Of Wood and Stone: A Comparative Study of Ancient South Arabian Construction Texts and the Hebrew Bible
Weimar, Jason Everett
This paper argues that the Hebrew Bible and Ancient South Arabian texts share a common usage of the phrase “wood and stone,” with a specific focus on Minaic construction texts from the 5th-2nd century BCE and four texts from Kings (1 Kings 5:32; 15:22; 2 Kings 12:13; 22:6). In both corpora “wood and stone” functions as a merism, a literary device that uses two pieces to express a whole. Furthermore, the phrase also appears in contexts denoting divine favor and expresses the religious-political authority of the primary agent(s) behind the construction. This shared usage of “wood and stone” helps solve an exegetical difficulty in Exodus 7:19 and also hints at a deeper inland tradition between ancient Palestine and Yemen that shared similar conceptions of how political-religious authority should be expressed.
Ancient South Arabian; Arabia; Bible; Exodus; Kings; Yemen; Biblical studies; Near Eastern studies; Archaeology
Tenney, Jonathan S.
Master of Arts
dissertation or thesis