[b-hebrew] Ark of the Covenant

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Fri Aug 20 14:52:53 EDT 2004

Dear Marianne,

>That the BOG was written a thousand years before the Septuagint is a huge
>assumption--based on what?

HH: It's true that it is harder to find evidence that Moses wrote 
Genesis than it is to support that he wrote the rest of the 
Pentateuch, but Genesis is somewhat needed in order to understand the 
rest of the Torah. Exodus takes up where Genesis left off. Since the 
synagogue reading system goes back to New Testament times, it is 
interesting that Acts says the following about what was read:

Acts 15:21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach 
him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.

HH: To Moses is attributed the authorship of the Torah.

Here is a statement about Jesus Christ's understanding of Mosaic 
authorship (slightly adapted):

He acknowledged that the set of books containing
Exodus 3:2-6 was written by Moses (Mark 12:26). He also testified to the Mosaic
authorship of the Pentateuch by saying that the contents of Moses' 
and the prophets'
writings were more authoritative than a message to the world from a 
person who was
raised from the dead (Luke 16:29-31). Following His resurrection He 
confirmed the three
divisions of the Old Testament as they stood in the Hebrew text. He 
said, "These are the
words which I spoke to you while I was yet with you, that all things 
must be fulfilled,
which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms,
concerning me" (Luke 24:44). Without a doubt the "law of Moses" here 
refers to the
Pentateuch; "the prophets" to the former and latter prophets; and 
"the Psalms" to the
Hagiographa or Holy Writings. Aside from His calling the Pentateuch 
"the law of Moses,"
Christ also called it "the law" (Matt. 5:17; 22:40), "the book of 
Moses" (Mark 12:26),
and even "Moses" (Luke 16:29,31; John 7:19).

HH: Other ancient authorities attributed the authorship of Genesis to Moses:

Ancient Jewish and Christian writers, such as Ecclesiasticus, 
Josephus, Philo, and Origen were essentially in full agreement that 
the Pentateuch was written solely by Moses. The Mishnah and the 
Talmud also confirm this. Tradition during the first millennium of 
Christian history agrees with this belief. 

>   To recap--I said earlier that I found it strange that
>the name of the pharaoh Joseph served was forgotten--but that the names of a
>captain of his guard and the priest of On (Heliopolis) were not.  Why should
>these have even been recalled at all?  A midrash even assigns a name to the
>lady who attempted to seduce Joseph--Zuleika!  I can't even think of 
>a reason why
>it should even have been recalled that the seduction attempt was made on

HH: It is important in showing the character of Joseph. I appreciated 
the rest that you wrote but cannot respond to it. R. K. Harrison 
found no other real parallels between the "Tale of Two Brothers" and 
the Joseph story apart from this one incident of the attempted 
seduction. By the dating of Eugene H. Merrill in his book Kingdom of 
Priests (Baker, 1987, p. 31), the birthdate of Joseph was 1916 B.C. 
By that dating he would have been contemporaneous with Sinuhe, if the 
latter existed. Harrison says that Sinuhe supposedly comes from the 
time of c. 1900 B.C.

					Harold Holmyard

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