[b-hebrew] Septuagint vs Hebrew, effect on Christianity

Shoshanna Walker rosewalk at concentric.net
Mon Oct 16 11:09:20 EDT 2006

But I would imagine that whether a woman had been married or not, 
would be relevant, even in older Israel, before the Ketuba, for 
inheritance purposes, and property ownership.


Dear Shoshanna,

While all you wrote below is true, it is not really relevant. The Ketubah
and the rabbinic literature that it is a part of reflect the use of the
words "betulah" and "almah" in a "legalese" termanology from a thousand
years after the time of Isaiah, in a world that was very different than that
of Iron Age Israel. It would be more relevant to check in what other
contexts the words are used in the Tanakh, and in cognate ANE languages of
the same period. Then you can generalize about whether a "betulah" can be
assumed to be a "reall" virgin and whether an "almah" is usually unmarried.

Yigal Levin

----- Original Message -----
From: "Shoshanna Walker" <rosewalk at concentric.net>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Monday, October 16, 2006 6:27 AM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Septuagint vs Hebrew, effect on Christianity

> Maybe.  But that would be an assumption, not the working definition.
> Just as today, it is an "assumption" - but we know very well that it
> is not always the case - that an unmarried woman is a virgin.
> And it is only the distinction between a woman who was previously
> married, whether she was widowed or divorced, and a woman who was
> never married, which makes a big difference in the conditions in the
> Ketuba (ie the money she is entitled to, from the groom and/or his
> family, if he divorces her).  No one really probes into her private
> life, to determine if she is a virgin or not, in order to designate
> the conditions in the Ketuba.
> Also, whether or not she is a convert to Judaism - but that is a
> different matter.
> But - if she had a child, and was never married - then they use the
> word "It'ta" - which simply means "woman" - since they cannot pretend
> that she is a betulta - which "assumes", as you say, that she is a
> virgin.  I don't remember off hand, in this case, whether the money
> she is entitled to, is the same as if she had never been married, or
> the same as if she had been widowed or divorced or converted - I can
> look it up, not now - it's after midnight.
> Shoshanna

b-hebrew mailing list
b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list