Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

The Hebrew Bible refuted, or rather, a popular translation of it disproved?

Just in time for the yearly commemoration of the destruction of the two Temples in Jerusalem, this Sunday, the news brings that archeologists disproved the description of the destruction in the Prophets’ section of the Hebrew Bible. Really? That would be a first. Let’s check it out.

The article quotes the Jewish Publication Society’s translation of 2 Kings 25:10, which reads: ‘The entire Chaldean [Babylonian] force that was with the chief of the guard tore down the walls of Jerusalem on every side.’ But now, parts of that wall are found that weren’t torn down. This “contradiction” turns out an attack on a straw man‘s argument.

II Kings 25:9-10 reads: ‘He burned the Temple of G^d, …; but the entire Chaldean force that was with the chief of the guard earlier already had torn down the surrounding city wall of Jerusalem.’

Could we interpret that the wall wasn’t surrounding the city but rather that it was destroyed all-around? Why would that be the only, the best, or even a likely or possible translation? The Hebrew word order makes unmistakably clear that the encircling concerns the wall, not the ruining.

There is further proof that the wall stood completely enclosing the city, rather than that destructing it was on every side. The parallel report in Jeremiah 39:8 simply says that the city wall of Jerusalem was smashed, without mention of encirclement. There was no reason to play down the scope of destruction. Rather, it left out the obvious totality of the wall.

This and this report left out the disturbing narrative possibly coined by the Israel Antiquities Authority. Is that good or bad reporting?

Translators have no time to sit with every verse. Every new Bible edition seems a rush job. The Word of G^d has not yet seen a proper translation I’m aware of. But, anyway, the Hebrew is very precise. You can trust it.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500th blog post with the ToI. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To find his earlier blog posts on a certain subject XXX, among his over 1200 ones, go to the right-top corner of the Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". His second daily active less tame blog, to which one may subscribe, one may find here: https://mmvanzuiden.wordpress.com/ or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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