[b-hebrew] 2 Samuel 12:31 MLKN or MLBN?

Yigal Levin Yigal.Levin at biu.ac.il
Thu Sep 15 16:26:06 EDT 2011


1. I don't have the Hebrew text of 4QSama, but Abegg, Flint and Ulrich's translation has "put them to work making bricks". 

2. When I read this verse, it seems to me as if David is torturing the Ammonites, using various instruments, including something that has to do with bricks. But I don’t pretend to understand the details, not to mention the "ethical" side of it. The same is true for his treatment of the Moabites in 8:2. 

3. You seem to assume that "only one pharaoh used fired bricks before the Greek era, and that was Raamesis II". This is the first time I've ever heard this claim. Could you point me to a reference? Not that it would convince me that Ramses II was the same as Necho, but interesting notwithstanding.

Yigal Levin

-----Original Message-----
From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of K Randolph
Sent: Thursday, September 15, 2011 10:34 PM
To: B-Hebrew
Subject: [b-hebrew] 2 Samuel 12:31 MLKN or MLBN?

B-Hebrew haburim:

In 2 Samuel 12:31 I find the word במלכן used only here with no clue as to
its meaning.

However, here there is a ketib/qere pair, with the qere being במלבן meaning
“brick kiln” with a prefixed ב. The LXX seems to agree, using the word

Two questions:

Is there any evidence from the DSS that could clarify this?

Is there any archaeological evidence that King David used fired bricks in
any of his building projects?

The only other use of מלבן is in Jeremiah 43:9, referring to a royal brick
kiln in Egypt.

Seeing as only one pharaoh used fired bricks before the Greek era, and that
was Raamesis II, is that not a clue that Raamesis II was a contemporary of
Jeremiah, known also by his Biblical name Necho?

Karl W. Randolph.
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