[b-hebrew] Josiah's book of the Law

Dave Washburn dwashbur at nyx.net
Tue Aug 2 11:09:03 EDT 2005

The recent discussion that included Josiah and the discovery during his day 
triggered a memory of something I read a long time ago, and I want to toss it 
out for discussion if nobody minds.

Merrill F. Unger, in his book "Archaeology and the Old Testament" (Grand 
Rapids: Zondervan, 1954) p. 281 says in part that "it was customary in 
ancient times to place documents in the foundations of buildings as is done 
even to the present day [1954, at least]."  He suggests that the Book of the 
Law that Josiah's priests discovered had been placed in the cornerstone of 
the Temple by Solomon, and that during the extensive repairs to the Temple 
that Josiah directed, the stone masons and carpenters came across this 
deposit and reported it to the priests.  Hence the rediscovery of the Book of 
the Law.  Unger also notes that Nabonidus, around the 6th century BC (BCE if 
you prefer) liked to dig into foundations of buildings to see what sorts of 
documents were cached away therein.

I'm wondering what folks here think of this idea as an explanation of the 
discovery during Josiah's reign.

Dave Washburn
"Well, if I'd wanted a safe life, I guess I wouldn't have 
married a man who studies rocks." - Betty Armstrong (Fay Masterson)

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