[b-hebrew] Birah

Lisbeth S. Fried lizfried at umich.edu
Wed Mar 10 12:51:49 EST 2004


Dear ALl,
It's necessary to remember that Chronicles
was written during the Hellenistic period.
I think that Goldstein has a good description
of Jersualem in his commentary on First Maccabees.
There is the temple and next to the temple is the
akra/fortress/birah. You can also get that view from
reading Nehemiah. But if you read 1 Macc. 1 you can
also see it. The temple and the palace and the citadel
are all enclosed in a common wall. Tho each will have its
own wall as well within this compound.
 These are usually on a hill for defensive purposes.
In addition there will be  a storehouse which contains stores
of provisions of taxes, first, presented in kind, and also for
the populace of the surrounding villages in case of siege.
I don't know what the city looked like in the time of Solomon,
but neither did the Chronicler! He is describing the city of his own day.
Goldstein argues that it was the same from Persian to
the Hellenistic to the Roman, so that if you read Josephus
you can also get an idea of the relationship of the akra/citadel/fort
and the temple and the palace.
Liz

> -----Original Message-----
> From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
> [mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org]On Behalf Of Karl Randolph
> Sent: Wed, March 10, 2004 12:31 PM
> To: Hebrew
> Subject: RE: [b-hebrew] Birah
>
>
> To All:
>
> Are you all suggesting that Solomon’s temple
> was built as a fortress? Or was the original
> meaning “large, imposing building” only
> centuries after David used the term was it
> restricted to fortress? Or was it a term in
> Hebrew that had a slightly different meaning
> than it did in cognate languages?
>
> Karl W. Randolph.
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Lisbeth S. Fried" <lizfried at umich.edu>
>
> > Yup, birtu is fortress, citadel
> > Liz Fried
> >
> > > ----- Original Message -----
> > > From: "Lisbeth S. Fried" <lizfried at umich.edu>
> > >
> > >
> > > > 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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