[b-hebrew] g(r Psa. 106:9 - exorcism?
B. M. Rocine
brocine at twcny.rr.com
Mon Dec 13 21:48:49 EST 2004
Interesting question. I haven't read Fitzmyer ont he subject, and pardon my
naivete, but it seems to me he has taken on an excess burden in such a
claim. I am probably misunderstanding.
First about yam: Does he mean that there is *not* a literal reference, by
name, to a body of water? What about the rest of the context, which
contains a clear allusion to the Exodus story with all its watery detail?
What about Nahum 1:4 go`er bayyam vayyabshehu vekol hanneharot, "one
rebuking the sea, and he made it dry, and all the rivers." Is hanneharot
also an ancient reference to a spiritual power? To me the plain reference
in Ps 106 is to the miraculous turning of a wet place to dry.
As for the verb g`r, though we see expressions such as yig`ar yhwh beka "may
YHWH rebuke you," or in Greek, EPITIMHSAI SOI KURIOS, I think it is an
unecessary stretch to call such "rebuking" technical. Are we to think that
Greek EPITIMAW is also a technical word for exorcising? We can come up with
numerous contexts where both the Heb and Gr. words are used for mundane
scolding. Some Aramaic, Greek or Qumran documents which express the verbal
activity of rebuking in the context of exorcism do not a technical term
make. Calling rebuke technical smacks of the ancient criticism against
oppressors and deliverers alike, that they were magicians. 'Pharaoh was a
magician' can be convenient when it opens the door to 'Moses was a
magician,' which in turn opens the door to 'Jesus was a magician,' all of
which are debasing. Nowhere in Old or New Testament is deliverence
understood as technique. It is always presented as power.
If Fitzmyer means, on the other hand, that the rebuke of the waters of Yam
Suph typifies the Lord's supremacy over the dark powers of chaos in the
tradition of Gen 1, I can accept the explanation. I imagine, however, that
such an explanation is so generally accepted, it would not have prompted
The Fitzmyer proposal sounds over-zealous to this simple guy.
> Psa. 106:9 wyg(r byM-swP
> Psa. 106:9 He rebuked the Red Sea
> J.A. Fitzmyer* suggests that g(r is sometimes used as a technical term for
> exorcism. I am specifically focusing on the use of g(r with YAM (sea) as
> object. Fitzmyer** suggests that the verbal address is not directed at
> a modern would think of as the sea but rather at some spiritual entity and
> that the verbal address functions as an exorcism.
> Clay Bartholomew
> *A Wandering Aramean, J.A. Fitzmyer, Page 97.,
> **Luke 1-9 (AnchorBible v.28) J.A. Fitzmyer, pages 546,730.
B. M. Rocine
Living Word Church
6101 Court St. Rd.
Syracuse, NY 13206
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