"For Good Remembrance before God in this Place": Tracing the Concept of 'Good Remembrance' in Semitic Inscriptions from the Late Persian and Hellenistic Period and in the Hebrew Bible

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Anne Katrine de Hemmer Gudme - Foredragsholder


During the Mount Gerizim excavations which were carried out between 1983 and 2006 under the direction of Yitzhak Magen a Yahwistic sanctuary and a Hellenistic city were uncovered at the site of Mount Gerizim. Some four hundred inscriptions were found in and around the temple precinct, presumably belonging to the second building phase, i.e. the early second century BCE.

The majority of the inscriptions are written in Aramaic using either lapidary Aramaic or Proto-Jewish script. The remaining inscriptions are written in Neo-Hebrew (Paleo-Hebrew) and Samaritan. The Aramaic, Hebrew and Samaritan inscriptions were published by the excavators in 2004.

The largest group of the Mt. Gerizim inscriptions is votive inscriptions and they follow either a long or short version of a dedicatory formula. The short formula is ‘That which offered PN son of PN (from GN) for himself, his wife and his sons'. The long formula begins in the same way but adds the ending ‘for good remembrance before God in this place'.

The phrase "for good remembrance" and the more common "may he be remembered for good" and variations of these appear frequently in both inscriptions and graffiti from Egypt, Nabataea, Palmyra, Dura Europos, Hatra and Palestine.

This paper offers a presentation of the occurrences of ‘good remembrance' formulae in Semitic inscriptions from the late Persian and Hellenistic period and traces the concept of remembrance in connection with cultic acts in the Hebrew Bible. It is suggested that the key to understanding the concept of ‘good remembrance' is to be found within the larger framework of gift-giving theories.

29 jul. 2010

Begivenhed (Konference)

TitelSBL INternational, EABS Annual 2010
EmneSemitiske inskriptioner med en 'remembrance'-formular

ID: 21749669