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

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Wed Aug 3 03:04:15 EDT 2005

Unlikely, but possible in a sealed jar, even in Jerusalem. But you're right;
the "foundation inscriptions" buried in Mesopotamian temples and palaces
were fired clay tablets, not parchment.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Kevin Riley" <klriley at alphalink.com.au>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Wednesday, August 03, 2005 3:20 AM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Josiah's book of the Law

> 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
> 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
> even to the present day [1954, at least]." He suggests that the Book of
> 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
> the Law. Unger also notes that Nabonidus, around the 6th century BC (BCE
> you prefer) liked to dig into foundations of buildings to see what sorts
> 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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