Quote of the day: Aren Maeir on Philistine foreskins

OpalimThe quote of the day is from Aren Maeir, chief excavator at Tel es-Safi (“Gath”), regarding the approach in a recent book by Avraham Faust:

Clearly, a more in-depth dialogue between the interpretation of the archaeological remains and the modern, scientific interpretation of the biblical text is required. Bluntly put, even if a sackful of Philistine foreskins were found in an early Iron Age Judahite site, this does not prove that the story of David occurred, as described in the book of Samuel or that all the stories described in this book are true!

– Aren M. Maeir, Review of Avraham Faust, The Archaeology of Israelites Society in Iron Age II (Eisenbrauns, 2012)Review of Biblical Literature, September 2013

Indeed. And have a read of Aren’s whole review of Avraham Faust, which is a significant and weighty response. Aren wears a “velvet fist” in his review, being both broadly appreciative and deeply critical of Faust’s work.

(I admit, though, that I felt a little uncomfortable at Aren’s juxtaposition of the words “bluntly” and “foreskins” in that quote. For as LXX Joshua 5:2 makes clear, circumcision – of the living, at least – should always be carried out with a very sharp knife.)

h/t: Aren Maeir, “Something Interesting That Was Just Published“, The Tell es-Safi/Gath Excavations Official (and Unofficial) Weblog, 1 October 2013

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2 thoughts on “Quote of the day: Aren Maeir on Philistine foreskins

  1. That makes absolutely no sense. Why would the Philistines be circumsized? That was a Jewish custom! Besides, we have all the proof we need. We’ve got Galiath’s skull with the stone lodged in it! :p

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  2. […] Given the biblical association of Goliath and Gath, and the identification of Tell es-Safi with one of the two locations that the Bible gives for Gath, the excavations and their director Aren Maeir have been a popular topic at Remnant of Giants. You can also read these other posts about Tell es-Safi and Aren Maeir: “Searching for Goliath”: Aren Maeir’s Skype Lecture on the Philistines and Tell es-Safi/ “Gath” Does Rapha’ appear on a 9th-Century BCE Jar at Tell es-Safi/(“Gath”)? Quote of the day: Aren Maeir on Philistine foreskins […]

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