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Re: [biblical-studies] Questions about a seal like the Rephaihu (ben) Shalem seal

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  • Yitzhak Sapir
    ... The picture is also published in Hestrin and Dayagi-Mendels s book on seals, in the first page following the copyright notice, although the colors are
    Message 1 of 9 , Mar 1, 2008
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      On Sun, Mar 2, 2008 at 1:50 AM, Joseph I. Lauer wrote:
      >
      > Has anyone else noticed the similarity in design (and perhaps lettering)
      > to the recently discovered Rephaihu (ben) Shalem seal of a seal pictured
      > among others from the Israel Museum in the just-published BAR (March/April
      > 2008, p. 35), but without a branch/frond/tree as at the end of
      > Shalem/Shallum?
      > The BAR seal is at the upper right of the picture, just under a possibly
      > similar but smaller green seal.
      > The picture can be seen on-line in the free current issue of BAR at
      > http://www.bib-arch.org/bswb_BAR/indexBAR.asp by clicking on the "Fit for a
      > Queen: Jezebel's Royal Seal" article and scrolling down until the picture is
      > reached. However, the on-line picture is much smaller than the printed
      > picture and the words on the seal cannot be made out.

      The picture is also published in Hestrin and Dayagi-Mendels's book on seals,
      in the first page following the copyright notice, although the colors
      are somewhat
      different. The green seal Lauer speaks of is brown in Hestrin and
      Dayagi-Mendels.
      The seal is Hestrin and Dayagi Mendels 91. It reads "l?lykm (z?". "Of Elyakim
      son of Azza." It is described as made of bone, in Hebrew script, from the 7th
      century BCE, and of unknown provenance. Dimension 0.6 x1.4x1.7. At the end
      of the second line is a small vertical line. The top and bottom name
      are separated
      by two parallel horizontal lines. It is a pierced scaraboid seal.

      I don't think it has any connection with the rp?yhw seal. But both
      are scaraboid
      seals, both have two names separated by two parallel lines across the seal, and
      both have some kind of marking at the end of the second line. The ?lykm seal
      apparently has the pierced hole running through the body of the seal under the
      two lines although that is not visible in the picture. No such
      marking is visible
      in the seal. No information on this is given regarding the rp?yhw
      seal. Both have
      a circular frame. We don't know of what material the rp?yhw seal was made.
      Presumably, it was dated to the 8th century BCE on the basis of stratigraphy,
      but Deutsch disputes that date:
      http://jwest.wordpress.com/2008/02/29/the-latest-seal/#comment-220

      Yitzhak Sapir
    • Ariel L. Szczupak
      At 04:24 AM 3/2/2008, Yitzhak Sapir wrote: [...] ... There is no such thing as a simple space filler . In order for something to have no immediate meaning
      Message 2 of 9 , Mar 2, 2008
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        At 04:24 AM 3/2/2008, Yitzhak Sapir wrote:
        [...]

        >but Deutsch disputes that date:
        >http://jwest.wordpress.com/2008/02/29/the-latest-seal/#comment-220

        He also says there:

        >Also, the palm branche serves as a simple space filler, i.e. it has
        >nothing to do with the Ashera, the Temple or the Christmas tree

        There is no such thing as "a simple space filler". In order for
        something to have no immediate meaning beyond filling space you need
        a random selection out of the pool of potential candidates (bingo
        balls in a cage, computerized random selection, etc). Even then, the
        choice of random selection as a design method has meaning in the
        cultural context. We have no ANE record of random selection as a design method.

        Whomever designed the seal made a choice, a cognitive decision. It
        doesn't matter if the choice was deliberate (in the sense of a mental
        deliberation) or unconscious, intuitive - it is still a volitional
        choice. The designer could have used more letters, or wider letters,
        or blank space, or a geometrical design, or a different sign.

        The sign that was chosen is familiar, and it is evidenced in the
        Levant for more than a millennium. Furthermore, it is usually used in
        a religious context, be it on the Lachish ewer or as the 3D menorah.

        But we don't know the exact meaning of each occurrence of the sign,
        or how (semiotic function) it conveys that meaning. Furthermore, we
        do know that signs can have variant meanings, or even completely
        different ones, within the same cultural context, and we know that
        meanings shift over time.

        I'd love to be wrong, but I don't see how the meaning of this
        specific occurrence of the sign, on this specific seal and in its
        usage context, can be extrapolated with an acceptable degree of
        likelihood from the other known occurrences of this sign.

        E.g. for all I know the meaning of the sign could be "this here (the
        sealed package) be temple-grade firewood".

        But "unknown meaning" is not equivalent to "a simple space filler".

        Btw, am I the only one intrigued by the similarity to "refu'a
        shlema"? [complete healing]



        Ariel.

        [100% bona fide dilettante ... delecto ergo sum!]

        ---
        Ariel L. Szczupak
        AMIS-JLM (Ricercar Ltd.)
        POB 4707, Jerusalem, Israel 91406
        Phone: +972-2-5619660 Fax: +972-2-5634203
        ane.als@...
      • Jack Kilmon
        ... From: Yitzhak Sapir To: Cc: Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2008 8:24 PM
        Message 3 of 9 , Mar 2, 2008
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          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Yitzhak Sapir" <yitzhaksapir@...>
          To: <biblical-studies@yahoogroups.com>
          Cc: <ANE-2@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2008 8:24 PM
          Subject: [ANE-2] Re: [biblical-studies] Questions about a seal like the
          Rephaihu (ben) Shalem seal


          > On Sun, Mar 2, 2008 at 1:50 AM, Joseph I. Lauer wrote:
          >>
          >> Has anyone else noticed the similarity in design (and perhaps
          >> lettering)
          >> to the recently discovered Rephaihu (ben) Shalem seal of a seal pictured
          >> among others from the Israel Museum in the just-published BAR
          >> (March/April
          >> 2008, p. 35), but without a branch/frond/tree as at the end of
          >> Shalem/Shallum?
          >> The BAR seal is at the upper right of the picture, just under a
          >> possibly
          >> similar but smaller green seal.
          >> The picture can be seen on-line in the free current issue of BAR at
          >> http://www.bib-arch.org/bswb_BAR/indexBAR.asp by clicking on the "Fit
          >> for a
          >> Queen: Jezebel's Royal Seal" article and scrolling down until the
          >> picture is
          >> reached. However, the on-line picture is much smaller than the printed
          >> picture and the words on the seal cannot be made out.


          That was a very astute observation by Mr. Lauer and, given an identical
          template, it could be possible that the same maker made both seals. Seals
          and other examples of stone epigraphy, being durable, cannot be assigned a
          date merely on the basis of being found in later strata. They can, and
          probably are, earlier. On the first seal, I was thrown off by the reported
          named "Rephaihu" given there is no "ph" in Hebrew and the theophoric seemed
          to be oddly handled. If the tsere voice to the resh is arbitrary, is it
          possible the name is the Yahwist form of the more archaic "Rafael" as
          Rafayah?...the waw that would make Rafayahu escapes me.

          Jack Kilmon
        • victor avigdor hurowitz
          Why is Refael more archaic than Refayahu? It s simply a different theophoric element unless you claim that all YHW-s replace l which would be a strange
          Message 4 of 9 , Mar 2, 2008
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            Why is Refael more "archaic" than Refayahu? It's simply a different
            theophoric element unless you claim that all YHW-s replace 'l which would
            be a strange claim.
            Also, the /e/ in Refayahu is not a tsere but a shewa.
            It is also rather curious that you didn't identify /ph/ as peh. Are you
            totally ignorant of Masoretic vocalization?
            Victor Hurowitz
            BGU



            On Sun, 2 Mar 2008, Jack Kilmon wrote:

            >
            > ----- Original Message -----
            > From: "Yitzhak Sapir" <yitzhaksapir@...>
            > To: <biblical-studies@yahoogroups.com>
            > Cc: <ANE-2@yahoogroups.com>
            > Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2008 8:24 PM
            > Subject: [ANE-2] Re: [biblical-studies] Questions about a seal like the
            > Rephaihu (ben) Shalem seal
            >
            >
            > > On Sun, Mar 2, 2008 at 1:50 AM, Joseph I. Lauer wrote:
            > >>
            > >> Has anyone else noticed the similarity in design (and perhaps
            > >> lettering)
            > >> to the recently discovered Rephaihu (ben) Shalem seal of a seal pictured
            > >> among others from the Israel Museum in the just-published BAR
            > >> (March/April
            > >> 2008, p. 35), but without a branch/frond/tree as at the end of
            > >> Shalem/Shallum?
            > >> The BAR seal is at the upper right of the picture, just under a
            > >> possibly
            > >> similar but smaller green seal.
            > >> The picture can be seen on-line in the free current issue of BAR at
            > >> http://www.bib-arch.org/bswb_BAR/indexBAR.asp by clicking on the "Fit
            > >> for a
            > >> Queen: Jezebel's Royal Seal" article and scrolling down until the
            > >> picture is
            > >> reached. However, the on-line picture is much smaller than the printed
            > >> picture and the words on the seal cannot be made out.
            >
            >
            > That was a very astute observation by Mr. Lauer and, given an identical
            > template, it could be possible that the same maker made both seals. Seals
            > and other examples of stone epigraphy, being durable, cannot be assigned a
            > date merely on the basis of being found in later strata. They can, and
            > probably are, earlier. On the first seal, I was thrown off by the reported
            > named "Rephaihu" given there is no "ph" in Hebrew and the theophoric seemed
            > to be oddly handled. If the tsere voice to the resh is arbitrary, is it
            > possible the name is the Yahwist form of the more archaic "Rafael" as
            > Rafayah?...the waw that would make Rafayahu escapes me.
            >
            > Jack Kilmon
            >
            >
          • Jack Kilmon
            Wow, Victor. You miss breakfast or something? I consider the -el theophoric more Canaanite and older. No, all yhw theophorics, prefixed or suffixed, did not
            Message 5 of 9 , Mar 2, 2008
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              Wow, Victor. You miss breakfast or something? I consider the -el
              theophoric more Canaanite and older. No, all yhw theophorics, prefixed or
              suffixed, did not replace all -el theophorics which remained traditionally.
              A PH to me is not a peh, its a peh-heh. I didn't check out the usage in
              Chronicles and I really don't see too much Masoretic pointing in Iron II
              epigraphy.

              Jack

              Jack Kilmon
              SanAntonio, TX


              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "victor avigdor hurowitz" <victor@...>
              To: <ANE-2@yahoogroups.com>
              Cc: <biblical-studies@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Sunday, March 02, 2008 12:53 PM
              Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Re: [biblical-studies] Questions about a seal like the
              Rephaihu (ben) Shalem seal


              > Why is Refael more "archaic" than Refayahu? It's simply a different
              > theophoric element unless you claim that all YHW-s replace 'l which would
              > be a strange claim.
              > Also, the /e/ in Refayahu is not a tsere but a shewa.
              > It is also rather curious that you didn't identify /ph/ as peh. Are you
              > totally ignorant of Masoretic vocalization?
              > Victor Hurowitz
              > BGU
              >
              >
              >
              > On Sun, 2 Mar 2008, Jack Kilmon wrote:
              >
              >>
              >> ----- Original Message -----
              >> From: "Yitzhak Sapir" <yitzhaksapir@...>
              >> To: <biblical-studies@yahoogroups.com>
              >> Cc: <ANE-2@yahoogroups.com>
              >> Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2008 8:24 PM
              >> Subject: [ANE-2] Re: [biblical-studies] Questions about a seal like the
              >> Rephaihu (ben) Shalem seal
              >>
              >>
              >> > On Sun, Mar 2, 2008 at 1:50 AM, Joseph I. Lauer wrote:
              >> >>
              >> >> Has anyone else noticed the similarity in design (and perhaps
              >> >> lettering)
              >> >> to the recently discovered Rephaihu (ben) Shalem seal of a seal
              >> >> pictured
              >> >> among others from the Israel Museum in the just-published BAR
              >> >> (March/April
              >> >> 2008, p. 35), but without a branch/frond/tree as at the end of
              >> >> Shalem/Shallum?
              >> >> The BAR seal is at the upper right of the picture, just under a
              >> >> possibly
              >> >> similar but smaller green seal.
              >> >> The picture can be seen on-line in the free current issue of BAR
              >> >> at
              >> >> http://www.bib-arch.org/bswb_BAR/indexBAR.asp by clicking on the "Fit
              >> >> for a
              >> >> Queen: Jezebel's Royal Seal" article and scrolling down until the
              >> >> picture is
              >> >> reached. However, the on-line picture is much smaller than the
              >> >> printed
              >> >> picture and the words on the seal cannot be made out.
              >>
              >>
              >> That was a very astute observation by Mr. Lauer and, given an identical
              >> template, it could be possible that the same maker made both seals.
              >> Seals
              >> and other examples of stone epigraphy, being durable, cannot be assigned
              >> a
              >> date merely on the basis of being found in later strata. They can, and
              >> probably are, earlier. On the first seal, I was thrown off by the
              >> reported
              >> named "Rephaihu" given there is no "ph" in Hebrew and the theophoric
              >> seemed
              >> to be oddly handled. If the tsere voice to the resh is arbitrary, is it
              >> possible the name is the Yahwist form of the more archaic "Rafael" as
              >> Rafayah?...the waw that would make Rafayahu escapes me.
              >>
              >> Jack Kilmon
              >>
              >>
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
            • Yitzhak Sapir
              ... I don t see it so it s not there? In any case, p, k, and t were probably aspirated from very early times. There was no non-aspirated p in Hebrew and in a
              Message 6 of 9 , Mar 2, 2008
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                On Sun, Mar 2, 2008 at 7:48 PM, Jack Kilmon wrote:
                > Wow, Victor. You miss breakfast or something? I consider the -el
                > theophoric more Canaanite and older. No, all yhw theophorics, prefixed or
                > suffixed, did not replace all -el theophorics which remained traditionally.
                > A PH to me is not a peh, its a peh-heh. I didn't check out the usage in
                > Chronicles and I really don't see too much Masoretic pointing in Iron II
                > epigraphy.

                I don't see it so it's not there? In any case, p, k, and t were
                probably aspirated
                from very early times. There was no non-aspirated p in Hebrew and in a Hebrew
                article, Richard Steiner suggests that non-aspirated p was borrowed into Hebrew
                as emphatic p during the Persian-Greek periods. This itself seems to suggest
                that already then the regular phonemes were aspirated.

                Personally, I think a pronunciation more along the lines of "Rapi?u-Yahuwa"
                would be appropriate. Now, how do you figure that the ?el theophoric is older?
                Why would -yah be more archaic than yahu? The opposite is in fact probably
                the case. And while ?el probably has older roots, that doesn't make it archaic.
                It was possibly viewed as a title for Y and therefore continued to be used.
                Look at the Tel Dan inscription -- which has yhw theophorics. When is
                the first
                attestation of -yh? In any case, given that yhw-names are known from the
                9th century onwards, and that Y is already known in the Mesha inscription, I
                don't think it is reasonable to be able to determine that ?el marks a
                more older
                seal than -yhw unless pre-9th century periods are a possibility, and
                they're not.

                Yitzhak Sapir
              • Jack Kilmon
                ... From: Yitzhak Sapir To: Sent: Sunday, March 02, 2008 6:00 PM Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Re: [biblical-studies]
                Message 7 of 9 , Mar 3, 2008
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                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: "Yitzhak Sapir" <yitzhaksapir@...>
                  To: <ANE-2@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Sunday, March 02, 2008 6:00 PM
                  Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Re: [biblical-studies] Questions about a seal like the
                  Rephaihu (ben) Shalem seal


                  > On Sun, Mar 2, 2008 at 7:48 PM, Jack Kilmon wrote:
                  >> Wow, Victor. You miss breakfast or something? I consider the -el
                  >> theophoric more Canaanite and older. No, all yhw theophorics, prefixed
                  >> or
                  >> suffixed, did not replace all -el theophorics which remained
                  >> traditionally.
                  >> A PH to me is not a peh, its a peh-heh. I didn't check out the usage in
                  >> Chronicles and I really don't see too much Masoretic pointing in Iron II
                  >> epigraphy.
                  >
                  > I don't see it so it's not there? In any case, p, k, and t were
                  > probably aspirated
                  > from very early times. There was no non-aspirated p in Hebrew and in a
                  > Hebrew
                  > article, Richard Steiner suggests that non-aspirated p was borrowed into
                  > Hebrew
                  > as emphatic p during the Persian-Greek periods. This itself seems to
                  > suggest
                  > that already then the regular phonemes were aspirated.
                  >
                  > Personally, I think a pronunciation more along the lines of
                  > "Rapi?u-Yahuwa"
                  > would be appropriate. Now, how do you figure that the ?el theophoric is
                  > older?
                  > Why would -yah be more archaic than yahu? The opposite is in fact
                  > probably
                  > the case. And while ?el probably has older roots, that doesn't make it
                  > archaic.
                  > It was possibly viewed as a title for Y and therefore continued to be
                  > used.
                  > Look at the Tel Dan inscription -- which has yhw theophorics. When is
                  > the first
                  > attestation of -yh? In any case, given that yhw-names are known from the
                  > 9th century onwards, and that Y is already known in the Mesha inscription,
                  > I
                  > don't think it is reasonable to be able to determine that ?el marks a
                  > more older
                  > seal than -yhw unless pre-9th century periods are a possibility, and
                  > they're not.
                  >
                  > Yitzhak Sapir

                  There appears to have been some form of orthographic rule for the use of
                  theophorics in NW Semitic names where the leading theophoric is "Yeho" as in
                  Yehoichim, Yehosaphat, Yehoshua, etc and the terminal theophoric as YAH or
                  YAHU as in Yeshayahu (Isaiah), Yirimyahu (Jeremiah), Refayahu, etc. In the
                  very earliest use of theophorics they may have been attached to royal names.
                  Perhaps a leading or terminal theophoric was exclusive to class...that's
                  just a conjecture.
                  Dr. Albright thought that El and Yhwh may have been merged as an
                  hypocoristicon. The Qal of Aramaic hwh taken from a TITLE phrase as a
                  hypocoristicon of EL, A title like "El causes something to come into
                  being". Aramaic imperfect 3rd sing. from HWH. That is why I thought EL as
                  an older theophoric than YAHU but it is my God given right and priviledge to
                  be wrong like everyone else. :)

                  You may be right that Yahweh is the earliest usage going back to 1400 BCE
                  Syria (probably Ugaritic origins) and Egyptian accounts (Amenhotep II,
                  Raamses) of the Shasu who may have been nomadic "pre-Israelites." The next
                  use in epigraphy that comes to mind is line 18 of the Mesha stele.

                  Jack

                  Jack Kilmon
                  San Antonio, TX
                • Peter T. Daniels
                  What s the difference between Yeho and Yahu ? Both are YHW. Yitzhak may have been noting a difference in occurrence between YH and YHW, which is not the
                  Message 8 of 9 , Mar 3, 2008
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                    What's the difference between "Yeho" and "Yahu"? Both are YHW.

                    Yitzhak may have been noting a difference in occurrence between YH and YHW, which is not the same thing at all.
                    --
                    Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...

                    ----- Original Message ----
                    From: Jack Kilmon <jkilmon@...>
                    To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Monday, March 3, 2008 10:00:01 AM
                    Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Re: [biblical-studies] Questions about a seal like the Rephaihu (ben) Shalem seal

                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: "Yitzhak Sapir" <yitzhaksapir@ gmail.com>

                    > Personally, I think a pronunciation more along the lines of
                    > "Rapi?u-Yahuwa"
                    > would be appropriate. Now, how do you figure that the ?el theophoric is
                    > older?
                    > Why would -yah be more archaic than yahu? The opposite is in fact
                    > probably
                    > the case.

                    There appears to have been some form of orthographic rule for the use of
                    theophorics in NW Semitic names where the leading theophoric is "Yeho" as in
                    Yehoichim, Yehosaphat, Yehoshua, etc and the terminal theophoric as YAH or
                    YAHU as in Yeshayahu (Isaiah), Yirimyahu (Jeremiah), Refayahu, etc. In the
                    very earliest use of theophorics they may have been attached to royal names.
                    Perhaps a leading or terminal theophoric was exclusive to class...that' s
                    just a conjecture.
                  • Yitzhak Sapir
                    ... Let me clarify some points. The Tiberian pronunciation was along the lines of Yoho:$ua(. What you have above is a modernized reading of the Tiberian
                    Message 9 of 9 , Mar 3, 2008
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                      On Mon, Mar 3, 2008 at 3:00 PM, Jack Kilmon wrote:

                      > There appears to have been some form of orthographic rule for the use of
                      > theophorics in NW Semitic names where the leading theophoric is "Yeho" as in
                      > Yehoichim, Yehosaphat, Yehoshua, etc and the terminal theophoric as YAH or
                      > YAHU as in Yeshayahu (Isaiah), Yirimyahu (Jeremiah), Refayahu, etc.

                      Let me clarify some points.
                      The Tiberian pronunciation was along the lines of Yoho:$ua(. What you have above is a modernized reading of the Tiberian pronounciation. The ancient pronounciation was older and possibly different. For example, Hezekiah's name is vocalized as ha-za-qi-(i)a-�, which looks almost like the modern vocalization. But perhaps it represents -yahwu, the -u being a case marker). Particularly, it seems to me that *yahwu could explain the development of both yaho:- and -yahu: in the Biblical names, and it is also a normative qatl form. In any case, -yah as you find for example in the name Hezekiah is actually the later vocalization of the name as found in later books such as Chronicles (and spelled differently too, yh instead of yhw). yhw must be considered more archaic both in light of the usage in the Bible and in light of the fact that all names in epigraphic sources that we find prior to the Babylonian conquest have yhw.

                      > In the very earliest use of theophorics they may have been
                      > attached to royal names.

                      "may" is always a nice word, but "evidence" is a better word. Without evidence, I wouldn't even call this a conjecture. It is a thought, an idea. Some support must be adduced.

                      > Perhaps a leading or terminal theophoric was exclusive to
                      > class...that's just a conjecture.

                      Again.

                      > Dr. Albright thought that El and Yhwh may have been merged as an
                      > hypocoristicon. The Qal of Aramaic hwh taken from a TITLE phrase
                      > as a

                      You mean Hiphil.

                      > hypocoristicon of EL, A title like "El causes something to come into
                      ^^^^^^^
                      > being". Aramaic imperfect 3rd sing. from HWH. That is why I thought EL as
                      > an older theophoric than YAHU but it is my God given right and priviledge to
                      > be wrong like everyone else. :)

                      I think this idea has very little support. We don't even find sufficient early evidence for the root of such a verb. Furthermore, hwh is never attested in the Hiphil.

                      > You may be right that Yahweh is the earliest usage going back to 1400 BCE
                      > Syria (probably Ugaritic origins)

                      I don't think Ugaritic has an attestation of the name.

                      > and Egyptian accounts (Amenhotep II,
                      > Raamses) of the Shasu who may have been nomadic "pre-Israelites." The next
                      > use in epigraphy that comes to mind is line 18 of the Mesha stele.

                      The first attestation related to a Israelite god is only in the Mesha
                      inscription.
                      The Shasu mention records a place, which is very interesting in its own, but it is not a god. Assuming the Shasu were pre-Israelites is also without much evidence (although it could be argued that their descendants along with other groups coalesced into Judaeans, I guess). Moreover, assuming that their beliefs were monotheistic is without evidence. I mean, all we have is the mention of a place here.

                      Other than that I suggest you reread the last point I made because I think you are talking about something totally different than what I wrote. Also, you are speaking of replacement of names and such, but this assumes some kind of history of religious beliefs for which we have no evidence, only interpretations of much later Biblical narratives.

                      Yitzhak Sapir
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