n Journal of Northwest Semitic Languages - The formula 'šακκēn š'mô šām and the centralisation of worship in Deuteronomy and DH

Volume 30, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0259-0131


In her study of the Deuteronomic formula לשכן שכוו שס Richter disputes the usual translation "to cause my name to dwell there" and proposes a new understanding, based on the thesis that the idiom is borrowed from cuneiform sources corresponding to the Akkadian šuma šakānu, with the meaning "to place the (written) name (on a monument)." This study accepts the abundant evidence for this particular meaning but differs from Richter's application of it to the biblical text. Taking this meaning in its most direct and literal sense, I argue that לשכן שכוו שס and closely related idioms made reference to either the Deuteronomic Code or the Decalogue as the texts bearing the deity's (inscribed) name, and that the presence of such texts vindicate the centralisation of worship in Jerusalem as the "place" in which such texts were deposited. Dtr further asserts that the temple was actually built by Solomon for the ark that contained the Decalogue.

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