[b-hebrew] Isaiah 53 read within the book as a whole

Lisbeth S. Fried lizfried at umich.edu
Wed May 26 16:21:56 EDT 2004

Dear Peter,
I don't think I'm disagreeing here.
The king's edicts, once spoken, are the will of the god,
and cannot be changed.
This also goes for the king's satraps, governors, etc.
They represent the king, speak in his name, and in the name
of the god.
This is why I see Ezra coming after Nehemiah. Ezra
grants immunities to the priests and temple personnel,
but in Nehemiah you see them working on the city wall.
Work on the wall is liturgia, corvée labor. In order
for that to have occurred under Nehemiah (and under the
satrap, Neh. 3:7), Nehemiah must have been governor prior
to the priests having received exemptions from the king
in the time of Ezra. This is also why some officials
reported to Ezra upon his arrival that there were intermarriages
going on. Nehemiah had already forbade them, but other officials
were engaged in them anyway. THis is the rebellion.
Nehemiah's edicts were the law of the god and the king.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Peter Kirk [mailto:peterkirk at qaya.org]
> Sent: Wednesday, May 26, 2004 4:01 PM
> To: Lisbeth S. Fried
> Cc: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Isaiah 53 read within the book as a whole
> On 26/05/2004 12:50, Lisbeth S. Fried wrote:
> >Dear Vadim,
> >I misspoke, miswrote. I meant for Hebrew writers of the
> >Persian period. Under the Persians you have what has
> >been called a secularization of the law, the merging
> >of the law of the king and the law of the god.
> >Under Hammurabi, for example, just decisions, mishpat,
> >was separate from the gods. Right order, kinatu, was
> >not given by the gods, but part of nature. The gods were
> >deemed too capricious to be held responsible.
> >Now it is interesting that the Priestly code has the
> >law being given by YHWH -- and by Moses. This places
> >Moses (as King) as lawgiver whose laws are synonymous with
> >YHWH's laws. Writers prior to the Persians demand that the
> >king be accountable to torah, correct behavior. This doesn't
> >occur under the Persians, when the king's behavior is torah
> >by definition.
> >The word nomos is a good translation of torah, data, etc.
> >It too does not refer to legislated law, but right thinking,
> >order, tradition, custom, correct procedure, everything in its
> >proper place.
> >Sorry for the confusion,
> >Best,
> >Liz
> >
> >
> >
> This is interesting, Liz, but it seems to disagree with the biblical
> picture of Persian law, under which the laws of the Medes and Persians
> were unchangeable, and the king was bound to obey them even against his
> will, as seen in Daniel 6:7-15 and Esther 7:5-8 (where, because the old
> edict could not be revoked, a new one had to be published which made the
> old one ineffective although still in force). Now is this picture of
> Persian law the same as the one which you are expounding? And, if not,
> how can we know which is more accurate?
> --
> Peter Kirk
> peter at qaya.org (personal)
> peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
> http://www.qaya.org/

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