[b-hebrew] b-hebrew Digest, Vol 96, Issue 5

Steve Miller smille10 at sbcglobal.net
Wed Dec 8 16:27:14 EST 2010

> From: Daniel Buck  Sent: Monday, December 06, 2010 2:03 PM
> Is it certain that the king of Moab sacrificed his own son?  Could we not
> alternatively read it thus?
> "the king of Moab . . .[tried] to break through to the king of Edom, but
they could
> not. Then he took [the king of Edom']s eldest son, that should have
reigned in his
> place, and offered him for a burnt offering upon the wall.
[Steve Miller] I read this interpretation attributed to Radak in the Stone
Tanach. These kind of interpretations do not stand upon the text of the
Bible, but on supposed extra-Biblical knowledge, which is just speculation
or superstition.
If you meant to communicate this in English, would you write it this way?
Only if the writer was writing in riddles. If this was a prophecy, then
maybe, because prophecies are sometimes given in riddles so that they can be
understood after the fulfillment, but not before. But this is history. If
the writer meant Radak's meaning he should say, "he took the king of Edom's
eldest son", not "he took his son". 
If you can find an instance of  "he <verb> his son" in the Tanach, where
"his" does not refer to the same person as "he", then you might have a
point. Otherwise, I see no merit in this interpretation.

It also doesn't make sense.

Also, "he took his eldest son, who should have reigned in his stead",
indicates that the taker had his choice of sons, and chose his oldest as the
costliest sacrifice. 
Also, if the Mesha had previously captured the King of Edom's son, then
"took" is not the right verb here. He would have previously taken him. Now
he would have brought him out, or just sacrificed him. 

> See Amos 2:1
> "For three transgressions of Moab and for four I will not revoke its
> Because he burned the bones of the king of Edom to lime."
[Steve Miller] This so unspecific to Radak's 2 Ki 3 interpretation as to add
nothing. It is like this + a quarter will give you 25 cents (as to this
To link this to 2 Ki 3 requires extra-Biblical knowledge, which is not
there. If you buy the extra-Biblical speculation as true, Amos 2:1 adds

-Steve Miller
Blessed is the man who walks not in 
the world's counsel of sin, 
nor standeth in the sinners' way, 
nor with the scornful stays,
because he delights in the law
of the Lord, and in awe
he meditates both day and night.
His mind is being made right. (Psalm 1:1-2)

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