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29

In the 1950s, a guy named Ras Shamra unearthed tablets which may describe a Ugaritic pagan ritual of a kid being cooked in milk. You can read all about Ras Shamra's discoveries in this PDF document (info on this topic on p.5). In the above article and in countless others I've read, this ritual is described as historical fact and assumed without any ...


25

One of the principles of talmudic reasoning is that there are no unnecessary words in torah -- so since this law is stated three times, we must be able to learn something new from each statement. Tractate Chullin (113-116) explains that there are three prohibitions: cooking meat and milk together eating such a mixture deriving benefit from such a mixture ...


15

This apparent contradiction can be resolved without the documentary hypothesis. As Bruce Alderman pointed out, Gen 17 is considered an E passage, yet it uses YHWH in the very first verse. Similarly, there are J passages that use Elohim (the very first J passage actually uses YHWH-Elohim). There are certain patterns in Hebrew thought for when one name ...


15

Sticking just to the text: In the earlier passage, God commanded Moshe to strike the rock and he obeyed. In the present passage, God commanded Moshe to speak and he struck instead. (It's been 39 years, so "that's what we did last time" probably doesn't apply.) Why is this a problem? Look at what Moshe said: shall we bring water for you out of this ...


14

The lexicons referenced in Blundin's answer are trying to define the word ratsach throughout the whole of the OT. The differences between these different dictionaries and lexicons imply that the word doesn't have a single unambiguous translation but that it can mean different things in different contexts. The OP asked what the word ratsach means in Exodus ...


13

I have always assumed that Aaron was born before this decree was made. (He's three years older.) The text only tells us that Pharaoh made the decree and Moses was born (and his mother hid him etc). If Aaron had been born under the decree then I would expect the text to be different from what it is, but we are left to reason from the absence of information ...


13

This text does not call for child sacrifice. Note in the first passage you quote (citation?), it says that the first-born child is to be redeemed, not killed. This is optional for animals (apparently), but not for people. God asserts ownership of first-born, but this does not necessarily mean sacrifice. Numbers 3:12-13 (and later in the chapter) makes ...


13

Tractate Sanhedrin, chapter 6, fourth mishna explains how stoning is carried out: MISHNA IV.: The stoning-place was two heights of a man. One of the witnesses pushed him on his thighs (that he should fall with the back to the surface), but if he fell face down, he had to be turned over. If he died from the effects of the first fall, nothing more was to ...


12

None of these are called "the ten commandments" in the text, though Moshe, in Deut 4:13 and Deut 10:4, does refer to the "ten words" and probably means Exodus 20. (Words -- d'varim -- rather than commandments -- mitzvot.) The text does not ever assert that there are only ten commandments that matter. There are many lists (of length greater than 10) of ...


12

I believe your first option is the best but with a little modification. Moses originally had an Egyptian name that sounded almost exactly like a Hebrew name. The pun involved in the name is elaborate and crosses languages. Names like Tutmose, Ramose, Amenmose are well attested from Egypt. The addition of -mose makes it "born of Amen," "child of Tut," or ...


11

RJ Rushdoony in his Institutes of Biblical Law vol 1 Pg 300 says: The Ras Shamra tablets indicate that such seething was a Canaanite sacred ritual. It would appear that the fertility cults believed that they could either stimulate or destroy fertility at will, since it was under their control. It is speculated that this law was implemented as an act of ...


10

Offering the eldest, the firtsborn, the firstfruits, etc is all about putting God in the forefront of your life. This is shown clearly in 1 Samuel 1 where Hannah dedicates her firstborn son to the Lord in service: She made a vow and said, "O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your ...


10

As Frank Luke points out, the Hebrew word "kinah" (קנאה) as in "El kanna" in Exodus 20:5 (אל קנא) in both in OT Hebrew and in modern, is both jealous and zealous at the same time, and can have either positive or negative moral value depending on the subtext. The name "Cain" in the story of Creation apparently comes from the same root, meaning someone who ...


10

There is a definite tension in this passage with Exodus 33:20. There are, however, a couple things in this passage that help alleviate some of it. First off, verse 11 notes: "But God did not raise his hand against these leaders of the Israelites." The author goes out of the way to note essentially that the leaders here did not die. That's the kind of ...


9

Gesenius in his Hebrew Grammar (Kautzsch/Cowley edition, commonly GKC) spends several pages on "Agreement between Members of a Sentence, especially between Subject and Predicate in respect of Gender and Number." He gives many examples of when the number of the verb and the noun disagree. This is section 145 of the book. In my edition, this is page ...


9

Location: The location of Mount Horeb, which most understand to be the same as Mount Sinai (see Deut 4:10, 4:15, etc), is unclear. There are many traditions about the location of Mount Sinai, some of which are probably more hospitable than others. The location offered by Open Bible is but one of many. Sheep: None of the candidate locations appears to be ...


8

Given what the various dictionaries define I think "murder" is the more appropriate word, although there is some debate. So you can see for yourself I have posted some citations below. From the Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: 8357 רָצַח (rā∙ṣǎḥ): v.; ≡ Str 7523; TWOT 2208—LN 20.61–20.88 (qal) murder, kill, i.e., take the life ...


8

The Hebrew word in Exodus 34:14 is קַנָּא, "jealous" (qanna'; Strong's 7067), from קָנָא (qana'; Strong's 7065), "jealous, zealous or envious." Both times the English word "jealous" appears in Exodus 34:14, this is the Hebrew word. Strong's say of the root word mentioned above, A primitive root; to be (causatively, make) zealous, i.e. (in a bad sense) ...


8

I've had some thoughts on this that don't quite answer the question, but are offered by way of response to the question. (As my comment suggests, my hunch is that the question may be unanswerable, but I'm not in a position to know that!) The response comes in three parts: first, some general observations about the Exodus plagues between science and biblical ...


7

In addition Frank Luke's excellent answer, I've found some additional material that might be of interest. Duane A. Garrett (coauthor of A Modern Grammar for Biblical Hebrew) writes on Exodus 6:2c-3: But the Hebrew text, as Francis I. Andersen points out, contains a case of noncontiguous parallelism that translators have not recognized: “I am ...


7

In this particular case, the translator's note from the NET Bible is helpful: The meaning of the word תְּחָשִׁים (tÿkhashim) is debated. The Arabic tuhas or duhas is a dolphin, and so some think a sea animal is meant – something like a dolphin or porpoise (cf. NASB; ASV “sealskins”; NIV “hides of sea cows”). Porpoises are common in the Red Sea; their ...


7

Background The NET Bible has a useful translator's note on the introduction of the name in Exodus 3:14: The verb form used here is אֶהְיֶה (’ehyeh), the Qal imperfect, first person common singular, of the verb הָיָה (haya, “to be”). It forms an excellent paronomasia with the name. So when God used the verb to express his name, he used this form saying, ...


7

This is a question that has caused problems with commentators and interpreters for centuries. Speaking most strictly, Cush and Midia are not the same place. Midia was on the Arabian peninsula (in the region of Jordan and Saudi Arabia today) while Cush proper was in the Sudan and Ethiopia region. In fact, the Septuagint uniformly translates Cush with ...


6

The Hebrew text uses three different words in this context: The word kashah, קשה appears only once, Exodus 7:3. Literally: I will make Pharaoh's heart hard/difficult/severe... The word chazak, חזק appears often in this context. For example Exodus 7:13. Literally: I will strengthen Pharaoh's heart... The words kaved/kavad, כבד (these two entries in ...


6

That God removed or lessened Pharaoh’s free will is a common explanation; usually justified by saying that the plagues were punishment for the slavery and could not be allowed to be escaped. I never liked that explanation, but it’s out there. Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch in his Commentary explains that God did not “harden Pharaoh’s heart” so much as “allow ...


6

Exodus 7:3 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt קָשָׁה, Strongs 7185 means harden, and has the preformative attachment, אֶ, denoting the imperfect conjugation, used for incomplete action. This can be present or future depending on context, which in this case is obviously future, so we get "I ...


6

Tosefta menahot 9:15 states "shni tola'at - from the worms in the mountains. Bringing from worms not found in the mountains disqualifies." The later Jewish commentators consistently identify "tola'at shani" as a worm. A literal translation might be "scarlet worm", also translated as such by Bible Tools. The phrase "tola'at shani" is used in the text as an ...


6

I believe the simplest explanation is that God sent Moses to be His mouthpiece, but Moses complained he couldn't do it, so God added his older brother Aaron to the equation. The two were joined into one mouthpiece: He shall speak for you to the people, and he shall be your mouth, and you shall be as God to him. Using the singular verb forms, then, is ...


6

The word in Exodus 20:21 which you translate as 'tool' is the Hebrew חרב which most literaly means 'sword'. Rashi there explains that a sword is designed to shorten life, while an altar is designed to lengthen life by being used to achieve atonement. It makes sense, therefore, that one should not be used in the formation of the other.


6

The confusion comes in part from imperfect translation. The commandment, in both Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5, reads as follows: לֹא-תַעֲשֶׂה לְךָ פֶסֶל, וְכָל-תְּמוּנָה, אֲשֶׁר בַּשָּׁמַיִם מִמַּעַל, וַאֲשֶׁר בָּאָרֶץ מִתָּחַת--וַאֲשֶׁר בַּמַּיִם, מִתַּחַת לָאָרֶץ. Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any manner of likeness, of any ...



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