[b-hebrew] A Puzzle - find the catchword

B. M. Rocine brocine at twcny.rr.com
Sun Nov 12 18:44:18 EST 2006

Hi Chris,

I think the "catchword" is yumetu because yumat or mot yumat is so often 
a penalty for sin against Mosaic law.  Deu 24:16-17 are incongruous 
because the subject of the surrounding passage is the treatment of 
servants who would often be strangers (no mention of death penalties).

As Ben Zvi is searching for an explanation for this incongruous verse, 
he refers to the parallel subject matter on the treatment of strangers 
in Exo 22 because there may be a suggestion that any stranger who 
worships another god require the death penalty.

The idea Ben Zvi is putting forth for consideration is that the Deu vv. 
may be clarifying the correct treatment of pagans and low-class folk. 
The disrespected classes had to be treated justly, as individuals.  They 
couldn't be prejudged by their status as strangers or by being family of 
any individual who promoted idolatry.

I think it's a good point because I think the book of Deu as a whole has 
the most clarifications and qualifications applied to the death penalty 
of any Torah book.  For example, there are prescriptions for all the 
following: judges have to research a matter, find two or three 
witnesses, how to deal with matters that are too complicated, what to do 
when sin is by accident, the accusers having to throw the first stone, 
parents having to throw the first stone at their rebellious children, 
etc.    On the whole the book of Deu throws the waters of careful 
justice on the heat of vengeance and anger.

I agree that that Ben Zvi's text is too obscure at this point.  But I 
still like the idea that he asks questions without giving answers.

Hoping to help,

Chris and Nel wrote:
> Deut 24 in verse 16.  Where is the catchword that relates an apparently 
> inconsistent or out of place clause to the whole subject just gone before? 
> This is not my idea but Ehud Ben Zvi's. I presume it is the word: BeCHeTow 
> (his sin).  What is even more baffling, (pull out hair moment) is that he 
> says that this incongruent statement has been inserted here probably as a 
> response to Exodus 22:20-23.  What is he talking about for goodness 
> sake??????????????????????????????
> The problem with this book is that he asks so many questions and asks you to 
> think about things but there are absolutely NO explanations or suggestions 
> on his part.  You are left to fend for yourself!  I'm doing my best, 
> discarding many things into the 'never-can-find-out-closet'  --  but now 
> this comment annoys me sufficiently to get it off my chest!!
> Thankyou
> Chris
> Ireland. 

B. M. Rocine
Living Word Church
6101 Court St. Rd.
Syracuse, NY 13026
(W): 315.437.6744

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