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Document Details :

Title: A Thousand Times, No
Subtitle: אלף does not Mean 'Contingent' in the Deuteronomistic History
Author(s): FLANDERS, Denise
Journal: Biblica
Volume: 99    Issue: 4   Date: 2018   
Pages: 484-506
DOI: 10.2143/BIB.99.4.3285660

Abstract :
One solution regularly offered to the problem of historically implausible numbers in Joshua – 2 Kings is that the term אלף , normally translated 'thousand', actually refers to a 'contingent of armed men'. This article argues that 'contingent' is not a plausible translation for אלף in the Deuteronomistic History. The argument focuses on grammatical evidence, as there are several unique ways that the term אלף behaves grammatically like a numeral when it is used in conjunction with other numerals, and comparative evidence, as other ANE battle narratives do not enumerate numbers of contingents when reporting numbers of troops and casualties.

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