Vol. V - No.3
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April 11, 2006
Studies and Related Conferences:
Research in Judah and Samaria
University of Ariel on June 2, 2005
We have not heard on this from any scholars
In Planning Stage
SES: In University of Papa/ Hungary in 2008.
organised by Dr. Joseph Zsengelle'
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Mystery comes to an End
By Sue Ruzek
This scroll was purchased at a little country auction in Monrovia, Indiana, around 1994. Untold hours have been spent trying to track down the language. The writing is small, with 24 lines beautifully squeezed onto 5” of paper.
The case is tin, crudely soldered, and decorated with nail impressed “V’s”. From the look of the marks going around the edges, one could easily think it was fashioned from a tin can. However, the marks on one piece do not appear to be parallel. And the flat places around the “V’s”, seem to result from the stress of bending. Tin cans were available in the early 1900’s, so these small scrolls could have been made from cans or flat stock. Size of the metal body is 6 5/8” by 2 1/2" diameter. It has one 3” plain handle, one 2 ¾” with decorations, and a like one 3”. Handles on this scroll are not now soldered, but it would be 11 1/2 “ long put together.
The paper with the main writing is 5 inches high, by about 7 ½” long. This paper was twice single stitched to a paper backing that runs between the paper cores, and is glued in place. I think of the back paper as a “carrier” sheet. The papers have age marks, but don’t seem very old. Light green and buff papers are rolled to make the cores. Two single stitches go right through a portion of the cores, carrier sheet, and verse sheet. If the stitches were in place, one would be unable to read all the writing! Also, the “carrier” sheet has a few numerical columns and a short notation in another language. This writing was on the paper before it was glued to the core. This made the scroll initially appear to be something used. Additionally, there is evidence that a prior carrier sheet was ripped from the core. In retrospect, the first carrier may have been ripped, and carefully replaced with scratch paper. However, there are just two holes in the sheet of verses from the current stitches. Believe this is similar to Shomron’s scroll. The verse sheet shows about thirteen holes along the right side. Perhaps this is how it was stitched to a previous carrier sheet.
So that is the overview, but not the attempts at getting answers. They came when I talked to Bill Griffin, Atlanta, who’s into technical recruiting and placements. His contacts in foreign countries got negative replies from Japan, China, Korea. etc.. Then he contacted Dr. Sheldon Natowsky, who forwarded more inquiries right into Israel! Professor Mosche Ben-Zion, got involved, and forwarded it to Professor Ora R. Schwarzwald who sent it to Professor Gad Ben-Ami Sarfatti, who identified the language. They are from the Department of Hebrew and Semitic Languages, Bar-Ilan University. It is Samaritan!
Then I found a Samaritan wedding certificate at the Library of Congress! It was goose bump time! There was that so familiar yet elusive alphabet! Another computer search found “The Samaritan Update” which had photos of a similar scroll owned by Shomron. We emailed a few times and spoke on the phone, comparing scrolls. This one is a bit larger, but they share much, including the colors of the core papers, stitching and tear marks.
Shomron contacted Benny Tsedaka who kindly deciphered it as verses from Deuteronomy 1:19ff. It was written by the High Priest Ab-Hisada b. High Priest Yacob b. Aaron, who died in 1959 in Nablus. Benny also mentioned that there was a scroll in a New York University, and he was aware of others in personal collections. About then, came another confirmation on the verses from Professor Moshe Florentin, Department of Hebrew and Semitic Languages, of Tel Aviv University.
It’s fascinating to think that this little scroll was so carefully written by a known High Priest, sold to a tourist in Israel, brought to the states, and ended up in Indiana. From here it was electrically transmitted around the world by friendship, curiousity and kindness.
Thank you all! Sue Ruzek
The Archaeological Center, founded in 1979, sells antiquities and ancient works of art. Are this replicas or originals?
Samaritan Bronze Pendant.
The Bronze Samarian inscription reads: Obv: "Yahweh is
Hero, Yahweh is Hero, Yahweh is His Name". Rev.: "Stand up Yahweh,
there is none like the God of Yeshurun Yahweh is One"..item
33-064; $800-1000 estimated, $1250 realized) Period:
6th-7th century AD
Dimensions: Height: 5.4cm
Two Samaritan Bronze Signet Rings Both depicting Mount Gerizim. Ex Jonathan
Jerushalmi collection, Ramat
A Samaritan Inscribed Bronze Ring Ex Jonathan Jerushalmi collection, Ramat Hasharon.
Samarian Bronze Ring With four lines of Samaritan inscription.
Period: 6th-7th century AD
Inscribed Samaritan Bronze Ring. Inscription reads: 1) There is
none like the God
of 2) Yeshurun 3) Yahweh is God 4) Return Yahweh 5)
Yahweh is Eternity 6) Yahweh is His Name 7) I am 8) Yahweh, your Healer.
Period: 6th-7th century AD
The origins of Samaritanism are
still hidden under the dust of the past. Still is also the case with their
*theology*. It is not until the third/fourth century CE that Samaritan
theology is known as a more or less coherent world-view (Defter and Tibat
Marqe). This religious worldview must have had its roots. Traces can be
found in older documents, e.g., some variant readings in the Qumran texts.
Elementale quadrilingue: a philological type-specimen (Zürich 1654) reproduced with a commentary by John Huehnergard, Geoffrey Roper, Alan D. Crown and the editor J. F. Coakley
A Limited number of 100 Books and Selling
I shall try to add a parallel article concerning the Samaritans to the next updates of the future. The parallels maybe of the Chronicles, legends, Torah or of interest.
Samaritan Hebrew Bible (MS, Nablus, 1232).
PENTATEUCH, THE SAMARITAN
J. E. H. Thompson
Israel Antiquities Authority
Review: The Lost Temple of Israel
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