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Title: The Ceremonies at Gilgal/Ebal According to Pseudo-Philo
Author(s): BEGG, C.T.
Journal: Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
Volume: 73    Issue: 1   Date: 1997   
Pages: 72-83
DOI: 10.2143/ETL.73.1.504816

Abstract :
Brief as it is, the account of the various cultic-legal initiatives undertaken by Joshua at Mt. Ebal in Josh 8,30-35 raises a whole range of vexing questions. It is, first of all, generally recognized that, in its MT form, the passage poses both literary and geographical problems. Literarily, it disrupts the obvious connection between 9,1-2 and 8,29, where the “this” which the kings “hear” (9,1) refers to Joshua's triumph over Ai as described in 8,1-29. From the geographical-historical perspective, Josh 8,30-35 involves further difficulties: in 8,29 the Israelites are still in Ai while in 8,30ff. they are suddenly at Ebal, some 30 kms. away, without anything being said of a move by them (or of their subjugation of the intervening country). Similarly, in 9,6 the Israelites are once again back at their original camp at Gilgal (see 4,19; 5,10) near the Jordan although there has been no mention of their returning to that site following the ceremonies of 8,30-35. Another set of questions concerns the relationship between Josh 8,30-35 and various other OT texts, the complex of Mosaic directives in Deut 27 in particular, but also, e.g., the notices on Joshua's double erection of stones from the Jordan in Josh 4,9.20. Still another complication is posed by the fact that Codex Vaticanus gives its rendition of Josh 8,30-35 between 9,2 and 9,3 of the MT, a placement which, it might be said, seems to make no better narrative sense than that of MT itself.

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