Re: more on the 'purity seal'
“it should be noted that Robert Deutsch suggested the very same reading on the day that the seal was announced. so Naeh's suggestion is not at all new.”
I certainly do not want to speak for Robert Deutsch, but it seems to me that Naeh’s reading is quite different than Deutsch’s, though they do agree on what transpired at the Temple court (with the money-for-token exchange). Naeh takes the first word to be dakar (ram), whereas Deutsch seems to stick with daka (pure). However, it should be noted that Deutsch did not attempt to provide a translation.
Naeh also takes the aleph as being independent from the word dakar, which gives him his “first day of the week”. Finally, instead of an abbreviation for Yahweh, he takes the yod-hē grouping as representing Yehoyariv, the “priestly order . . . on duty in the Temple”.
This begs the following questions:
1) Is dakar for dak justified? In other words, can we assume that the dropping of the resh and aleph is inconsequential?
2) Can we justify Naeh’s claim for an independent aleph at the end of the first line (thus NOT part of daka or dakar).
3) Can we justify taking the yod-hē combination as an abbreviation for Yehoyariv, rather than for Yahweh?
There is another question of my own that perhaps Robert Deutsch could clarify. The question centers around the distinction between a seal and a seal impression. Robert notes (on his academia.edu blog) that the item found was made of tin, and suggests (in his ANE-2 post) that perhaps “seal impression (bulla)” is better to be rendered “seal”.
This leaves me with the impression (no pun intended) that he takes this to be a seal, not a seal impression. He later states that the seal probably never left the seal-overseer’s room, with which I agree. He then concludes by saying, “Therefore, the bulla discovered by Shukron and Reich (if the reading is correct), is in fact a receipt, or the means (proof) of payment which was used to buy offerings.”
This last statement leaves me with the reverse impression, namely that he takes the item to be a seal impression. However, given that the item 1) is made from tin, and 2) has the handy “2-finger handles”, I would say that taking the item as a seal that never would have left the seal-overseer’s room is the proper identification.
If the item were a seal impression, I would expect it to be made of clay and devoid of the handy “handles”. Robert, can you clarify your interpretation of the item’s identity for me? Naeh’s only comment about this is that “the object could not be a seal because it lacked a hole for a thread or a handle to affix it to another object”.
Personally, I cannot accept this reasoning, because a hole for a thread simply means that the bearer of the seal preferred to carry it around his neck for ease and avoidance of loss. This is purely preferential, but not mandatory. Many Egyptian scarabs and plagues used as seals did not possess a hole for thread that would allow the bearer to wear it around his/her neck, even though the majority do feature a hole.
Further dialogue is appreciated.
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- Hi Doug- I'm happy to let Robert speak for himself. Here he is in his
Jim my friend
You correctly mentioned that I suggested the very same interpratation on
the day that the seal was announced. So Naeh’s suggestion is not at all
new. But more than that, He even attributed some of my words to himself,
such as: “the back of the bulla has two identations and no signs of a
cord which sealed an object are visible” (and he is not an expert on
bullae to see such a detail).
So how are we call such attribution made by honest Prof. Shlomo Naeit ?
On 1/4/2012 11:29 AM, Douglas Petrovich wrote:
> “it should be noted that Robert Deutsch suggested the very same reading on the day that the seal was announced. so Naeh's suggestion is not at all new.”
> I certainly do not want to speak for Robert Deutsch, but it seems to me that Naeh’s reading is quite different than Deutsch’s, though they do agree on what transpired at the Temple court (with the money-for-token exchange). Naeh takes the first word to be dakar (ram), whereas Deutsch seems to stick with daka (pure). However, it should be noted that Deutsch did not attempt to provide a translation.
Jim West, ThD
- Douglas Petrovich wrote that "Robert notes (on his academia.edu blog)
that the item found was made of tin".
However, while Robert Deutsch's academia.edu note quoted an Ha'aretz
[English] article stating that the survey "yielded a tiny tin artifact",
the Hebrew version of the Ha'aretz article stated that the artifact was made
from clay (the word "tin" in Hebrew is literally "silt, mud", while the
Hebrew translation of the English word "tin" is b'dil). See
The error was made by the Ha'aretz translator.
Joseph I. Lauer
Brooklyn, New York
- My post 10 days ago did not challenged the reading of the bulla, which seems to be correct, but I did challenge the interpretation of it's use. I emphasized the fact that the back of the bulla has two indentations left by the fingers of the seal's owner and there is no evidence of a papyrus impression or a cord tunnel which can testify of its use as a sealing. Based on the Mishna it is evident that this bulla served as a means of payment. Bullae used as means of payments are known also from the Iron Age, named by Nahman Avigad as "fiscal bullae". Therefore Prof. Naeh's suggestion regarding the use of the bulla is not at all new. Moreover I can safely state that his opinion was influenced by my post, as some of its formulations are exact as were expressed by me. In any event, Prof. Naeh'e reading is a pure speculation and it has to be rejected.
Thank you for this helpful clarification. I understand the feeling when a colleague delineates your ideas as his/her own, as this very thing happened to me in a conference-presentation I attended in November. A dear colleague of mine was discussing ideas for which someone else in the room credited him, but which derived from an article I published 5 years ago (a copy of which I subsequently gave to him to read).
The only question you left unaddressed is whether you believe this to be the seal of the owner, which was used to make fiscal bullae for the masses, or to be one of the undoubtedly numerous seal impressions (bullae) that were produced by means of the original seal.
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