SV: The daughter of Jeftah died?

Niels Peter Lemche npl at
Tue Jun 4 07:36:49 EDT 2002

> Since the theory of historicity here is not falsifiable, it is redundant. 
> I have seen most of this discussion and wonder why no reference is made to
> classical tradition, the vow by Idomeneos to sacrifice the first of his
> house to greed him if he returns safely to Crete after the Trojan war? It
> turned out to be his son, Faidros Mozart wrote an opera devoted to the
> story and Racine a drama, so it cannot be unknown. The is the close
> paralel, not the sacrifice of Iphigineia, although that one comes close.
> We have a literary motif about hybris--and the Jephtah story has a lot to
> do with hybris. The idea that you can impress your wish on the god without
> retribution.
> As to biblical sacrifices of children, much discussion has been put into
> paper about the kings letting their sons pass the fire, if really a
> sacrifice is intended. Otherwise the position is clear, as expressed by
> the sacrifice of Isaac story, and also the idea about redeeming the first
> born by a substitute sacrifice.
> To bring in the question of historicity is to divert focus from the
> narrative in Judges to something that is foreign to that narrative.
> 	-----Oprindelig meddelelse-----
> 	Fra:	Christian M. M. Brady [SMTP:cbrady at]
> 	Sendt:	4. juni 2002 13:28
> 	Til:	Biblical Hebrew
> 	Emne:	Re: The daughter of Jeftah died?
> 	On 6/3/02 4:22 PM, "Lisbeth S. Fried" <lizfried at> wrote:
> 	> You must have me mixed up with someone else.
> 	> I don't think the story is historical, and I don't have anything
> 	> bothering me. I'm trying to get people to realize that
> 	> their statements carry implications, that assumptions
> 	> are embedded which, upon closer examination, may not
> 	> pan out.
> 	> When you say "brought together" by  a D narrator,
> 	> who was that D-narrator, when did he live, how did
> 	> he know the story?
> 	> I sense the anger these questions arouse; we tend to
> 	> get angry when we run up against questions which
> 	> challenge the bedrock of our faith, of who we are as people.
> 	But Lisbeth, your questions, valid though they are, do not undermine
> or
> 	challenge whether or not the events were historical. I think
> everyone would
> 	agree that we cannot *prove* (beyond the text) that these events
> happened.
> 	In the same way none of us can *prove* (beyond the text) any
> theories about
> 	authorship and transmission with respect to, well most of the
> biblical
> 	texts. 
> 	As I said your questions are valid, but irrelevant in terms of
> evaluating
> 	historicity. 
> 	Cb
> 	cbrady @
> 	-- 
> 	"It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have
> 	those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech,
> 	freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice
> 	either of them."  --Mark Twain 
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