Thursday, 4 July 2013
iron in Old Testament
We make also some interesting notices concerning the Birth narrative. Now is found reasonable to comprehend that actually Jesus was born in some stall or shed that was part of the workshop of the Smith, such was the Beth-Lohem. This does not change usual comprehension of the Birth Narrative, except little specifying that the shed or stall probably was part of workshop of Smith; but this is quite interesting detail. The Greek Gospel Mss tradition well writes of the EN FATNE of the place where Mary placed the newborn child Jesus. It is now also worth noticing that in Greek Mss difference of RATNE and FATNE is very small and easily could letter R be changed to letter F by slight stroke by some early copyist or editor; the FATNE noticed cribs and mangers and was more well known to wider Hellenistic Greek speaking audience. Also some early Mss can have written the letter F or R somewhat unclearly so that readers were questioning which of those letters actually there was written; and for fluent Greek speakers apparently it was easier to read more widely known EN FATNE- and this reading became then well established. But for Hebrew speakers such RATNE does have more specific meanings- the RTM Rotem is a species of broom that grows in desert and that was used in form of charcoal (see J 1503); such meaning apparently belongs to doings of SMITHS and their speciality of making coal fire in furnace. Simply stated, to keep the newborn baby warm over the cold night of Judaean mountains, the newborn baby Jesus may have been placed beside extinguished but still nicely warm Rotem furnace. The father Joseph was TEKTOON builder and thus was somewhat acquainted with some professional smiths and thus knew some main tenets of their professional practises; he thus certainly understood that in corner of Smith’s workshop the family could find warm place. We now study one important ritual described in the Old Testament, the Wave Offering, legislated in Lev 23. Importantly we in this legislation notice writing of LHM and writing of the NPH verb. We notice that WHBATM AT YMR RASJT QZJRKM AL HKHN WHNJP AT HYMR LPNJ JHWH LRZNKM MMHRT HSBT JNJPNW HKHN (Leviticus 23:10-11) This is understandable that the congregation is thus commanded to bring Omer of first fruits of harvest to priest, and the priest then HJNP (“waves”) this before God, acceptably; on morning time after Shabbath priest thus JNJPNW (“waves”) that. Thus is approximately this legislation of wave offering comprehensible; and Readers should specially read and ponder the details of the modern Tanakh translation, as this is one important legislation of the Torah. Thus we consider in more detail what is such NPH activity that is so central for this “wave offering”. The consensus of BDB renders TNWPH as “swinging, waving and wave-offering” (BDB 632 quite detailed comments its meaning that “oft. term. techn. in P (H), of rite in which originally the priest lifted his share of offering and waved it, i.e. moved it toward altar and back, in token of its presentation to God and its return by him to the priest”). However, this consensus in BDB 631-632 ALSO tells to Readers that the verb NPH is in Hebrew Bible often written in meaning noticing “swing, wield, wave”, specially “wield, move tool to and fro in using it”; and thus could the NPH notice use of a TOOL over materials, e.g. over stones. Interestingly, Isa 10:15 thus notices wielding a rod SBT (KHNJP SBT WAT MRJMW). Thus we recognise that the legislation of Leviticus 23 concerning “wave-offering” is for current discussion specially interesting because this ritual of “wave offering” is specially legislated with NPH verb that importantly often in Hebrew Bible is recognised (in current consensus) to notice waving some tools. Thus we little more consider what, then, might be such Omer in those Old Testament times; and at the same time we fully remember that this legislation of the Torah is also in current Rabbinical rulings and Talmudic traditions also considered. The consensus of BDB (771) notices two meanings to this Omer. FIRST, the Omer may denote sheafs; and this rendering is followed by the Tanakh translation (and from the day on which you bring the sheaf of elevation offering- the day after the shabbath- you shall count off seven weeks, this rendering in Tanakh the Lev 23:15; and Tanakh rendering Lev 23:10b-11a in words: you shall bring the first sheaf of your harvest to the priest. He shall elevate the sheaf before the Lord for acceptance in your behalf). However, the BDB consensus ALSO recognises that in Old Testament such Omer more specifically notices measures (thus e.g. in Exodus 16), and thus clarifies meaning of Omer referring to Arabic GAMR that can notice small drinking cups and bowls (BDB 771). Thus we can now easily notice that in such ritual of wave offering the priest may have somehow hammered metal cups Omer brought to the priest. It is worth considering that Arabic (AMARA verbs also are in such specific meaning said, to notice reconstructing, restoring and repairing, and in Egypt (AMRA specifically notices repairing and repair works (753); and Arabic Mu(ammar notices someone senior. This Biblical ritual of “wave offering” legislated in Leviticus 23 thus apparently deals with metalwork and that priest somewhat fixed or repaired (or improved) such small cups Omer; and for doing this the priest apparently NPH hammered such metal cups or bowls. This reference to metalwork becomes even more apparent considering the second stage of wave offering, legislated in Leviticus 23:15ff. Seven weeks after the first offering, Israelites are commanded to bring second time: “then you shall bring an offering o new grain to the Lord. You shall bring from your settlements TWO LOAVES OF BREAD AS AN ELEVATION OFFERING” (Lev 23:16b-17a). Importantly, Hebrew writ states here MMWSBTJKM TBJAW LHM TNWPH STJM Importantly, what are specially these LHM TNWPH, the LEHEM TENUFA. Current comprehension describes these as two loaves of bread (lehem) of “wave offering”, thus also is rendered in Tanakh. But now we are noticing that NPH well recognised in Hebrew Bible often notices wielding instruments, and waving instruments, e.g. in metalwork, and the LHM traditionally can notice professional doings of smiths. Thus we notoriously here find in Hebrew Bible apparent legislation concerning BRING TWO HAMMER MOULDED (TNWPH) CUPS, WORKS OF SMITH (LHM participle) Indeed, the Omer that Israelites shall bring probably were small cups or bowls; and priest should somewhat repair (or fix and improve) such Omer cups, with some hammering, in front of Lord; thus is written in Lev 23:10-11. And indeed, this Lev 23:16-17 clearly specifies that Israelites shall in this ritual bring two LEHEM TENUFA, two hammered cups of Smith’s work (LHM). This legislation in Leviticus 23 concerning “wave offering” is very important tradition for understanding of ritual activities, especially rituals of smiths, and importantly, this legislation concerning this religious ritual clearly writes the LHM word with NPH that is widely recognised as designating wielding instruments; thus this mention of LEHEM TENUFA in Lev 23:17 is actually very clear statement where LHM word in Hebrew Bible clearly describes works and production by METALSMITHS. And it is also important to consider meaning of Exod 35:22 stating in Hebrew KL KLJ ZHB WKL AJS ASR HNJP TNWPH ZHB LJHWH Apparently this statement clearly writes of Kelim vessels and utensils, and notices these as TENUFA, especially golden TENUFA vessels; this importantly emphasises writing of TENUFA to notice metal products. Apparently such Hifil HNJP here quite vividly describes such goldsmith produced Kelim vessels TENUFA ZAHAV- and the HNJP vividly describes here the acts of producing by smiths; and visioning and visual observations in these vessels in bowl divination was in those times also one important ritual. We thus also remind that among the legislated rituals also important was the “showbread”, in Hebrew mentioned the LHM HPNJM. We shortly now also notice the importance of the NPH verb denoting practises of wielding instruments and the word TENUFA. Ancient Egyptian document of Papyrus Anastasi I, from the times around 1250 BCE, tells how Egyptian royal messenger had his chariots repaired by iron-smiths in Joppa. Generally scholars comprehend that Egyptian presence in Canaan was increased in period of Nineteenth and Twentieth dynasties, thus appr. 1300BCE onwards; this period is generally comprehended there as Late Bronze Age and beginning of Iron Age, so that such mention of advanced iron work in Palestinian Joppa in Papyrus Anastasi I is one important detail from this ancient period of technological developments. Then important road (Horus Road) led from Eastern Delta towards Gaza, then important Egyptian fort, so that also the geographical detail of mentioning Joppa is quite understandable. And verb NPH in Biblical Hebrew notices wielding instruments. Maybe ancient metalworking of Joppa and Biblical NPH verb are importantly connected, so that Joppa has been repute for their practise of metalwork. Egyptians then had important forts in Gaza, Jaffa, Tel Mor and in north in Beth Shean. This is one important early attestation of iron working in Palestine, in the time of early Iron Age. Egyptian presence in Palestine was importantly doing mining activities; the notoriously large Egyptian TIMNA copper mines South East of Salt Sea have been in archaeological excavations much studied and in scholarly publications much discussed. Some of this abundant Timna copper finds can have been processed then by metal workers of Joppa in the Mediterranean coast. Now we thus notice one important very early attestation of LHM metalworking by smiths in the Book of Judges. Now we find in Judges 5 the word HLM in Hebrew Bible importantly in meaning noticing “hammering”; the HLM is with the letter HE written, and usual scholarly consensus comprehends descriptions of Jael’s doings to notice some “hammering”; Hebrew Bible writes in this archaic poem of Judges 5 the HLM word to describe such doings by Jael. Now this scholarly and churchly wide consensus of so translating the HLM word in this archaic poetry of Old Testament is apparently one truly important motivation that the current study so widely considers the usual Arabic parlance of LHM LAHAMA smith’s professional practises, welding and hammering, being really importantly relevant for some of those numerous LHM mentions in Hebrew Bible. Apparently are the LHM in Hebrew, Arabic LAHAMA and this Hebrew HLM word closely related- and importantly, the wide consensus (scholarly and churchly) does currently and traditionally comprehend that HLM verb in Judges 5 as denoting “hammering”. Thus, referring to the usual Arabic meaning of LAHAMA denoting welding, hammering and smith’s practises here in this study we merely are building upon and little developing the traditional consensus (scholarly and churchly) in translating the HLM in Judges 5! This is apparently very important motivation for thus more considering the LAHAMA verb; and notoriously many Biblical statements thus become revealed being references or descriptions of practises of smiths, welding, hammering etc. Thus we consider now some writings in Judges 5 that notices how Jael smote Sisera Her hand reached for the tent pin (JDH LJTD TSLHNH) Her right for the workmen’s hammer (WJMJNH LHLMWT YMLJM) She struck Sisera, crushed his head (WHLMH SJSRH MHQH RASW) Smashed and pierced his temple (WMHZH WHLPH RQTW) Here is noticed Tanakh translation of this Judges 5:26. This is archaic poem from early times and thus notoriously difficult to render. But in these quoted words is well reflected current scholarly and churchly consensus to render the HLMWT word with “hammer” and verb HLM with “to hammer or to strike with hammer”. (The prosaic narrative of this episode in preceding 4:21 writes quite differently the Hebrew verb TTQY; whereas this poem writes WHLMH). Of course, the HLM word notices in Hebrew Bible also dreams and dream visions; and this is archaic poetry. Difficulties in somehow rendering this to modern Readers is emphasised referring to the Hellenistic Greek renderings, where Mss Vaticanus and Alexandrinus in rendering this Judges 5:26 write quite differently, stating TEEN KHEIRA AUTEES TEEN ARISTERAN EIS PASSALON EKSETEINEN TEEN DEKSIAN AUTEES EIS APOTOMAS KATAKOPTOON KAI APETEMEN SISARA, APETRIPSEN TEEN KEFALEEN AUTOU KAI SUNETHLASEN KAI DIEELASEN TEEN GNATHON AUTOU (Cod. Alexandrinus) The DIEELASEN here notices some use of nails or pegs; notable is here writing of EIS APOTOMAS KATAKOPTOON for the Hebrew HLM word and the following writing of APETEMEN. This could rather describe some forceful use of chisel; the Alexandrinus interestingly writes of the KATAKOPTOON, notably in Egyptian circumstances where Copts were prominent. The we proceed to consider the rendering of Codex Vaticanus that here states KHEIRA AUTEES ARISTERAN EIS PASSALON EKSETEINEN KAI DEKSIAN AUTEES EIS SFURAN KOPIOONTOON KAI ESFUROKOPEESEN SISARA, DIEELOOSEN KEFALEEN AUTOU KAI EPATAKSEN, DIEELOOSEN KROTAFON AUTOU Importantly, Codices Vaticanus and Alexandrinus here write similarly of DIEELOOSEN or DIEELASEN, thus describing piercing with some nail like peg or chisel. But the Codex Vaticanus here clearly writes of the SFURA hammer and doing hammering ESFUROKOPEESEN, whereas the Codex Alexandrinus renders those EIS APOTOMAS and APETEMEN (that notice more use of some chisel- but the SFURA is quite usual designation of “hammer”, thus in Codex Vaticanus). Readers not so often considering studies of ancient Bible translation here find an interesting glimpse to the ancient varieties of rendering Hebrew Bible into Greek. This statement is archaic and quite difficult to translators; and here we follow now the wide scholarly and churchly consensus that here HLM is comprehended to notice “hammer and hammering”. This old poetry being included in Book of Judges that much describes later bronze age and early iron age, such notices of “hammering” HLM in Hebrew Bible are important. This is also importantly compared with the LHM written in this poem in 5:8 that states AZ LHM SYRJM MGN AM JRAH WRMH BARBYJM ALP BJSRAL Tanakh renders this in words: Was there a fighter then in the gates? No shield or spear was seen And another usual modern rendering finds here question if then was war in the gates. Apparently thus the LHM word has been much pondered by the Tanakh translation Committee. Now it is worth noticing that this LOHEM can notice a smith and their important metal products, the shields and spears. Importantly, this is followed by BARBYJM. Normally translations render noticing here forty thousand (forces) of Israel. But now we continue noticing that the Judges 3 specially notices smith JEHUD being Yemenite, thus apparently of Arabic origin and bringing Arabic metal working technologies for deliverance of people. Thus we also here reading this ancient poetry of Judges 5 notice motivated main tenets that: there was LOHEM smith in gates; important products shields and spears are noticed; and this LOHEM is noticed being one of there resident Arabs (BARBYJM); thus this archaic poem of Judges 5:8 notices Arabic metal workers LOHEM there resident and their important products shields and spears; and notoriously, this poem concludes with words ARBYJM SNH that may echo designation of Arabic Sinai area. Second, this archaic poem of Judges 5 is also notably important for discussing early iron production from meteoric iron. We discuss more details of BRD barad meteorites and meteoric iron in the second Chapter of the current study; but commenting this poetry of Judges 5 we already now consider HERE some BRD mentions. Currently is in Hebrew Bible the BRD usually comprehended as “hailstones” that have been raining from heaven (this meaning is currently also in Arabic known); but regarding also those usual Arabic traditions that notice BARAD metal and iron working, we easily comprehend that BARAD or BRD stones often in Hebrew Bible notice meteorites, especially because early iron was produced of meteorites (notably, they yield excellent iron because of their containing iron, nickel and cobalt alloy, material that much resembles alloy for modern steel production! Producing iron alloy with nickel would have required really advanced knowledge of melting technologies and knowledge of appropriate alloy metals, such as nickel. But such alloy was readily present in meteorites and yielded very good iron, or steel). Importantly, in Hebrew Bible BRD word is almost similar with BRK word because of similarity of Dalet and Kaf letters in end of words. Notably, THIS detail appears also in this archaic poetry of Judges 5! This is of course somewhat understandable because times described in the Book of Judges was Early Iron age in Israel; then the metal, its production methods and nomenclature were merely developing there! Judges 5:24 writes TBRK MNSJM JYL and MNSJM BAHL TBRK Usually these are comprehended as pual forms of BRK (bless) verb and thus rendered as noticing that Jael was more blessed than other women there. This writing of TBRK now can have been during millennia of copyists and editors been (un)intentionally confused with BRD; the following statement of 5:26 so clearly here writes of HLM, thus hammering and use of HLMWT device, apparently some hammer. Thus we find here specially motivated to consider here ancient description of production of meteoric BRD BARAD iron, reading that TBRD MNSJM JYL and MNSJM BAHL TBRD Apparently, in that tent, Jael prepared BARAD meteoric iron products with other workers Interestingly, this tent AHL rather seems to be some ancient workshop of early smiths. Also is interesting to read in this poem the Judges 5:19b-20 describing BZY KSP LA LQHW MN SMJM NLHMW Comprehending the LHM noticing LOHEM activities of smiths, this emphasises that smiths were producing of that coming from heavens, the heavenly metal or meteorite iron.