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Re: orion Orion: Commentary on Nahum- "hanging alive upon a tree"

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Chadwick wrote:

> Holiday greetings & best wishes to all... I hope someone can help me
> with
> this.  Referring to the Lion of Wrath's vengeance against the Flattery
> Seekers (Alexander J vs. Pharisees), Deut 21:23 clearly (to me)
> indicates
> that the victim of crucifixion was cursed by God (this in contrast
> with the
> act itself being cursed).

    Crucifixion was unknown in Israel/Judah at the time of the writingof
Deuteronomy.  At that time, one convicted to death...almost always
blasphemy....and executed, was hung on a tree *after* death.  Thus the
Deuteronomic verse makes some sense.  This is the sense taken by
Mishna Sanhedrin 6.4 and the Targum Onkelos as a "curser of God."
    When crucifixion was introduced during the Hasmonean period,
and reflected in the Temple Scroll, it was considered a form of
    Does this mean that the law was that anyone crucified was cursed
by God?  I don't think so.  For those accused, convicted and stoned
for blasphemy..and hung on a tree..yes.  I doubt, however, that the
p'rushim considered those 800 crucified by AJ as cursed by God.
    I also doubt if the several thousand followers of Judas of Gamala
were considered cursed by God.  The anachronism between
Deut, 21:23 and the 1st century BCE begs the question, crucified
by whom? For what?

> If this is a correct understanding of the verse,
> can one go as far to assert that crucifixion was an approved method of
> punishment according to Jewish law during the first century bce?
> I ask this because it seems that there is no consensus amongst
> scholars on
> this matter; some assert that the act of crucifixion was forbidden
> under
> Jewish law.

    My understanding is that it was forbidden under Mishnaic law but
was an approved practice in the late 2nd Temple period if one
goes by Targum Neofiti of Numbers 25:4 or Simeon ben Shetah's
crucifixion of 80 witches (y. Sanhedrin 23c).  These "witches"
were probably Sadducees getting their "come-uppance" after
AJ died.


Díman dith laych idneh dínishMA nishMA
   Jack Kilmon (jpman@accesscomm.net)