peter_kirk at peter_kirk at
Wed Dec 1 23:44:09 EST 1999

Watch out for circular argument here!

What grounds do you have for considering Chronicles to be later than 
other books, if you reject the dialect arguments as in another post?

So, Chronicles is late because it mentions the Sabbath and other 
cultic changes; and the Sabbath is late because it is mentioned in 

See the circle? Where's the way out?

Also don't forget that the seventh day sabbath is clearly stated in 
Exodus 16, 20:8-11, 23:12, 31:12-17 and 35:2-3, not generally 
considered especially late. Indeed 23:12 is part of the Book of the 
Covenant which is generally considered rather early, and in which the 
principle of six periods of labour followed by a seventh period of 
rest is deeply embedded - see 21:2, 23:10-11, also 22:30 mentions the 
eighth day.

Alternative suggestion: the seventh day sabbath was instituted early, 
but was rarely observed outside the sanctuary, except by a few who 
tried to enforce it more widely e.g. Nehemiah (13:15-22) and the 
Maccabees. See also 2 Kings 4:23, a rare mention in the historical 

Peter Kirk

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: Genesis 2:4
Author:  <mc2499 at> at Internet
Date:    01/12/1999 11:51

At 14.10 01/12/99 +1100, George Athas wrote: 
George wrote:


I seem to be inexorably coming to the conclusion that the seventh day 
sabbath was instituted in the second century BCE. Notice the way that 1 & 2 
Maccabees handles the sabbath as though the conflict of handling military 
problems on the sabbath hadn't been faced before. Consider the order from 
Hosea 2:11 New Moons, Sabbaths and Feast days. This is the order of Ps81:3 
New Moons, Full Moons and Feast Days. The parallel making the connection 
between sabbath and full moon -- which is not too strange given the 
Mesopotamian usage of the term shapattu -- and we should remember that the 
important festivals start in the middle of the month -- the time of a full 
moon. So if sabbath originally meant full moon to the Hebrews, it would 
follow new moons in a list of cultic occasions, but if it meant the seventh 
day, being more frequent one would expect it to precede new moons. We get 
late works such as Chr which gives Sabbaths, New Moons and Feast days. If 
the logic here is correct then the seventh day sabbath is a good dating 
indication for relative chronology of the development of biblical texts.



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