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Ta'anit 29A
Has anyone had contact with the Aramaic Ta'anit?

I've run into a H-U-G-E problem in Josephus at the death of Herod and for me right now, all roads lead somewhere else.

There is a problem with "When did Herod die?". Should be simple. Read the accounts and get out the Eclipse Tables and off you go, right? Wrong. The versions in Josephus READ as if "...The Golden Eagle thing happened...AND THEN...AND THEN this happened AND THEN that happened and Archelaus sailed to Rome with his hateful family and Nicholas of Damascus and Ptolemy, Nick's brother and Keeper of Herod's Seal, who changed his Will mere hours before Herod died AND THEN..."

Lotsa' other people believe that Josephus very plainly leads to the conclusion that Herod died, not in 4 BCE AND THEN all of this happened, but that events occurred even as late as 1 BCE. Herod must have died in the Fall of 4 BCE or later and the other stuff stretched out a long time.

It cannot be both ways.

As some may know I've devoted a lot to the events surrounding Herod's death and the Passover Slaughter at the ascension of his son Archelaus. Some old Internet Bloggers helped me immensely, especially one who showed that the Mishmarot Temple Service Groups played an important role in the History. There is Math involved and it is easy to show which Group was involved in Temple Service at any given week - IF WE HAVE AN ANCHOR DATE with which to start computing the weekly Mishmarot rotations.

Ta'anit 29A provides such an anchor with the week of the Destruction of the Temple being given as when the Group Jehoiarib was on duty. It all matches up quite nicely- sometimes spectacularly so. ESPECIALLY that it is Jehoiarib on Duty. Here is where it gets more interesting: "Since Josephus writes in other places and gives dates and things, it must mean that all of this stuff you've found is coincidence..."

Not so fast. There is one other factoid about Josephus at this point. At the end of Herod's reign, Josephus relies on the above mentioned Nicholas of Damascus to provide the material that Josephus summarizes. Except at the Death of Herod. The Death of Herod does not come from the pen of Nicholas of Damascus. There is another source for Josephus here and this source is aware of Temple Service Rotations, dates and times of events in the NT and is quite adroit in the language - Aramaic, that is.

Note this Rabbi's message: <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m -->

SO: The Question: Anyone doing any work on Ta'anit or T 29A? Any ideas would be helpful..


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