Fabrice Bect email@example.com [Exodus_2006] <Exodus_2006@yahoogroups.com> Sep 23 at 4:56 AM
[Attachment(s) from Fabrice Bect included below] Hi all,
This is the minimum skip for the term trial by ordeal (משפט האל) in the Torah. Statistically, 4 occurrences were expected, and 2 appeared, which in itself is not exceptional indeed. So, as usual, I selected the minimum skip, and examining the verses in which each letter of the term is found, I noted that the first letter was in Deuteronomy 1:17. Here is the context of this verse (I put in bold red character the most interesting passage):
Deuteronomy 1:16-17: "And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him. Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God's: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it."
This verse, and in particular this passage in red, is rather appropriate, since the word "ordeal" is a word that comes from medieval Latin and means "judgment of God":
In medieval Europe, like trial by combat, trial by ordeal, such as cruentation was considered a "judgement of God" (Latin: judicium Dei): a procedure based on the premise that God would help the innocent by performing a miracle on his behalf. The practice has much earlier roots, attested to as far back as the Code of Hammurabi and the Code of Ur-Nammu.
The term in Hebrew can be translated literally as "judgment of God", and is written in the same way as the term of the literal text (Deuteronomy 1:17). Another example of a semantic relationship (or "echo") between the minimum skip of an SLE and the plaintext which shows that this phenomenon follows laws and is therefore intentional.
There is a law in the Old Testament in the Book of Numbers that is very close to it, and this book deals with the Law of Jealousy in 5:11-28.
And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man's wife go aside, and commit a trespass against him, and a man lie with her carnally, and it be hid from the eyes of her husband, and be kept close, and she be defiled, and there be no witness against her, neither she be taken with the manner; and the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be defiled: or if the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be not defiled: Then shall the man bring his wife unto the priest, and he shall bring her offering for her, the tenth part of an ephah of barley meal; he shall pour no oil upon it, nor put frankincense thereon; for it is an offering of jealousy, an offering of memorial, bringing iniquity to remembrance. And the priest shall bring her near, and set her before the Lord: And the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is in the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put it into the water: And the priest shall set the woman before the Lord, and uncover the woman's head, and put the offering of memorial in her hands, which is the jealousy offering: and the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that causeth the curse: And the priest shall charge her by an oath, and say unto the woman, If no man have lain with thee, and if thou hast not gone aside to uncleanness with another instead of thy husband, be thou free from this bitter water that causeth the curse: But if thou hast gone aside to another instead of thy husband, and if thou be defiled, and some man have lain with thee beside thine husband: Then the priest shall charge the woman with an oath of cursing, and the priest shall say unto the woman, The Lord make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the Lord doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell; and this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot: And the woman shall say, Amen, amen. And the priest shall write these curses in a book, and he shall blot them out with the bitter water: And he shall cause the woman to drink the bitter water that causeth the curse: and the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter. Then the priest shall take the jealousy offering out of the woman's hand, and shall wave the offering before the Lord, and offer it upon the altar: And the priest shall take an handful of the offering, even the memorial thereof, and burn it upon the altar, and afterward shall cause the woman to drink the water. And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people. And if the woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed.
This might suggest that it is possible that this practice was originally instituted by God, and then perverted by men who have moved away from Him.
Other relevant SLEs were found in the vicinity of this SLE that I added in the table below :