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Jerome A. Lund

Abstract

The new translation of Peshitta Ezekiel by Gillian Greenberg and Donald M. Walter in the Bible of Antioch series raises issues with regard to the interpretation of the Syriac text and its relationship to the Hebrew. The Syriac translator used root exegesis of Hebrew forms as a translation tool. This study will examine a number of cases of root exegesis in Peshitta Ezekiel with the aim of better understanding the Peshitta translation. This research was undertaken as part of the Bible of Edessa project.

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Matan Orian

Abstract

The law of Deuteronomy 23:2-9 (MT), stipulating who is to be excluded from the Assembly of God, envisaged a need to explain its absolute exclusion of two foreign nations (the Ammonites and the Moabites), alongside its more lenient approach towards members of two other foreign nations (the Edomites and the Egyptians), as expressed in their temporal exclusion from the Assembly. The eternal exclusion of the Ammonites and the Moabites is justified by their historical, unfriendly treatment of Israel on its march from Egypt to the Promised Land. The immediate question, however, is whether the other two nations mentioned in this law treated Israel any better, prior to that march and during its course. Indeed, answering this question in the negative appears to be the goal of another Pentateuchal text, Numbers 20:14-21. Underlying the criticism of Deuteronomy 23:4-9 in Numbers 20:14-21 is the Priestly-Deuteronomic fundamental controversy over the meaning of the covenant of circumcision.

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Jonathan Grossman

Abstract

One of the most cryptic narratives in Samuel is the story of David’s conquest of the city of Jebus-Jerusalem. This paper proposes that David did not conquer the city through battle, but through the Jebusites’ peaceful surrender. This understanding illuminates the meaning of the obscure reference to “the blind and the lame,” as well as the word “ṣinnôr.”

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Francesca Alesse

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Francesca Alesse

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Francesca Alesse

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Francesca Alesse

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Francesca Alesse

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Francesca Alesse

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Jiang Wen

The Eastern Han period tomb-quelling text of Zhang Shujing 張叔敬, which dates to 173 CE, confirms that living people believed the dead could use soybeans and melon seeds (huangdou guazi 黃豆瓜子) to pay taxes in the underworld. The knowledge of this only came to light with the discovery of the tablet Taiyuan Has a Dead Man (*Taiyuan you sizhe 泰原有死者), which reveals a previously unknown Qin-Han belief that the dead regarded soybeans as gold. I suggest a direct association between the above two beliefs: soybeans and melon seeds were used as substitutes for small natural gold nuggets to pay taxes in the underworld because of their resemblance in shape and color. Furthermore, a huge quantity of painted clay balls shaped like large soybeans (dashu 大菽) are recorded in the Mawangdui 馬王堆 tomb inventories (qiance 遣策), which indirectly supports this interpretation.