Hebrew letters used as numbers

Henry Churchyard churchyh at ccwf.cc.utexas.edu
Sun Jun 20 09:16:04 EDT 1999

> Subject: Re: Hebrew letters used as numbers
> From: "atombomb at sirius.com" <atombomb at sirius.com>
> Date: Fri, 18 Jun 1999 23:47:00 -0700

> I have more of a question than a comment; at this point I'm way out
> of my depth.  But I recently read Thomas L. Thompson, "The
> Intellectual Matrix of Early Biblical Narrative: Inclusive
> Monotheism in Persian Period Palestine", in D.V. Edelman (ed.), The
> Triumph of Elohim: From Yahwisms to Judaisms -- which argues,
> following J. Van Seters, that "the Yahwistic tradition is a product
> of the reemergence of Israel rather than of its 'Golden Age'."

Depending on exactly what he means by this, it's not necessarily a
very surprising position -- the Hebrew Bible itself makes it
abundantly clear that during the period of the monarchies, YHWH-only
theology and the limitation of sacrifical worship to Jerusalem only
were actually minority positions, which in general were not adhered to
strictly by the overwhelming mass of the population, and which only
somewhat sporadically had the support of government authorities.  (But
of course, this is not quite the same as the "Maccabean political
tract" theory...)

         --Henry Churchyard     churchyh at ccwf.cc.utexas.edu

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