Thursday, 4 July 2013
iron in Bible, study by Pasi K Pohjala, of Verre et Bible 16.
by Pasi K Pohjala July 2013, part of book Verre et Bible 16. The Judges 1:9 notices the LOHEM metal working activity of JEHUDA people in BAHNANJ, probably thus in FEYNAN regions east of Jordan, near to the rich mines, and also notices their LOHEM metalworking in NEGEB area. Apparently the LOHEM activity is in the descriptions of Book of Judges presented distinctively specific activity of metalworking and activities of smiths (even if often read merely as L with pl.3 suffix “to them”, or as possessive “their”). Thus we importantly notice description in Judges 1:19 of horrifying weaponry of Canaanite troops that RKB BRZL LHM- apparently the LHM here expresses that these iron chariots of Canaanite troops were produces of SMITHS practises LOHEM. Interestingly, we thus here encounter very ancient term of FORGED IRON, BARZEL LOHEM. Usually is of course the BARZEL here comprehended as denoting IRON, BUT this text of Judges 1:19 is here apparently very specific in stating BARZEL LOHEM, that we may now render to modern readers understandable FORGED AND HAMMERED IRON. Importantly, this description of iron chariots directly shows that this culture necessarily at those times must have known sources of iron more amply than the tiny and scattered pebbles of meteorites; and thus we understand their having then used MINED IRON ORES, e.g. the iron ore from the nearby ample and ancient FEYNAN mines. Indeed, in the histories of Sisera the Judges 4:13 notices that his troops had NINE HUNDRED iron chariots that represents in those times really enormous number of iron strengthened chariots (here is mentioned place Haras-Goyim, and it is thus important to remember that HRZ words in Hebrew Bible usually refer to various iron objects, and notice their sharp qualities, and also notice trenches and thus some old IRON MINES). The terminology of LHM LOHEM is written also in the 2:16 noticing LHM WJZR LHM Meod. The JAZAR is the usual Biblical word noticing form-giving, forming and producing and apparently thus is noticed LOHEM metalworking JAZAR form-giving. In the Book of Judges 17 we read interesting ancient history of Mica and the shrine he had established; but we remember that reading the Hebrew Bible the vocalisation of consonantal text is more matter of different traditions and is not regarded holy, but more reflecting prevailing and accepted traditions of reading and vocalising the Hebrew consonantal text. Hebrew Bible writes in Judges 17 two versions of that name, 17:1-4 writing of Michaihu (MJKJHW) and thereafter Mica (MJKH), so that especially the history concerning the shrine here writes of the man Mica. Reading Hebrew Bible, this is one important detail because the name Michaihu writes the –JAHU reference to deity JAH or JAHU, but the name MJKH Mica is rather a normal personal name. In the later Hellenistic times writing the Septuagint translation, the renderings of Biblical names were one very remarkable and notorious doing and show generally important differencies and sometimes reveal very important information concerning geography, society and culture. Also reading Greek Septuagint translation of this Judges 17, it is notable that Codex Alexandrinus renders this name with MIKHA in whole Chapter 17, and the Codex Vaticanus more emphasises the –JAHU ideology rendering in whole chapter the name MIKHAIAS that is in Hebrew text based only on 17:1 and 4, although the other texts of Chapter 17 read in Hebrew Bible of MIKHA. Septuagint tradition renders MJKH Micha name with E letter actually in numerous places (and in numerous Manuscripts), e.g. in beginning of the prophetic Book of Micha writing MEIKHAIAS, and in Greek traditions of rendering name Micha in 1 Chron 9:40f, 23:20, 24:24-25 and in rendering the 1 Kings 22 is version MEIKHA known; and 2 Sam 9 is notorious description of Ziba (or Siba) and also there is Micha mentioned. Importantly, in Hebrew Bible the description of the SHRINE established by this MIKHA reads the name MIKHA and thus considers the religious situation more widely (than the writing of MIKHA-JAHU would suggest religious culture of JAHU or Jahwism). We thus read here in Judges 17 of Micah and the shrine he had founded; but now we rather notice that these consonants in Hebrew Bible likewise can be vocalised MECA or MECCAH- and this recognition is here in Judges 17 of special interest because here is usually understood histories of Micah and the shrine he had helped to establish. But likewise we may read those consonants denoting word MECCAH. Thus we easily here in Judges 17 recognise notorious description of religious shrine following MECCAH cult built in mountains of Ephraim; reasonable comparison is the current situation of mosques and Meccah. This reading of name Micah thus reveals here in Judges 17 truly interesting tradition of divine shrine, and notices of this shrine located in Israel, and its being shrine of cult of Mecca. The current study is noticing Yemenite Arabic settlements in Palestine and Yemenite Arabic metalworker EHUD delivering Israel (Judges 3) and descriptions of Judges 6-8 notice large coalition led by Medina (apparenty representing empire of SABA; and people of Amaleq and Eastern QEDAR people also participated in this obviously important campaign towards the Mediterranean) and reaching to securing the strategically important Mediterranean harbour Gaza; and the local ISHMAELITES (whose political formation was called ISRAEL) led by Gideon, achieving some victory over those forces. Book of Judges thus notably tells of life of Arabic peoples in Palestine in the early Iron Age of Palestine and that MEDINAH (SABA) led coalition whose campaign aimed at establishing stronghold at important harbour GAZA. And in the Book of Judges the Chapter 17 is important history describing religious life in those ancient times of Palestine, especially, the Judges 17 describes somewhat institutionalised practising of religiosity, building the shrine and running the activities of that shrine, and appointing some religious personnel to the shrine. These are ancient descriptions of institutionalised forms of practises of religiosity, with the institution of shrine, and upkeep of the religious activity of that shrine, and appointing special religious personnel to that shrine. This is very institutionalised form of religiosity, and it is notoriously important that apparently this institutionalised religiosity is here in Judges 17 connected with MECCA! (Readers may wish to compare these descriptions of religiosity of shrine, cult and specific personnel, with the descriptions in Judges 6-8 where are noticed the divine visions to ISHMAELITE GIDEON, described not in context of institutionalised cult, but rather in practises of divinations by this ISHMAELITE GIDEON). The Book of Judges proceeding its historiography chronologically, we here learn of religious developments in Palestine of those ancient times of Palestinian Early Iron Age, the histories of Judges 17 describing early establishing of shrines and religious institutions there following the MECCA religious cult! We shall emphasise that the Book of Judges describes events in very ancient Palestine, of Early Iron Age in Palestine, so that these developments are really ancient. Thus we follow developments of this very ancient establishing of religious shrine. Descriptions of Judges 17:7 notice young Levite starting from BETHLEHEM of JEHUDA, especially importantly we here recognise his coming from the BETHLEHEM, the special site of metallurgy of practise of smiths’ activities, also here is specially important to notice that LOHEM notices also practise of art of SMITHS. He started journeying from Bethlehem, and 17:8 tells WJLK HAJS MHYJR MBJT LHM JHWDH LGWR BASR JMZA WJBA HR-APRJM (Ephrayim) YD BJT MJKH LYSWT DRKW Here is notable that this house is described in Hebrew Bible in words YD BJT MJKH. This constructus of Hebrew text is in numerous various meanings in Hebrew Bible written. This Hebrew BJT MJKH can motivated be rendered “house of Mecca” that state the title of that house, that this was religious house or institution where cult of religion of Mecca was followed, similar rendering is clear also for BJT MJKH in 17:12. (Usually these Hebrew words are rendered “house of Micah” that more emphasise status of Micah in establishing that house or institution and keeping the activities perpetually running). The following statements notice important dialogue, and saying by representant of that house are noticed in Hebrew Bible writing WJAMR LW MJKH, thus noticed in 17:9-10. This Biblical history of Judges 17 is in current Biblical renderings comprehended describing appointing of this young Levite to this shrine. Apparently we thus understand these words WJAMR LW MJKH describing statements of a Levite who already was active in that shrine of Mecca cult. Levites were also thus active in those ancient Early Iron age times. In this description is important to read detailed this WJAMR LW MJKH compared with introductory WJAMR ALJW LWJ ANKJ where specifically is the designation Levite noticed. Interestingly the second statement by there already settled person is written WJAMR LW MJKH SBH and here we learn that there already settled Levite was at that shrine participating in religious cult following religion of Mecca of empire of SABA (in Judges 6-8 we learnt of large military campaign in ancient Palestine towards the important harbour Gaza, and this campaign was led by Medina of empire of SABA). Here is thus described important event in ancient early iron age history in shrine of Palestine and religion of Mecca was there followed (and 17:10 specifies “Mecca of Saba”, thus Mecca of empire of SABA. The Chapter 17 in Book of Judges records many events of the Micah, or the man of culture of Mecca. We can remind in Hebrew Bible from many place names are derived nouns designating individuals belonging to that area and culture, and thus are comprehensible also references to this man of Mecca in Ch. 17. Here tells the 17:5 that WHAJS MJKH LW BJT ALHJM Apparently this HAJS “that man” designates the individual, thus is here noticed “that man of Mecca; he was Levite of Shrine of God”. This is the usual constructus in Hebrew Bible, specifying HAJS MJKH LW “that man of Mecca, Levite” with noticing that he was active in (or was appointed in) House of God BJT ALHJM. Also in such activities were Levites in those ancient times active. Here is quite worth noticing his doing WJYS APWD WTRPJM; he made himself or he procured Ephod and Teraphim. This is description of Early Iron age activities, so that the meaning of Ephod and Teraphim in THOSE TIMES may never be clearly known specifically. Interesting notice of ancient history is here described situation of practise of law: in those times there was no king in Israel (and thus the law was not promulgated by royal decrees and rulings) but AJS HJSR BYJNJW JYSH Apparently HJSR in this description notices then practised SHARIA law; this is description of very ancient Early Iron age culture in Palestine, so that current and historic Islamic SHARIA law practise is here not at all completely comparable- but HJSR here certainly refers to SOME kind of ANCIENT practising of SOME kind of SHARIA law in that society. This is importantly presented here after describing religious culture of that time. The Judges 17:1-5 is notoriously descriptive history of public events of that shrine following cult of Mecca. Here is noticed negotiations between this representant (or priest) of that shrine, and the people, concerning public building projects and improvements for that shrine. The 17:1 presents that Ephraimite, and specifies that he was known with name “he-of-Mecca”, apparently that ancient title of priest or representant of that House of Mecca (in this text 17:1-15 notable is the –HW suffix to notice sg.3, thus in MJKJHW, WTTNHW, WJYSHW). Thus is noticed his statement to the local folk (WJAMR LAMW, the UMMA noticing people, folk) concerning eleven hundred shekels of silver; and the following words are apparently formulating his recognising receiving that silver (17:2), and the BARUKH approval then uttered by the folk. Then notices 17:3 that he presented or counted that silver to folk; and then folk uttered wow consecrating that silver to god; later editing here has certainly specified here written divine name according to those later religious principles prevailing in the society where this text has been copied by the scribes during centennia and millennia. This dialogue then continues noticing that those silver have been dedicated for purpose of making PESEL and MASEKA. This is ancient description from early iron age, so that specific meaning of PESEL and MASEKA in that time and in that shrine remain unclear; but they were produced with working silver (WTTNHW LZWRP WJYSHW PSL WMSKH). This Judges 17:1-5 is thus interesting description of public proclamations by folk and that representant of “house of Mecca” concerning making larger works with larger amount of silver. Judges 18 then continues with interesting and vivid description of ancient life of those regions, and in that House of Mecca. The chapter 18 describes campaigns of some people of Dan, and their visiting that ancient House of Mecca. The Judg 18:2 notices sending of five spies of Dan people to reconnoitre those regions, they started from Zorah and Eshtaol to their mission. They proceeded in their journey, and streamed around in the hill country of Ephraim; and there they arrived at that House of Mecca (18:2). Now it is worth specially noticing that currently is known archaeological site Tell Sera some 10km SW of the ancient site of Lachish, that site Tell Sera is recognised as having been populated during Later Bronze age, so that these descriptions of Book of Judges also therefore appear relevant; the region of Tell Sera can reasonably be the site mentioned in Judg 18:2 because that region actually is near to the hill country of Ephraim AND also thus near to the ancient site Lachish. This plausible identification of site of Zorah is now of much interest, because that site is some fifteen km northwest of the especially important place Beersheba (BURJ-SABA, “Fortress of SABA”) and in the area from Beersheba towards the important ancient harbour sites ASHDOD and ASHKELON and GAZA. (In that region also is known in Patriarchal histories the site Gerar). Now we may apprehend that apparently these people of DAN were people of distant settlement of ancient MEDINA people. Already in discussing the Judges 6-8 we have noticed the ancient vigorous campaigns from MEDINA towards the Mediterranean coastal regions of Palestine, apparently to establish secured trade routes to Mediterranean coast. Importantly, in these times of Palestinian early iron age, the governance in Palestine by Egypt was in decline and weakening, so that certainly then the traders from eastern regions, especially from MEDINA (of SABAn empire) were making vigorous attempts to secure their presence in that strategically important Palestinian coastal region, in regions of the roads leading towards important Palestinian ancient Mediterranean harbours in GAZA, ASHKELON and ASHDOD. In this era of vigorous expansion of MEDINA (of SABAn empire) trade network, it is now interesting to find in book of Judges 18 notices of some campaigns of DAN people in those regions. The Judges 18 now very interestingly describes ancient events of armed campaigns in those regions, and establishing settlements in that area. Judges 18:2 now describes that these spies of DAN people sent from Zorah then in their mission reached to the hill country of Ephraim and there came to that House of Mecca. And 18:3 notices that they sojourned at that House of Mecca; there they also recognised the voice of that young Levite who was appointed being priest in that House of Mecca, and 18:4 noticed their dialogue and that the young Levite told them of his recent history, especially his appointment in that shrine of House of Mecca. Interesting event is told also in 18:6 that this young Levite via divination told to these spies that they could continue their journey proceeding with success. Among every other functions, such House of Mecca may in ancient times have been place where numerous travellers from different regions visited, and thus there appointed religious personnel much knew of descriptions of recent events in different corners of the area (tumults, attacks, revolts, latest travel news, etc) and thus well understandably that young Levite officiating at that House of Mecca could foresee that at that time, those spies could reasonably continue their mission in probably peaceful circumstances. The spies continued their mission of reconnoitre and returned back to Zorah and Eshtaol and described to the people those regions, in very positive terms (18:8-10). The people of Dan then decided to send a militarily strong force of six hundred armed men to establish new settlement, and they proceeded to Kiriat-Jearim in Judah; also this detail helps to locate these events in this region (18:11). Apparently here is preserved interesting description of making attempt of establishing settlement with military campaign; the 18:30 describes their establishing settlement of Town of Dan, or Mahane-Dan. Interestingly, before that establishing of the Mahane-Dan settlement, that larger military mission of Dan people visited that shrine House of Mecca and paid homage in that cult, interesting details of these ancient religious rituals accompanying military campaigns and establishing of new settlement are described in much detail in Judges 18:11-29. We learn here interesting details of these ancient early Iron Age religious rituals of that House of Mecca. Judges 18:14 describes how this force arrived at that House of Mecca. Then those five men of earlier spying mission came forward and told to the troops that that place is special place, place where there was EPHOD, TERAFIM, PESEL and MASEKA. Thus these spies told to that large military troop that the house was special house, specially holy house or shrine, there being those important cultic EPHOD, TERAFIM, PESEL and MASEKA; now we do not discuss in any detail what kind of cultic objects such in those ancient times may have been, important in only that those were identifiable important cultic objects that specified that edifice as SHRINE. First, the five men of earlier spying mission went to that House of Mecca and greeted there the officiating Levite, and other troops then waited outside (18:15-16). Thereafter those five men of the earlier spying mission entered to the shrine, and paid homage (LQHW) to those EPHOD, TERAFIM, PESEL and MASEKA cultic objects. Here we notice that the LQH Laqah is here describing how they “received” religiously those cultic objects, that they approved those cultic objects and LEARNED of these. The LAQAH is in Old Testament in numerous meanings written, and the word also often notices intellectual receiving, and noun LQH in Hebrew Bible also notices LEARNING, TEACHING and INSTRUCTION (see BDB 542-544); in this context of rituals at House of Mecca this meaning is apparent, even if often modern renderings prefer to describe that these forces of Dan seized those objects and thus plundered that “House of Micah”, although such rendering is clearly erroneous! The Judges 18:17-18 thus describes interestingly details how those men of Dan attended the religious rituals at that shrine House of Mecca, they were instructed (LQHW) with EPHOD, TERAFIM, PESEL and MASEKA. And thereafter the Judges 18:19 notices that these men then formally recognised the role of that Levite there officiating also as THEIR Kohen priest that they recognised. The formula here is the same formula that earlier has been describing appointing this Levite officiating in the priestly role at that House of Mecca. (Importantly, now we write here the word “priest” and “priestly” denoting the role of an individual specifically appointed for religious office in practise of institutionalised religiosity at religious institution, WITHOUT suggesting any connotation to the doings priests of “Jerusalem temple” or any later form of Christian cultic activities; instead of word “priest” maybe better designation could here be “RELIGIOUS SPECIALIST” that may sound more neutral description; here are described indeed very early times of Early Iron age of Palestine. Actually much of our writings now are written in so generalised meaning describing religiosity and institutionalised forms of religiosity, that Readers may compare with language and terminology of cultural anthropology. We simply are finding here interesting descriptions of early forms of religious rituals of institutionalised religiosity, at that House of MECCA). And here the 18:20 describes then how that Levite conducted the appropriate religious ceremony with the EPHOD, TERAFIM, PESEL and MASEKA cultic objects, and that in the ceremony participated the numerous force of Dan people there attending at that shrine House of MECCA. And then the 18:22-26 describe thereafter arranged public celebration of religious procession where also attended people living in the neighbourhood of that shrine House of MECCA. This ritual at House of Mecca thus comprehended important stages. First, the leaders of forces arrived at House of Mecca, greeted there officiating Religious Specialist (that Levite). Thereafter they went to the shrine House of Mecca and LEARNED and BECAME INSTRUCTED by these important cultic objects EPHOD, TERAFIM, PESEL and MASEKA. Then, (some of) these cultic objects were brought amidst there attending people and the role of that Religious Specialist was formally recognised by the leaders. Then the Religious Specialist conducted in attendance of all of those troops the important religious ceremony, and all of them became INSTRUCTED (LQHW) (or “initiated” in the cult). Thereafter the new status of these newly INSTRUCTED or INITIATED men of Dan was publicly recognised in larger religious ceremony where attended also many people living in neighbourhood of that House of Mecca. These are well known stages in describing so numerous religious rituals of initiation in various cultures: here is described that men of these forces of Dan became properly initiated in the cult at that House of MECCA, with the cultic objects EPHOD, TERAFIM, PESEL and MASEKA. These are very early times of Early Iron Age of Palestine, and these are notoriously detailed descriptions of VERY DEVELOPED PRACTISE OF INSTITUTIONALISED FORM OF RELIGIOSITY: there are mentioned special religious place that shrine, the Religious Specialist, the cultic object EPHOD, TERAFIM, PESEL and MASEKA, and also well developed RELIGIOUS CEREMONY and public RELIGIOUS PROCESSION. Famous site in Palestine is the Beersheba, thus usually pronounced (and motivating the currently usual rendering of seven-spring); but pronouncing the name in form Bursheba easily emphasises reference to Burj-Sheba, the Fortress of SHEBA. Beersheba is very importantly located in Palestine, along important ancient trade route leading to Mediterranean coast. Amidst the current study we are finding many