[b-hebrew] Human Sacrifice - 2 Sam 21

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Sun Oct 23 14:49:36 EDT 2005


Peter:

Actually, I was answering Jack, as he has grabbed onto 
the idea that XRM has something to deal with destruction 
and like a dog with a bone in his mouth, won't let it go.

Going back to my metaphor of a cook adding spices 
to recipes, so I ask what flavor does XRM add to its 
contexts? True, it often is used in context of sacrifice, 
but is it a spice like salt that is mixed throughout, or like 
parsley that is sprinkled on top?

When looking at its uses in sacrifices, I noticed that it 
refers to the animals before they are brought to the altar. 
In fact, when the animal is still in the flock. But it is marked, 
forbidden to be exchanged, destined for the altar no 
matter what. While still in the flock, it is no longer owned 
by the shepherd. The flavor added by XRM is not 
destruction, but that it is untouchable, marked as separate.

That is further evidenced in that objects and people who 
are not to be destroyed are XRM, such as the valuables 
from Jericho that we untouchable, destined for the temple 
treasury and the deformed in the priestly clan who were 
not to serve at the altar, but still reckoned as one of the 
priests and still received some of the priestly perks.

So in looking at what flavor XRM adds to the recipes 
wherein it is found, the thing that  seems constant is that 
it refers to a mark, either physical or metaphorical, that 
marks the person or object as untouchable in some way: 
the animal destined for the altar that can't be exchanged, 
the priest forbidden from serving at the altar, the city 
where the citizens are so wicked that no one is to be left 
alive, the objects specified for the temple, the convicted 
murderer to be executed, all of these are XRM. That which 
is consistent is that they are all marked.

While Jack seems to define the term from the flavor it 
soaks up from the sauce, I look at what flavor the term 
adds to the sauce.

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter Kirk" <peterkirk at qaya.org>
> 
> On 22/10/2005 16:43, Karl Randolph wrote:
> 
> > Jack:
> >
> >
> 
> I think you are actually replying to me.
> 
> > Not all uses of XRM in Hebrew deal with destruction. Not even 
> > always referring to  that which is to be destroyed. For example, 
> > the gold, silver and bronze from Jericho were XRM in Joshua 6, to 
> > be brought to the temple treasury, not destroyed. ...
> >
> 
> But in Muslim tradition something which is haram will never be 
> brought into a holy place like a mosque, it is forbidden because it 
> is disgusting and unclean. That is the huge difference from the 
> gold etc brought into the temple treasury. Arabic haram is more 
> like Hebrew  טמא +M) t-m-' or שׁקץ $QC sh-q-ts, as in 
> Leviticus 11:4,12.
> 
> -- Peter Kirk
> peter at qaya.org (personal)
> peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
> http://www.qaya.org/


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