J, E, P, or D?
sbfnet at netvision.net.il
Thu Feb 3 12:03:02 EST 2000
On 1/27/00 (J, E, P, or D?) Jon Bailey wrote:
>I am sitting here looking at the Metsad Chashavyahu inscription wondering
>why there are doublets in it. Look at how I have divided the clauses:
>1 y$m( )dny h&r
>2 )t dbr (bdh (bdk
>3 qcr hyh (bdk bx
>4 cr )sm wyqcr (bdk
>5 wykl w)sm kymm lpny $b
>6 t k)$r kl (bdk )t qcr w)
>7 sm kymm wyb) hw$(yhw bn >$b
>8 y wyqx )t bgd (bdk k)$r klt
>9 )t qcry zh ymm lqx )t bgd (bdk
>10 wkl )xy y(nw ly hqcrm )ty bxm
>11 h$m$ )xy y(nw ky )mn nqty m)
>12 $m h$b n) )t bgdy w)m l) l&r lh$
>13 b )t bgd (bdk wttn )lw rx
>14 mm wh$bt )t bgd (bdk wl) tdhm
>Well, I was just writing this while waiting for a class, and the time has
>gotten away. I don't have time to offer a translation and mark the verb
>sequencing as I see it, but it should be obvious that the wyqx at
>of line 8 ends the first sequence and the second is begung with k)$r klt, a
>qatal, which is then followed by another qatal (lqx), starting a new
>sequence with nearly the same content as the first. Also, lines 10
>and 11 build two
>sequences based on the yiqtol form y(nw with more or less the same content.
>I filled in parts of 12, 13, and 14 from Sandra Gogel's suppositions, but
>they do not come into play here. We obviously have doublets in an
>inscription which does not represent centuries of religious
>traditions. So why would
>anyone want to redact a text about a slave trying to get his coat back? Who
>was it? J, E, P, or D?
>Or should we just recognize that doublets are a semitic literary device,
>and not clues of redaction?
Dear Jonathan Bailey,
looking at back material in the list, I found your message, which I
had previously overlooked. It seems that it has remained unanswered.
Do you still look for a comment?
The Metsad Chahavyahu inscription is indeed repetitious but
has no doublets in the literary-critical sense. As I tried to show in
my book review of I. Young, _Diversity in Pre-Exilic Hebrew_
published in _Liber Annuus_ 47 (1997) 577-596 (spec. pp. 583-584),
each clause plays its role and nothing is really redundant.
I would translate lines 2-11 as follows:
"(2) As for your servant--(3) your servant was harvesting (x-QATAL)
in Hazer-Asam. (4) Your servant reaped (WAYYIQTOL) (5) and measured
(WAYYIQTOL) (the harvest). Then I gathered myself (WAYYIQTOL from
'sm) as usual (? kymm) before stopping.
(6) After your servant had measured (k'$r + QATAL) his harvest and I
myself had gathered (WAYYIQTOL from 'sm) as usual (?), (7) there came
(WAYYIQTOL) Hoshayahu, son of Shobai, (8) and took (WAYYIQTOL) the
garment of your servant.
*It was after <I> had measured (9) my harvest before several days
that he took (x-QATAL = ... lqx) the garment of your servant.
(10) And all my comrades will bear witness on my behalf, the ones who
were reaping besides me in the heat [of the sun].
*(11) It is my comrades that will bear testimony on my behalf, that I
am really clean of any gui[lt]."
It is an oral narrative that begins with x-QATAL (3) and
continues with WAYYIQTOL--exactly as in BH. The section (8 second
half-10, marked with a * in the translation above) is not simple
repetition of the previous one (6-8 first half). By using offline
x-QATAL (*... lqx*) the worker specifies what he has already said by
highlighting the circumstance that precedes QATAL *lqx*. Note the
opposition between the plain, unmarked sentence in (6-8 first half)
*wyqx 't bgd `bdk* and the marked, "emphatic" sentence in (8 second
half-10) *... lqx 't bgd `bdk*.
The same thing can be said of the sentence in (11, also
marked with *) in relation with the previous one (10).
Also note a nonnarrative WAYYIQTOL in (6): "and I myself had
gathered". This WAYYIQTOL is distinct from narrative WAYYIQTOL that
continues another narrative WAYYIQTOL. The nonnarrative WAYYIQTOL
continues a verbform different from narrative wayyiqtol and takes on
the same value of the preceding verbform. I called this WAYYIQTOL
"continuation WAYYIQTOL" (for more information see _Syntax_ ## 143,
Thus the verb system shown by the Metsad Chahavyahu
inscription seems to me exactly the same as that of BH. Even the
shift from 3rd person ("your servant") to the 1st is similar.
I would conclude that these are not doublets. In a previous
post I stated the same thing concerning the Flood narrative in
Genesis. I do not mean that the so-called sources of the Pentateuch
are to be abandoned. I tried to show that Biblical narratives are
usually very well organized and coherent from the point of view of
verb syntax. I think that on that point literary critics are to
refine their criteria for detecting the sources of Biblical
I do not share the idea put forward by some authors in the
list that the Pentateuch is as a whole a post-exilic composition. I
think that old material is present, and not only as simple historical
kernels. Biblical message does not build on myths, although it
somtimes uses parables. To detect earlier materials is important for
Peace and all good.
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