[b-hebrew] Xatserim

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Wed Jul 2 00:47:54 EDT 2003


Dear Yigal:

I have some thoughts.

Looking at XCR (chetzer) its meaning is clearly “enclosure” for most of its uses. It is used for the enclosure around the tabernacle and later the temple. It is used of farmers having their own enclosures (e.g. 2 Samuel 17:18). It is my understanding that most fields in ancient Israel were surrounded by walls, sort of like those in New England, hence a city surrounded by fields would have a main city wall, but then a surrounding of enclosures for fields.

I have no idea where the translation of “village” comes from.

But where there were a few fields not enough to support a town, but enough for a farm or two, that would still be enough for it to have a name. It is my understanding that the Simeonites settled in areas that were less fertile than most of the rest of Israel, hence they would be more likely to have isolated farms XCRYM.

Yours, Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: Yigal Levin <Yigal-Levin at utc.edu>

> No I have one: In the various tribal town lists in Josh 15-21, many of the
> "segments" end with the total number of "'arim... vexatsrehen" - usually
> translated "towns and their villages", though probably referring to the
> town's outlying agricultural installations. For examples see Josh 15:32,
> 36, 41 etc.
> The same is true in 19:6 and 7, at the end of the two "sections" of the
> Simeonite town list. 
> 
> However, when the Chronicler copies the same list in 1 Chr. 4:31-32, he
> changes the context: at the end of the first section he has "These were
> their towns (changing "'arim" to "'arehem", reffering to the Simeonites)
> until David became king". The next section then begins "Vexatsrehem..."
> "And their villages were... five towns" (no "and their villages"). Notice
> the shift in gender from "vexatsrehen" in Josh. (fem., corresponding to
> 'arim) to "vexatsrehem" (masc., as in "the Simeonites"). 
> 
> In my understanding of "xatserim", these are the agricultural installations
> that were attached to each "town" (remember, Israelite "towns" "'arim" were
> mostly villages). But the Chronicler obviously thought differently, since
> he detatched the 5 Xatserim from the 13 'arim. 
> 
> Any thoughts?
> 
> 
> 
> Yigal

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