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Featured Aaron, Miriam and Moses: all in the family

Discussion in 'Scriptural Debates' started by Jayhawker Soule, Feb 13, 2020.

  1. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    TheTorah.com has just published an article titled Pre-Biblical Aaron, Miriam, and Moses speculating that the sibling relationship is a late one. So, for example, ...

    Critical scholars suggest that the passages that describe Moses as the brother of Aaron and Miriam, and the passages that do not make this assumption, derive from different sources. The texts that describe Aaron and Moses as siblings all come from the later, Priestly source,[7] while the earlier, non-Priestly sources connect Aaron with Miriam but not Moses.

    The Bible thus contains three different traditions about the relationship between Moses, Aaron, and Miriam:

    1. Micah describes Aaron, Moses, and Miriam as partners (not siblings).
    2. A passage in the non-Priestly text of the Pentateuch thinks of Aaron and Miriam as siblings, but not Moses.
    3. Priestly genealogical texts describe all three as siblings.
    In other words, over time these three figures became more closely connected genealogically.

    I find this to be particularly interesting when viewed through the lens of Richard Elliott Friedman's views as discussed in Who Wrote the Bible? (1987) and The Exodus (2018).

    Please note that this thread is not intended as fodder for theological debate. The question here is what bits of history can we reasonably infer from texts burdened with the label "Scripture."
     
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  2. Harel13

    Harel13 Well-Known Member

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    TheTorah.com was a recent discovery for me. They have some really fascinating articles.
    I read about half of the article and will get to the rest later, but It seems to me that there's an assumption being made that Micah was written before the Five Books of Moses, hence the theory that the genealogy developed over time, but I don't quite understand how this assumption was made.
     
  3. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    Friedman thinks the Levites left Egypt and joined Canaanites who were already settled in the hill country. Is that the gist of it?
     
  4. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Good point -- so, for example, ...

    Wikipedia: MIcah

    Some, but not all, scholars accept that only chapters 1–3 contain material from the late 8th century prophet Micah. The latest material comes from the post-Exilic period after the Temple was rebuilt in 515 BC, so that the early 5th century BC seems to be the period when the book was completed. The first stage was the collection and arrangement of some spoken sayings of the historical Micah (the material in chapters 1–3), in which the prophet attacks those who build estates through oppression and depicts the Assyrian invasion of Judah as Yahweh's punishment on the kingdom's corrupt rulers, including a prophecy that the Temple will be destroyed.​

    Wikipedia: Exodus

    Jewish and Christian tradition viewed Moses as the author of Exodus and the entire Torah, but by the end of the 19th century the increasing awareness of discrepancies, inconsistencies, repetitions and other features of the Pentateuch had led scholars to abandon this idea. In approximate round dates, the process which produced Exodus and the Pentateuch probably began around 600 BCE when existing oral and written traditions were brought together to form books recognisable as those we know, reaching their final form as unchangeable sacred texts around 400 BCE.​

    The article references Micah 6. So, if one is to accept the Wikipedia summary, "some, but not all" would challenge the author's premise.
     
    #4 Jayhawker Soule, Feb 13, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
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  5. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

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    .

    I think one should be mindful of the differing objectives the compilers of the scriptures had. Not that I know what they were, but that bias most likely played a part. Meaning that all of it has to be viewed with suspicion, and that "maybe" should precede all comments of "fact.".

    .
     
  6. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    To which comment of fact are you referring?
     
  7. Harel13

    Harel13 Well-Known Member

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    I liked the etymological info on their names:

    Egyptian names also connect these figures. Scholars have long noted that Moses—moshe/mose—means “son” in Egyptian. This is a shortened form of a standard Egyptian-style name that generally comes with a theophoric element: Ramesses/Ramose= “son of Ra,” Thutmose=“son of Thoth,” etc.

    Miriam’s name begins with the Egyptian word meri meaning “beloved.” This is also a common part of Egyptian names with a theophoric element: Meryamun=“beloved of Amun,” Meritaten=“beloved of Aten,” etc.

    The etymology of Aaron/Aharon’s name is less clear, but it does not appear to be Hebrew, and many scholars assume it is of Egyptian origin. Although its meaning is debated, one prominent suggestion is that it derives from aha-rw, “warrior lion.”​

    Even though there are Hebrew origins to the names, too.
     
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  8. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    At the time of the Exodus Egypt controlled Sinai and Canaan.
     
  9. Harel13

    Harel13 Well-Known Member

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    And this disqualifies Hebrew etymology how exactly? Answer: It does not.
     
  10. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    It doesn't , but it does broaden their exposure to Egyptian culture.
     
  11. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    The Hebrew Scriptures clearly indicate that these three were siblings. Miriam’s watchful eye on the infant Moses when he was placed in a basket among the bull rushes and her suggestion to Pharaoh’s daughter the she get one of the Hebrew women to nurse him for her? (Exodus 2:1-10) Doesn't this passage alone confirm Miriam's relationship to Moses.

    And doesn't Exodus 6:20 confirm Moses' relationship to Aaron? And doesn't Numbers 26:59 mention all three as siblings?

    What is the problem? And can I ask what difference it makes in the big picture to even question their relationship? :shrug:
    Aren't there more important questions to ask?
     
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  12. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    LOL [​IMG] This is a typical response from you.....deflection with sarcasm......do you ever have answers to questions? [​IMG]

    This is in a scriptural debate forum, not a Judaism DIR.....where is your debate? C'mon...speak up.
     
  13. lukethethird

    lukethethird Well-Known Member

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    Is it reasonable to infer bits of history by reading scripture?
     
  14. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Deeje, it was not deflection. It's dismissal -- dismissal of a comment that was simply irrelevant.
     
  15. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Is it reasonable to stigmatize folk history, theological polemic, etiological narrative, etc. with the label 'scripture'
     
  16. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    How can the comment be irrelevant when your own scripture confirms what you just questioned?

    Do you doubt the truthfulness of your own scripture? If you do, where does that leave you?

    10 different Jewish points of view and all are correct? How on earth do you ever come to any solid conclusions about anything?
     
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  17. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    The question is not what the narrative ends up stating. The question is one of if, how (and, if we're lucky, why) multiple strands of narrative conflate and evolve.
     
  18. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    What do you mean "ends up stating"?
    How can scripture 'evolve and conflate' if God is the one authoring it and preserving its integrity? It is God's word, is it not? Or don't you believe that?

    If God has the power to create the Universe, then surely preserving the integrity of his instruction manual is a simple thing?

    Can't we stop asking dumb questions, take him at his word, and just do as he says? :shrug:
     
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  19. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

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    ". . . all comments of "fact.".

    ,


    .
     
  20. lukethethird

    lukethethird Well-Known Member

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    No one is stigmatizing anything, call it what you will, why look to this literature for history?
     
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