[b-hebrew] qetseph in 2Ki 3:27

Liz Fried lizfried at umich.edu
Thu Jul 3 11:18:42 EDT 2003

> -----Original Message-----
> From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
> [mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org]On Behalf Of Yigal Levin
> Sent: Thursday, July 03, 2003 10:19 AM
> To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: RE: [b-hebrew] qetseph in 2Ki 3:27
> Hi Liz (and all),
> Of course, it's not your world-view (on anyone else's) that's in question.
> We're all just trying to understand the author's world-view. What
> "bothers"
> me (at least on this level) is not the "unfairness", but how this
> story, of
> what seems to be Chemosh's wrath effecting the Israelites, would have been
> understood by the author of Kings. I have no idea what "really" happened.
> Assuming that any of this is historical, the "facts" are that the Moabites
> were in defeat, the king of Moab (Mesha? Notice that he's not named in the
> whole story, beyong the introduction in verse 4. Could this be a
> composite?) sacrificed his son in plain sight, and the Israelites
> retreated. Is the "Qetseph" something THEY felt? Or the author's
> attempt to
> explain their sudden retreat? In any case, I still don't
> understand how the
> biblical author (Deuteronomist?) understood what happened. I don't think
> he's admitting to a divine agent that is INDEPENDANT of Yahweh. In any
> case, he does not SAY that the Qetseph came from Chemosh.
> Yigal
Dear Yigal, et. al.
I do think the author, the Deuteronomist, believes there are other powers
out there which act independent of YHWH, as much as he will not rationally
admit it. (I was a psychologist in my first life.) I do not think it's
possible to
remain totally immune from the beliefs of the people around you.
The scenes with Hezekiah and Sennacherib suggest that the issue of only
one god in control of the entire world is not completely certain in the mind
of the author. I place the Deuteronomist in the period of Zerubbabel, so
in the scene with Hezekiah it may be that the author is arguing with his
contempories about this very issue. The proof that YHWH  is in control is
the restablishment of JErusalem in his own day, and its being saved in
the days of Hezekiah. I don't think it's a closed issue for him. If it was,
would not have need to write the book.
ps. It may be that that author had as much difficulty with this
as does the modern reader, and so left it oblique.

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