[b-hebrew] Human Sacrifice - 2 Sam 21
jyard at ais.ucla.edu
Fri Oct 21 14:07:12 EDT 2005
If I am not mistaken the same technical expression -
'to dedicate to destruction' - is used in the Moabite
stone on reference to the inhabitants of an Isrealite
city who were sacrificed - XRM - to Chemosh.
It's quid pro quo - I give you something valuable -
you ( Chemosh ) give me something back,
From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of
tladatsi at charter.net
Sent: Friday, October 21, 2005 9:12 AM
To: Peter Kirk
Cc: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [b-hebrew] Human Sacrifice - 2 Sam 21
I must beg to differ. It is certainly true they were not
ritually slain, dismembered, and burnt, as a goat might be.
This would explain why the verb XRM was not used.
Nonetheless, the purpose of sacrifice is for someone to
return to God something of great value, a lose to the
person and a gain to God. The person then expects some
recompense from God. Forgiveness for some sin for example.
The sacrificed goat did not commit the sin but it is the
goats death that atones for the sin.
In this case the people of Isreal give up the male
descendents of Saul to God. They expect an end to the
famine in return. God answers their prayers and relieves
It must be pointed that this is some time after Sauls
death. None of the seven male descendents of Saul are
implicated in Sauls crime in the text. They did not commit
the sin but their death atones for Sauls (and Israels ?)
The text is quite clear that Elohim finds the deaths of
these seven men/boys satisfactory and the famine is lifted
as a result of their deaths. That these deaths were not in
the form a ritual does not change the substance of the
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