[b-hebrew] Birah

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Sat Mar 13 12:13:51 EST 2004


Liz:

No I did not intend to take this off list.

What I question is: was David’s use of the 
term BYRH in tenth century the same as the 
Akkadian usage in the fifth century? From 
the context, I get the impression that the 
two uses were different, though closer than 
the uses of $KX between Hebrew and Aramaic. 
>From the context, it appears that David 
meant “imposing structure” whereas the 
Akkadian and Aramaic five centuries later 
had restricted it to “fortress”, which is 
one type of imposing structure.

As for the book of Chronicles, I think it 
is post exilic, but that the author had 
access to pre-exile documents, from which 
he chose highlights that he thought 
important, much like a modern historian who 
researches source documents, numbering many 
hundreds of pages, to write a chapter of 
maybe 10 pages.

Karl W. Randolph.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Lisbeth S. Fried" <lizfried at umich.edu>

> Dear Karl,
> Did you mean to send this to B-Hebrew,
> if so, you can fwd my message as well.
> I see that the NRSV translates it "temple" with
> a note that the Hebrew says "fortress."
> I think the writer is talking  about the whole city,
> the city on the hill, which is the akropolis.
> You can emmend the text, as the NRSV does, but
> that won't change the meaning of the term. THe word
> is used throughout the entire Persian Empire and never
> means temple. I think there was a compound with a wall
> around it in which the temple, etc. were. But I've said all
> that. See if you can get a copy of Goldstein's commentary
> on 1st Maccabee. He has a description in there.
> Liz
> 
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Karl Randolph [mailto:kwrandolph at email.com]
> >
> >
> > Liz:
> >
> > How does this description square with its use
> > in 1 Chronicle 29? There it clearly refers to
> > the temple itself, not to a fortress next to
> > it. Or do you claim that a wall around the
> > temple made it a fortress?
> >
> > Karl W. Randolph.
> >
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Lisbeth S. Fried" <lizfried at umich.edu>
> >
> > > 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
-- 
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