Thursday, July 21, 2011

Status Update

This is just a status update for those of you (are there anyone? lol) who follow my blog regularly. I'm still working on an update to my models, so posts will be very few (if any) as I'm trying to dedicate my precious time and resources for this task. For now, you are welcome to check back from time to time but I'm not expecting to be done with it for at least several months, if not more.

Main focus of the upcoming update will be the Priestly Garments.

And even though I tried to avoid touching these details for some time due to my lack of expertise on this subject, I now feel that it is time to do it. Especially considering the fact that some of the description of the garments contains very important terminology that is paramount to the proper understanding of the design of the Tabernacle. Primarily - the description of the Ephod.

Both images above are from James Strong's "The Tabernacle of Israel in the desert"; book that I have covered in this post.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Samaritan Tabernacle Drawing and Article

This is something that can be very interesting for comparative purposes: traditional Samaritan drawing of the Tabernacle. This image is from this Samaritan(?) web site that I can recommend to check out as it contains other interesting information.

This is, of'course, just one of several existing drawings and it is also of the schematic nature. However, it does provide a different perspective on the subject of the Tabernacle from the point of view of this ancient Hebrew sect.

To supplement this image, check out this article "The Sanctuary and Holy Vessels in Samaritan Art" by James Purvis that provides more comprehensive information, although in a written form.

Here is the short excerpt with the most interesting facts:

"Firstly, some Samaritan representations of the vessels-what they were, how they looked-differ from traditional Jewish views. I note as one example the following case: Jacob ben Aaron depicts two pairs of double-handled vases or pots, labeled mizraq and mazleg, showing one pair on each side of the altar. These vessels are mentioned in Exodus 38:3 as among a category of implements belonging to the altar, but are usually translated "basins and forks": He made all the utensils of the altar, the pots, the shovels, the basins, the forks, and the firepans; all its utensils he made of bronze (NRSV).The mizraq is mentioned frequently in biblical Hebrew as a bowl or basin. But the mazleg (or mizlagah) is usually identified as a fork or fleshhook, (as, for example, 1 Sam 2:13-14, where a three-pronged fork appears to be indicated).[26]

Some Samaritan depictions are in agreement with Jewish traditions. For example, as previously noted, the Rev. Samuel Manning published in the late nineteenth century a pen-sketch of the drawing of the tabernacle and vessels depicted on the metal Torah case of the Abisha scroll. In his comments, Manning noted that the location of the door to the tent of meeting, on the right-hand side rather than in the center, was "as the Talmud describes it", and that the peculiar shape of the curved or bent trumpet, "may throw some light upon a question much debated amongst students of the Talmud".[27]

Scholars are often hopeful that new information will resolve or clarify old problems. Whether this might be the case with the Samaritan drawings of the vessels remains to be seen. I do note, however, the following Samaritan depictions, which may be compared positively with some ancient Jewish traditions.
The Base of the Altar. At the base of the altar is a rounded mound identified in Jacob ben Aaron's drawing as 'aphar, "dust". This may imply that the altar rested on a mound of dirt, or it may allude to the ashes which had accumulated there. Here it is worth considering a statement which appears in Josephus' description of the altar (Antiquities III 149): "The ground was in fact the receptacle for all burning fuel that fell from the brazier, the base not extending beneath the whole of its surface".

The Priest's Vestment. The vestment is shown with sleeves in Jacob ben Uzzi's drawing. It is my opinion that the stylized depiction in Jacob ben Aaron's drawings also contains sleeves. (A similar depiction is found in the older, seventh century drawing.) Interestingly, sleeves are not mentioned in the description of the priestly garments in Exodus 28:14, but they are in Josephus (Antiquities m 162).[28]

The Containers on the Table of Showbread. The variety of types of containers on the table in the Samaritan drawings suggests that not all were regarded as having been used for the same purpose, for bread. One may compare here the tradition preserved in Josephus (Antiquities III 143, 256), that two golden cups filled with frankincense were placed on the table above the bread. Two small cups appear also on the table of showbread depicted on the Arch of Titus.[29]"

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Yet another 3d model of the Tabernacle according to traditional interpretations.

Here is yet another modern 3D model and renderings of the Tabernacle and its parts according to the traditional interpretations.

This particular model just as monstrous (read - heavy) as the rest of the traditional 3d models, but it is also uses frames instead of flat boards for the framework of the Tent of The Tabernacle.

Disadvantages of this model can be clearly seen and match those of the standard traditional models. I.e. unmovable wooden framework, complex and unsubstantiated design, wrong courtyard dimensions, e.t.c.

However, check out the remaining images at this link as they should give you great opportunity to compare different opinions on this matter.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Resources for the study of the Samaritan Pentateuch

I've just wanted to post a short list of primary resources that can help those who are interested in comparing Masoretic Text with that of the Samaritan Pentateuch.  
  • Bibliotheca Samaritana, Volumes 1-3, Moritz Heidenheim, Marqah, Otto Schulze, 1884
  • Der Hebraische Pentateuch der Samaritaner, August Freiherrn von Gall,Verlag von Alfred Topelmann, Giessen , 1918
  • Jewish and Samaritan Version of the Pentateuch, Avraham Nur Tsedaḳah, Ratson Sadaqa, Tel Aviv, 1961-1965
  • Séfer Abisha, F. Pérez Castro, Madrid, 1959
  • Pentateuco Hebreo-Samaritano, Luis-Fernando Girón Blanc, Madrid, 1976
  • The Samaritan Pentateuch : Edited according to MS 6(C) of the Shekhem Synagogue - Hebrew, Abraham Tal, Tel Aviv, 1994
  • The Torah: Jewish and Samaritan versions compared (Hebrew Edition), Mark Shoulson, 2nd,Revised & enlarged edition, December 21, 2008
Unfortunately, most of these books are either out of print or not available for online access, so you would have either to purchase it or read it at the library.

UPDATE (10/08/2011) See this new post for a list of online resources for the Samaritan Torah.

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