"by lot"

Lisbeth S. Fried lizfried at umich.edu
Sun Dec 9 12:58:38 EST 2001

I thought Hanukkah started tonight.
It's sounding a lot like Purim over here.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Charles David Isbell [mailto:cisbell at home.com]
> Sent: Sun, December 09, 2001 10:50 AM
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: Re: "by lot"
> Now we have two theories.  Dave's idea that the original question
> concerned
> "the practice of "casting lots" is of course only a guess.
> Soren's idea of
> "throwing Abe's nephew about to determine the will of God" is far more
> suggestive, it seems to me.  But I have a third theory, which I
> have already
> shared privately with Thomas.
> My guess is that the original Hebrew phrase was 'al 'arey lot, "by the
> cities of Lot."  Now an overheated scribe suffering from low sodium intake
> during the summer copying session, looking at the initial `Ayin
> of "cities,"
> thought that he had already copied it, and left it out.  That is
> how "by the
> cities of Lot" became simply "by Lot."  God, upset that errors could creep
> into the holy book that She had written perfectly the first time, decreed
> that the Bible be translated into Greek so that such mistakes could no
> longer occur.  Then, because the tribes who had to work in the salt mines
> remained faithful, they were allowed to convert to Christianity and become
> "the salt of the earth."
> This is lost, of course, in the Latin corruption of the original Greek.
> For God's sake, folks, I'm only kidding.  But, LSU beat Tennessee last
> night, and thus we know that all things are possible.
> Shalom,
> Charles
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