[b-hebrew] Haggai 2,8 + Ezra 3,10

George Athas George.Athas at moore.edu.au
Thu Mar 29 21:53:24 EDT 2012


The issues you raise here are predominantly questions of historical construction with two different sources. It's not really a linguistic issue pertaining to the Hebrew. The Hebrew is quite straightforward, indicating the laying of foundations for the Jerusalem temple. The historical problem is determining when this occurred, and that is not straightforward.

Since historical discussions are not really permitted in this forum, apart from clarifying linguistic issues, I will only give a brief thumb-sketch of the issues, but will not invite any further exploration. For that, I'd refer you to relevant secondary literature.

Ezra portrays a foundation laying before the time of Darius, but Haggai portrays a foundation laying during the time of Darius. These can either be harmonised by concluding there were two foundation laying ceremonies, or else seen as independent sources, each with a different opinion on when exactly the foundation was laid.

There are many more historiographical issues involved in these considerations, but B-Hebrew is not the place to explore them. We need to confine our discussion to the Hebrew.

Director of Postgraduate Studies,
Moore Theological College (moore.edu.au)
Sydney, Australia

From: <ps2866 at bingo-ev.de<mailto:ps2866 at bingo-ev.de>>
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2012 20:33:14 +0200
To: B-Hebrew <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org<mailto:b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>>
Subject: [b-hebrew] Haggai 2,8 + Ezra 3,10

Dear Friends of B-Heb,

by comparing Haggai and Ezra I found a problem that I can't solve on my own:

In Haggai 2,18 it states: "from the day that the foundation of the LORD'S
temple was laid" (NKJ)

In Ezra 3,10 we read: "When the builders laid the foundation of the temple
of the LORD" (NKJ)

In both instances the writer uses the verb JaSaD. What is the difference
between both occurences, as a foundation can't be laid twice, I guess, and
there are some years between both passages.

Is it better to understand the verb as "beginning to build" rather than
laying the foundation?

Thank you again for all help !
Peter M. Streitenberger, Germany

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