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

Kevin Riley klriley at alphalink.com.au
Tue Aug 2 21:20:42 EDT 2005

 Is it likely that a manuscript would have survived in reasonable condition
for that long?  

Kevin Riley
-------Original Message-------
From: Dave Washburn
Date: 08/03/05 01:09:03

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
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


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