Hebrew taḥaš and the West Semitic Tent Tradition

In: Vetus Testamentum
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  • 1 Indiana University Bloomington
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The Hebrew lexeme taḥaš, which designates one of the materials of the outer layer of the priestly tent sanctuary, has puzzled interpreters for hundreds of years. This article surveys the recent discussion of the term and provides evidence in favor of a parallel to the Akkadian duḫšum/tuḫšum. So far overlooked in this discussion is the functional parallel between the use of Hebrew taḥaš for the covering of the tent sanctuary and the use of tuḫšum at Mari for the covering of a large, royal tent structure (ḫurpatum). Buttressing the phonological and functional parallel between Hebrew taḥaš and Mari duḫšum/tuḫšum are a series of other terminological connections between Mari’s ḫurpatum, the tent-dwelling of Ugaritic ʾIlu, and the Israelite priestly tent sanctuary.

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