Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

SV: SV: [ANE-2] Shechem

Expand Messages
  • Niels Peter Lemche
    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
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 29, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      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



      -----Oprindelig meddelelse-----
      Fra: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] På vegne af davo.dasilva
      Sendt: 29. april 2006 00:52
      Til: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      Emne: Re: SV: [ANE-2] Michmethath ancient economy


      --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.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
      satisfying.

      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: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] På vegne
      af Bea Hopkinson
      > Sendt: 26. april 2006 21:17
      > Til: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      > Emne: Re: [ANE-2] Michmethath ancient economy
      >
      > I realize that the thrust of your comments focuses on territory
      > recognition.
      > 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
    • davo.dasilva
      ... 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
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 29, 2006
      • 0 Attachment
        --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, "Niels Peter Lemche" <npl@...> wrote:
        >
        > 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
        >
        >


        That Shechem was a clan at some point, if indeed that is in doubt,
        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
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.