1904Re: Beloved Disciple passages in ms Pepys
- Aug 18, 2001Yuri, to settle the issue with "closure" and bring an end to this
discussion (archive nos. 1866, 1873, 1880) of women
doorkeepers which is a widely known phenomenon among
biblical researchers for two centuries which any survey of the
literature will show and which is pellucidly evident in Exodus
38,8 I give the following:
cf. Adam Clarke's Commentary (Abingdon-Cokesbury, n.d.):1
"Exodus, Chapter 38" (6 paragraphs)
"Of the women-which assembled at the door] What the
employment of these women was at the door of the tabernacle,
is not easily known. Some think they assembled there for
purposes of devotion. Others, that they kept watch there during
the night; and this is the most probable opinion, for they appear
to have been in the same employment as those who assembled
at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation in the days of
Samuel, who were abused by the sons of the high priest Eli, 1
Sam. ii. 22.
Among the ancients women were generally employed in the
office of porters or doorkeepers. Such were employed about the
house of the high priest in our Lord's time; for a woman is
actually represented as keeping the door of the palace of the
high priest, John xviii. 17: Then saith the DAMSEL that KEPT THE
DOOR unto Peter; see also Matt. xxvi. 69. In 2 Sam. iv. 6, both the
Septuagint and Vulgate make a woman porter or doorkeeper to
Ishbosheth. Aristophanes mentions them in the same office,
and calls them shkiv, Sekis, which seems to signify a common
maid-servant. Aristoph, in Vespis, ver. 7lxviii. - Æoti thn quran
anewxen h shkiv laqra.
Homer, Odyss., y, ver. 225-229, mentions Actoris, Penelope's
maid, whose office it was to keep the door of her chamber:-
aktoriv - h nwin eiruto qurav pukinou qalamoio.
And Euripides, in Troad., ver. 197, brings in Hecuba,
complaining that she who was wont to sit upon a throne is now
reduced to the miserable necessity of becoming a doorkeeper or
a nurse, in order to get a morsel of bread. - h tan para proquroiv
fulakan katecousa, h paidwn qrepteira.
Sir John Chardin observes, that women are employed to keep
the gate of the palace of the Persian kings. Plautus, Curcul., act
1., scene 1, mentions an old woman, who was keeper of the
Anus hic solet cubitare, custos janitrix.
Many other examples might be produced. It is therefore very likely
that the persons mentioned here, and in 1 Sam. ii. 22, were the
women who guarded the tabernacle; and that they regularly
relieved each other, a troop or company regularly keeping watch:
and indeed this seems to be implied in the original, wabx
tsabeu, they came by troops; and these troops successively
consecrated their mirrors to the service of the tabernacle. See
Calmet on John xviii. 16. "
See also BAGD "PAIDISKH" 604 where the term is shown as
one known to "always" signify the female servant class
illustrated by citations.
Moreover, P59 and P66 both attest to the woman doorkeeper.
(cf. W. J. Elliott and David C. Parker, eds., The Gospel According
to St. John. The New Testament in Greek IV, Volume 1.
(American & British Committe IGNTP; Leiden, 1995): 377. See
also Comfort & Barret who date P66 (P. Bodmer II + Inv. Nr.
4274/4298) c. AD 150. (cf. Philip W. Comfort and David P. Barrett,
The Text of the Earliest Greek New Testament Manuscripts
The servant-girl motif is also cited in Luke 22,56 and Matthew
26,69 while Mark 14,66 calls them TWN PAIDISKWN TOU
ARCIEREWS "the maids of the high priest." the earliest
witnesses are the early fourth cent. uncials 01and 03, except
Luke which has its earliest in 0171 dated to the late 3rd cent. or
beginning of the fourth c. 300 (cf. Philip W. Comfort and David P.
Barrett, The Text of the Earliest Greek New Testament
Manuscripts (Tyndale, 2001):685)..
John N. Lupia
501 North Avenue B-1
Elizabeth, New Jersey 07208-1731 USA
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