[b-hebrew] 2 Kings 18:16 - Pillars??

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Thu Mar 31 18:08:54 EST 2005

On 31/03/2005 23:38, Jim West wrote:

> Peter Kirk wrote:
>> Not necessarily. The word as written may well be a participle of 'MN 
>> "support", and so would suggest something like "supports", rather 
>> than "doorposts" which support only doors.
> And what pray tell do you think the posts are supporting?

The temple, most probably. The phrase reads 'ET-DALTOT HEYKAL YHWH 
W:ET-HA'OMNOT. I note that there is no possessive suffix on HA'OMNOT 
which could resolve the ambiguity of whether these are supports/pillars 
of the doors or supports/pillars of the temple. Indeed the lack of any 
possessive suffix tends to support my suggestion that HA'OMNOT are not 
related to either the doors or the temple, but are something separate.

>> But there are many other concepts which could fit the context. The 
>> BHS margin notes a Latin version "clypeos", meaning "shields"; the 
>> suggestion there is that this is a textual error for MAGINNOT - not 
>> the French defensive line, but the Hebrew equivalent, "shields" - but 
>> quite possible 'OMEN could mean "shield", as an extension of "what is 
>> relied upon". 
> Which makes no sense in the context and is dismissed by many 
> commentators.
>> And from 1 Kings 14:26-28 we have evidence of gold shields associated 
>> with royalty and the temple - replaced with bronze by Rehoboam, but 
>> it is quite plausible that Hezekiah had restored gold or at least 
>> gold-plated shields.

This is the crucial evidence which shows that "shields" does make sense 
in the context. (Note that I am not supporting the textual emendation, 
but suggesting a different meaning for the extant Hebrew text.) Rehoboam 
was forced to pay off Shishak with golden shields. Hezekiah was forced 
to pay off Sennacherib with golden 'OMNOT. The parallel is so close that 
it is almost compelling, in my opinion.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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