tagged: 34th century A.M.

 

A Letter of Passover Instruction, from the Judean Garrison of Elephantine/Yeb (TAD A4.1)

This letter, written in Imperial Aramaic in 419 BCE, is among the vast number of papyrus letters found in Elephantine, also known as Yeb. The Jewish (or more accurately, Judean) community of Yeb is a fascinating bit of history — a group of Judean mercenaries who settled in Egypt and built their own smaller temple! Although their origin was clearly Judean, and they referred to themselves as the ḥeila yehudaya = Judean garrison, their form of worship featured no Deuteronomic centralization, no discussion of the patriarchs, and questionable monotheism! Although the primary deity was YHW (note the difference in spelling), multiple other deities or hypostatized aspects of divinity were worshipped, and verbs for the word “God” are conjugated in the plural rather than the singular. This text is one of a series of letters written between the brothers Yedaniah and Ḥananiah. In this case, it is giving instructions for keeping the holiday of Pesaḥ. These instructions are interesting in their own right — the prohibition on beer could alternatively be read as a prohibition on any alcoholic drink, which would align with Karaite practice rather than rabbinic. But what’s even more interesting is what isn’t mentioned — the instructions given mention nothing whatsoever about the exodus from Egypt, or even God! The diktat to observe the holiday is accredited not to God or Moses, but to Darius, king of the Achaemenid Empire! This passage is a fascinating taste of a part of Judaism that we know very little about. Vocalization according to Tiberian norms and translation into English by the translator. . . .

פָּרָשַׁת רְאֵה | Parashat R’éh (Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17), color-coded according to its narrative layers

The text of parashat R’éh, distinguished according to the stratigraphic layers of its composition according to the Supplementary Hypothesis. . . .

פָּרָשַׁת דְבָרִים | Parashat Devarim (Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22), color-coded according to its narrative layers

The text of parashat Devarim, distinguished according to the stratigraphic layers of its composition according to the Supplementary Hypothesis. . . .

פָּרָשַׁת וָאֶתְחַנַּן | Parashat va’Etḥanan (Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11), color-coded according to its narrative layers

The text of parashat va’Etḥanan, distinguished according to the stratigraphic layers of its composition according to the Supplementary Hypothesis. . . .

פָּרָשַׁת וְזֹאת הַבְּרָכָה | Parashat v’Zōt haBrakhah (Deuteronomy 33:1-34:12), color-coded according to its narrative layers

The text of parashat v’Zot haBrakhah, distinguished according to the stratigraphic layers of its composition according to the Supplementary Hypothesis. . . .

פָּרָשַׁת עֵקֶב | Parashat Éqev (Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25), color-coded according to its narrative layers

The text of parashat Éqev, distinguished according to the stratigraphic layers of its composition according to the Supplementary Hypothesis. . . .

פָּרָשַׁת שֹׁפְטִים | Parashat Shōftim (Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9), color-coded according to its narrative layers

The text of parashat shoftim, distinguished according to the stratigraphic layers of its composition according to the Supplementary Hypothesis. . . .

פָּרָשַׁת כִּי־תֵצֵא | Parashat Ki Tetsei (Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19), color-coded according to its narrative layers

The text of parashat Ki Tetsei, distinguished according to the stratigraphic layers of its composition according to the Supplementary Hypothesis. . . .

פָּרָשַׁת כִּי־תָבוֹא | Parashat Ki Tavō (Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8), color-coded according to its narrative layers

The text of parashat Ki Tavo, distinguished according to the stratigraphic layers of its composition according to the Supplementary Hypothesis. . . .

פָּרָשַׁת נִצָּבִים | Parashat Nitsavim (Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20), color-coded according to its narrative layers

The text of parashat Nitsavim, distinguished according to the stratigraphic layers of its composition according to the Supplementary Hypothesis. . . .

פָּרָשַׁת וַיֵּלֶךְ | Parashat Vayelekh (Deuteronomy 31:1-30), color-coded according to its narrative layers

The text of parashat Vayelekh, distinguished according to the stratigraphic layers of its composition according to the Supplementary Hypothesis. . . .

פָּרָשַׁת הַאֲזִינוּ | Parashat Ha’Azinu (Deuteronomy 32:1-52), color-coded according to its narrative layers

The text of parashat Haazinu, distinguished according to the stratigraphic layers of its composition according to the Supplementary Hypothesis. . . .