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Beer-Sheba

(451 words)

Author(s): Fritz, Volkmar
[German Version] (“seven wells,” interpreted in popular etymology as “well of the oath,” cf. Gen 21:31; 26:33). A location in the Negev, which, in the pre-Priestly historical narrative, is linked to the patriarchs Abraham (I) (Gen 21:27–32a, 33) and Isaac (Gen 26:23–33). The mention of אֵל עוֹלָם ( 'el ʿôlám), “God everlasting” (Gen 21:33), suggests an ancient cultic site, though this will hardly have been dedicated to a local deity. Rather, a sanctuary for Yah…

Aroer (Negeb),

(203 words)

Author(s): Fritz, Volkmar
[German Version] a village in Judah (1 Sam 30:28), is mentioned as one of the locations whose loyalty David (I) secured by sending them a share of the plunder. In the list of cities of Judah in Josh 15:22 Aroer appears in a distorted form; only the LXX has preserved a reminiscence of the original name by rendering it ᾽Αρονηλ (Aronēl). The extant parts of the Shishak list do not mention Aroer, a conspicuous omission given that most of the cities mentioned are located in t…

Hormah

(342 words)

Author(s): Fritz, Volkmar
[German Version] (Heb. חָרְמָה), a site mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, in the south, in or at the margin of the Negev. On the basis of Num 14:45 and Deut 1:44, we may surmise a location on a commercial route from the southern steppes into the Judean mountains. References in 1 Sam 30:30 and Isa 15:30 assume a place that existed from the end of the 11th century on into the monarchial period (Kingship in Israel). In Josh 19:4 (par. 1 Chr 4:30), Hormah is claimed for the tribe of Simeon (Tribes of Isra…

Altar

(6,849 words)

Author(s): Sfameni Gasparro, Giulia | Fritz, Volkmar | Häußling, Angelus A. | Schmidt-Lauber, Hans-Christoph | Plank, Peter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Israel – III. Christianity I. Religious Studies The term comes from the Lat. “altare,” which is derived from “adolere,” “burn” (thus already Sextus Pompeius Festus, De verborum significatione, v. 14: “altaria sunt in quibus igne adoletur”). In addition to “altare/altaria”, the common term “ara” (from “areo,” “burn”) has the same meaning. Accordingly, the Roman altar could be defined as “place of fire” or “sacrificial hearth.” In Greek, there are a number of alternating terms. Of these θυμέλη/ thymélē and θυσιαστήριον/ thysiastḗrion (fr…

Tabernacle

(580 words)

Author(s): Fritz, Volkmar | Strohmaier-Wiederanders, Gerlinde
1. OT “Tabernacle” is a rendering of ʾōhel môʿēd, “the tent of meeting.” We find it in Exod. 33:7–11; Num. 11:14–17, 24b–30; 12:4–5a, 6–8, 10, traditions that were inserted into the Yahwist source (Pentateuch) and likely were pre-Deuteronomistic. This tent-sanctuary stood outside the camp and was a place of revelation at which Yahweh declared his will after the theophany at Sinai, so that those who received the Spirit became prophets. In Deut. 31:14–15 it was also the place at which Joshua became Moses’ successor. It later came to be located by the Deuteronomist at Shiloh (Josh. 18:1; 19:51…

Archaeology

(1,756 words)

Author(s): Fritz, Volkmar | Wischmeyer, Wolfgang
1. Biblical Archaeology 1.1. Task The task of biblical archaeology is to investigate the history of settlement and culture of Palestine. This task demands the reconstruction of the history of settlement and the recovery of artifacts by surface exploration and excavation, followed by the collection and interpretation of the artifacts with a view to exhibiting the material culture in the different epochs. Surface exploration involves taking an inventory of whatever remains may still be present. Ruined buildings are seldom available. A site usually consists o…

Temple

(3,208 words)

Author(s): Klimkeit, Hans-Joachim | Fritz, Volkmar
1. Religious History 1.1. Temples are places to worship God (§1) or the gods. Their construction and artistic furnishings reflect the basic cosmological and mythical ideas of a religion. Especially the way of distinguishing the sacred and the profane, which is not always as clear and simple as in the case of the Greek temenos or the Roman templum, is demonstrated by the shape of the temple. In many cases, as in the East, we find concentric spheres of the sacred, culminating in the holiest place of all (Sanctuary). A ¶ path leads from the outer secular sphere through intervening rooms …