[b-hebrew] g(r Psa. 106:9 - exorcism?

C. Stirling Bartholomew jacksonpollock at earthlink.net
Tue Dec 14 13:25:52 EST 2004

Harold and Bryan,

On 12/13/04 1:40 PM, "Harold R. Holmyard III" <hholmyard at ont.com> wrote:

> Did he give proof of his first assertion, that g(r functioned as
> a t.t. for exorcism?

Oh no! Not proof. No attempt was made at proof. Look at what I said. Note
how tentative this is, the word "suggests" and "sometimes"

On 12/13/04 1:09 PM, "C. Stirling Bartholomew"
<jacksonpollock at earthlink.net> wrote:

> J.A. Fitzmyer* suggests that g(r is sometimes used as a technical term for
> exorcism ... 

Fitzmyer talks about a "more technical" usage of g(r in 1QapGen 20:28-29 for
exorcism as background for EPITIMAW in the NT which is a topic for another
list. So g(r as a T.T. is not what he is claiming, that was my mistake.

Bryan Rocine wrote:
> Some Aramaic, Greek or Qumran documents which express the verbal
>activity of rebuking in the context of exorcism do not a technical term

I totally agree.

>Calling rebuke technical smacks of the ancient criticism against
> oppressors and deliverers alike, that they were magicians.

There was no intention to make Moses a magician.  Lets forget T.T. and go on
to discuss the main issue.

Harold said:
> Even if he did, I see no particular relevance
> for Psalm 106:9. Practically speaking, what would lead one to think
> the sea needed exorcising? It was just sitting there being a normal
> sea.

Well that is exactly the issue I want to discuss.

Bryan Rocine wrote:

> First about yam:  Does he mean that there is *not* a literal reference, by
> name, to a body of water?

Yes, no one is questioning that YAM points to a real body of water in Psalm
106:9. But what does this body of water represent in the mytho-poetic
language of the psalmist? Is it just a dead thing? Does the psalmist see
this body of water in the same way as a modernist, a 20th century

Bryan Rocine wrote:

> 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
> your query.

What prompted my query is the notion that monotheism of the Psalmist reduces
the physical universe to dead matter of 20th century materialist. That Psalm
106:9 is just talking about moving some water aside to make a path and there
is no other dimension to this. No cosmic conflict between spiritual beings
represented in this event. This "flat" reading of the text is really quite

Psa. 106:9 wyg(r byM-swP

Bryan, I take it that you would have no problem with the suggestion that g(r
with yM-swP as an object involves subduing a hostile spiritual force, not
just the physical event of making a path through the sea.

Clay Bartholomew 

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