[b-hebrew] The Potter's Wheel and Giving Birth?

MarianneLuban at aol.com MarianneLuban at aol.com
Mon Aug 23 16:34:08 EDT 2004

In a message dated 8/23/2004 12:02:39 PM Pacific Daylight Time, 
huyxh8s02 at sneakemail.com writes:

> And he said: "When you act as midwife to an `Ebriy woman, look for the 
> 'shaft and two stones.'   Kill the boys and let the girls live."
> As always, I appreciate criticism.
> By the way, does anyone have an idea if "Shifrah" and "Pu`ah" are Egyptian 
> names? 

We covered this somewhat more earlier and I did find references to "the two 
stones" (which even had names).  What is not so clear is whether these stones 
or bricks sometimes supported a woman giving birth, or whether the child was 
layed on them.  And Egyptian story says it was the latter:  "They washed him, 
his umbilical cord was cut, and he was placed upon a cushion on bricks."  So I 
don't know what more to say about this for now.  The name "Shifrah" seems to be 
a Semitic one.  The name is attested on the Brooklyn Papyrus, a list of 
slaves, the "Apiru Reshep", who were working on an Upper Egyptian estate.  The 
Egyptian names of some of these "Apiru" are also given.  The papyrus has been 
dated to the 13th Dynasty--to the reign of Sobekhotep III.  "Pu'ah" seems to be 
more likely an Egyptian name.  But what it means I cannot say offhand without 
giving it more thought.

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