A new interpretation of the term 'opalim in the light of recent archaeological finds from Philistia

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Abstract

In the light of recent archaeological finds from Iron Age Philistia and comparative evidence from Aegean and ancient Near Eastern cults, a new interpretation is suggested for the term 'opalim, mentioned in the 'ark narrative' (e.g. 1 Sam. 5.6; 6.5). Although most often intem eted as relating to 'haemorrhoids' or the bubonic plague, it is suggested that this, in fact, is a term referring to an affliction of the Philistines' membra virile.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-40
Number of pages18
JournalJournal for the Study of the Old Testament
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2007

Keywords

  • Archaeology
  • Ark
  • Cult
  • Iron age
  • Levant
  • Phallus
  • Philistine
  • Religion

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