Monday, 28 January 2013

WHERE IS YOUR LOCAL JERUSALEM? IN OLD TESTAMENT “JERUSALEM” OFTEN IS NOUN FOR SAFE HAVENS AND SAFE HARBOURS, NOT NAME OF ONE CITY (VERRE ET BIBLE 15) A Biblical Study of Old Testament, By Pasi K. Pohjala , January 28, 2013 Studying Old Testament statements concerning Jerusalem we first specify precisely the topic of this study. Thus we first notice questions of orthography: in the Old Testament this name is almost always written as JRWSLM; only in few statements is the variant JRWSLJM written (thus in 1 Chron 3:5, 2 Chron 25:1, Esther 2:6 and Jer 26:18). In the Greek Septuagint translation is written of IEROUSALEEM, and Greek New Testament writes of HIEROSOLYMA. And in cuneiform equivalents is of URUSALIM and URUSALIMMU written. Especially important now is to notice ideas concerning etymology of this name; in the scholarly consensus, at least among Editors and Editorial Board of the TDOT, this question is now solved in favour of finding JRH word, stating “etymologically, the name may mean something like ‘foundation’ (JRH I yara) of the God Shalem. This would be a pre-Israelite name” (thus Editor Helmer Ringgren in Art. Jerusalem in TDOT VI). Everyone knows well that discussions concerning “Jerusalem” is of quite importance for Biblical religion, so that Scholars and Editorial Boards of thus important co-operations as TWAT (in English translation this is the TDOT) have discussed and pondered this question profoundly. Thus it is important to notice that the little older large Scholarly consensus result is reflected in BDB article of “Jerusalem” (BDB 436, the BDB is founded upon the work of Gesenius, translated by Robinson and thereafter developed noticing much progress of Scholarly discussions) where is concerning etymology listed possible derivation from JRH “foundation of peace” or “foundation of Shalem” but ALSO in the BDB concise article is noticed scholarly tradition of finding the derivation from RWS words: JRWS SLM “possession of peace” or “Salem’s possession”. Currently in the important TDOT dictionary now the scholarly consensus more prominently emphasises the derivation from JRH “founding”. And Marcus Jastrow does not make any special references to etymology of the name “Jerusalem” (Jastrow 595), but in this Dictionary the name Jerusalem is mentioned after JRWSH that means “conquest, taking possession” and “inheritance, heirloom”; and after “Jerusalem” the Dictionary writes of JRWTA “conqueror, heir” and “conquest, possession” (Jastrow 595); this suggests to the Readers more referring to RWS words. These now may here represent current more widely represented scholarly comprehensions of the etymological origination of the name Jerusalem, reflected in the widespread scholarly opinions as recorded in the TDOT, BDB and Jastrow’s Dictionary. Many of best current and past Biblical Scholars and many religious leaders have written extensive books and articles concerning Jerusalem: indeed, enormous number of books and articles in huge number of languages and religious groupings have been written concerning Jerusalem during hundreds of years, and even numerous are well researched bibliographies. Important question thus is to consider what the Jerusalem then may refer to. Usually of course is considered that Jerusalem refers to one city, the city that is capital of current Israel and that was founded in Israelite rule as the capital of Davidic kingdom. This study, however, studies mentions that strongly argue that often the Biblical mention of Jerusalem does not refer to ONE city (as usually is thought)- this study argues that in Bible many mentions of Jerusalem rather occur as general NOUN, the noun meaning safe harbours and safe havens and safe anchorages. For Readers might this comprehension sound quite surprising, regarding that the current city Jerusalem is inland in the mountainous Judaea and that no other major city with that name is currently known. How could thinkably Jerusalem be thus comprehended? But we find surprisingly easily important and even contemporary support for such argument. We should well remember that Old Testament does know actually quite much of realities of maritime trade and ancient seafaring, also according to the currently widely accepted translations (English RSV, NRSV, King James’ Bible and other modern translations in main European languages); world of seafaring and sailing is to some extent indeed known in Old Testament, according to widely accepted comprehensions. But Jerusalem? Let us first remember the ancient and important Mediterranean busy harbours Marseille and Barcelona. Everyone of course quite often in casual contexts talks also of these well known and busy cities. But studying their names surprisingly reveals these names as close parallels to name Jerusalem. Name Marseille includes the M-R-S, clearly possible noun formation of root R-S, and reference to EL (usual designation of God, also in Bible and Semitic traditions). Name Barcelona is currently really famous in whole world and especially amongst followers of top football; but attentive reading of name Barcelona reveals in this name interestingly R-S and SELN (that is actually really close parallel to SALEM or SELEM). Every Reader well knows something of Barcelona and Marseille and easily now finds these names as close parallels to name Jerusalem. And looking in southern Mediterranean coast, we find there still currently existing and also prospering harbour cities MERSA or cities whose name include this MERSA (thus in the Arabic-speaking coast of South Mediterranean coast). We of course remember that from times ancient, Phoenician sailors sailed across whole Mediterranean sea and established settlements also in Western Mediterranean areas, even in Spain. It is quite worth considering that the busy and prosperous harbour city of Athens of Greece is PIREAS, also in this name of thus important harbour is the R-S element found. Historically worth considering is also that Apostle Paul was native of Tarsus and missionary journeys of Apostle Paul in Eastern Mediterranean were to many important harbour cities of Eastern Mediterranean. Pauline Christianity of Gospel of Jesus was spreading in many ancient harbour cities of Eastern Mediterranean, and seriously worth emphasising is also that Bible knows the Joshua-Jesus as the Joshua Son of NUN –indeed, NUN is in Egyptian religion designation for the Waters, the Primeval Seas and Deeps. And in front of the harbour of ancient megalopolis Alexandria was the island PHAROS- and the lighthouse of PHAROS was considered as one miracles of ancient world. We remind the Readers also of that the Quran Sura HUD indeed notices MURSAHA as harbour. In reality of Catholic Europe, we remember that Order of St. John of Jerusalem, or the Hospitallers, was anciently indeed a major naval power in Mediterranean. Thus from many important and quite different religious traditions we find widely well known and surprisingly usual details that clearly suggest this comprehension that JERUSALEM is a NOUN for harbours. We have thus many details both modern and ancient that strongly suggest to seek clarification of “JERUSALEM” by seeing that “Jerusalem” was an ancient NOUN FOR HARBOURS and SAFE ANCHORAGES. It is thus quite worth to read with much consideration how the current TDOT writes of Jerusalem, there also stating “Although the installation of the ark and the building of the temple were acts of kings, the election (9) (footnote 9: H. Seebass BHR bachar TDOT II, 80f.) of Jerusalem as the site of God’s rest and presence was always understood as an act of God’s free will.” (TDOT VI, art “Jerusalem” by M. TSEVAT). This statement by M. TSEVAT- and certainly well in detail considered by the General Editor Helmer Ringgren, he wrote smaller part of that article- is truly notorious. In writing of Jerusalem, here M. Tsevat makes reference to article BHR written by H. Seebass; this is from M. Tsevat really clear reference to matters concerning “sea” because name Seebass translated from German includes reference to “sea” (der/die See) and the BHR refers to SEA when the Arabic usual noun for sea BAHAR is considered (this Arabic BAHAR word for seas is important also for considering many details of the important ancient Cabbalistic BAHIR; we seriously should remember that many ancient Jews were living in regions were Arabic was the usual language). And in this statement of the Jerusalem article in TDOT, the writer M. TSEVAT emphasises Jerusalem as the place where God rested- and this apparently alludes to idea that a harbour and an anchorage is place where ships are resting. Of course this writer M. Tsevat in writing the article keeps to the current comprehension that Jerusalem indeed refers to one city, that in current Palestine, but such very clear allusions to considering matters of sea and seafaring here in the TDOT article are truly thought-provoking! Considering Jeremiah 32:8 is also important, because there is JRSH word written (BDB 440 “possession, inheritance”, of JRS). In this statement the semantic field of JRSH is interesting for current study, here is written that BARZ Binjamin KJ LK MSPT HJRSH WLK HGALH QNH LK Here are letters JRSHWL written that is almost the name Jerusalem, or some orthographical variant of name Jerusalem (if we consider grammatically the name containing plural masc, this JRSHWLK would be, indeed, form of “your Jerusalem” with sg. 2 possessive K). This statement writes name Binjamin where reference to high seas JAM, JAMIM is heard; and the word GAL also notices reference to such Phoenician usual ships that in Greek were famously called GAULOS boats. Here this text writes of purchasing some area of land. NOW we importantly find that this well can have been in Book of Jeremiah 32 description of purchase of place for anchorage or small private harbour, or place for boat shed, reading JRSHWLK as “your Jerusalem”. Really, this semantic context very strongly writes concerning matters of sea, Binjamin and GAL or Gaulos boats. We apparently render: TRANSLATION: please, purchase in area near to sea (area of Binjamin) that small harbour place for you (HJRSHWLK), suitable for GAULOS boats; you have right (Mispat) for that. (translation of Pasi K Pohjala 2013). Details of semantic context here quite clearly specify that here concerned area is actually a small harbour area, so clearly words in this sentence describe matters of sea and seafaring. Thus is considered response to Hanamel son of Shallum (SLM) for QNH LK AT SDJ ASR BYNTWT Prophet Jeremiah is thus offered to purchase field that is in Anatot; it is worth noticing that really this name ANATOT includes reference YNJ that indeed refers to ships and boats (ANJH); and the name well may include reference to THOTH who had important role in Egyptian mythology concerning seafaring, e.g. by ruling winds. It is indeed comprehensible that here considered area HJRSHWLK located in Anatot was actually a small harbour, a nice place for anchorage. (This Jeremiah 32 occurs in such situation that “Jerusalem” was under siege by Babylonians, so that here is notorious word play: the city Jerusalem being under siege and thus dangerous, Jeremiah is encouraged to purchase his own “safe haven” HJRSHWLK). In this text of Jeremiah 32 we also can suppose much specific terminology: this text Jer 32 describes in great detail procedure of making purchase of area: the offer, negotiation, writing the document, sealing the document and taking witnesses, weighing silver for payment, giving the deed of purchase to his secretary Baruch in presence of witnesses, for being included properly in archives. This Jeremiah 32 is widely regarded to be one good detailed description of writing of official documents and documents of purchase and their archival: the terminology is concrete and well reflects official parlance in court of those times. Thus finding here word HJRSHWLK is apparently and clearly then officially used title or noun for “your harbour area” or “field for your landing-site”- we thus observe here that here is not merely described area as “possession” but specifically “harbour area” HJRSHWLK is here discussed. Importantly, the JRSH noun is also in Judges 21:17 written in discussion of matters concerning the tribe Benjamin. Here is written that WJAMRW JRST PLJTH LBNJMJN The PLT in Hebrew Bible notices escaping and being fugitive, so that JRST PLJTH can here well notice harbour place for fleeing or becoming refuge, especially appropriate because name Binjamin here is noticed, referring thus to JAMJM seas. The chapter Judges 21 describes a very difficult episode in history of the Twelve tribes; in the situation described in Judges 21 these words may refer to encouraging some Binjaminites to flee overseas via the JRST PLJTH harbour of fugitives. (We present merely as important speculation that the PLJTH here refers to Philisteans, famously reigning the rich Levantine coastal lands, usually under Egyptian rule, so that here JRST PLJTH could notice that Benjaminites shall reign some “PHILISTEAN HARBOUR”, historically well appropriate. Importantly, the following discussion of Blessing of Moses Deut 33 also presents MWRSH clearly as harbour in Philistean regions.) Apparently the name refers to some connection with seas; thus here may be heard some foundational myth why some ancient Israelites were seafarers and thus travelling around, when others were mostly settled in life of agriculture. This Chapter Judges 21 concludes the Book and is concluded noticing how people of different tribes journeyed to possessions of their tribes. Apparently was situation of seafarers different because they did not have special allotted land areas in their possession but rather practised their profession in sailing in seas; rather were the harbours and safe anchorages for sailors centrally important- and indeed, here in Judges 21:17 are noticed the JRST PLJTH where we encounter the JRSH apparently referring to harbours. Well worth mentioning is tradition of ancient poem in Deuteronomy 33:5 writing TWRH ZWH LNW MSH MWRST QHLT JYQB WJHJ BJSRWN (Jesurun) MLK BHTASP RASJ YM JHD SBTJ JSRAL Traditions of this very old poetry are really ancient and of such times that much precede foundation of Jerusalem capital for Davidic kingdom or times of Jebusites immediately preceding times of foundation of Jerusalem capital. Here in Deut 33 is written concerning Israel. Thus we more freely can trace this very old parlance of MWRST QHLT JYQB, in this statement this MWRST apparently is compared with the Jesurun, noticed that he reigned as king in Jesurun. What do we, then, find here? The Jesurun only seldom occurs in Hebrew Bible, mostly being “poetic name of Israel, designating it under its ideal character” (BDB 448). However, when we consider the almost similar name SHARON (SRWN) we consider area traditionally recognised as the very fertile lowland north of Joppa (ancient major harbour) (BDB 450). Considering the Jod as poetic variant of orthography, we find here reference to reigning king in that Sharon fertile lowlands near to Joppa, something that of course was historically important; and in THIS context of geographically discussing that area near to Joppa is obviously important to talk of HARBOUR, and indeed here is of MWRSH discussed! (This Deuteronomy 33 is the famous Blessing of Moses, in Old Testament formally placed in situation where Israel had arrived near to the borders of the Promised Land and had not yet started conquering that Land- especially, normal historiography regards that in those times the Mediterranean coastal land was inhabited by the powerful Philisteans whom Israelites for considerable times could not win in battlefield for the military superiority of Philisteans. More pondering such questions are special questions of early history of Israel. Who were, exactly, Israelites? Who were those “Philisteans” who reigned those enormously fertile coastal lands? Much of modern research of course does not regard the episodes of Exodus and subsequent episode of conquering the Promised Land even partially as historical descriptions but rather mostly as beautiful and ideologically important mythologies. NOW we merely STOP at noticing that certainly it is appropriate to consider reigning king in those specially fertile Levantine lands Sharon north of Joppa and in those coastal areas certainly is interesting to talk of a harbour- thus is here indeed noticed the MWRST place!! But it is certainly really important that in this ancient Blessing of Moses the MWRSH is actually connected to Mediterranean Levantine coastal region and that in conclusion of Book of Judges the JRSH is clearly discussing matters of seas and coasts, Benjaminites. Apparently in these ancient traditions the JRSH word is much more specific than merely “possession”, it more specifically designates area governed that was actually a good harbour area. We now consider some details in Isaiah 8. Recently the current Writer Pasi K. Pohjala has published more extensive commentary on Book of Joel in the increasingly popular and increasingly discussion generating Verre et Bible publication series, and in this Commentary were much discussed ancient developments of watering and irrigation technologies, arranging channels, conduits, dikes, and narrower irrigation channels; these were much developed from ancient times in Egyptian and Mesopotamian cultures, and in the Commentary of Book of Joel I presented that in Bible such irrigation agriculture is well known and surprisingly much in detail described. Now we notice in the current discussion the extensive description of different waters in Isaiah 8, there is written that “because that people has spurned the gently flowing waters of Siloam Assuredly, My Lord will bring up against them the mighty, massive waters of the Euphrates, the king of Assyria and all his multitude. It shall rise above all its channels, and flow over all its beds, and swirl through Judah like a flash flood reaching up to the neck” (Tanakh translation of Isaiah 8:5-8) In the Old Testament this is one vivid and in its tragic description, regrettably, quite realistic description of often prevailing circumstances in the countries where much dikes and channels were built- those somewhat often tended to break asunder and the following flooding and its devastation is well known in numerous ancient documents from those countries. Such flooding waters are quite violent waters, spreading around and bringing large devastation. Here Isaiah 8 importantly contrasts such waters with silent waters of Siloam. It is thus interesting that Siloam is thus clearly by Isaiah connected with peaceful water; we recognise that also waters in harbour behind the wharfs are such peaceful and calm waters, clearly in contrast with the roaring stormy waves in the high seas just beyond the piers built to protect the harbour (or the natural formations of that style that in the more ancient times were so centrally important for choosing suitable places for harbours and anchorage). Waters of Siloam are silent, calm; and Hebrew Bible states this MJ HSLH HHLKJM LAT and reading the name as Siloam is in Translations well supported. Here Isaiah emphasises that Siloam is place of such silent, calm waters. And in this Chapter Isaiah 8 is studied the remarkable name MAHER-SHALAL-HAZ-BAZ, this is also the name that Isaiah should give to his newborn son, thus emphasised in 8:3. We now remarkably notice that this name includes the MHRSLLH that is also apparent parallel to MURSA, MURSALA and MERSA MERSAHA nouns or a possible dialect variant or orthographical variant to these, thus referring to harbours, especially for including the SLH letters and the following writings specifying that the waters of SLH are calm and silent; and this name also parallels the name Jerusalem. The Siloam is of course usually in this context comprehended to denote the famous “tunnel of Siloam” that directed Gihon waters to Jerusalem; but in this context especially the remarkable name MAHER SHALAL HAZ BAZ being MHRSLLH alerts Readers to consider also matters of harbours whose waters also are silent. In this notorious name MAHER-SHALAL-HAZ-BAZ would thus be possibly referred to harbours whose waters are silent and calm. We now consider descriptions in Ezek 36:2 HAH WBMWT YWLM LMWRSH HJTH LNW We notice here

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