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comment Meaning of Nimrod
At risk of coming off as overly pedantic, I'd like to take issue with the third statement in the first paragraph. Not only had the word "rebel" not appeared in the Hebrew language by the first century BCE, it still hasn't. The word "rebel" is an English word, not a Hebrew one. With that in mind, what you probably meant to say is that you find it hard to believe that the Hebrew language didn't have some word in its lexicon that could be translated into English as the word 'rebel' by ~100 BCE. And I'd be willing to bet the Hebrew language had synonyms for "mrd" much earlier than 100 BCE.
Dec
2
comment Matthew vs Levi in the Gospel according to Matthew
@Jas3.1 I think your confusing Matthew the author of the gospel with Matthew the character referred to in the gospel. These are two different people, and for that matter the author of the Gospel of Matthew most likely wasn't a person named Matthew. Remember the gospels are anonymous. So the author would have had no more reason to refer to Levi by his new name than the authors of Mark or Luke would have.
Dec
2
comment Matthew vs Levi in the Gospel according to Matthew
Adding to the confusion, shortly after Matthew 9:9 there is this verse mentioning Matthew: "Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;" (Matthew 10:3). So at first brush, the text appears to imply that Matthew and Levi were the same person, as were Levi and James, though James was not the same person as Matthew(?!). Possible ways out of this paradox have included that (1) Levi and James were brothers; (2) multiple people named Alphaeus; (3) the Church fathers were just as confused as we are.
Oct
20
comment Why was crocodile (תנין) from Exodus 7:10 translated as snake or serpent?
Thank you for your reply and the article link. It was a good read. I hadn't heard of the Jewish Encyclopedia before.
Oct
19
comment Why was crocodile (תנין) from Exodus 7:10 translated as snake or serpent?
I'd be curious if ancient Hebrew even has a word for crocodile. Since southern Egypt is likely the only place the Hebrew culture would have encountered crocodiles, a word for 'crocodile' probably would have first entered the Hebrew language as a loan word from ancient Egyptian. @FrankLuke, do you happen to know if something like this was the case?
Sep
22
comment Moses' manufacture of the “bronze serpent” - what bronze?
@Davïd Very informative! For clarification, when you say 'halot' is more recent, how recently are we talking about? Also, after asking my question above, I searched 'bronze' at wiktionary and found the Hebrew translation 'ארד' (arad). Do you know how this term compares to the two you described?
Sep
22
comment Moses' manufacture of the “bronze serpent” - what bronze?
More than once in your post you refer to bronze and copper as if the two words are interchangeable in this context. I'm curious now as to what extent the ancient Hebrew vocabulary had different words for distinguishing between different metals. Did they just have one word for copper and bronze?
Sep
8
comment Ancient Hebrew Calendar(s) and Modern Translations of “Years”
@mojo The crux of matter with these ancient empirical calendars is that most dates (i.e., of the full moon) and time intervals (such as the length of a given year weren't reckoned at all. Instead, they were observed. So to determine, say, if a particular year had 13 months or 12, you'd need to check the written records kept by scribes from that time period. If the documents are lost, so too is the information.
Aug
30
awarded  Commentator
Aug
30
comment Why does the ESV use “surely” in Genesis 2:16 when all others say “freely”?
My guess is that this is just an example of obsolete English usage that hasn't been transliterated into the modern equivalent. If you go to the "sure" Wiktionary entry, the fourth definition (listed as obsolete) reads, "Free from danger; safe; secure". So perhaps the editors of the ESV are not without some justification for this translation decision, but it does seem odd given how recently it was published.
Aug
18
comment Written language during the time of Moses?
There's not much of an answer to your first question beyond speculation, but you might find this to be interesting starting point: en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Sinaitic_script
Aug
8
comment What biblical figure was present during the dinosaurs?
While all biblical figures indeed would have been contemporaneous with crocodiles, very few likely ever saw one. The only characters who would have lived anywhere near crocodiles would be those who spent time near the Nile in Egypt, like Moses. Even then they crocodiles would have somewhat exotic. (Pardon my pedantry :) )
Jul
21
comment Was Jesus too young at 12 years old to go about His Father's business?
Apprenticeships began anywhere from age 7 to 14, with 12 being a rough average. This practice might seem odd to us now, but ask yourself what do you think children did all day?
Jun
17
comment Is “stars” the object of “made” or “rule” in Genesis 1:16?
I thought you were asking how to interpret the English translation you quoted. I was merely making the point that the translators definitely thought that 'stars' was the object of 'made'. I can't speak to the reasons the original Hebrew was parsed that way, or if it is ultimately correct.
Jun
17
comment Is “stars” the object of “made” or “rule” in Genesis 1:16?
The dashes before and after the phrase "the larger light to rule the day and the smaller light to rule the night" are clearly being used to block off the phrase as a parenthetical. The first dash indicates that the grammatical structure of the main sentence is being interrupted and will continue after the next dash. So the clause that begins "God made the two great lights..." continues with "...*and the stars.*"
May
21
awarded  Critic
Apr
12
comment The Pharaoh of the Exodus
There isn't any real consensus on the identity of this pharaoh. The most popular choice in popular culture seems to be Ramesses II for some reason, but I don't think there's actually that much evidence supporting him over other choices.
Feb
24
comment How can the 3 Questions be resolved with the math still correct?
@PaulVargas I agree, some references would be wonderful! :) But my speculation that Moses would have used Egyptian calendars is based on nothing more than me thinking "If I were Moses, what would I have done?"
Feb
24
comment How can the 3 Questions be resolved with the math still correct?
@PaulVargas Since Moses was allegedly raised as an adopted member of the Egyptian royal family, it seems reasonable to conclude that the Egyptian calendar systems would be what Moses was most familiar with.
Jan
26
comment Does the Bible say the Earth is flat?
+1 for a great answer with excellent annotations.