SV: SV: [ANE-2] Shechem
- I am in the middle of a meeting, so only a very short answer.
Your model only works if Shechem was a clan (and I know of course the meaning of Gen 34), If however, Shechem was an important Palestinian city in the highlands, it is not likely that it was a clan society. Then you need other models. It is not enough to refer to Gen 34 which is a narrative following its own pourposes; you have to include every other reference to Shechem, arcaheological excavations (plenty), and some scholarly literature (Nielsen 1955; Wright 1965; Jaros--sometimes in the 1970s, and more).
Niels Peter Lemche
Fra: ANEemail@example.com [mailto:ANEfirstname.lastname@example.org] På vegne af davo.dasilva
Sendt: 29. april 2006 00:52
Emne: Re: SV: [ANE-2] Michmethath ancient economy
--- In ANEemail@example.com, "Niels Peter Lemche" <npl@...> wrote:
> It is just a rather primitive description of the chieftain's role as
redistributor of goods. It could be valid for every period, so-called
Israelite or so-called Canaanite, Bronze Age, Iron Age, the
countryside in Hellenistic Roman times, in the times of Ummayyad rule
or Abbaside etc etc.
Well, I don't know what the chiftain's role was. But by any of the
proposed anthropological models, or even by anything close to them, if
you were a farmer belonging to some Ephraim clan, on that clan's land,
and if you were so close to Shechem you could spit on it, you can't
use Shechem as your town. At a minimum, you still have to carry
your passover lambs to Shiloh (unless you went to an Ephraim clan
center that was closer). I think the amount you must carry to Shiloh
(or your clan center) would have been very much more than just a few
lambs, as those same models suggest. For my purposes I don't need
to pick one economic model over another. They all make it unlikely
that the Ephraim-Manesseh border ran by the outskirts of Shechem.
> What this has to do with the original, topographical question, has
to be clearified, also the use of the word 'patriarch' here. Does the
writer mean 'patron' in a patron-client system? Or is he talking about
patriarchs in the biblical sense.
> So, anthropological speaking, the original message was less than
Well, if you want to know what I think:
I think the most important unit was the clan; at least the listed
clans of Manesseh were not bound to a tribal chieftain. I'm less
sure about Ephraim - Shiloh is so big.
I think the word Sar, translated as prince in KJV, would have been the
title held by a clan chieftain.
The chieftain of a clan was the Elder of whichever sub-clan was the
leading one. This might be the sub-clan descended from the oldest
brother of the clan founder (although these genealogies would be
somewhat flexible - stories like the one of Joseph blessing Ephraim
over Manesseh the firstborn no doubt existed at all levels).
I think the Sar would have had a source of income. Some income would
be gifts; Jacob's offer to Esau is an example of a gift to the
patriarch. But I don't beleive it was all free gifts. There were
also fines. The Holyness code, Exo 20-23, may be as old as Shiloh
for all that I can see to the contrary, and it lists a lot of crimes
punished by death, but for the worst crime, having sex with sheep, it
says "surely put him to death - or if you let him off with a fine,
take all he has." If even this crime could be redeemed with a fine,
anything could be. (By the way, an eye for an eye, which is also in
this code, doesn't mean anyone's eye was put out, it just establishes
that the wrong-doer owes an eye. What he pays is not his eye, but
his eye's value.) The Sar got the fines. But this is not enough.
The functioning of the chieftaincy, by any of the models, requires
more than this.
So something else happened to give the Sar the needed income. No
particular reason why any of the Bible authors should have mentioned
it, and unfortunately they happened not to. But it existed all the
same. The anthropological models say it would have been of a sacred
character; the Sar got the sheep, but it was called giving to 'El (or
to Yahweh, maybe -- but that's a another ball of wax).
What follows is just a fable : a story of something that could have
happened, not something that did. It's just an example.
At the gathering at Shiloh, everyone feasts, and sings songs, and gets
drunk, and dances, often naked before the figures of the god. (A
vessel in the form of a cow was found at Shiloh.) Stories are told (or
maybe even read aloud). In the stories, the people owe a debt to the
god, for some crime of their fathers. Then the sons of Levy move
through the crowd, marking people at random with blood. Those who
are marked, owe their lives to the god. But of course no one is
killed; like anyone else who owes a life, it can be redeemed without
actually cutting a human throat. Those who owe their lives to the
god, are happy by the lenient price asked. Fines go to the Sar.
And what sort of story would you tell before something like that?
How about this one:
When Mosheh got close to the camp, and saw the calf and the dancing,
his anger burned. And Mosheh saw that the people were naked, that
'Aharown had allowed them to be scandalously loose. And Mosheh stood
at the gate of the camp and said: "Whoever is for Yahweh, to me" And
all the sons of Leviy gathered to him. He said to them: "This is
what Yahweh the god of Yisra'el says: every man put his sword on his
thigh, and cross through the camp, from gate to gate."
- David Nunes da Silva
> Niels Peter Lemche
> -----Oprindelig meddelelse-----
> Fra: ANEfirstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:ANEemail@example.com] På vegne
af Bea Hopkinson
> Sendt: 26. april 2006 21:17
> Til: ANEfirstname.lastname@example.org
> Emne: Re: [ANE-2] Michmethath ancient economy
> I realize that the thrust of your comments focuses on territory
> However, in the following you hinge this to a pre-market economy.
> On 04/25/2006 7:03 PM davo.dasilva writes:
> >So the only question is, is it likely that the border of Shechem the
> >clan, was close to Shechem the city? To answer that, we must consider
> >the early Israelite economy; it was, by general consensus, pre-market in
> >nature. Some produce from each farm was brought to a central place of
> >sacrifice, and other food was given to the patriarch; this food was
> >then given away again, perhaps eaten by guests at a feast or perhaps just
> >given to favored friends. It was by these mechanisms that food grown
> >by farmers in one place was eaten by somebody else, rather than by
> >market exchange. And the point about gifts to the patriarch, and about
> >sacrifice too, is that exchange takes place within a clan.
> While evidence for ritual, sacrificial and temple offerings seems
clear, do you rule out a barter economy from one clan to another?
Given the ecological system which dictates specific types of
agricultural produce and herding parameters it seems unlikely that
outlets for agricultural produce can be explained only by the
mechanisms you suggest above.
> Beatrice Hopkinson
Yahoo! Groups Links
- --- In ANEemail@example.com, "Niels Peter Lemche" <npl@...> wrote:
>the meaning of Gen 34), If however, Shechem was an important
> I am in the middle of a meeting, so only a very short answer.
> Your model only works if Shechem was a clan (and I know of course
Palestinian city in the highlands, it is not likely that it was a clan
society. Then you need other models. It is not enough to refer to Gen
34 which is a narrative following its own pourposes; you have to
include every other reference to Shechem, arcaheological excavations
(plenty), and some scholarly literature (Nielsen 1955; Wright 1965;
Jaros--sometimes in the 1970s, and more).
>That Shechem was a clan at some point, if indeed that is in doubt,
> Niels Peter Lemche
would seem to be adequately established by the Samaria ostraca, of
which there is a very good treatment in Ahroni, The Land of the Bible,
p356. I suppose one might dispute that Shechem was literally a
mishpachah, but the ostraca establish it as one of several divisions
of Manesseh, which correspond quite well to the children of Manesseh
listed in Joshua as getting sub-allotments. And that is sufficient
for my purposes, I think.
David Nunes da Silva