GREECE, GREEKS to HARAN 3 - Book 34 - Know Your Bible


And he told Laban all these things. And he abode with him the space of a month. Then Rachel said to Leah, Give me, I pray thee, of thy son's mandrakes. And Rachel said, Therefore he shall lie with thee to night for thy son's mandrakes. And he lay with her that night. And Jacob said, Thou shalt not give me any thing: And I said, Here am I. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the mount: For Jacob knew not that Rachel had stolen them. Then went he out of Leah's tent, and entered into Rachel's tent. And Laban searched all the tent, but found them not.

And he searched, but found not the images. God hath seen mine affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight. And Jacob sware by the fear of his father Isaac. For he said, I will appease him with the present that goeth before me, and afterward I will see his face; peradventure he will accept of me. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said, Jacob. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name?

And he blessed him there. And he divided the children unto Leah, and unto Rachel, and unto the two handmaids. And he said, The children which God hath graciously given thy servant. And he said, These are to find grace in the sight of my lord. And he urged him, and he took it. And he said, What needeth it? I pray you give her him to wife. If ye will be as we be, that every male of you be circumcised; 16 Then will we give our daughters unto you, and we will take your daughters to us, and we will dwell with you, and we will become one people.

Now the sons of Jacob were twelve: Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives: And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.


3I deemed it appropriate to start this lecture with one of the most important figures in to be rehabilitated, to the detriment of the Greek and Syriac versions, and of the 5Why did the author of Chapter 34 of the Book of Exodus have the idea of . 10As you know, teaching and research concerning biblical texts have a long. discussion is a contribution to the hermeneutical history of one biblical book. In . Levine et al.; Erlsr 26; Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, ), ; M. Haran, "The . Like some of the early Jewish interpreters, Greek and Latin Christian . history Chronicles is thus understood to parallel, in some sense, Genesis.

Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? And he said to him, Here am I. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan. And his brethren were content. Thus his father wept for him. And Tamar went and dwelt in her father's house. And she said, What wilt thou give me, that thou mayest come in unto me? And she said, Wilt thou give me a pledge, till thou send it?

And she said, Thy signet, and thy bracelets, and thy staff that is in thine hand. And he gave it her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him. And they said, There was no harlot in this place. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt. And he knew her again no more. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured. And Joseph said unto them, Do not interpretations belong to God? The three branches are three days: The three baskets are three days: And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: And Pharaoh awoke, and, behold, it was a dream.

God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace. God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do. What God is about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt. For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house. For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction. And Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt. And they said, From the land of Canaan to buy food.

By the life of Pharaoh ye shall not go forth hence, except your youngest brother come hither. And they did so. Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: If I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved. I had your money. And he brought Simeon out unto them. Is he yet alive? And they bowed down their heads, and made obeisance. And he said, God be gracious unto thee, my son.

Old Testament Studies

And they drank, and were merry with him. And he did according to the word that Joseph had spoken. God forbid that thy servants should do according to this thing: God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants: And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren. And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. And Jacob's heart fainted, for he believed them not. I will go and see him before I die.

And he said, Here am I. And the sons of Pharez were Hezron and Hamul. And they said unto Pharaoh, Thy servants are shepherds, both we, and also our fathers. And he said, I will do as thou hast said. And he sware unto him. In the Christian tradition Abram left Haran after Terah died. He said that God appeared to Abraham in Mesopotamia, and directed him to leave the Chaldeans—whereas most Rabbinical commentators see Terah as being the one who directed the family to leave Ur Kasdim from Genesis In some Islamic sects, Abraham's father is believed to have been a disbelieving man, [21] due to his refusal to listen to the constant advice of his son.

In fact, the earliest story involving Abraham in the Quran is his discussion with his ab Arabic: As a father, Azar required his son's most sincere advice. Ibrahim, after receiving his first revelations from Allah , invited his father to the way of Islam. Abraham explained to him the faults of idolatry , [24] and why he was wrong to worship objects which could neither hear nor see. Do you take idols as deities? Indeed, I see you and your people to be in manifest error. Abraham concluded his preaching by warning Azar of the grave punishment he would face if he did not mend his ways.

When it became clear that Azar's unrelenting hatred towards monotheism would never be fought, Abraham dissociated himself from him. The Quran states that the people of Abraham were idolaters. When Abraham was a young boy, he decided to finally teach his community a lesson. He said to himself that he had a plan for their idols, whilst they would be gone away. Abraham then, in a clever taunt, asked the people as to why they do not ask the largest of the idols, which, they believed, could indeed hear and speak. After the incident of the idol wreckage, the people of Abraham, while having admitted their fault, are said to have ignored Abraham's warning and instead retaliated by throwing him into a fire and exclaiming "protect your gods".

The people continued to taunt and persecute him, but to no avail, as the Qur'an says that it was they "that lost most". The Twelver Shi'ite website Al-Islam. For the minimalists, everything started in the Achaemenid period only, around years before our era or even later, in the Hellenistic period. The partisans of this point of view argue that the Bible is a pure ideological construction serving to found Judaism between the 4th and 2nd centuries before our era, and that the first physical manuscripts of the Hebraic Bible the Dead Sea scrolls date precisely from that period.

In the construction of the history of Israel and in the dating of the first scrolls of certain biblical texts, we can therefore go back several centuries further. Significant albeit modest epigraphic discoveries confirm this point of view. The Amulets of Ketef Hinnom. Another example is the inscription of Deir Alla in Transjordan, from the 8th century before our era, containing the beginning of an oracle by Balaam, son of Beor, who received a message from the gods.

He was probably the same visionary found in the narrative and oracles of the Book of Numbers. These few cases suffice to underscore the fact that the material and traditions at the origin of the Hebraic Bible are not an invention from the Persian era. Biblical research can nevertheless not be satisfied with this canon; it has to examine many other writings and documents, without which canonical texts would never have been written. The Bible was not born in isolation. It is the entire Fertile Crescent that, in one way or another, contributed to the shaping of the Hebrew Bible.

Moreover, the Bible shows this explicitly. Consider the beginning of the history of Abraham in the Book of Genesis. From there it moved to Harran, where Abram received the divine call enjoining him to go to the Land of Canaan, which he crossed from Shechem to the Negev before going into Egypt. Thus, from the outset Abraham covered the entire Fertile Crescent. Once again, we can only briefly consider a few aspects here. These documents, such as those of Ugarit, separated from the biblical writings by more than a millennium, raise the issue of establishing a well thought-out link between them.

One can hardly imagine that the biblical authors depended directly on these documents. Egyptology is important for scholars of the Bible, not only because the main founding myth of the Bible relates the exodus from Egypt. A great deal of time and energy has been spent tracking the events of the exodus and the figure of Moses in Egyptian documents, without much success, and close contact between Egypt and Palestine in the first millennium before our era tends to have been largely overlooked.

Yet the Egyptian influence at the time was immense from a historical and literary standpoint.

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The third part of the Book of Proverbs, probably dating back to the end of the Judean monarchy, shows striking resemblances with the teachings attributed to the pharaoh Amenemope, with whom the Judean scribe was apparently acquainted. Egypt is presented highly positively in the history of Joseph, which seems to have been written by a member of the Jewish diaspora who had settled in Egypt in the 6th century before our era. The documents from the Elephantine military colony are also particularly significant. Among others, they attest to the veneration of the god of Israel Yaho in the company of two other divinities, even during the Persian era, in the manner of Egyptian divine triads.

Monotheism and the centralization of worship in Jerusalem clearly had difficulty establishing itself. We could almost say that the last book of the Pentateuch is an Assyrian book. The Book of Deuteronomy, in its primitive form, was based on Assyrian vassal treaties or loyalty oaths, and more particularly the treaty of Assarhaddon before our era , of which the author of the first version of Deuteronomy must have seen a copy. In Deuteronomy, it is Yahweh who takes the place of the Assyrian king.

He is therefore the sovereign to whom the addressees of the scrolls owe absolute allegiance, and not to the foreign sovereign. The biblical author wanted to make Moses into a figure that was as important as the legendary founder of the Assyrian dynasties. It has even been posited that the publication of the Pentateuch might have been the outcome of an initiative of the Achemenid rulers, although all things considered that seems hardly likely.

The direct influences of Mazdaism on the Bible are difficult to assess, but the integration of Judea and Samaria into the Empire spawned the novel idea of a separation between political and religious power. By granting autonomy to the temple for its sacrificial worship and its management of everyday life and relations with the diaspora, the priestly class and the secular intelligentsia gave up their political autonomy so that Judaism might have an identity depending on neither state nor politics.


Angels will come with Christ on the Day of Judgement Matthew I have concluded that the materials presented in this work are free of doctrinal or moral errors. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him. This genre consists of the following elements: Give heed to him and hearken to his voice, do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgression; for my name is in him.

Authors of the Hellenistic period such as Hecataeus, Manethon, Artapanus and Flavius Josephus afford us access to traditions, some of which notably on the wars of Moses may have existed at the time of the formation of the Pentateuch but were censored by its editors. Moreover, certain biblical accounts have astonishing parallels with Greek mythology. Thus, there is no clear distinction between Greece and the ancient Near East as regards the formation of the Hebraic Bible. Since the 7th century before our era, at least, merchandise has circulated and, with it, myths.

Research publications and orientations on the Hebrew Bible have reached such a high level of complexity that a single scholar, no matter how knowledgeable, cannot deal with it all from his or her office. We also have to take into account a geographical shift. Over the past twenty years the centre has shifted however to North America, and English has become the new lingua franca in biblical science as well. This shift has gone hand in hand with a change in methods.

The idea is not to side with one or the other, but to combine all the methods that facilitate a better understanding of biblical texts. His or her job, above all, is to do justice to the text and to defend it against misappropriations and misinterpretations. This is a somewhat tricky exercise since the Bible, in its different variants, is the document on which Judaism and Christianity were founded.

In synagogues and churches biblical texts are read and explained from a religious perspective; they are intended to foster the faith of believers and to give them guidelines. Scientific analysis is therefore sometimes perceived as threatening or even hostile to religious readings because it is believed to challenge the truth of the Bible. The role of scientific work on the Bible is not, however, to assess the spiritual value to be found in these texts.

Certain fundamentalist communities nevertheless seem to want to use the Bible as an ideological weapon to defend creationism, inequality between the races or between men and women, the death sentence and other reactionary ethical or political positions. Faced with this harnessing of the Bible to other ends, scholars cannot shirk their responsibility to society. They have to remember that the Bible did not appear from nowhere, and that these texts were written in very different historical circumstances to those of our era.

One of the findings of biblical research is the unquestionable fact that the Pentateuch is a document of compromise that brings together divergent theological perspectives in the same founding text without imposing a single reading on these divergences.

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Instead, it leaves its interpretation up to the readers and grants them the freedom to do so. The Pentateuch combines three different legal codes, which precludes the literal application of one code at the expense of the others. In general, the biblical canon confronts its readers with different options, without indicating which one they should choose.

Thus, the history of the monarchy from a Judean perspective is related twice in the Hebraic Bible: By comparing the two narratives, we find a significant number of differences. For instance, for the cult legend in which David invented the location of the temple of Jerusalem, the account in the Book of Samuel 2 Samuel 24 opens with the following words: David carried out a census of the people and was then punished by Yahweh for this act even though Yahweh was its instigator.

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This is a difficult text: God inspires Man with an idea, but then punishes Man for carrying it out. In the Book of Chronicles the account is similar, except for the beginning: Here, it is Satan who has taken the place of God.

The Horns of Moses. Setting the Bible in its Historical Context

Did the author of 1 Chronicles It suggests to the reader different ways of addressing the problem. In a sense, the birth of the Torah and then of the Bible and Judaism are something of a paradox. Some of these narrative and prophetic texts explain the reasons for the destruction of Jerusalem and the deportation. Others, mainly prophetic, reflect the hope that those who were scattered may be gathered again and have a peaceful future.

Unlike the temple or palace, the Torah is mobile. This de-structuring enabled the Torah to encounter the Hellenistic culture. And the emergence of a Greek Bible alongside a Hebrew Bible definitively established it as one of the foundations of Western civilization. There is no lack of work, for in the past few decades most of the mainstream theories on the formation of the Pentateuch, of the historiographical books, and of the prophetic corpus which were elaborated in the late 19th or early 20th centuries have been seriously challenged.

This does not mean that all the observations and discoveries that founded these hypotheses must be rejected.