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2012-06-04

Because itís been so long since weíve repeated the exact same text back-to-back (hours, it seems!), Iíll go ahead and address yet another example. Exodus 36:1-3 creates a story within a story by repeating an entire sentence nearly word-for-word, back-to-back. A bunch of craftsmen showed up to build Godís crap, then, Moses called a bunch of craftsmen to build Godís crap. This block of text doesnít seem like itís from two sources that have been edited together, though I wonít discount such an explanation, but it still seem a bit odd. It may just be the style of prose at the time, but either way itís redundant, and annoying.

Since thereís a bit of dead space at this point, Iíd like to address an issue surrounding the naming of the people following Moses. It is traditional to refer to them as Hebrews, Israelites, or Jews, but none of these terms really captures the identity of the group due to changes in the usage of those words over time. The word ďIsraeliteĒ refers to the character Jacob (who gets renamed to Israel). Thus, Jacobís offspring are Israelites. The word ďJewĒ comes from Jacobís fourth son, Judah. At the time all Jews were Israelites, but not all Israelites were Jews, so ďIsraeliteĒ seems like the logical title. However, history throws a spanner into this terminology when the Jews and the Israelites split into their separate kingdoms making the terms nationalities rather than bloodlines. Thus, Israelites and Jews are citizens of the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah respectively, not just the offspring of Judah and Jacob.

The third term, ďHebrewĒ doesnít have a definite etymology, but believers traditionally attribute it to the children of Eber, the great-great-great-great grandfather of Abraham. But if this is the case, the word Hebrew would apply to far more people than just the twelve tribes of Israel, including the Midianites that Moses met in the desert, making it too broad. I prefer the term Israelite, even if its modern definition doesnít fit, it does fit when given the context of the story, however, itís important to mention this caveat.

 

Comments

Sharkie writes:

 

Sherni: Sadly he did mean to be taken seriously, hes that blind and stupid.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZVRpqm0Cl0
I wonder if you can see God in that list.

Baughbe writes:

 

Kinda get the sense from those passages that the situation was: The people showed up to do something, so after the fact Moses had to make claim that he had instructed them to do so.

TBman256 writes:

 

creepy Quazar is creepy

 

Oh the irony!