Genesis JEDP ???

Peter Kirk Peter_Kirk at
Tue Sep 5 07:30:49 EDT 2000

Hold on. The original assertion was not this, if you mean the one which I
made. It was (I quote myself):

"Remember that we have evidence from the Elephantine letters for a Samaritan
temple from about this period."

I did not say that the temple was at Elephantine. Of course not, that would
be absurd. Only the evidence was at Elephantine. The temple I am referring
to is the one, presumably at Shechem, which Freedman refers to. It may be a
bit anachronistic to call it "Samaritan", but I thought the meaning was

Peter Kirk

----- Original Message -----
From: "Steve Oren" <soren at>
To: "Biblical Hebrew" <b-hebrew at>
Sent: Tuesday, September 05, 2000 2:59 AM
Subject: Re: Genesis JEDP ???

Let's try again.  The ORIGINAL assertion was that there was a Samaritan
Temple at Elephantine.  Liz Fried quite properly questioned this.  BTW-THere
was (see Porten's book on Elephantine) a Temple in Elephantine but why would
one term it "Samaritan"?
Now we are given a citation from Freedman but all it shows is that when the
ELephantine Temple was destroyed, the Elephantine Israelites requested aid
from both Jerusalem and Shechem.  Yes, this proves, as Freedman says, that
there were two Temples at this point in time.  If one assumes that either or
both of these Temples had adopted Deuteronomy (and the existence of
ELephantine would suggest they had not) then they each would have thought of
themselves as the ONLY legitimate Temple and would be rival Temples.  Again,
the fact that the Elephantine temple asked for their help suggests that they
did not think of themselves as a "rival" to either one and presumtively did
not think of the remaining two as rivals to each other.  But even granting
that point, all that it would show is that there was a rivalry in
Palestine/Israel.  It does not demonstrate that which was to be proven, that
there was a distinctively Samaritan Temple at Elephantine unless our
original author thinks that any Temple outside Jerusalem is "Samaritan".

Steve Oren

Chicago, IL
> In a message dated 9/4/2000 10:04:17 AM Central Standard Time,
> lizfried at writes:
> << Just curious, what is the evidence for a Samaritan temple
> in the Elephantine papyri??
> thanks,
>  >>
> The 5th century b.c.e. Elephantine papyri include letters requesting help
> build a temple from both the Samaritan and Jewish priests (CAP, 30),
> an already existing schism. Indeed the Samaritan Chronicle of Abuâ?Tl Fath
> claims that Zerubbabel and Sanballat, subsequent leaders of the Jewish and
> Samaritan communities, were already feuding about the appropriate location
> the restored temple while still in Babylon (Stenhouse 1985:89â?"95). The
> Persian king, â?oSurdi,â? likely Darius spelled backward, ruled in favor
> Sanballat and sent him home to Mt. Gerizim with funds to construct the
> and by implication the temple.
> Freedman, David Noel, ed., The Anchor Bible Dictionary, s.v. "Samaritans",
> (New York: Doubleday) 1997, 1992.
> gfsomsel
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