[b-hebrew] Ark of the Covenant

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Fri Aug 20 23:46:56 EDT 2004

Dear Marianne,

>  > 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.
>Okay--but all these people lived--and the NT was written after CE.  What
>means did they have of knowing if Moses wrote 
>the Torah?  Did they even have a way
>of detecting the anachronisms in it?  There was no Egyptology or Biblical
>archaeology then.  They had a tradition--but sometimes tradition can be wrong.

HH: Well, Jesus was a prophet in his claims, at 
the least. And Ecclesiasticus was before CE. But 
I believe they held that view because it has been 
faithfully passed down through the centuries. The 
Pentateuch itself is clear that Moses is writing 
down large portions of the Law. The Book of 
Joshua confirms it:

Josh. 8:31 as Moses the servant of the LORD had 
commanded the Israelites. He built it according 
to what is written in the Book of the Law of 
Moses - an altar of uncut stones, on which no 
iron tool had been used. On it they offered to 
the LORD burnt offerings and sacrificed 
fellowship offerings.

As does Judges:

Judg. 3:4 They were left to test the Israelites 
to see whether they would obey the LORD's 
commands, which he had given their forefathers 
through Moses.

HH: And it continues:

1Kings 2:3 and observe what the LORD your God 
requires: Walk in his ways, and keep his decrees 
and commands, his laws and requirements, as 
written in the Law of Moses, so that you may 
prosper in all you do and wherever you go,

2Kings 23:25 Neither before nor after Josiah was 
there a king like him who turned to the LORD as 
he did - with all his heart and with all his soul 
and with all his strength, in accordance with all 
the Law of Moses.

1Chr. 22:13 Then you will have success if you are 
careful to observe the decrees and laws that the 
LORD gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and 
courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged. 

2Chr. 23:18 ¶ Then Jehoiada placed the oversight 
of the temple of the LORD in the hands of the 
priests, who were Levites, to whom David had made 
assignments in the temple, to present the burnt 
offerings of the LORD as written in the Law of 
Moses, with rejoicing and singing, as David had 

Ezra 6:18 And they installed the priests in their 
divisions and the Levites in their groups for the 
service of God at Jerusalem, according to what is 
written in the Book of Moses.

Neh. 8:1 all the people assembled as one man in 
the square before the Water Gate. They told Ezra 
the scribe to bring out the Book of the Law of 
Moses, which the LORD had commanded for Israel.

Psa. 90:0 ¶ A prayer of Moses the man of God.

Dan. 9:11 All Israel has transgressed your law 
and turned away, refusing to obey you. ¶ 
"Therefore the curses and sworn judgments written 
in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have 
been poured out on us, because we have sinned 
against you.

Mal. 4:4 ¶  "Remember the law of my servant 
Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb 
for all Israel.

HH: It would be nice to see a quote from Genesis 
attributed to Moses, but I can't remember seeing 
that in the Tanakh. The stress is on the need for 
the people to obey, and there does not seem to be 
such an historical quote.

>  > 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.
>I don't know how anybody pinpoints the birthdate of Joseph as 1916.  I would
>certainly like to see the rationale.  The dating of Sinuhe is correct.

HH: He uses the work of people like Edmund Thiele 
to get a definite date for 1 Kings 6:1, goes back 
to the Exodus date from that, counts the number 
of years in Egypt given in Exod 12:40 and the age 
of Joseph when he went there, so it is easy. But, 
of course, such constructions are only as 
accurate as Thiele's work on the chronology of 
the kings, and Merrill would openly admit that. 
The date is an approximation based on the best 
available data.

					Harold Holmyard

>b-hebrew mailing list
>b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list