Walter Mattfeld mattfeld at
Mon Jun 4 18:22:58 EDT 2001

Available at my website is an article titled  The "Sabbath/Shabbat as an
Eternal Memorial" and its Derivation from the "Lunar Shupattu Memorial"  (if
interested click on the url in my signature and navigate to the OT Menu)

Hallo makes the following observation-
"The Sabbath is "a memorial to the week of creation" and "a reminder of the
Exodus from Egypt." It is "a sign forever that the Lord made the heavens and
the earth in six days, and rested and refreshed on the seventh." (p.320,
William W. Hallo, "New Moons and Sabbaths," in Frederick E. Greenspahn,
Editor. Essential Papers on Israel and the Ancient Near East. New York. New
York University Press. 1991. ISBN 0-8147-3038-8 Hdbk. [Original article in
Hebrew Union College Annual 43 (1977) 1-13] )

I will attempt to argue in this article that the Akkadian Shupattu was a
"type of Memorial" which was transformed later by the Hebrews into, as Hallo
so eloquently put it, "a memorial to the week of creation." We will explore
the Mesopotamian backgrounds of Lunar worship and I will attempt to show
that certain days of the month, tied to Lunar phases, served as "a Memorial
to the day when the Gods created Man and Rested from their Labors." In other
words, it is my understanding that this Lunar Memorial was adapted and
transformed by the Hebrews into the Sabbath and God's Resting from his
Labors !

Scholars have noted that Akkadian (Babylonian) Shupattu looks somewhat
similar in form to the Hebrew Shabbat (English: Sabbath), and have offered
theories to establish a relationship between the two...

All the best,  Walter

Walter Reinhold Warttig Mattfeld
Walldorf by Heidelberg
Baden-Wurttemburg, Germany

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