Thursday, 4 July 2013


Metals in Bible, Old Testament and New Testament. Iron, Magnets and Compass. Study by Pasi K Pohjala 03 JULY 2013. VERRE ET BIBLE SIXTEEN, progressing second edition Metals are in our current lives very important, especially steel and iron; those iron engine driven steel boxes- the automobiles- transport us every day to our working places and different events. Many of our everyday utensils are made of steel, or some other metals. Only since some fifty years various plastic materials have been developed and become usual; various high quality composite materials are currently becoming more and more widely in use. But mostly we still live currently very widely using iron and steel in our devices and products. Everyone remembers also the importance of iron and steel in building many war equipment, only recently have different alternative materials in that strategic field become more in use. Modern tanks are mostly made of steel; and ancient war axes and swords were made of some iron- technological difference is enormous, but the material is in both iron or some specific iron alloy. Modern harvesters are mostly made of steel, and ancient iron sickles were then very important then ancient high technologies. Material is- iron. In our current very developed culture and developed societies we still much use various iron products in very central uses. Iron is important. However, in considering times of transition from bronze age to iron age it is important to notice that only quite advanced iron products (or steel) are definitely better than bronze products- considering large scale use of iron (and steel) in ancient societies this is quite important detail, especially recognising difficulties of iron working and developing improved methods. 1. Descriptions of Smith’s working with LHM words; and Bethlehem notices Smith’s workshop Thus we begin our study of Bible and metals in Bethlehem, the Smiths’ house. Readers are of course well acquainted with often presented ideas interpreting Bethlehem as “house of alimentation or house of bread”, this reflecting currently usually accepted lexical interpretation of the Hebrew Aramaic LHM. However, the site of Bethlehem is in the Judaean mountains and not at all especially fertile agricultural site, at all resembling the fertile coastal Plain of Palestine of Levant. Readers now certainly are well aware how usual LHM words in Hebrew Bible actually are; notices of letters are here especially important. The LHM written with Heth letter finds the lexical meanings in OT lexica being the LHM words and the H letter written Heth, the words noticing alimentation, food; and that verb Lahama notices in Hebrew Bible to fight, do battle (BDB 535); and the noun Milhama (the H letter written Heth) notices wars and fights in Hebrew Bible according to current consensus. But all Readers of Hebrew Bible are also well aware that Hebrew Bible writes numerous LHM words where the H is with the consonant He written- and then the meaning is notably different: in Hebrew Bible the numerous and usual LHM words with He letter written usually are comprehended being L-HM, the preposition L “to, for” with the pl.3. –HM; and these usual LHM words in Hebrew Bible are thus comprehended as meaning “to them or for them”. But also Rabbinical interpretation of Hebrew Bible often make Midrashic interpretations of numerous Old Testament statements also noticing meanings if letters He and Heth are interchanged. HERE such questioning of interchanging Hebrew consonants He and Heth in pondering meanings of LHM words becomes TRULY COMPREHENSIVE and notably interesting study of Hebrew Bible, because the LHM word with He “to them, for them” are in Hebrew Bible really numerous! Readers are well aware of this notorious situation in reading Hebrew Bible- and this question of LHM words in Hebrew Bible becomes fundamental and very substantial questioning in reckoning that Arabic usual tradition comprehends LAHAMA word to denote activities of smiths! Arabic relatively usual tradition designates with LAHAMA word to mend, patch, weld or solder, thus noticing also important activities of smiths! This questioning of reading of LHM words in Hebrew Bible thus presents truly fundamental and huge challenge- LHM words in Hebrew Bible are truly numerous (when LHM written with He or Heth letters are noticed) AND when we reckon that Arabic USUAL tradition comprehends LHM LAHAMA to designate activities of smiths. We consider now also SECOND enormously important detail of Hebrew Bible that is in this discussion immensely important. Very usual divine designation in Hebrew Bible is the ELOHIM, written in consonantal script ALHJM (where the H letter is the He). This ALHJM is usually vocalised comprehending the word as masc. plural form, with the –im ending, obviously supported by numerous occurring construct forms; but fundamentally, the ALHJM similarly can be vocalised EL-LOHEM and this indeed notices the DIVINE SMITH, GOD WHO IS PRACTISING ART OF SMITH, and Divine Warrior who is in warfare using such special weapons!) Yes, this is the case and this study later considers also some Biblical statements clarifying the doings of EL-LOHEM, the divine Smith. It is also worth to emphasise that the lexical meanings of Hebrew currently do not recognise to LHM words meanings of “smith” and “practise art of smith”; but, importantly, quite similar Hebrew HLM in some Biblical statements IS in current translations and lexica well recognised with meanings to smith, and to hammer (see e.g. the consensus summarised in the BDB 240). This (in current scholarly consensus well established) meaning of HLM in Hebrew Bible denoting smiths and doings of smiths apparently actually enormously emphasises that the usual Arabic tradition of comprehending LAHAMA to notice smiths and activities of smiths really shall be compared with LHM words in Hebrew Bible! Considering ELOHIM and BETHLEHEM in Hebrew Bible we centrally consider important mentions of Smith and practising profession of smiths in Bible. We shall now see that surprisingly often Hebrew Bible writes interestingly of smith, profession of smiths and the Divine Smith ELOHIM. We now promptly start noticing in the New Testament famous Confession of Peter, according to Matthew 16:13ff. The well preserved Greek Gospel tradition of Matthew 16:18-19 writes EPI TAUTE TE PETRA (dat) OIKODOMESOO MOU TEEN EKKLESIAN KAI PULAI HADOU OU KATISKHUSOUSIN AUTEES DOOSOO SOI TAS KLEIDAS TEES BASILEIAS TOON OURANOON This Confession of Peter is theologically important and traditionally comprehended to establish the status of Peter; and now we not at all question such theologically important details; rather we now notice that here are TAS KLEIDAS noticed also referring to OIKODOMEIN building. Firstly, it is worth noticing that this statement is well understandable if the EPI omitted; then the dat. TAUTE TE PETRA OIKODOMEESOO would rather present this rock as special instrument, probably some hammer, for building the congregation; however, the EPI with dative notices rather foundations, making foundation of that congregation upon that rock- but it is worth noticing that such smaller detail EPI can have been in some early stage inserted in this text. The KLEIS in Hellenistic times could notice also NAILS; and such were becoming more in use in building activities in those ancient times when use of iron products slowly became more usual. Comprehension of these KLEIS denoting NAILS is here clear, because here is written concerning OIKODOMEIN building activities and noticed how Peter could DEOMAI attach and fasten and LUO release (Matt 16:19) (or with instrument Peter or stone-hammer the nails could be well attached). We currently now must really recognise that in those earlier times metal or iron nails were indeed VERY precious and rarely used and this statement describes then very advanced building methods! Production of iron nails was in the times of Jesus and early Christians done by smiths, tediously hammering (and welding) pieces of iron sufficiently heated in the furnace of smith. Readers shall remember that good iron nails were in those times very precious products of those smiths and thus highly esteemed; readers should remember that production of iron by smelting then was only gradually being developed (according to current scholarly comprehension), so that iron nails were then important and very precious products tediously and with much skill hammered by smiths. Actually difference between nails and keys&locks in those times was quite small- then usual KLEIS were something which served for closing, such as bars and bolts or some iron sticks; for reading this statement of KLEIS it is really important to consider technologies usual in THOSE times and reasonably accessible to Jesus and his first followers- such were some iron sticks little differently hammered and used as nails and bolts etc. (It is worth here also to recognise Matt 26:51-52 where Jesus explicit discourages one of his followers from using sword for defending him; in those times iron swords were other important iron products- and we read much detailed descriptions of various campaigns of warfare in Palestine in those times, extensively and in much detail described by the historian Josephus). We thus read here in Matthew 16:18-19 very interesting statement how Jesus gave to Peter some NAILS and spoke of OIKODOMEIN building activities and recognised how Peter thus could securely fasten and attach (DEOMAI) and release (LUO). Jesus thus introduced Peter to some then very advanced building technologies, use of nails in building for making secure and good work. (New Testament Gospels also comprehend the KLEIS word also in meaning “lock” and “key”, thus clearly in Matt 23:13 complaining how Pharisees have “closed or locked” the kingdom of heavens and HUMEIS GAR OUK EISERKHESTHE OUDE TOUS EISERKHOMENOUS AFIETE EISELTHEIN that apparently specifies in THIS context of Matt 23 this KLEIOO to denote “closing” or “locking”, especially thus preventing EISELTHEIN entering; and similar meaning we find in Lukan parallel Luke 11:52). Thus it is worth to remember that 1 Peter 2 writes of building PROS ON PROSERKHOMENOI LITHON ZOONTA HUPO ANTHROOPOON MEN APODEDOKIMASMENON PARA DE TEOO EKLEKTON ENTIMON KAI AUTOI OOS LITHOI ZOONTES OIKODOMEISTHE OIKOS PNEUMATIKOS New Testament Gospel tradition specifically presents Jesus having been a builder, thus Mark 6:3 OUKH OUTOS ESTIN O TEKTOON O HUIOS TEES MARIAS KAI ADELFOS IAKOBOU KAI IOSETOS KAI IOUDA KAI SIMONOS For considerations of New Testament textual criticism we now notice the important variant O TEKTONOS HUIOS that would notice Jesus as the son of a builder rather than specifying his own profession as builder- but this variant is supported by quite few Mss and is possible attempt for harmonising (and the important witness of P45 is somewhat unclear, videtur). Importantly, in those times often fathers taught their profession to their sons, so that both descriptions importantly indicate that the profession of Jesus of Nazareth was builder. Matthew 13:55 writes that OUKH OUTOS ESTIN O TOU TEKTONOS HUIOS OUKH E METER AUTOU LEGETAI MARIAM KAI OI ADELFOI AUTOU IAKOBOS KAI IOSEF KAI SIMON KAI IOUDAS And the version of Luke 4:22ff is somewhat different; understandably the Gospel writers (or their final redactors) have expressed some important details of their comprehension of Jesus of Nazareth in describing their narratives importantly in slightly different wordings. But in the narrative of the earliest Gospel Mark and the Gospel of Matthew becomes very clear that Jesus himself was carpenter or builder in his profession. One of then advanced and important building methods was the practise of using NAILS in building for joining some logs together, so that it is really logical to comprehend that Jesus gave NAILS to Peter and somewhat clarified their use in building to make stable and lasting constructions. Apparently the Matthew 16 is one important statement in histories of Simon Peter and interestingly emphasises introduction of technological developments to Simon Peter, the carpenter Jesus giving to Simon Peter some nails for OIKODOMEIN building activity and advising concerning making strong and lasting joining with such nails. Recently in my Pasi K Pohjala’s Verre et Bible 9 published in May 2011, I have commented also the narrative of Luke 5:1-11 concerning Jesus calling the first followers; also in this narrative Simon Peter appears very prominent. Apparently this scene describes professional practises of the first followers of Jesus; they were fishermen and apparently were doing their fishing from some rafts composed of straws of reeds- we really should remember that timber is there very precious and maybe could not be afforded by ordinary inland fishermen and technologies of building raft or boat of timber were known only to few professionals; but rafts of reed in those regions were widely in use in lakes and rivers. And certainly, building any wooden boats is quite difficult and required special skills and specialist builders. “Notoriously, Jesus was son of carpenter who in his usual profession knew much of building of wood, thus one improvement brought by Jesus to these fishermen could be that Jesus helped the followers to build wooden boats and thus made their professional liver much safer” (Pasi K Pohjala, Verre et Bible 9, of May 2011, p.36; thus commented in the Chapter 5 “Luke 5:1-11 describes reparations and use of floating rafts of bundles of reed in history of calling first followers, and Simon becomes life restorer (resuscitation)”). We thus now recognise that comprehensibly, also Matthew 16 describes how Jesus introduces to Simon Peter some then important building and construction techniques, use of nails (iron nails) for making strong and lasting constructions. The ancient technological knowledge of Simon Peter is praised also in Johannine traditions. John 21:7-8 notices that this professional fisherman Simon Peter knew how to use life vest, or some ancient float, before jumping into the lake (TON EPENDUTEN DIEZOOSATO), this more commented in my Verre et Bible 9, Chapter 5 “Gospel of John 21:1-14 describes magical practises of Simon Peter: fishery and reflected visions on surface of lake, glass and mirror” (pp.29-34). Interested Readers find more detailed study in my Pasi K. Pohjala’s Verre et Bible 9 “Bible, Boats and Divers. Gaulos Ships Gola Settlements, Reqem Nabatean Trade Empire of Purple Argaman. Raising Dead by Resuscitation. And Capernaum (Kefer Nahum) Seafaring” (May 2011, consisting of 131pages), written by me Pasi K. Pohjala. We thus continue our Biblical study considering some details in the narrative of birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. This narrative is of course philosophically very fundamental for the notion of incarnation and virgin Mary- these are fundamental notions for Christian faith and we do not at all consider these details. Rather is now interesting to consider a much more mundane and everyday detail in the birth narrative, namely descriptions of the place of birth of Jesus. Luke describes in those days of coming of larger crowds to Bethlehem that there was no place for the Holy Family in the local inn; thus¨is noticed KAI ETEKEN TON HUION AUTEES TON PROOTOTOKON KAI ESPARGANOOSEN AUTON KAI ANEKLINEN AUTON EN FATNE DIOTI OUK EEN AUTOIS TOPOS EN TOO KATALUMATI (Luke 2:6) Now these words are apparently important in this narrative of Luke, because almost same words are repeated then in the statement by the angel to the frightened shepherds KAI TOUTO HUMIN TO SEEMEION, HEUREESETE BREFOS ESPARGANOOMENON KAI KEIMENON EN FATNE (Luke 2:12) Luke apparently emphasises specifically these words (or possibly quite early churchly editing has very successfully produced such emphasising) KAI EELTHAN SPEUSANTES KAI ANEURAN TEEN TE MARIAM KAI TON IOSEF KAI TO BREFOS KEIMENON EN TE FATNE (Luke 2:16) These words motivate widespread Christian practise of Christmas celebration, building the Nativity Scene where child Jesus is endormant in the crib. The Nativity Scenes are beautiful manifestations of Christian faith and beautifully express the incomprehensible mystery of Incarnation, fundamental to all Christians and in much detail discussed and debated in Early Church and dogma. Now we, however, notice the small but interesting detail of the place EN FATNE where child Jesus is resting. Usually thus is depicted in the Nativity Scenes some crib filled with hay. But we should consider that in Biblical Hebrew word PTS notices shattering and in Mishnaic times and thereafter often notices hammering (see e.g. J 1155; thus modern French word PATISSERIE thus has quite interesting etymological history; both smiths and bakers are of course professional specialists of using heated ovens and furnaces; and regrettably, some croissants quite resemble some products of smiths or pieces of charcoal thrown from their furnaces). We thus are more considering that this EN FATNE actually is some furniture in Smith’s workshop- indeed, Gospels tell that for the Family there was no place in the local inn of Bethlehem. Also it is much worth considering that in Judaean mountainous areas night times are usually quite cold, so that Smith’s workshop at least was somewhat warm place to give birth and thus is quite comprehensible that Joseph could have then searched place in some corner of Smith’s workshop so that the place at least would be somewhat warm! Certainly Joseph tried with best efforts to take care of Mary and thus tried to arrange warmer residence! In the narrative by Luke, we thus find one more important indication of the special role of this EN FATNE. In the narrative of Luke, the heavenly angel declared the special sign to the shepherds that they would find HEUREESETE BREFOS ESPAGANOOMENON KAI KEIMENON EN FATNE. But in those days, the town Bethlehem was specially full of people- should the shepherds then run around the whole town looking for a newborn baby resting in a manger? Remembering that the town indeed was full of people arrived there for the command of bureaucracy, there may have been during that night numerous newborn babies. How could the shepherds find that specific child whose birth the angel announced to them, BREFOS ESPARGANOOMENON KAI KEIMENON EN FATNE. Apparently these words thus themselves actually clearly specify also the place where the shepherds were expected to seek for the newborn child- thus is the EN FATNE apparently quite specific terminology; and this seriously motivates considering that this EN FATNE notices Smith’s workshop. In town Bethlehem there were in those times only small number of smiths, so that apparently these shepherds were by these angelic words very precisely guided to seek for the Child in specific locations, in a workshop of Smith. And recognising the LAHAMA word noticing working of smith, we thus actually very logically find that Jesus indeed was born in BETH-LEHEM or BETH-LOHEM, in workshop of Smith. Important detail for reading Coptic Bible is that there THILIME often appears to designate “Jerusalem”, this place name THILIME apparently notoriously similar to BETHLEHEM; this notorious detail shall in the current study of Metals in Bible also be somewhat studied especially because the KOPTO in Greek specially denotes many activities of smiths, welding and hammering. Already I have emphasised in my recent writings that in ancient world there were numerous “Jerusalem” safe havens and safe harbours, numerous MURSAHA safe harbours (still remembered in names Marseille, Pireas, Barcelona and numerous MERSA harbours of Mediterranean region); these are important in ancient trade networks. And in the current study of Metals in Bible now we shall notice some Coptic mentions of THILIME that apparently resembles Bethlehem, workshop of Smiths, or ancient industrial quarters where smiths were working. We easily recognise the importance of THILIME considering role of BETHLEHEM in Bible and remembering Arabic LAHAMA tradition where the word usually notices workings of smiths. We shall recognise that many of such ancient more affluent settlements were places of safe harbours AND that those settlements usually had also large industrial quarters where, among other professions, the smiths were doing their important practises. 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

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