(Fwd) RE: End of Malachi: Kherem.
lewreich at javanet.com
Mon Feb 21 23:17:12 EST 2000
On 21 Feb 00, at 21:43, Liz Fried wrote:
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Lewis Reich
> > On 21 Feb 00, at 14:31, Liz Fried wrote:
> > > This is very interesting, Lewis.
> > > The application of Herem to land is seen in Lev. 27: 21.
> > What we know of herem from the way the word is used in the
> > Pentateuch seems to indicate that it is a special category of
> > qodesh; Rashi on Lev. 27:21 refers to Num 18:14, which provides
> > that all herem goes to the priest. Deut 7:25 stands out as an
> > exception - here herem is something very different, and seems to
> > connect to the incident of Achan in Joshua.
> > > The land is not going to be destroyed, it simply becomes temple
> > > property. I have long thought that these verses in Leviticus
> > > showed that the temple did own land in the Persian period and
> > > before. It acquired land in the same way other temples in the
> > > ane did, from making loans to those who couldn't repay.
> > I'm not sure I see that - the provision in Leviticus has to do not
> > with loans, but with someone who dedicated his land to be qodesh.
> But he does this to get money.
> I see Lev. 27 as indicating the temple acts as a bank, like
> everywhere in the ane. In the opening verses, a person dedicates a
> person. But in reality he sells the person, his wife or child, or a
> slave to the temple. These are the prices the temple pays for the
> person sold. But these are really intended to be loans. The seller
> has the hope of getting his child or wife or slave back. So
> sometimes, he sells it for less money, hoping to be able to redeem
> him/her for less money.
If a family member were involved, wouldn't one expect the language
to be more explicit about it? and judging by Rashi's commentary it
doesn't appear that the Mishnah understood it this way. Or am I
> The same with houses, fields etc. If the house or field or person
> is not redeemed by the Jubilee, the person or field then becomes the
> property of the temple. If he redeems it prior to the jubilee, he
> pays the temple one-fifth, plus its assessed value.
There seem to be somewhat different rules depending on whether
the field is his akhuzah or whether it's a field he's bought...
> > If
> > we were dealing with regular loans, would there have been any need
> > for Hillel to institute the famous prozbul?
> The prozbol instituted a procedure for debts to
> continue to be paid during the sabbatical year.
> It was decided banks weren't people and didn't have to observe
IIRC under the prozbul debts were turned over to a bet din
> the release of debts in the sabbatical year.
> Lev. 27,interestingly, says nothing about a sabbatical year.
> Release of debts in the sabbatical year is only in Deut. 15.
> It is not priestly legislation.
> I doubt it involved the temple or the priests.
> Malachi uses priestly language.
> > > Speculating about Malachi, it may simply mean that people would
> > > become in a position in which they couldn't pay their debts, and
> > > the land would revert to the temple. That is, God will come and
> > > take the land and devote it to himself.
> > That's an intriguing interpretation, but it somehow doesn't seem
> > to me a dire enough consequence that it would take Elijah's
> > appearance before the great and terrible day of YHWH to avert. And
> > then there's Malachi's interesting use of the verb v'hiketi; I
> > don't think there are other uses of the word herem that use such
> > plague- like lanuage.
> True enough!
> But it must mean that God is going to devote the land to himself.
> That is what Herem means, devoted to the lord. Perhaps it will lie
Herem in Deut 7 and in the Achan incident does seem to imply
something a bit more dramatic and sinister?
More information about the b-hebrew