[b-hebrew] Gezer Calendar and 6-Month "Year"

Tory Thorpe torythrp at yahoo.com
Tue Oct 23 16:24:42 EDT 2007


Even if we were to take /kl/ in line 5 in the sense of "to complete,"  
as Lemaire does by assuming a base /klh/, you still would have no  
support for a 6-month year in the 10th century BCE. Albright may have  
rejected a 1909 proposal from Ronzevalle, but new data coming to  
light since Albright's time suggests Ronzevalle was right all along  
and line 5 should be read /kl/ from a base /kyl/ ("measuring"), a  
reduction of the diphthong /ay/ to /e/ (see Gibson, Textbook of  
Syrian Semitic Inscriptions I [Oxford, 1973], p. 2). The "month of  
harvest and measuring" (yrh qsr wkl), or Albright's "harvest and  
feasting" (he restored a gimmel to /wgl/ and rejected kaph /wkl/), is  
the 9th month enumerated in the GC. Regardless of the precise season  
month 9 corresponds to in Israel the GC is a calendar which measures  
time using more than 6 months. For your theory you need to bring  
forward evidence of a calendar with 6 and only 6 months in it. That  
just can't be done with the GC.

Tory Thorpe

On Oct 23, 2007, at 3:10 PM, JimStinehart at aol.com wrote:

> Tory:
> You wrote:  "The line in the GC where you see  "feasting," which is
> Albright's old reading of line 5, should be rendered "month  of  
> harvesting and
> measuring" (cf. Renz, Die althebräischen Inschriften, 30-37;  and  
> Talmon, JAOS 83
> [1963], p. 183, and note 48). M. Cohen's book uses the  older/ 
> outdated translation
> of the GC proposed by  Albright."
> This is a very important point to me, but  I'm afraid I'm not quite  
> following
> your analysis.  I believe everyone agrees that the word  "harvest"  
> is there.
> The question is  what the other word may mean:  (i)  "feasting" or
> "festival", or (ii) "termination", or (iii) "measuring".  Albright  
> says "feasting".
> Philologos in Forward.com on August 20,  2004 says "(wheat) harvest  
> and
> festival".  A 1909 proposal (discussed by S. Talmon) had suggested  
> "two  measure".
> S. Talmon's footnote 48 seems equivocal to  me.  S. Talmon's  
> footnote 48
> includes the following key statement:
> "The word [wkl] can be derived either from  klh 'to terminate, to  
> end,' or
> from kwl 'two  measure'."
> If it means "to terminate, to end", that  would be consistent with  
> the ending
> of one 6-month year, with the start of a new  6-month year to be  
> celebrated
> at that time.  Thus in a calendar context, "to  terminate, to end"  
> could be
> associated with a "feasting" or "festival",  celebrating the  
> beginning of a new
> New Year (be it a 6-month "year" or a  12-month year).
> But if the word means "two measure", then  I'm afraid I do not  
> follow the
> analysis  here.
> Why wouldn't a harvest season naturally be  associated both with (i) a
> termination or end, and (ii) the time to celebrate  the beginning  
> of a New Year with
> feasting and a New Year festival?  That all seems logical to  me.
> To the extent Talmon says "to terminate, to  end", that's great  
> from my point
> of view.  Are you sure that scholars today are siding with "two  
> measure" as
> the  proper meaning?  That is a 1909  suggestion. 1909 is awfully  
> old, much
> older even than Albright.  I am reluctant to go with a 1909   
> proposal that does
> not seem to make much sense, instead of the various post-1909   
> proposals I have
> seen, which suggest either "termination" or "festival", either  of  
> which
> would be great readings from my point of  view.
> Thank you so very much for cluing me in to  this issue.  Is there  
> anything
> more  out there on this particular topic?
> Jim  Stinehart
> Evanston,  Illinois
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