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Lecture

Prof Notes for Exodus and Hammurabi.pdf

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Department
Humanities
Course
HUMA 1110
Professor
Stephen Ford
Semester
Fall

Description
1110 Exodus 1-24, Psalms 78, 136 17 October 2012 Recreation: Flood Stories in Genesis, EG, Exodus, and Psalms Unit 1: Recreation: Flood Stories and Law Codes: Exodus and Code of Hammurabi Please read chapters 1-24 in Exodus. Psalm 78 and 136 in Tanakh (Bible) Two Preliminary Points: 1. Review of Flood Stories in Genesis 1. There are two flood stories in Genesis. 2. The stories are different: in one story, Noah takes one pair of each kind of animal and bird, clean and unclean; in the other story, Noah takes seven pairs of clean animals, and one pair of unclean animals. 3. The Documentary Hypothesis identifies the two stories as the two documents, P and J, which the editors of Genesis combined by interlacing them. 4. These two stories are inconsistent in this respect. 5. This difference is an important difference because it determines the different conclusions, and the different purposes of the stories. One story concludes with Noah offering a sacrifice of each kind of clean animal; the other story concludes with God placing the rainbow as the sign of his covenant not to flood the world again. 6. The editors of Genesis used both stories: it is more probable that the editors did not worry about the inconsistency than that they did not notice the inconsistency. 7. The Priestly (P) flood story has the detail that the dove brought back an olive twig, showing the malleability of myth, and, that the P flood story is derived from another flood story; namely, a version of the Mesopotamian flood story. The flood stories in Genesis show literary dependence on the written Mesopotamian flood stories. 8. Historians worry about inconsistency. Consistency, however, is not enough for the historian: genre is determinative. Consistency is required in a detective story, but detective stories are not 'true crime.' 9. The malleability of the Mesopotamian flood story, and the further adaptation as two distinct flood stories in Genesis makes it more probable that this cluster of stories belongs to the genre of myth than to historiography. 10. If the flood stories in Genesis are historiographical, their literary affinity with the Mesopotamian flood stories implies that the Mesopotamian flood stories are historiographical, too, as well as all the other stories we have been reading, Sedna, the Inuit girl who became the goddess of the sea. 2. Why Atrahasis is not the source for the Flood Story in Epic of Gilgamesh 1. Atrahasis is an Old Babylonian text: 3500 to 4000 years ago. There is an OBV of Gilgamesh, 3500-4000 years ago. The Judean Exile to Babylon took place in the Neo-Babylonian Period, and ended with the Persian Conquest under Cyrus in 539 bce (2551 years ago) 2. The Wisdom Saying in the Bible (Ecclesiastes) ‘Athree-fold cord is not easily broken’does not appear in the OBV of Gilgamesh. The elders give him advice: ‘Do not rely, Gilgamesh, on your own strength’(Tablet iii). The Cedar Forest Expedition is not an episode in Atrahasis. Consequently, this Wisdom Saying does not appear in that text because there is no context for it to occur. Therefore, the Judean authors/editors of the Bible worked with a Babylonian text that did have that Wisdom Saying, namely, the Standard Babylonian Version of Gilgamesh. There is no reason to multiply sources beyond necessity. Lecture Two: What problems do the flood stories present to critical scholarship? Thesis: Flood myths are the basis for creation myths because flood myths are grounded in real events; no one was around for creation. 1 Problem Is Exodus a redacted (edited) text? 1.1 Method: Close reading; editorial (redaction) criticism 1.2 Solution: Yes. 1.3 Notes 1.3.1 Imperfect editing of origins of Moses. 1.3.1.1 6:20AndAmram took him Jochebed his father's sister to wife; and she bore himAaron and Moses. And the years of the life ofAmram were a hundred and thirty and seven years. 1.3.1.2 6:26 These are thatAaron and Moses, to whom the LORD said: 'Bring out the children of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their hosts.' 27 These are they that spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring out the children of Israel from Egypt. These are that Moses andAaron. 1.3.1.3 7:7And Moses was fourscore years old, andAaron fourscore and three years old, when they spoke unto Pharaoh. 1.3.1.4 2:1And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi. 2And the woman conceived, and bore a son; 2:4 And his sister stood afar off, to know what would be done to him. 1.3.2 Comments: (1) Parents not named; (2) sister not named; (3) no mention of a brother; (4) the child, named Moses, is the first born of parents from the tribe of Levi. 2 2 Problem Is the Israelite population of a plausible size for the exit from Egypt? 2.1 Method:Anthropological criticism 2.2 Solution: No. 3 Problem Does the Exodus myth follow Flood stories in Genesis 3.1 Method: Close reading. 3.2 Solution: Yes. 3.2.1 Exodus 14:21 'And Moses stretched out his hand over t
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