[b-hebrew] Samaritan Pentateuch

MarianneLuban at aol.com MarianneLuban at aol.com
Mon Oct 18 13:16:22 EDT 2004

In a message dated 10/18/2004 7:17:01 AM Pacific Daylight Time, 
peterkirk at qaya.org writes:

> >In a message dated 10/15/2004 9:43:37 AM Pacific Daylight Time, 
> >tlt at teol.ku.dk writes:
> >
> >
> >  
> >
> >>I was only saying that--like the massoretic of the Aleppo and Leningrad 
> >>codices, the Samaritan Pentateuch was a medieval manuscript. I have no 
> doubt 
> >>that it--like the massoretic--reflects a very early form of the Pentateuch
> >>    
> >>
> >
> >Well, where there are differences between the Masoretic version and the 
> >Septuagint, the Samaritan Pentateuch usually agrees with the latter.
> >
> >  
> >
> I find this statement extremely surprising, almost the opposite of what 
> I understood. I am away from reference books at the moment. Do you have 
> any confirmation of this?
> I accept that there are a few cases where LXX agrees with Sam against 
> MT, but have a special significance because of their rarity, indicating 
> an error in the MT. At least, that is how I understood the evidence.

The SP agrees with the LXX against the MT in almost two thousand readings.  
One example is the interpretation or clarification of what constituted the 430 
years mentioned in Exodus.  The SP and LXX may have grown out of a common 
As might be expected, wherever the temple mount is mentioned, the SP changes 
it to Mount Gerizim, the holy place of the Samaritans.  So what is written in 
the MT is not necessarily in error compared to the other texts.  The MT is the 
oldest.  Significantly, however, the Samaritan people do not attempt to count 
up the years of the beginning of Mankind.  While it is the year 5765 by the 
Jewish calendar, it is only 3643 by the Samaritan calendar.  A difference of 
2,122 years.  That is because the Samaritans begin their count at the arrival of 
Joshua ben Nun in Canaan.  Doing some quick math, the world should have begun 
in 3760 BCE by Jewish reckoning (putting scientific impossibilities aside for 
the moment).  But, according to the Samaritans, the Hebrews should have 
arrived in the Land in 1638 BCE--dating Abraham to 2,108 BCE.  With an exodus in 
1678 BCE, of course.  However, some of the ancient historians do not place this 
exodus until 1618 BCE.  These are Eusebius, Artapanus, Bar Hebraeus and 
Michael the Syrian--at least.  They describe the exodus has having occurred in "Year 
490"--instead of "Year 430"--counting from the time of Abraham.  

Marianne Luban

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