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Although I disagree with your presupposition that the ages are merely symbolic, I think this is a great question nonetheless. The reason I say this is that regardless of whether the ages are historically significant, we should assume they are literarily significant. The Bible is literature, and each author (or redactor) of each book has crafted his work of ...


The reading with "servant" is very tenuous and has no textual basis. Firstly, the Hebrew word שמש appears in the tanakh approximately 134 times, of which almost every use exclusively means sun. There are a couple of examples, most notably Isaiah 54:12, although also Psalms 84:12, where some commentators deviate from this meaning. The Isaiah verse is ...

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