George Brooks wrote:
> Dear David Suter,
> You are correct. I did miss your response. Thank you for taking
> the time to re-send it. My responses are below:
> You write:
> > The Rechabites as a priesthood seems unlikely. They are more
> > smiths (the meaning of the name Cain), with their customs to be
> > explained by the demands of their trade rather than a nomadic
> > background.
> While this is conceivable, 1 Chron does specifically tell us that
> Rechabite clans were Scribes too. And the overlap between scribal
> tasks and priestly tasks is more likely than an overlap between
> work tasks and priestly tasks.
That 1 Chron 2:55 "specifically tells us that the Rechabite clans were
Scribes" is far from certain. Braun, Rudolph, Frick, and other OT
commentators, do not think so, since, as they note, the Hebrew term
as "scribes" in the translation you depend on for your studies, refers
**not** to a scribal guild, but to the
families of the Siphrites. Moreover, as Frick notes,
In the branch of the list [in the genealogy in 1 Chron of which 1
Chron 2:55 is a part] which records
the sons of Caleb and Ephrathah, the “men of Rechab” are associated
with an Ir-nahash [Heb
>éĆr naµhaµsű], which can be translated either as “the city of
Nahash,” “the city of copper,” or
even “the city of smiths or craftsmen,” which Myers identifies with
Khirbet Nahas, a site at the
northern end of the Arabah
Given this, your conclusion about what is "likely" does not follow since
the premise from which it is derived is
> You write:
> The phrase "to stand before" can mean to serve as a
> > priest, but it also has other meanings that it would help your
> to eliminate (check a lexicon)..."
> Could you provide an example of the use "stand before" as meaning
> anything other than priestly service? I will be happy to look at
> But since I've never seen a case like that, I have no starting
> I would certainly have to wonder what Jeremiah was talking about
> if he was trying to say that there would always be a Rechabite
> metalworker serving Yahweh. Wouldn't you think that kind of odd?
Yes, perhaps it would be IF the phrase in question was associated
**only** with priestly service. But as David
has pointed out, this simply is not the case. Nor does later tradition
think so. Check out Talmud Ta'anit 4:5
which describes the service that the descendants of Jonadab son of
Rechab had fixed for them by God
involved only their bringing wood for the altar of the Temple on a fixed
day of the year. See also Midrash
Rabbah Gen 98:10; Sifre Num. 28:81; Talmud Ta'anit 4:2; 28a; 68a.
> You write:
> "...and as far as the connection to Enoch is concerned, it doesn't
> linguistically (all Cain and Henoch have in common is the nun)."
> I did not intend my comments to be interpreted that there was some
> unusual phonetic connection between "Enoch" and "Cain". My point
> was a little more poetic than this. Enoch is the eldest son of
> and thus providing a context of meaning within the Enochian school
> of Judaism. What if the Enochian Jews saw that they had an unusual
> relationship with Kenites in general, and Rechabites in particular?
> Eisenman, in his JAMES THE BROTHER OF JESUS, states that
> he sees the Rechabites as proto-Essenes. And so does the Greek
> text "Suidas".
Do you know what _The Sudias_ is? Do you know when it was composed?
> You write:
> "There is mention of metalworking in the Enoch
> > literature, but it is one of the arts that the Watchers teach that
> > corrupts humankind, not something taught by Enoch."
> And yet, the lineage of Cain specifically implies that it was
> Cain's family that introduced the arts of metalworking (and other
> skills) to humanity. Rather than simply dismiss the references in
> Enoch as "contradictory" to the O.T., one might ponder if there
> is the INTENTION of linking the Cainites/Kenites to these
> personalities called The Watchers.
On what grounds?
> What is the Hebrew term used for the word WATCHERS?
> I've heard it could it be a pun on the word Samaritan?
Can you tell us where you heard this?
> Do you think this is possible?
Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)
1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
Chicago, Illinois 60626
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