[b-hebrew] UK Report: Archaeological Find Confirms Hebrew Text of Jeremiah
peter at qaya.org
Sat Jul 14 06:53:18 EDT 2007
On 12/07/2007 13:15, Peter Kirk wrote:
> On 12/07/2007 06:37, Gary Hedrick wrote:
>> Listers, here’s an interesting story from today’s issue
>> of the
>> Daily Telegraph in the UK. It suggests that a recent archaeological
>> discovery from 2,500 years ago may substantiate the existence of a minor
>> character mentioned in the Hebrew text of Jeremiah 39. But the
>> spelling of
>> the name in the recently-discovered inscription is slightly different
>> the name as it appears in the MT. Interesting report, nonetheless.
>> to all.
> Thanks for this, Gary. I had already written about this at
> and have now updated that blog post with the new information from the
> Telegraph. The verse in question is of course Jeremiah 39:3.
> To me there are two interesting points here which you have not brought
> 1) The tablet confirms the word division given in some modern Bible
> translations (NIV, TNIV, NLT) over that of the Hebrew Masoretic Text,
> KJV and NRSV, in that it is now clear that "Nebo" should go with the
> following "Sarsekim" and not with the preceding "Samgar". But it
> discredits the BHS margin which suggests an emendation to
> "Nebushazban" as in verse 13.
> 2) In the tablet Nebo-Sarsekim is called "the chief eunuch". This
> title ties up well with his Hebrew title RAB-SARIYS, "chief officer"
> in some translations but SARIYS generally if not always means
> "eunuch". This detail seems to me to confirm that this really is the
> same person with the same title. This is significant lexical support
> for the meaning of RAB-SARIYS - that is, if the translation of the
> tablet is secure.
Over the last couple of days there have been several interesting
developments on this topic. I recommend especially to Hebraists the
discussions by Christopher Heard at
http://www.heardworld.com/higgaion/?p=681, John Hobbins at
and Claude Mariottini at
They seem to be moving towards a consensus that most probably there are
three people mentioned in the text of Jeremiah 39:3:
Nergal-Sharezer the Simmagar
Nebo-Sarsekim the chief eunuch
Nergal-Sharezer the chief /mag/
Each person has an attested Babylonian name and an attested Babylonian
E-mail: peter at qaya.org
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