1. Discovery of the Samaria Papyri in Wadi Daliyeh, Their Date and Content
2. The Wadi Daliyeh Manuscripts and Samaria in the Late Persian Period
2.1. The Proper Names in the Wadi Daliyeh Manuscripts
- the archive of Yehopada(y)ni, probably constituted before the mid-4th century BCE;
- the archive of Neṭiraʾ, son of Yehopada(y)ni, containing documents probably written around the mid-4th century BCE;
- the archive of Yehonur, son of Laneri, which includes deeds written at the end of the Persian period, before 332 BCE.
2.2. Length and Weight Measures in 4th-Century BCE Samaria
- WDSP 5, which seems to have been written approximately before 350 BCE, concerns a sale of a group of slaves for one silver mina, probably corresponding to ca. 504 g of silver;
- WDSP 3, probably written before 350 BCE, reports the sale of a slave for the price of ten or thirty sheqels, corresponding to ca. 84 g or 252 g of silver (unfortunately, the price of the slave is damaged in the manuscript);
- WDSP 2, written in December 352/January 351 BCE, concerns a sale of two slaves, a man and a woman, slaves “with no defect and with no mark,” for 28 silver sheqels, i.e., ca. 235.2 g of silver;
- WDSP 4, probably written approximately between 350 and 340 BCE, concerns the sale of a slave for the price of 30 sheqels of silver, i.e., ca. 252 g of silver;
- WDSP 1, concluded on 19 March 335 BCE, reports the sale of a slave “with no defect” (line 2), for the price of 35 silver sheqels, i.e., ca. 294 g of silver.
- WDSP 15, probably written around the mid-4th century or around 350–340 BCE, seems to concern the sale of several houses for the price of 1 silver mina and 6 or 9 sheqels of silver, corresponding to ca. 554.4 g or 579.6 g of silver.
3. The Wadi Daliyeh Manuscripts and the History of the Samaritans
3.1. The Yahwistic Sanctuary on Mt. Gerizim in the Persian Period
3.2. The Pentateuch in Samaria in the 4th Century BCE?
Conflicts of Interest
|Ant.||Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities|
|TAD A||Bezalel Porten and Ada Yardeni. Textbook of Aramaic Documents from Ancient Egypt. Vol. 1: Letters. Jerusalem: The Hebrew University, 1986.|
|WDSP||Wadi Daliyeh Samaria Papyrus|
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WDSP 1–9, WDSP 18, WDSP 19? WDSP 22?, WDSP 26.
WDSP 10, WDSP 12?, WDSP 27.
The collection is divided between the Hecht Museum in Haifa and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Photographs of four of the bullae in the Hecht collection and another one in a private collection were published by Meshorer and Qedar (1991, pp. 12, 36, and 81). Photographs of twenty-eight bullae from the Hecht collection were published by Leith (1997), Plates XXIII and XXIV.
For a comparison of the motifs used in Samaria and Judah in the Persian period, see (Wyssmann 2014).
Thus, Zsengellér (1996), who included in his analysis only the proper names contained in nine of the Samaria papyri, tried to distinguish on that basis three different strata of the Samarian society: the low class, the middle class, and the political elite. Because the names cannot be used as representative of the whole Samarian society, it makes no sense to indicate here the percentage for various groups of names with a theophoric element (e.g., Yahwistic, Idumaean, Persian).
The seller of the slave in WDSP 1 has a Yahwistic proper name, and his patronymic contains the element “El.” In the inscription of the governor of Samaria on bulla WD 22, the name of the owner of the seal is Yahwistic, whereas the name of his father is probably Babylonian and might have contained the element “Sin.”
Our analysis is based on our own edition of the manuscripts in Dušek (2007, pp. 486–89). For the occurrence of the names in concrete manuscripts, see our index in Dušek (2007, pp. 616–17). A slightly different list and interpretation of personal names in the Samaria papyri was published by Frank Moore Cross (2006).
Yhwntn, Yhwnwr, Yhwn[, Yhwydʿ, Yhwydn, Yhwzkr, Yhwbnh, Yhwʾb, Yhwšpṭ, [Y]hwšbh, Yhwrʿy, Yhwpdny/Yhwpdyny, Yhwʿqb, Yhwʿnny, Yhwʿzr, Yhwslh.
Among these names, we mention as examples Nḥmyh, Ḥnnyh, Dlyh, Ptḥyh, ʿqbyh, and ʿnnyh.
Only one proper name is entirely preserved: Mkyhw.
For example, Šhr, Šhrntn, Brykšmš, ʿzrʾ, ʿqybʾ, nṭyrʾ‚ etc.
For example, Snʾblṭ, Nbwʾḥdn, Šlmn.
Yšdbʿl, [B]ʿlytwn, ʾsytwn.
Apart from the names of the Persian kings (Artaxerxes, Darius), the Persian names include, for example, Whdt/Whwdt, Bgbrt, and some names not preserved in their entirety.
ʾblḥy, Bsn, Ḥlpn, ʿmwldw…, Rbyʾlhy.
ʾtr, ʾry, Ḥny, Ḥnn, Ydʿ, Yqym, Yš[w]ʿ (bulla WD 23), [N]ḥwm, Ntn, ʿnny, Škwy, Šlwm, ]šlwmy, ]šlm, Ttn, Lnry, and ʾb(/d)n (bulla WD 54).
E.g., Mspnq…, Mnd[, ]lnh, Ptlmn[, and others.
Yhwnwr son of Lnry (WDSP 1, WDSP 4, WDSP 14, WDSP 20); ʾbyʿdn (WDSP 2—the name of a woman); Yhwpdyny and ʾry son of Dlyh (WDSP 3); Yhwpdyny (WDSP 9 and WDSP 11r); Nṭyrʾ son of Yhwpdny (WDSP 5, WDSP 8, WDSP 9, WDSP 18?); Ybn[ (WDSP 15).
Ḥnnyh son of Bydʾl (WDSP 1); Qwsnhr (WDSP 2); Yqym (WDSP 3); Dlhʾl and Ḥny (WDSP 5); ]hwbg[? (a possible Persian name?, WDSP 7); Ḥnn (WDSP 8); ]lwny (WDSP 14); Ydʿ (WDSP 15); pwt[ (a possible Egyptian name?, WDSP 19); Yqym and Ḥnn? (WDSP 22).
Yhwḥnn son of Šʾlh (WDSP 1); Yhwʿnny son of ʿzrʾ (WDSP 3); Nḥmyh (WDSP 4); ʿnnyh [son of X], [Y son of Y]hwšbh (WDSP 5); Ḥnnyh? (WDSP 7); Mkyhw (WDSP 8); Yhwʿqb (WDSP 12); [X son of Yd]ʿyh (?) (WDSP 19).
ʾblḥy (WDSP 6); Qwsdkr (WDSP 9); Bgbrt (WDSP 10).
Ntn? (WDSP 7); Zbdh, son of [X] (WDSP 19).
Yhwʿzr son of Bsn, [X] son of Yqym (WDSP 2); ]ʾl son of Škwy, ]dwmn, sons of Dlyh, ʾṭr, [son of] ʿnny, Šlwmy son of Šhrntn (WDSP 3); ʿqbyh [son of X], [X son of …]lyh (WDSP 5); Syw/t[ (WDSP 7); [Yqy?]m son of Ttn, his father – (that) of Ḥnn, ]šlm son of Lnry (WDSP 8); Yhwšpṭ[, Šm[ (WDSP 9); [X son of ]šlyh (WDSP 10); Qwd/rn, ]wʿ son of Snʾblṭ (WDSP 11r); P…[ (WDSP 15); [X] son of Km[ (WDSP 18).
See (Dušek 2007, pp. 321–31).
Neh 2:10, 19; 3:33; 4:1; 6:1, 2, 5, 12, 14; 13:28.
TAD A4.7, 29.
TAD A4.7, 29; A4.8, 28; A4.9, 1.
“In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria captured Samaria; he carried the Israelites away to Assyria. He placed them in Halah, on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.” (2 Kgs 17:6). “So Israel was exiled from their own land to Assyria until this day” (2 Kgs 17:23).
For the manuscript WDSP 14, see (Dušek 2007, pp. 290–306); for the analysis of the line, especially pp. 297–99.
The system of weights used in the documents from Elephantine was different from that which is attested in the Samaria papyri. The documents from Elephantine do not seem to have used the unit “mina.” Moreover, the system at Elephantine used the Persian unit “karsh,” which was not used in the province of Samaria. The sheqel at Elephantine seems to have corresponded to the weight of the Attic didrachma of ca. 8.76 g. See (Porten 1968, pp. 62–70).
The approximate weight of a sheqel of 8.33 g and a mina of ca. 500 g has been fixed by Powel (1987–1990, p. 510, §V.4 and §V.5). We do not agree with Gropp, who argued that the mina in the Samaria papyri corresponded to the weight of fifty sheqels (Gropp et al. 2001, p. 28). For more details, see (Dušek 2007, pp. 85–86).
The legal documents from Elephantine depend on a different legal tradition, probably Neo-Assyrian (Gropp 2000).
Knoppers (2013, pp. 18–44) convincingly argues that most of the Israelite population remained in the land after the conquest of Samaria/Israel by the Assyrians in the 8th century BCE. This fact makes clear that the Samaritans were not a kind of “Jewish Sect.” Purvis (1968), for example, considered the Samaritans to be a Jewish sect, and this opinion cannot be held anymore. The opinion that the Samaritanism is a kind of “downgraded Judaism,” based on the reading of 2 Kgs 17, is wrong. The text of 2 Kgs 17:24–41 is a late literary construct, probably written in the Persian period as Jewish anti-Samaritan polemics; see (Kartveit 2018).
It is not clear whether it was a temple or an altar; see (Pummer 2016).
The first story in Ant. 11.302–312 is dated by Josephus to the time of “Darius the last king,” when Samaria was supposedly ruled by Sanaballetes. His daughter Nikaso married Manasses, the brother of Yaddus, the high priest of the Jerusalem temple. Following a negative reaction to this marriage in Jerusalem, Manasses and Nikaso had to leave Jerusalem and moved to Samaria. Sanaballetes subsequently built the sanctuary on Mt. Gerizim and appointed Manasses high priest there. The second story in Ant. 11.321–325 concerns the foundation of the Mt. Gerizim sanctuary by Sanaballetes at the end of the Persian period, during the conquest by Alexander the Great of Tyre and Gaza in 332 BCE.
Neh 2:10, 19; 3:33; 4:1; 6:1, 2, 5, 12, 14; 13:28.
On Sanballat in historical sources and modern scholarly debate, see (Dušek 2012b).
On the city around the Mt. Gerizim sanctuary excavated by Yitzhak Magen, see below.
For the texts of the Samaritan Pentateuch legitimating the existence of the sanctuary on Mt. Gerizim, see (Tov 2012, pp. 87–88). For example, the Samaritan Pentateuch contains an additional Samaritan tenth commandment referring to Mt. Gerizim, composed from the texts of Deut 11:29a, Deut 27:2b–3a, Deut 27:4a, Deut 27:5–7, and Deut 11:30. The Samaritan Pentateuch also contains what is probably the original reading of Deut 27:4 referring to Mt. Gerizim instead of the later Masoretic version citing Mt. Ebal (see, e.g., Nihan 2007, pp. 213–14; Pummer 2007, p. 245; Kartveit 2009, pp. 300–9; Schenker 2010; Dušek 2012a, p. 90; Himbaza 2018, especially pp. 109–11).
It is the letter TAD A4.1, labelled by Porten and Yardeni as “the Passover Letter.”
Ezra 7:7–8. The year of the arrival of Ezra in Jerusalem has been much discussed. A great number of scholars opted for the seventh year of Artaxerxes I (465–425 BCE), in 458 BCE; thus, for example, (Williamson 1985, pp. xxxix–xliv). In our opinion, the most likely possibility is that Ezra arrived in Jerusalem in the seventh year of Artaxerxes II, in 398 BCE, and we rely upon the arguments in favor of this chronological interpretation presented by A. Van Hoonacker (1890, 1923, 1924), Henri Cazelles (1954), Pierre Grelot (1955), Harold H. Rowley (1965), and André Lemaire (1995).
We mention some examples. The caves in Wadi Murabbaʿat yielded Hebrew and Aramaic documentary texts and the Bar-Kokhba letters, as well as fragments of biblical manuscripts of Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, and Isaiah (Benoit et al. 1961). The refugees who hid in the Cave of Letters during the Second Jewish Revolt against the Romans carried with them into the cave objects such as metal utensils, wooden and leather objects, keys, glass plates, jewelry, and purses (Yadin 1963). They also brought their legal and epistolary texts (Yadin et al. 2002), and fragments of biblical manuscripts of Numeri and Psalms were also found in the cave (Peter Flint in Charlesworth et al. 2000, pp. 137–66). Fragments of the books of Genesis, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Ezekiel, and Psalms written before 73 CE were discovered at Masada, together with other texts (Talmon et al. 1999).
The term Ἰουδαϊσμός is used for the first time in 2 Maccabees 2:21; 8:1; and 14:38 (twice).
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