begin-title / end-title

Banyai Michael banyai at
Thu Feb 1 08:20:12 EST 2001

Dave Stabnow wrote:

> There is a frequent device in BH where a heading or title with _ZH_, _Z(T_,
> or _(LH_ precedes and also follows a list or a set of instructions. Without
> much creative thought I have called this device "begin-title/end-title." An
> example on a large scale is Lev 14. The begin-title in verse 2 reads, "This
> shall be the law of the leper," and the end-title in v. 54 reads, "This is
> the law for any mark of leprosy." Between vv. 2 and 54 the Lord recites to
> Moses the law concerning leprosy.
> 2. This shall be the law of the leper.
> 3-53. [The specifics of the law are given.]
> 54. This is the law for any mark of leprosy ...
> Num 34:2-12 has an example on a smaller scale, but with an embedded list.
> In Num 34:2 there is a begin-title for a list, literally, "This is the land
> with regard to its borders." This title has its end-title counterpart in v.
> 12. Verse 7 has a begin-title for a sub-list, "This is your northern
> border," and v. 9 has its counterpart.
> 2. This is the land with regard to its borders.
> 3-8. [The southern and western borders are described.]
> 7. This is your northern border.
> 8. [The northern border is described.]
> 9. This is your northern border.
> 10-11. [The eastern border is described.]
> 12. This is the land with regard to its borders all around.
> Does anyone know of any research that has been done on this device?

One would classify all these fragments als quoted sources. As you know,
hebrew names of the bible books are often the first words in the
respective book.
This has a simple explanation: since the hebrew traditionally used rolls
their books, they rolled them up to see their contents, which information
offered the first couple of sentences in the roll. 
So reading:
> 2. This is the land with regard to its borders.
one would have said: oh, I have in hands a roll concerning the borders of
So we should assume that this text in Numbers is quoting an original
document, formerly written on a separate roll. 
Ergo the text is not an invention of the writer of Numbers, the quoted
predates the creation of Numbers.
This is no stylistical device, it is, you would today cal it, the
hardcover of an
independent text.

Best regards,

Banyai Michael

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list