Monday, May 28, 2018

Two Minor Typos

Earlier this month, I received an E-mail from Barnea Levi Selavan (of Foundation Stone) kindly informing me of a typo on LDC's Geography page (which was replicated on the Corpus page thanks to my copy/paste proficiency).

Hard to comprehend, but it's been about 6 years since I made any updates to those pages, the main reason being I've been concentrating on my physical health after turning 50, finally crossing into the point-of-diminishing-returns phase of life, hoping to delay the inevitable. When I was young, along with other bad investments, I bet against myself making it this far. Although I'm grateful to God for enabling me to live this long, "damage control" takes priority nowadays!

Meanwhile, after the last time my main computer met its own inevitable demise in 2015, I didn't bother setting up access to LDC on my current PC. I could, but it just hasn't seemed worthwhile given all else going on in my life. Besides, in 2013 I began designing a new, easier-to-maintain version of LMLK Dotcom, which will not only be searchable, but will present visitors with customizable content such as corpus statistics & maps with precise coordinates for LMLK loci.

So I'm grateful when I occasionally get notes such as the one from Barnea, but I'm simply going to post it here for now:

"Burj (Khirbet el-Burj in the northen end of Ramot Alon"
should be
"Burj (Khirbet el-Burj in the northern end of Ramot Alon"

As God continues dropping jelly beans along life's trail for me, within a few days of receiving Barnea's message, I received a copy of a new book by Clive Anderson & Brian Edwards, "Evidence for the Bible" (published by Master Books; free 27-page PDF sample).

Page 38 is about Hebron, & unfortunately does not mention the HBRN seals; however, an S2U from Lachish (RAEL #260) on display at The British Museum appears on p. 74 along with the Assyrian siege ramp at Lachish. Here's what they say about the handles:

"Hezekiah had clearly made preparations for a long siege by taxation. Many handles from large storage jars have been found across Judah and dated to the 8th or 7th centuries B.C. The handles have been stamped with a seal bearing the message "belonging to the king"--in Hebrew lmlk--and the name of one of four administrative centers, from where they would have been taken to Lachish or Jerusalem. It is generally agreed that these date to the reign of Hezekiah (JBA p 106), although some authorities suggest they were first made in the reign of Ahaz (IAK p 17). Second Chronicles 32:28 refers to his storehouses."

Ugh!!! general, though I was pleasantly surprised by the 2Chr reference.

Alas, I've been venting my ughs since 2002, so I won't repeat them here. The only point I'll take the time to make today is that the first citation, JBA is for the 2003 book, "Jerusalem in Bible and Archaeology: The First Temple Period" by editors Andrew G. Vaughn & Ann E. Killebrew. I do not have this book, & was not aware of any significant LMLK content therein when I published Lv1 in 2004.

The second citation, IAK, which also surprised/intrigued me, is not actually in Anderson/Edwards' bibliography. So I switched to typo-catching mode, & discovered AKI. It stands for the 2008 book, "Israel: Ancient Kingdom or Late Invention?" by editor Daniel I. Block. I promptly ordered a copy, & received it last week.

Block dedicated the book to "Alan R. Millard, Scholar, Mentor, Friend". It contains 15 essays delivered at a "conference held in Louisville in January, 2004" coincidently as I began finalizing Lv1. Block wrote one, & Millard three, including the one with relevant text from p. 17 ("The Value and Limitations of the Bible and Archaeology for Understanding the History of Israel--Some Examples"):

"The Assyrians required their vassals to pay an annual tribute. ... Neither the biblical nor the Assyrian records specify the tribute Ahaz had to pay, but he would certainly have had to send an annual levy to Assyria, which would have had a negative impact on the Judaean economy. As far as I am aware, excavations have not demonstrated any change in the material remains of the second half of the 8th century BC. However, based on written records, the destruction levels that excavators attribute to Sennacherib's campaign to crush Hezekiah's revolt in 701 BC contained large numbers of storage jars. Many of these jars had handles stamped by seals bearing the words "royal property" (lmlk), followed by the name of one of the towns: Ziph, Hebron, Memshat, or Sokoh. Scholars usually interpret these jars as containers prepared for provisioning Hezekiah's garrisons when he expected the Assyrian attack. The fact that they lie in debris of destruction set in Hezekiah's reign need not mean they were made only in the year or two before the towns were sacked. Although the greatest quantity of material derives from the occupation level of the latest period of habitation, it spans more than a few years. Therefore, I suggest that the jars stamped "royal property" were first made in the reign of Ahaz for collecting produce to be sent to Assyria, and that potters constructed them for as long as he and Hezekiah, his successor, paid tribute to Assyria. They could still have been used for collecting taxes when Hezekiah was preparing to face Assyria's attack."

I love Prof. Emeritus Millard for the encouraging words he's written to me over the years; however, if the purpose of the jars was for sending stuff to Assyria, why haven't the majority of them been found in excavations there?

Corollary point: Is there any evidence suggesting that Judahites sent Rosette (a.k.a. Star) jars to Babylon a century later?


In other news, today I received the 2018 issue of TAU Review. It contains the usual happiness/peace/love/joy photo of smiling President Joseph Klafter; an obligatory anti-God, Darwinian-evolution propaganda piece for an ordinary-human jawbone discovered at Mount Carmel; another happiness/peace/love/joy photo, this time of Israel Finkelstein regarding his collaboration with Eli Piasetsky on the Arad ostraca; & a brief announcement on the appointment of LMLK VIP Oded Lipschits as incumbent of the Austria Chair in Archaeology of the Land of Israel in the Biblical Period (formerly held by LMLK VIP, David Ussishkin from 1996-2006).

I'll conclude today's blog with a humorous verbal-typo on David Willner's YouTube channel, featuring a 1-minute clip of Prof. Lipschits using "BC" & "AD" instead of the standard history-denying TAU/academia anti-Christian-speak of "BCE" & "CE":

With happiness/peace/love/joy to all my blog's readers,
G.M. Grena