> certain ostracon mentioning a temple other than that of Yahu was written
> by Jews. In any case, all the ostraca have been published by B. Porten,
> A. Yardeni, Textbook of Aramaic Documents from Ancient Egypt, vol. 4,
> Ostraca & Assorted Inscriptions, Hebrew University, 1999. If the person
> who asked the question will reask it I will happily check and see if the
> relevant item is included and whether there is something in the text to
> indicate anything about the parties.
> Victor Hurowitz
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
--- On Mon, 1/4/10, richfaussette <RFaussette@...> wrote:
>May I suggest that the Torah as it has come down to us is both temple and diaspora >oriented. Genesis is diaspora oriented with archetypes for establishing diaspora. The rest >of the Torah (E,L,D,N) is temple oriented (establishment of the nation/temple) .
Perhaps all of that and more?
One of the interesting things about the 'very low' chronologies of the Torah is that it places that composition in period of time when the ANE was awash with both Persian and Greek ideas, and when one of the dominant themes was the relationship between 'Wisdom' and 'Law.' (Archaic Greece where some of the earliest examples of writing were legal documents, may have been the first example of individuals designing civic laws, as opposed to great kings inscribing edicts on rock faces. The Greek philosophers (probably inspired by earlier templates), then proposed the existence of 'natural laws.'
By the 5th & 4th centuries ideas of Law, Order and Wisdom appear to have been au courant from the Indus to Attica. Within this same timeframe we have a Judaic Persian diaspora in Babylon, Susa and Persopolis exposed to this flood of novel concepts, and authorities in Jerusalem with a clear responsibility to refocus their people on their core traditions. Enter the Torah in which - among other things - the popular concept of universal law becomes interpreted in a uniquely novel theological form which does not conflict with the remembered history of YHWHsm. And incidentally, including ideas of charity and compassion to the poor which might have had ancient YHWHstic antecedants
Blenkinsopp (Sage, Priest, Prophet 1995) has some interesting comments related to this subject of syncretism during the time of Ben Sira (mid 2nd c. BCE):
Blenkinsopp 1995: 18... we note indications in [Ben Sira’s] book of a deliberate distancing from contemporary Hellenistic ideas of wisdom in favour of the traditional Israelite view first clearly enunciated in Deuteronomy, that all wisdom derives from the God of Israel and finds its supreme expression in the observance of God’s laws
Blenkinsopp 1995: 19 – Ben Sira ...conscious distancing from the Greek intellectual tradition …similar in Josephus who …contrasts the ‘myriads of inconsistent books of the Greeks produced without quality control, with the twenty two ‘justly accredited’ books of the Jews
Blenkinsopp 1995: 20 ... [Ben Sira’s] identification of the law with wisdom, and so with the principle of cosmic order, comparable to Greek logos or dike entails the claim that this uniquely Jewish construct is no less intellectual than the Greek philosophical tradition ….several of the tasks [Ben Sira] felt called upon to perform overlapped significantly with priestly assignments.
Blenkinsopp 1995: 22 – [re the idea of the Torah as a way of defining Israelite culture] …the need to preserve some semblance of historical identity did result in a rather consistently negative attitude toward the intellectual traditions of neighbouring lands
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