Wednesday, April 02, 2014

The defiling of the astral cult

The astral cult’s former devotees will be disinterred and thereby greatly dishonored. Simultaneously, they will be “allowed” to continue to worship their gods. Indeed, someone will וּאיִצי, “bring out,” the bones of the dead. It is significant to note that the root אצי can be used to describe the rising of a celestial body (for example, Gen 19:23, אָצָי שֶׁמֶשַּׁה; Judg 5:31, שֶׁמֶשַּׁה תאֵצְכּ). Thus, the corpses are themselves darkly “rising” from the underworld like some infernal celestial body for their former gods. But this is more than linguistic and cultic irony. By disinterring the bodies and exposing them to their sacred objects of devotion, those objects, the Host of Heaven, are thereby desanctified in the same sense that a physical cult site would be if it were exposed to human corpses, such as when Josiah disinterred the remains of the priests at Bethel and burned them on the altar there (2 Kgs 23:15–16) .—Poetic Astronomy in the Ancient Near East, page 250

<idle musing>
Yes, I know the Hebrew is backwards, but I'm too lazy to retype it...

Interesting take on the significance, isn't it? I wonder how many commentators have caught it?
<idle musing>

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