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Title page for ETD etd-03212013-162512


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Biggerstaff, Michael James
URN etd-03212013-162512
Title "To Ordain" or "Not To Ordain"? The Meaning of millēʾ yād
Degree Master of Arts
Department Religion
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Jack Sasson Committee Chair
Annalisa Azzoni Committee Member
Keywords
  • Priests
  • Septuagint
  • Akkadian
  • Empower
  • Fill the hand
  • Exodus 29
Date of Defense 2013-03-20
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
In scholarly literature, the phrase millēʾ yād refers to the ordination of priests. However, of the eighteen occurrences of the phrase in the Hebrew Bible, only thirteen explicitly mention priests or their possible ordination. The other five occurrences appear in contexts that do not address priestly ordination. Moreover, even in some priestly ordination contexts, such as Exod 29, the way in which millēʾ yād is used does not support the accepted meaning, “to ordain a priest.”

In this study, I discuss problems that result from translating millēʾ yād as “to ordain a priest” in each of the eighteen occurrences. Through an analysis of the constituent words of millēʾ yād, I propose a new basic meaning for the Hebrew phrase that draws support from the Septuagint as well as from the Akkadian semantic equivalent, qātam mullûm. I test this understanding of the phrase by applying it to each of the eighteen occurrences of millēʾ yād.

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