Friday, April 07, 2017

The Elephantine "Passover" Papyrus

PASSOVER IS COMING: A couple of web pages on the Aramaic Passover Papyrus from Elephantine:

CENTER FOR ONLINE JUDAIC STUDIES: The Passover Papyrus from Elephantine, 419 BCE.

JEWISH HISTORY CHANNEL: How the Jews in Elephantine, Egypt Celebrated Passover in 419 BCE. DO YOU HAVE TO BURN YOUR HAMETZ? IS WINE CHAMETZ?

HT Carla Sulzbach on Facebook.

And add this, hot off the press: Darius II Delays the Festival of Matzot in 418 BCE (Idan Dershowitz, [UPDATE: The URL and title have been updated at the request of the author.]
A new look at the “Passover Papyrus” from Elephantine and the nature of the Hebrew calendar in the Achaemenid Empire.
This essay points out that "Passover" doesn't actually appear on the papyrus. It is reconstructed in a gap. The author thinks it wasn't there at all. Conclusion:
In conclusion, the remarkable “Passover Papyrus” adds even more color to our already vibrant picture of the community of Yahwists in Elephantine. At a time when some of the books of the Bible were still being composed, these Judean immigrants celebrated an extraordinary Festival of Matzot. Its date was not set by their brethren in Jerusalem, nor did they determine it for themselves; it was dictated by the Zoroastrian emperor. Together with their Egyptian spouses and relatives, they observed the holiday that traditionally marks the Exodus from Egypt as they stood mere steps from the temple of Khnum, the Nile god, on the border of Egypt and Nubia.
Past PaleoJudaica posts on the Elephantine Papyri and the site of Elephantine are here and many, many links. For more on the Passover Papyrus, see here and here.