[b-hebrew] "about" Josh. 7:4-5
Harold R. Holmyard III
hholmyard at ont.com
Wed Dec 15 11:37:50 EST 2004
>According to Joshua 7:4, Joshua's first attempt at capturing Ai was
>made with ke$lo$et alapim i$, "about three thousand men". In the
>next verse, the men of Ai smote of them ke$lo$im ve$iSah i$, "about
>thirty six men".
>The prefix kaph is usually translated "like", "about" and so on.
>However in this context, "about 36" does not make sense. 36 is an
HH: Maybe they knew that thirty-six men died, but they were not sure
whether the men of Ai were directly responsible for all the deaths.
Perhaps someone could have mistakenly run off a cliff or something.
> I know that the Greek gives "eis", "into", but that doesn't explain
>anything. I've seen theories ranging from scribal error (dittography
>due to the preceding "ke$lo$et" - but with no textual evidence)
>through a theory of a 6-based system of counting, to the midrash
>that only Jair ben Manasseh was killed, but he was "like 36 men". I
>know that "eleph" is often thought to be a military or clan unit, so
>"about three elephs" makes sense. I also know that "$elo$im" may
>also be a military unit (as in 2 Sam. 23), so that "about a $elo$im"
>would also work, but then what about the extra 6? "about a $elo$im
>and six" does not.
>And before anyone asks, the only known Qumran version (4QJosh a and
>b) is missing this particular column.
>(and please excuse the cross-posting)
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