No, George, I don't think it's beside the point, and I think that you're
unfair to Jeffrey to demand that he support you rather than "BLOCK" you.
You're overreading Jeremiah, I believe, and when the Rabbinic material
didn't support your reading of Jeremiah you backed away from it.  As I
suggested before, you need to consult a Hebrew lexicon (I checked the
recent Brill HALOT) about the various possible meanings of the key
phrase in Jeremiah before reaching a conclusion about whether the
Rechabites were priests on the basis of that passage.  I also suggest
actually reading Boccaccini's book on Roots of Rabbinic Judaism (my
comments on this book elicited your response) to see what he thinks
about conflict within the priesthood prior to the Maccabean period.

As far as the Book of Enoch goes, both the Book of the Watchers and the
Similitudes are fascinated by metalworking, but from a negative slant.
The Watchers teach the art to their wives, causing war and violence in
the Book of the Watchers.  If the Kenites and Rechabites were smiths
(whose primary function in the ancient world was to manufacture
weapons), then the Enoch literature is on the other side.

David Suter
Saint Martin's College

-----Original Message-----
On Behalf Of George Brooks
Sent: Wednesday, May 29, 2002 8:27 PM
Subject: Re: orion-list Jeremiah's Eternal Priesthood, the Rechabim

Prof. Suter,

The view that the Rechabites were craftsmen in general is quite well
established.  But I'm not quite certain why you think these crafts
preclude any capacity in Levitical or Priestly service.  
Priests made things in the service of Yahweh..... so why wouldn't a
priest be a metal worker too?  If priests make incense to be burned for
Yahweh, it would not be unheard of if Priests made the bells that they
rang for Yahweh as well, yes?

If Levites can carry wood, and guard a door.... then certainly Levites
can be craftsmen....and Priests can be craftsmen.

Eusebius does not refer to the Rechabite defending James as
a "metal worker".... he calls him a priest.  So why you keep wanting to
return to the metalworker theme is sort of beside the point, don't you

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