Ken Smith kens at
Mon Jan 28 18:26:37 EST 2002

Not to dispute the results of the archaeological investigations you
refer to, but how would you reconcile the account in Jeremiah 7:31 with
what has been uncovered archaeologically?  After all, Jeremiah 7 is
presumably a highly contemporary account.  (Unlike, say, the accounts of
the conquest, which in their present form are pretty well acknowledged
to be much later than the conquest itself.)  Would Jeremiah have
bothered to attack a practice that, well, wasn't practiced?  I'm no
fundie, and don't have any trouble acknowledging that the Bible and
history as known from other sources don't always match -- but I would
expect that an account from a contemporary, local eyewitness such as
Jeremiah would have to be given considerable weight even by those who
have nothing riding on Biblical inerrancy.  Jeremiah was already
unpopular enough around Jerusalem -- he wouldn't have bothered to make
something like this up, would he?

In other words, is it legitimate, in this instance, to question the
archaeological results?  Are there any blank spots in those
investigations that could leave room for Jeremiah's accusations to be
taken seriously?  Is perhaps a judgment of non liquet the best we can do
at the moment?

Ken Smith

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Lisbeth S. Fried [mailto:lizfried at] 
> Sent: Monday, January 28, 2002 2:42 PM
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: RE: Sacrifice.
> I would like to point out, before
> we get carried away here that extensive
> archaological investigation has been carried out
> of the area of Ben Himnom, or Topheth, and there
> is absolutely no evidence that child sacrifice,
> or any sacrifice, ever occurred there.
> It was a garbage dump, and garbage was burned there.
> The things that you're liable to find in the bible,
> ain't necessa.., ain't necessa.., ain't necessarily so.
> Liz Fried (and G.G.)
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Eric Hill [mailto:bhebrew at]
> > Sent: Mon, January 28, 2002 3:55 PM
> > To: Biblical Hebrew
> > Subject: Re: Sacrifice.
> >
> >
> > I think it's important to note that in both Jeremiah 7 and 19, the 
> > very place where the Israelites were sacrificing their children to 
> > Molech, YHWH says He will slaughter the Israelite people 
> and bury them 
> > there (The Valley of Ben Hinnom or Topheth). In no way does 
> the God of 
> > Israel condone human sacrifices. In fact He makes a point to remind 
> > the Hebrew people that the reason He is bringing His wrath on other 
> > nations is because of offerings such as this to other gods. It does 
> > not take a Hebrew scholar to distinguish between what God 
> approves of 
> > and what He doesn't approve of. His character is consistent 
> throughout 
> > Scripture.
> >
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