[b-hebrew] The Golden Calf & the Hathor Cult of Sinai ?

Michael Banyai Banyai at t-online.de
Tue Sep 21 15:20:00 EDT 2004


Dear Uri,

I understand your view of the Bible as Rahmengeschichte, but am still at odds, how such a general view should work in many cases, when one should rather turn against the text than go with the text. 

I preferr therefore a more relaxed view of the bible which could be here "Rahmengeschichte", there even a most accurate account, and in other place the exact opposite of what happened. This of course makes a decision dependent in each case from many variables, but one should bear in mind, that the bible was not written for us but for its contemporaries, and therefore we in many cases lacks the other view (or side of the medal)- the one it combats.

We can for example but suppose, that a derisive little story of how the Teraphim arrived under a camel´s saddle smuggled by Rachel, was in the mouth of a Teraphim-adorant a real epiphany. 

We can but suppose that the northern kingdom still recognising the aliance with Jahweh at Sinai making them still brothers with the Judeans and still recognising Jahweh as their main god (as we can see at Kuntilet Adjrud - Jahweh of Samaria on 9-th century pottery on the assumed peak of Baalism) had its own version of the events at Sinai. This version would have certainly didn´t speak of an interdiction of the golden calf, but quite on the contrary. Apparently did the the northern kingdom very well ballance between Jahwism and permission of "idolatry" without feeling to break the essential lawgiving event at Sinai.

My rationing concentrates on the remark that the Jahweh oracle concerning the "punishment" of the Israelites because of the golden calf, looks better in a primary use, because of textual and ideatic coincidences, as an oracle favorable to the creation of the golden calf than we have it now (probably in secondary use). This (the oracles) is the material which was used by both sides in their argumentation. It is the basis of any theological dispute.

I don´t read neither a general interdiction of jewels for the Israelites, nor is this an act of mourning, which we could document with biblical habits. As such, as a mourning gesture this is an invention of Peter Kirk, basing more on assumptions or common sense, which however is a no lead. It either is or not is a known gesture of mourning by the Hebrews. And should one go with Peter, than why does this same gesture in the story of Dinah? Is it not rather a signature of the Judahite redactor re-using his own previous recepture?

As such is here, in this point, the Bible better than a "Rahmengeschichte", it is a living book in dialog with its contemporaries. 

Best regards,

Bányai Michael




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