Kim Phillips Profile picture
Christian. hebraist. in. progress
Feb 23 5 tweets 2 min read
This is the Mesad Hashavyahu letter, which I enjoyed reading today with students.

From the time of the #prophet #Jeremiah - the last stormy decades before Judah went into exile.

While big troubles brewed at the political level, everyday troubles continued for everyday people Image The 'letter' (written in ink on broken pottery pieces, as was common) is a plea from a lowly hired field worker to a local official, claiming that his overseer in the fields has mistreated him - unfairly confiscating his coat.
#unfair! Image
Mar 1, 2023 13 tweets 4 min read
I’ve been talking recently with a new friend about how to memorise the #SermonontheMount.
Thought I’d share my thoughts here, just as an interested amateur, in case they encourage others (a) to share their methods, (b) to have a go at memorising this beautiful sermon themselves. 1. Structure and Hierarchy!

I find this the single most helpful element in memorising longer units.
What is the overall structure of the sermon, at the most birds-eye level? E.g.:

Law and Prophets (Ethics; Devotion; Common Struggles)
Jan 18, 2023 9 tweets 3 min read
One pretty prevalent critical view of the #Exodus narratives, proposed by Redford, but popularised by #IsraelFinkelstein, is that - though they may hold some earlier memories - they were written in the 7th century, and basically reflect the 7th c Egyptian context. Ramesses IIIsrael Finkelstein Much could be said in response to this rather depressing claim (and has been by, e.g., Hoffmeier)

A recently finished PhD gives a bit more data relating to this question, and suggests that the Redford-Finkelstein position doesn't really fit the facts.
Oct 28, 2021 6 tweets 3 min read
This is beautiful!
This little #manuscript seems to be written by a regular, non-professional, member of the Jewish community of Fustat, Egypt, about 1000 years ago.
They made a little shorthand manuscript of #Psalms, for their own personal use. Image This person knew the Psalms pretty well, so could abbreviate most of the words by chopping off the last letter or two (which seems more impressive when you remember that #Hebrew words tend to be short: say, 2-6 letters in the main).
Aug 24, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
At the heart of #Psalm82 is a pair of parallel lines expressing G-d's heart for justice - particularly justice for the poor and defenceless.
They are two of the most beautiful, well-crafted lines of Hebrew I've ever read.

1/4 Each line is arranged chiastically: the verb comes first in the A-line, and last in the B-line.

The poor, orphaned, afflicted, and destitute are thereby enveloped by G-d's justice, justification, deliverance and salvation.
Mar 17, 2020 5 tweets 3 min read
In their zeal to preserve EVERY detail of the biblical text accurately, the #Masoretes sometimes make up little ditties, in #Aramaic, to help remember some textual feature or another. I've just come across one I'd not seen before, & which has instantly become my favourite. (1/5) Remember #Ezekiel 18? The righteous man and the unrighteous man. The righteous man does not eat on the mountains (i.e. at the idol shrines), but the unrighteous man does eat on the mountains
Nov 14, 2019 5 tweets 3 min read
Here is a snippet from one of the beautiful carpet pages at the back of the #LeningradCodex. I've highlighted a little 'poem' hidden in the page... Ofer found a very similar poem at the back of another manuscript also written by #SamuelBenJacob - the so-called 'Lm' #Torah manuscript