[b-hebrew] Birah

Lisbeth S. Fried lizfried at umich.edu
Tue Mar 9 18:05:44 EST 2004


Dear All,
I discuss the term birah in my article "The Political Struggle of Fifth
Century Judah," in Transeuphratene 24 (2002):9-21
A birah is a citadel, an acropolis. It is part of a city , often
the capital of a province, which houses a fort and a garrison.
The term is well-attested. Birah is a loan-word from Akkadian birtu.
It is used throughout the Achaemenid Empire in Aramaic birta' to refer to
the city of Elephantine/Syene in Egypt, Sardis in Lydia, and
Xanthus in Lycia, and probably others.
Best,
Liz Fried

> -----Original Message-----
> From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
> [mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org]On Behalf Of Karl Randolph
> Sent: Tue, March 09, 2004 5:45 PM
> To: Hebrew
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Solomon's palace in 1 Kings 7:1-8
>
>
> Dear Chemorion Chosefu:
>
> I would hesitate to claim that BYRH refers to
> a capitol or seat of government: of the four
> times it is used apart from the name $W$N,
> twice it is used for Solomon’s as of yet
> unbuilt temple (1 Chronicles 29:1,19) and once
> for a structure in Jerusalem when Jerusalem
> was a minor governor’s city in the Persian
> Empire (Nehemiah 7:2). That is unless we read
> the temple as being the seat of God’s
> government and even a minor governor has a
> seat of government.
>
> As for HYKL in 2 Chronicles 36:7, I had read
> it as referring to the building that contains
> the large meeting room. But you may be right.
>
> Karl W. Randolph.
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Chemorion" <chosefu_chemorion at wycliffe.org>
>
> >
> > > BYRH seems to indicate an edifice, a large,
> > > imposing building.
> > I think this was usually the headquarters of the rulership. In biblical
> > terms, Washington DC would be the BYRAH of America just as
> Shusan in Esther
> > 1:5, Nehemiah 2:8,
> >
> > > HYKL refers to a large meeting room. By
> > > extension, it also refers to the building that
> > > houses such a room. It can be in a tent or a
> > > building of wood and/or stone.
>
> > Your observation here is very interesting. Traditionally, lexicons have
> > understood this term in two senses. It is thought to refer to a house of
> > splendour  that is usually associated with kings or a
> magnificent building
> > dedicated to divinities. Basically, the term is usually translated as
> > either a Palace or a temple. In many cases, this term is
> rendered as Temple.
> > However, a close examination of how this term is used in 1
> Kings 6:3, 5ff,
> > reveals that HYKL was a one of the rooms in a bigger complex
> structure. I
> > think you are right. Your explanation could be useful in
> understanding the
> > usage of this term in 2 Chronicles 36:7, where  NIV says
> "Temple" but CEV
> > says "palace". From your explanation I would render HYKL in  2
> chroincles
> > 36:7 as a "a large room" which was probably used to store the
> valuables of
> > Nebuchadnezzer. I hope I am not too wrong!>
> >
> > Chemorion Chosefu
> > Sabaot Bible Translation
> > P.O.Box 6645 Eldoret (Kenya)
> > Tel.Office- 053 33794, Personal- 0733 360873
> --
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