was Michael

Banyai Banyai at t-online.de
Fri Mar 9 17:20:33 EST 2001

Dear List members, dear Dave,

since I don´t want to look like a purim victim I feel being forced to go a little 
more in detail for Deut. 33,1-29

1. Benjamin (Deut. 33,12) appears in an uncanonical position, namely before 

2. The citation of "shoulders" (Deut. 33,12) in combination with a probable 
reading : "the High GOD surrounds him all day long - the Beloved (GOD)rests 
between his shoulders, reminds us of Genesis 48,22, where shoulder is an allusion 
to Sichem-Schechem, place of the main Israelite temple in Ephraim. 

3. From 1+2 we may assume that Deut. 33,12 concerned previously Joseph, Benjamin 
is intrusive to the original text, and there was no citation of in the whole 

4. The same makes true of the southern Dan, by Jaffa, reference being made only 
of the northern Dan "leaping forth from Bashan". (Same makes true for Simeon)

5. We may now read in Deut. 33,7: " O LORD, give heed to Judah, and bring him to 
his people". The case is clear Juda is separated from the rest of the Amfictiony, 
because both Dan as Benjamin have left the former aliance. 

6. We read in the Simson story about marriages between the southern Danites and 
Philistine. The reverse occurs at the end of the story about the crime of the 
Benjaminites, as they are forced (from now on) to mary Israelite women. Similar 
stances in the Greek lore or Bible explain this custom to reflect the closing of 
a political alliance. That would mean the Danites and Benjaminites have left the 
Israelite amfictiony and closed alliance with the Philistine. The Benjaminite 
story is generally placed after Abimelech, because of the change of the main 
Temple (from formerly Schechem to Beth-El in the Benjamin story)

7. We read in Deut. 33,5 about a king arousing in Jeshurun: "There arose a king 
in Jeshurun, when the leaders of the people assembled", and being incoronated in 
the plains of Moab (Deut. 33,21):"For where the commander´s allotment was 
reserved, came the leaders of the people". This is the ground for the obviously 
wrong attribution to Moses (Moses allotment in Gad).

8. We read in Judges 8,16-23 about a situation arousing at Sukkoth and Penuel, as 
Gideon is offered there the crown of Israel by the Israelites, that is exactly 
where the allotment of the commander (Moses) was.

9. Now the original reference to Schechem (destroyed by Abimelech, Gideons son) 
offers a terminus ante quem. Deut. 33,16 is the exact description of the ointing 
ceremony, prerequisite to the incoronation: "...Let these come on the head of 
Joseph, on the brow of the prince among his brothers". We read about the same 
incoronation circumstances as of Gideon (being offered the crown in Gad), but we 
have no alternative identification.

10. The text wants originally to be an incoronation blessing for Gideon. If it is 
indeed the original one we may never exactly now. But it must be much much older 
than its attribution to Moses, as it was embodied to the Deuteronomy. Even the 
insertion of Benjamin to this text predates the creation of the Deuteronomy. It 
seems also to predate the period of the kings of Juda, since not the slightest 
reference is made of. 

If this should be a fake, than a too intricate one.

Best regards, and funny purim.

Banyai Michael

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