Monotheism was: "admittedly syncretistic..

Peter Kirk Peter_Kirk at
Sun Jan 27 14:51:26 EST 2002

There is no explicit condemnation or approval of these actions because
that is not appropriate to the genre of literature. In general there is
very little explicit positive or negative assessment of actions in the
historical books, except sometimes in quoted prophetic messages and in
the summaries of kings' reigns in the books of Kings and Chronicles.
Also the refrain in Judges "all the people did what was right in their
own eyes" (e.g. 21:25) surely implies a general disapproval.  We cannot
infer either approval or condemnation from a bare historical account.
Probably the audience is intended to draw a conclusion, i.e. these
should not be treated as neutral accounts of facts. And there is
certainly enough in the books of Samuel to indicate a negative
assessment of Saul relative to David.

Peter Kirk

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jonathan D. Safren [mailto:yon_saf at]
> Sent: 27 January 2002 16:02
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: Re: Monotheism was: "admittedly syncretistic..
> The rashness of Jephthah's vow comes across very clearly in the
> as does the rashnes of Saul's in 1 Sam. 14. But there is no
> by
> the author, either overt or implied, of human sacrifice. The same goes
> Saul's intention to sacrifice Jonathan - the people condemn the
> to
> sacrifice the hero of the day and redeem him, but nowhere is there
> condemnation in principle  of human sacrifice. Likewise Gen. 22, the
> Binding
> of Isaac - the angel stops Abraham in the act of sacrifice and a ram
> discovered to take Isaac's place; but nowhere in the narrative is
> condemnation, neither overt nor implied, either by God or by the
author of
> the very practice of human sacrifice.
> ---
> Jonathan D. Safren
> Dept. of Biblical Studies
> Beit Berl College
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Glenn Blank" <glennblank at>
> To: "Biblical Hebrew" <b-hebrew at>
> Sent: Saturday, January 26, 2002 2:24 PM
> Subject: Re: Monotheism was: "admittedly syncretistic..
> >
> >
> >
> > ----------
> > >From: "Jonathan D. Safren" <yon_saf at>
> > >To: Biblical Hebrew <b-hebrew at>
> > >Subject: Re: Monotheism was: "admittedly syncretistic..
> > >Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2002 11:02:12 +0200
> > >
> > > The God who accepts human sacrifice in Jud. 11 is not the same God
> > forbids it in >Deuteronomy.
> >
> > God accepting human sacrifice?  No, but a man who made a rash vow,
> > intending it to be a human sacrifice, but determined to keep his vow
> the
> > letter.  Jud. 11 gives no indication of God's reaction to this
> sacrifice.
> >
> > glenn blank
> > Pensacola FL

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