Wednesday, April 10, 2013

More on secular names

This finding, that less than 10% of the population of monarchic Israel and Judah bore secular names, is strongly suggestive of the importance of family religion in this society. It may be argued that most of the epigraphic material is restricted to the upper classes, members who would have been able to afford these seals, which were often made of precious or semiprecious stones. However, even if we consider only the ostraca (see table 5.6), which represent people from all social classes and strata, the instances of secular names still amount to less than 10% (9.8%). There seems therefore to have been no significant difference in degree of family piety among the classes of Israelite monarchic society. Family religion seems to have played a prominent role in nearly all households, whether rich or poor.—Family and Household Religion in Ancient Israel and the Levant, page 256

<idle musing>
Of course!
</idle musing>

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