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ARNOLD : PASSOVER PAPYRUS FROM ELEPHANTINE 



The Passover Papyrus from Elephantine 1 

WILLIAM R. ARNOLD 
ANDOVER THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, CAMBRIDGE, MASS. 

AMONG the papyri discovered at Elephantine in the 
years 1907 and 1908, and recently published by 
Professor Sachau of Berlin, is one which relates to the 
feast of the Passover. It is Papyrus 6 of the Sachau pub- 
lication. 2 This brief and fragmentary document is second 
in interest and importance only to the two papyri which 
preserve the text of the petition from the Jewish community 
at Elephantine to the Persian governor of Judea, invoking 
his aid toward restoring the Yahwe temple of Elephantine, 
destroyed in 410 B.C. 

Papyrus 6 is the original of a letter addressed to this 
Jewish community at Elephantine in the year 419 B.C., nine 
years before the destruction of their temple, by a certain 
Hananyah, a Jew residing at some other locality in Egypt. 
The papyrus is, and was originally, about four and a half 
inches long. The fragment of it which remains is about 
eight and a quarter inches wide. What the original width 
was, we cannot say, as the left end has been torn off clean at 
a fold in the papyrus ; probably, however, not more than an 
inch or two is lacking all the way down that end. Unfor- 
tunately that is not the extent of the damage. An entire 
section in addition is missing from the lower right-hand 
corner, so that in all not more than two-thirds of the original 
text remains. What remains is perfectly legible, however, 
and there can be almost no question as to its correct inter- 
pretation. 

1 The substance of this article was read at the meeting of the Society of 
Biblical Literature and Exegesis in New York, December 28, 1911. 

2 Aram&ische Papyrus und Ostraka aus einer jiidischen Militar-kolonie 
zu Elephantine, Leipsic, 1911. 



2 JOTTKNAL OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE 

The letter consisted of six complete lines on the obverse 
side of the papyrus, after two initial words in a separate line 
at the top, and two and a half lines on the reverse side, 
besides a docket or address in one line at the lower edge, 
which appeared on the outside of the document when the 
latter was folded and sealed. The docket reads : 

man win* vrrsr vhm nniai mi" tik 

A portion of the papyrus has been torn away before the 
word TM, which probably contained the word 7S. So that 
the address ran as follows : To my brethren, Yedonyah and 
his associates the Judean garrison, your brother Hananyah. 

The docket enables us to piece out with assurance the 
gaps which worms have left in the superscription of the 
letter. Doing which, we secure the following text (supple- 
tory letters bracketed ; seriously mutilated ones overlined) : 



ARNOLD: PASSOVER PAPYRUS FROM ELEPHANTINE 



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JOURNAL OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE 



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ARNOLD: PASSOVER PAPYRUS PROM ELEPHANTINE 5 

Line 2. The full name of Yedonyah, the leader of the 
Jewish community at Elephantine at this date, as well as 
later when the temple was destroyed and for some time 
thereafter, was Yedonyah bar G-emaryah ; compare Sachau 
Papyrus 5 (quoted below) ; Papyrus 15, where the first name 
was carelessly spelled WT (Sachau transcribes wrongly 
!T3T) ; and Papyrus 18, col. 7, where Yedonyah appears as 
the custodian of the great collection of money for the temple 
of Yahwe. Papyrus 15 is not improbably an account of the 
attack on the temple, when Yedonyah and his companions, 
the writer among them (read in line 4 833 K333, not fcU22 
&03, as Sachau), were assaulted (or insulted, IBinnK, not 
■QinfiK ' killed,' as suggested by Sachau) while guarding the 
entrance to the temple. On the etymology of the name 
Yedonyah, see Sachau, I.e., p. 8, and Lidzbarski, Deutsche 
Literaturzeitung, 1911, col. 2980. 

After KJ!r?K we must supply V?Ktt^, literally, The welfare 
of my brethren may the Gods ash after, idiomatic for Grod greet 
you! The sentence is a stereotyped Aramaic formula. It 
does not follow from the use of such an expression that 
" mehrere Gotter unter den jiidischen Kolonen verehrt wur- 
den" (Sachau, I.e., p. 38). On the other hand, although 
^•"DK is the lexical equivalent of Hebrew DTPS!"!, it is not, 
in this context, synonymous with Yahwe, as maintained by 
Eduard Meyer. 3 Whether or not the Hebrew DVDKfl, in 
the mouth of a Jew of this period, meant Yahwe, would very 
much depend upon the matter in hand. (Commonly, the 
surrogate of Yahwe would be DVT7K Deity, not DflvKH the 
gods.y Hananyah certainly did not use a singular verb with 
the determinate plural noun, or read a meaning of his own 
into the accepted Aramaic rubric* Without " worshiping " 
other gods or conceding their equality with the God of 
Heaven, even the "orthodox" Jew of this period might 
in his ordinary mood — the nascent Old Testament lit- 
erature notwithstanding — accept both their existence and 

3 "Zu den aramaischen Papyri von Elephantine," Sitzungsberichte der 
koniglich-preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1911, p. 1051. 

4 Compare Lidzbarski, I.e., col. 2971. 



6 JOURNAL OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE 

the fact of their power for good or ill. The long-exiled 
Judeans of Elephantine might even contribute something to 
the cultus of the gods of their non-Israelitish Aramean 
countrymen in Egypt, 6 without impairing their loyalty to 
the ancestral god. 

Line 3. fiMI, which I render For the rest, literally And 
now, introduces the substance of the communication, as in 
Ezra 4 17 and, in the uncontracted form fli^pl, Ezra 4 li, 7 12. 

TypS, passive participle, is not impersonal, as is assumed 
by Sachau and Ed. Meyer. The subject was indicated in 
the lost finite verb which followed the word DttHK, and to 
which this participle is circumstantial; compare Noldeke, 
Syrische Grrammatik, §§ 275, 277. See further below. 

Line 4. The detached letters K 1 are apparently preceded 
by aH: KHW1 

At the end of the line I supplete, with Sachau, Ed. Meyer, 
and Lidzbarski, [*1^5? nSjanK, fourteen. 

Line 5, end. Supply Jp 11 }, after the parallel in line 8. 

Line 6. 'TUTRIX, take warning, prepare yourselves. iTT , 3;? 
begins a new sentence. 

Line 7. The , of ^ and the tH of "V/fifl are by no means 
plain. If one may judge from the photographic reproduc- 
tion, the ink seems to have run in the fibers of the papyrus. 
Or perhaps the papyrus is a palimpsest, with the earlier 
writing not completely removed. In any case, the two char- 
acters cannot be read otherwise. 

D? 1 ')}??, thing, cf. Lidzbarski, Nordsemitische UpigraphiJc, 
p. 312 ; occurs a number of times in the papyri. 

The X at the end of the line is certain. Doubtless we 
should supplete, with Sachau, PS TTK, and everything that 
has leaven in it. 

Line 9. The first word preserved is not 17^1, as Sachau, 
followed by Ed. Meyer. The mutilated first letter cannot 
be a \ but may very well be 3. Read ibSJH (Hanphel of 
?bS) ; cf. Sayce-Cowley Papyrus G 6. 7. 24. 27. Only so, 
moreover, can we construe lOnPI, which otherwise remains 

5 Sachau Papyrus 18, col. 7. 



ARNOLD : PASSOVER PAPYRUS PROM ELEPHANTINE 7 

without an object. Sachau renders, tretet in euere G-emaeher 
und versiegelt (macht Schlussf) zwischen den Tagen. Meyer : 
Q-eht in euere Kammern und siegelt (?) zwischen den Tagen, 
adding what he would doubtless admit to be a rather far- 
fetched interpretation, " Setzt ein Siegel, macht eine Scheide- 
wand zwischen diesen Festtagen und den Werktagen." The 
single object of "PIOT and HCnn preceded both verbs. We 
must read 'Ittrifl (Pa'il), which does not mean to seal, but to 
lock up. The reference is perhaps to merchandise, ordinarily 
displayed in open booths or upon the street, which they are 
directed to stow away during the first and seventh days of 
the feast (see below). If this interpretation is correct, Lidz- 
barski's suggested reading for the remainder of the line, " p3 
K'toV zwischen Tag und Nacht, entsprechend KJttfttttf p?" 
(I.e., col. 2970), must be rejected, and we must abide by 
"pi" p3. Is p3 during? 

The original letter contained six or seven more words, 
beyond the point where the above translation finally breaks 
off; but (and this is important) it contained no more, for 
the next line stopped half-way across the papyrus. 

It is perfectly clear that we have here a letter of instruc- 
tion to the Jewish community at Elephantine, with directions 
for the punctilious observance of a feast to which the seven 
days extending from the fifteenth to the twenty-first day of 
the month Nisan sustain some essential relation ; a feast 
which, moreover, requires abstinence from labor during at 
least a part of its continuance. This can be none other than 
the Passover — employing the term in the looser sense, of 
the Passover and feast of Unleavened Bread combined. 
And with this much assured, we need not hesitate to find 
in the suspended words of line 7 a reference to the banishing 
of leaven from every nook and corner of the houses of the 
faithful. 

One point only occasions remark : the prohibition of some 
sort of beverage. No such prohibition is found in any of 
the Old Testament laws concerning the Passover. And the 
beverage in question can hardly have been wine. The later 



8 JOURNAL OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE 

Rabbinical usage prescribed such repeated potations of wine 
during the Passover ritual 6 that drunkenness not infre- 
quently resulted. The New Testament evidence is familiar. 
It is true that we have no positive testimony to the use of 
wine during the Passover festivities until late in the second 
century B.C. 7 Our earliest witness is the Book of Jubilees, 
which in 49 6 represents the Israelites as drinking wine at 
the first Passover in Egypt ; this implies that the drinking 
of wine at the Passover was not merely allowed, but actu- 
ally customary and regular in the writer's day. However, 
the suggestion recently made by Beer that wine came into 
use in connection with the Passover only after 350 B.C. and 
under Greek influence, is lacking in plausibility. Hannah 
needed no Greek influence, in the opinion credited to the 
experienced Eli, on the occasion of another great festival at 
Shiloh. And while it is not probable that wine-drinking 
accompanied the celebration of the old nomad Passover, so 
long as this remained distinct from the Canaanitish feast of 
Unleavened Bread, it is hard to believe that the latter feast 
was ever observed without the use of wine, if there was any 
to be had. The fact will be that wine came into use in 
connection with the Passover ritual when, and in proportion 
as, it was combined and identified, in post-exilic Judaism, 
with the feast of Unleavened Bread. In any case, we have 
no reason to believe that there ever was a time when the use 
of wine at the Passover or at the feast of Unleavened Bread 
was actually prohibited. For the rest, the fact that the Old 
Testament laws contain no prohibition of any particular 
beverage, and that this brief letter of instruction to the Jews 
of Elephantine specifically prohibits one, leaves no doubt 
that the reference in the latter is to some beverage very 
common in Egypt and almost if not quite unknown in Pales- 
tine. This must be beer. 8 Egyptian beer, produced from 
barley with the addition of certain vegetable ingredients, 9 

6 Mishna, Pesahim 10 i. 

7 See Beer, Zeitschrift fur die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, 1911, p. 153. 

8 So also Lidzbarski, I.e., col. 2970. I owe the suggestion, together with 
the reference to the Mishnic law, to Professor George F. Moore. 

8 See Wilkinson, Ancient Egyptians, I, pp. 53 f. 



ARNOLD : PASSOVER PAPYRUS FROM ELEPHANTINE 9 

was held to fall clearly under the law of forbidden leaven : 
a passage in the Mishna 10 prohibits explicitly, during the 
Feast of Passover, the use of " Egyptian beer," together with 
other fermented liquids into which cereals have entered. 

From the limited dimensions of our papyrus, and espe- 
cially from the distribution of the surviving material, it is 
quite certain that the papyrus made no reference whatever 
to the slaying of the Passover lamb. The only available 
space for the mention of the Passover lamb is in the first 
half of line 5, and not even all of that half -line is available, 
for at least the word ffti'' must have stood there to complete 
the sentence at the end of line 4. There is room for only 
three or four words, not enough for the barest reference to 
the rite, to say nothing of any instructions in connection 
with it. In other words, our papyrus related solely to the 
feast of Unleavened Bread. 

Nor may we suppose that the Passover lamb is to be 
omitted from the observance out of regard for the suscepti- 
bilities of the native Egyptians and their aversion to the 
slaughter of rams and he-goats, as was done later with all 
animal sacrifices at the restoration of the temple of Ele- 
phantine. 11 For it must be remembered that for nine years 
after the date of this papyrus, animal sacrifices continued to 
be offered uninterruptedly in the Yahwe temple at Ele- 
phantine. Up to this point there had been no trouble with 
the Egyptians. In fact, as we shall see, it is with this very 
communication of Hananyah's that the era of " trouble " 
begins. 

Now a national Israelitish feast of Passover, as distin- 
guished from the feast of Unleavened Bread, is unknown to 
both J and E. The word PtDSn in the so-called J Decalogue 
(Ex. 34 25) is a gloss : HDB!1 T\ is impossible Hebrew, and 
the parallel passage in Ex. 23 18 shows that it is HDSn which 
is interpolated, and not 3H, as maintained by Stade. 12 The 
injunction of Ex. 34 25 = 23 18 related to (the fat of) the 
sacrifice at any feast of Yahwe. The Passover is unknown 

10 Pesahim, 3 1. 

11 See Sachau Papyri 5 and 3 ; and compare Lidzbarski, I.e., col. 2968. 

12 Biblische Theologie des Alten Testaments, p. 197. 



10 JOURNAL OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE 

also to E. Both these documents know only the feast of 
Unleavened Bread (Ex. 34 18, 28 15). I am not affirming 
that both or either of these authors had never heard of the 
Passover sacrifice, and that one or other of them may not 
have had it in mind in the story of the pretended " Feast of 
Yahwe " which the Children of Israel were to celebrate on 
coming out of Egypt, although there is less to support this 
view than is generally assumed. I am maintaining that 
neither of them incorporates it in his summary of the 
obligatory institutions common to all Israel in his own 
day. It need not have been such, any more than the 
vastly more important, and certainly annual, feast of Sheep- 
Shearing. 

The earliest mention of the Passover in the Torah of Israel, 
and the earliest authentic occurrence of the word HDS in the 
literature of the Old Testament, is in the Deuteronomic law 
(Dt. 16). 13 Even thereafter, Ezekiel still makes no mention 
of it. For in Ez. 45 21 again, the word HOBH is a gloss, this 
time inserted against the grain, before the word 211, by some 
reader who thought the feast beginning on the fourteenth 
day of the first month must be HDS, though the writer him- 
self had called it the Seven-Day Feast of ffiSBD. In Ex. 12 18 
the Priest Code makes Mazzoth begin on the evening of the 
fourteenth day. 

The section on the Passover and Unleavened Bread in 
Dt. 16, where the two feasts are interwoven, is unquestion- 
ably conflate. It has been plausibly supposed (Steuernagel) 
that D had originally no feast of Unleavened Bread, but only 
Passover, besides the other two great feasts, and that the 
verses 3, 4, 8, which introduce the unleavened bread, are later 
expansions. However that may be, the narrative of Josiah's 
celebration in 2 Ki. 23 21-23 leaves no room for question 
(1) that D had the Passover as one of the three great annual 
feasts, whether or not combined with the eating of unleav- 
ened bread for seven days, and (2) that until the publication 
of the Deuteronomic law the Passover had not been recog- 

13 Cf. Wellhausen, Prolegomena 6 , p. 82. 



ARNOLD : PASSOVER PAPYRUS PROM ELEPHANTINE 11 

nized as a great sanctuary festival in Israel, at any rate not 
since the occupation of Canaan. 14 

In spite of all this, however, we must not hasten to assign 
our papyrus to pre-Deuteronomic influences. For though 
D introduced the Passover sacrifice, which is absent from 
the papyrus, into the national law, it explicitly limited that 
sacrifice, as well as all others, to the one single sanctuary of 
Jerusalem (Dt. 16 5-6). And the priestly legislation and 
narrative take this limitation for granted. They certainly 
do not repudiate it. 16 So that there are other and sufficient 
reasons for omitting the Passover sacrifice from the celebra- 
tion at Elephantine. To be sure, the Jews at Elephantine 
had a sanctuary of their own, at which they would have felt 
as free to sacrifice the Passover as any other animal offering. 
But our papyrus relates to a ritual which is being delivered 
to them, as we shall see, directly from abroad, and presum- 
ably from Palestine. It is not likely that the authorities at 
Jerusalem would be deliberately counseling the Jews of 
Elephantine to violate the law by innovation, although they 
might perhaps hesitate to interfere with a sacrificial cultus 
which had existed continuously for a hundred and seventy 
years. 

On the other hand, that our papyrus comes from a source 

14 Such is the meaning of the Hebrew of verse 22 : For no such Pesah had 
been made during (not from) the days of the judges who judged Israel and 
during all the days of the kings of Israel and the kings of Judah. 

16 On this point more or less confusion prevails. We are told that the 
priestly legislation (Ex. 12) restored the Passover sacrifice from the sanc- 
tuary, to which it had been limited by D, to the homes of the people. But 
the fact is, that though P relegated the institution of it to the pre-Sinaitic 
days when there was no sanctuary, he took especial pains to assert that for 
all time thereafter it was to be a sanctuary festival : ffif? 1 ? XI TDK DWrTl 
lnann tabic npn BOrrrb (Ex. 12 14). Contrast with this language the 
expression employed in connection with the observance of the law regarding 
Unleavened Bread (verse 17). Had P actually made of the Passover lamb a 
home-institution, it would to-day be sacrificed in every quarter of the globe. 
The Passover of later Judaism was a home-festival only in the sense that 
after the lamb had been offered in the temple, it was eaten in the dwellings 
of the people in attendance at the feast in Jerusalem, not in the sense that 
it could be slain wherever one happened to reside. And we have no reason 
to believe that P intended any more latitude than this. 



12 JOURNAL OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE 

familiar with the priestly legislation, is indisputable. 16 It 
prescribes only the feast of Unleavened Bread, but it is the 
feast of the priestly law, not that of J or of E, nor yet that 
of Deuteronomy in its present form. For, the determination 
of the precise days of the month, during which the seven 
days' feast shall be observed, appears only in H and P. 
J designates no more than "seven days in the month Abib." 
The same is true of E. 17 D, in its expanded form, likewise 
requires merely seven days in the month Abib. All these, 
of course, represent the earlier and freer practice, the precise 
time depending upon the forwardness of the crops, which 
would vary from year to year and in different localities in 
the same year. A new element, however, in the (expanded) 
Deuteronomic law, unknown to J and E, is the injunction 
to observe the last of the seven days as a holiday, during 
which no work may be performed. But even this is behind 
the requirements of the priestly law. 

It is only with the Holiness Code (Lev. 23 5-8) that we 
come upon the fixed determination of the days of the month 
for the observance of the feast of Unleavened Bread. H ap- 
points the Passover proper (ffliTv HDS) for the fourteenth 
day of the first month ; it is, indeed, probable that the 
Passover had always been a full-moon ceremony. Thereafter, 
the feast of Unleavened Bread (ttlStoH JfJ) is to begin on the 
fifteenth day and last seven days. Both the first and the 
seventh days are ttPTp 8"lp&, solemn assemblies, and on those 
days WSn Vib THiyS fOlOa 73, ye shall do nothing involv- 
ing labor. H does not actually connect the observances of 
Pesah and Mazzoth — any more than do the modern Samari- 
tans. A person who had only the Holiness Code before him 
(with, perhaps, D in its original form) could easily concern 
himself with the observance of the one, while avoiding any 
mention of the other. 

P's law of the Passover is contained in Ex. 12 3-14, and 
that of Mazzoth in Ex. 12 15-20, the section immediately foi- 
ls Cf. Ed. Meyer, I.e., p. 1052. 

17 The authenticity of even this indefinite seven-day requirement in the 
oldest codes has been questioned, but, I think, without reason. 



ARNOLD: PASSOVER PAPYRUS FROM ELEPHANTINE 13 

lowing. But here the two are actually combined. Not only 
are ffl2£D mentioned in verse 8, but verse 15, which begins the 
law of Mazzoth, contains no date. The date follows later 
incidentally, in verse 18 : from the fourteenth day of the month 
at sunset, to the twenty-first day of the month at sunset. 18 In P, 
as in H, the first and seventh days of the feast are " solemn 
assemblies," on which no labor may be performed. 

On the whole, it is seen, our papyrus has closer affinities 
with H than with any other of the codes of the Pentateuch. 
The actual mention of the fifteenth day is found only in H, 
although the law of P does not materially differ from it. 
Also, in H the feast of Mazzoth is still distinct from the 
rite of Passover ; which would make it easy to avoid even 
the name of Pesah. 19 Perhaps, too, the language in which the 
papyrus prohibits labor is reminiscent of H : K? JTTOS in the 
papyrus ; WW1 vb ITDS rOttbti b3 in H; *b route b$ 

w There is, by the way, no warrant for the statement sometimes made, 
and repeated by Eduard Meyer (I.e., p. 1052, note 1), that Ex. 12 is stretches 
the feast from seven days to eight. The " evening of the fourteenth day " is 
exactly when the fifteenth day begins, and the "evening of the twenty-first 
day " is in any case exactly seven whole days thereafter. There is, therefore, 
no reason for denying this verse to P, but quite the contrary. 

is The occurrence of XHDB3 on an ostrakon (Sachau, Plate 64, 2 ; previ- 
ously published by Lidzbarski, Ephemeris, II, pp. 229 fi.), to which Ed. Meyer 
refers (I.e., p. 1051, note 3), would prove nothing as regards our papyrus, 
even if the context were perfectly clear ; for the ostrakon is of unknown date 
and uncertain provenance. 

On the other hand, the " Aramean Ostrakon from Elephantine," pub- 
lished by Sayce, Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archaeology, 1911, 
pp. 188 f., which he finds "especially interesting on account of its reference 
to the Passover," has been wrongly deciphered and entirely misinterpreted 
by him. To begin with, he has attempted to read it wrong end foremost ; 
his " obverse " and " reverse " should be transposed. The ostrakon is a letter 
from a rather illiterate husband to his wife, bidding her take good care of 
the children until he returns, assuring her that he will be responsible for any 
bills she may incur with the provision merchants for her maintenance, direct- 
ing her what to do if unable to obtain supplies from them, promising to send 
her something, and charging her to be of good cheer and to be sure to tell 
him all about the baby. If, as Sayce affirms, the ostrakon " is in an unusu- 
ally good state of preservation, every letter being legible on both obverse and 
reverse," he has published a singularly wretched photograph of the " obverse " 
side. But enough of it is legible to warrant the outline I have given, and to 
show that the ostrakon has no mention of the Passover. 



14 JOT/RKAL OF BIBLICAL LITER ATURE 

D!"Q TWT in P. Not much should be made of this point, 
however, as the Aramaic iTP3? is the exact equivalent of 
Hebrew i"DiOtt. On the other hand, though P alone alludes 
to ridding the houses of leaven, the custom may well be 
older than P. But the question as between H and P need 
not be pressed. 

To sum up, then, we have seen that this papyrus shows 
an attempt to impose upon the Jews of Egypt the observ- 
ance of the feast of Unleavened Bread, not in the old 
Israelitish form of J or E, or even of the expanded D, but 
in the form prescribed by the priestly legislation. It is 
distinctly the post-exilic Jewish observance which is here 
enjoined. Whether the Jews of Elephantine had retained 
the old Canaanitish institution in a looser form since the 
days of Psammetik II, a hundred and seventy years before, 
we cannot tell. Probably they had not. 20 

For the history of Old Testament literature it is to be 
noted that this papyrus affords the first conclusive evidence 
that the Holiness Code, at all events, had been composed 
before 419 B.C. 21 

One question remains, and that perhaps the most impor- 
tant ; namely, as to the authority behind this promulgation of 
the feast of Unleavened Bread. 

Sachau renders the third line of the papyrus, " Und nun 
in dieseni Jahr, dem Jahr 5 des Konigs Darius, ist von dem 
Konige an Arsames (die Botschaft) geschickt worden — ," 
construing the passive participle rp'w as neuter and third 
person. He accordingly assumes that it is a Passover 
proclamation that has been sent from Darius to Arsames, and 
draws the consequent and far-reaching conclusions on the 

20 The tone of the Passover Papyrus seems to assume no knowledge of the 
institution on the part of the Jews of Elephantine. In this respect it is in 
marked contrast to the two letters concerning the feast of the Rededication 
of the Temple, addressed by the Jerusalem Jews to those of Egypt in the 
years 143 and 124 b.c, respectively, and preserved in the first chapters of 
2 Maccabees. Compare Torrey, in the Zeitschrift fur die alttestamentliehe 
Wissenschaft, 1900, pp. 225 ff. 

21 There is, by the way, quite decisive proof that the Darius of this text is 
Darius II ; see below, p. 29. 



ARNOLD: PASSOVER PAPYRUS PROM ELEPHANTINE 15 

relations of the Persian kings to the Jewish religion. Darius 
will have sent a special embassy to the governor of Egypt 
for the express purpose of proclaiming the Passover festival 
to his Jewish subjects in that country. If to Egypt, then of 
course to his other provinces as well. But since he will 
hardly have dispatched such a legation for the purpose every 
year, Sachau concludes that Darius had been prevailed upon 
by some " Nehemiah " of his entourage to proclaim, or per- 
haps to authorize, the observance of the Passover where 
formerly it had been neglected or prohibited. 

Incidentally, it is of course felt that this construction of 
the papyrus gives renewed support to the authenticity of the 
documents and narratives in the book of Ezra, which have 
been so much discredited in recent years. 

Eduard Meyer hastens to speak of our papyrus as a 
"Regierungserlass"; affirms, on the basis of this document, 
that the feast of the Passover was proclaimed by royal 
decree of Darius II in the year 419 B.C. for the Jews of the 
whole empire ; and concludes that Hananyah, having 
brought the royal decree to Egypt, now, by direction of 
Arsames, transmits it to the Jews of Elephantine. He de- 
clares "die Echtheit der Urkunden des Ezrabuches durch 
die ueuen Funde in jedem Worte erwiesen." Further, 
"Aufs neue zeigt sich drastisch, dass das Judentum eine 
Schopfung des Perserreichs ist: die babylonischen Juden 
haben eben die Autoritat der Regierung in Bewegung ge- 
setzt und durch sie das von Ezra verfasste Gesetz den Juden 
in Palastina und der Diaspora auferlegt." And he closes 
his discussion with the triumphant words, " Eine glanzendere 
Bestatigung und Erganzung hatte die Darstellung im Buche 
Ezra-Nehemiah und die auf dieselbe begriindete historische 
Anschauung nicht erhalten konnen, als sie dieser Osterbrief 
vom Jahre 419 v. Chr. gebracht hat." 22 

On the other hand, Lidzbarski is not so certain of the 
royal meddling with the religious concerns of the Jews. He 
thinks that the official part of the document was limited to 
a royal ordinance for the New Year — whatever that may be 

22 L.c, pp. 1035, 1052 f. 



16 JOUBNAL OP BIBLICAL LITEBATUBE 

— and that the details concerning the observance of the 
Passover were Hananyah's personal contribution. But as 
this latter involved absence from military duty during the 
seven days of the feast, 23 the government may have con- 
cerned itself with that aspect of the matter. 

Now, in point of fact, we have neither the need nor the 
right to beat about the bush in this fashion. Either Eduard 
Meyer is entirely right, or he is entirely wrong. Either the 
Persian government had everything to do with the Passover 
celebration of our papyrus, or it had nothing whatever to do 
with it. The whole imposing edifice of Eduard Meyer's rep- 
resentation rests, like an inverted pyramid, upon the single 
point of the intended reference of the one word nhlD in line 
3 of the papyrus. If the papyrus had come down to us un- 
harmed, we should have had in the six or seven words now 
lost, which followed the phrase QttHK b"S Tfbv KS^JD p, at 
the end of line 3 and the beginning of line 4, a complete 
answer to the question. Lacking those words, we must de- 
termine the reference indirectly as best we may. But that 
should not allow us to confuse the issue. Either the word 
tvhv& refers to Hananyah himself, or it refers to the subject 
matter of his letter, the observance of the Passover. It can- 
not, as a matter of mere syntax, have referred to both. If it 
referred to Hananyah, there remains nothing in the papyrus to 
connect the Passover with the official mission of Hananyah. 
If it referred to the ordinance of the Passover, there remains 
nothing in the papyrus to connect Hananyah with a special 
royal mission on any subject. And as regards Lidzbarski's 
halting conclusions, if the subject matter of the papyrus, all 
of which relates to the details of the Passover observance, 
was not the subject of IT^E? in the introductory sentence at 
line 3, we have no reason in the world for assuming another 

23 Lidzbarski's view that the papyrus directed the Jews of Elephantine to 
abstain from work during the entire seven days of the feast {I.e., col. 2970), 
necessitating military leave of absence from the Persian authorities for that 
length of time, has no warrant either in the text of the papyrus or in the 
usage of Judaism from the earliest times to the present day. Moreover, it is 
difficult to see how the military duties of the Jews of Elephantine can have 
been so very strenuous in ordinary times. 



ARNOLD: PASSOVER PAPYRUS FROM ELEPHANTINE 17 

neuter subject outside the existing contents of the papyrus, 
when the latter actually supplies us with Hananyah himself 
as the alternative. 

On the purely linguistic merits of the two alternatives 
there is this to be said : ITvtP, though it might be used of a 
dispatch, would not be used of a royal command, decree, or 
proclamation. The substance of a royal ordinance concerning 
the Passover would certainly have been introduced with the 
words D2t2 DIP iObft p, and not with bs Tlbe JObfi p. 
On the other hand, compare the technical language of the 
pretended rescript of Artaxerxes to Ezra in Ezr. 7 14-17, where 
the king says, "K3pft . . . TVbV? tO?0 p, being delegated by 
the King . . . thou shalt buy, etc. And later, the Aramaic 
of Apostle, whether Christian or Jewish, is WvW. 2 * 

Now it can be shown from the contents of another papy- 
rus, which Sachau did not decipher and interpret correctly, 
(1) that Hananyah was a Jew occupying a high official 
position in the government of Egypt ; (2) that he was not 
Egyptian-born, but had only recently come into the coun- 
try ; and (3) that his activities immediately upon his arrival 
resulted in straining the relations of the Jews of Elephantine 
with their Egyptian neighbors to the point of serious trouble 
for a considerable period, before the destruction of their 
temple in the year 410 B.C. 

In view of these facts, we have, I think, no course open 
to us but to interpret the word ITW, in line 3 of the Pass- 
over Papyrus, of Hananyah himself. It was not a Passover 
proclamation, but Hananyah himself who was sent from Darius 
to Arsames, on some matter of state of which we have no further 
information. And in this letter of his, written to the Jews 
of Elephantine soon after his arrival in Egypt, before pro- 
ceeding with his directions for the observance of the national 
feast, he naturally tells them who he is, and by what authority 
he speaks : he is special ambassador from Darius II to Ar- 
sames, Persian governor of Egypt; and he speaks by the 

24 Because its context is as yet too obscure, I disregard the sentence 
rut bv orrbv tvbv , MJ I pnxi, apparently, and another person who was 
dispatched by me (Arsames) to them on this matter (Sachau Papyrus 8, line 6). 



18 JOURNAL OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE 

authority — of course, of the priests in Jerusalem, whom he had 
visited on his way. It is difficult to see how any other sup- 
position can be entertained while this one is open. 

But this is not a mere supposition. The six or seven lost 
words between the end of line 3 and the middle of line 4 
contained a statement regarding the visit to Jerusalem, with 
the verb in the first person singular of the perfect tense. 
Only so is the particular form of the date in the letter 
explainable or intelligible: WliTPTl II ill fi3tf KJ Kfljtt. 
This year, the fifth year of Darius the King, I was sent or 
there was sent, is not a natural expression. For an instanta- 
neous act of that kind, we naturally demand either more 
circumstance or less. The Jews of Elephantine knew as 
well as Hananyah what year of Darius II they were then 
living in. If that were the burden of his statement, this 
year would have been sufficient, unless he went on to give 
the time of the year as well. Still less satisfactory, though 
syntactically more sound, is Lidzbarski's interpretation, This 
year is the fifth year of Darius ; * but it is interesting as 
showing that at least one accomplished scholar feels there 
is something decidedly queer about the expression if inter- 
preted as above. On the other hand, This year, the fifth year 
of Darius the King, being sent from the King to Arsames, I 
visited the city of Jerusalem (or something of that sort), is 
a perfectly natural sentence. The time of a sojourn in 
Jerusalem could very well be dated by the year alone. In 
other words, Kt WlW requires for its grammatical comple- 
ment a finite verb of the purport I have assumed. 

According to this interpretation, Hananyah, having been 
sent on a mission from Darius II to Arsames, traveled to 
Egypt by way of Palestine, and stopped over in Jerusalem in 
the 5th year of Darius II, receiving there the latest priestly 

26 i.e., col. 2969. Lidzbarski accordingly assumes that Hananyah's letter 
is being written on the first day of the first month of the new year. But 
apart from the fact that the Jews of Elephantine seem to have managed to 
date their documents accurately enough without receiving information on the 
state of the calendar from the capital of the satrapy, Hananyah must have 
expected his letter to be received before the first day of Nisan, when he 
directed his readers to " count fourteen days." 



ARNOLD : PASSOVER PAPYRUS FROM ELEPHANTINE 19 

regulations regarding the feast of Unleavened Bread, and 
doubtless much else besides. He arrived in Egypt during 
the same year, probably toward the end of it, and took the 
first occasion to enjoin upon his coreligionists at Elephantine 
the proper observance of the feast, in accordance with the 
Jerusalem law, in time for the celebration of the first month 
of the 6th year of Darius II (began April 15, 418 B.C.). 
Strictly speaking, then, the Passover Papyrus will have been 
written in that fraction of the 5th year of Darius II which 
fell in the year 418 B.C. (January to April 14). 

Before passing on to the contents of the other papyrus to 
which reference has been made, it is to be noted that in 
this Passover letter Hananyah does not speak of himself as 
"^2? or Bb^S?, the form employed in addressing Yedonyah 
even by one of the latter's most prominent associates at the 
head of the community in Elephantine, but Db'UlN, your 
brother. Hananyah, it is evident even from Papyrus 6, is 
at least the equal of Yedonyah, and almost certainly his 
superior, in station. 

We turn now to the text of Sachau Papyrus 11. I have 
succeeded in piecing out all the important lacunae, with a 
result which differs considerably from the tentative and frag- 
mentary translation published by Sachau. Sachau supposed 
this document to be a letter of warning against two men who 
were about to visit Elephantine. It is, on the contrary, a 
strong letter of recommendation. 

In order to make evident at a glance my construction and 
interpretation of the Aramaic text, I vocalize after the anal- 
ogy of the Biblical Aramaic, from which, except for the 
latter's mutations of vowel-quality and excess of Masoretic 
refinement, the pronunciation of these Egyptian Jews of the 
fifth century B.C. will not have differed materially. As 
before, suppletory letters are bracketed, and seriously muti- 
lated ones overlined. 



20 



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22 JOURNAL OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE 

Line 1. tWO. The names which follow, Mattan bar 
Yoshibyah and Neriyah, are those of the priests. There 
were accordingly but two priests attached to the Yahwe 
temple at Elephantine. 

1!T of the papyri should be pronounced Ydhu, not Yaho, 
as Sachau and others. Yaho cannot be derived from Yahwe. 
The alternative of Ydhu is not Yaho, but Yd. The Yeho- 
of Masoretic proper names is fictitious, the o-vowel having 
been reached only after the elision of the fi in compounds : 
yahu — yau — yo spelled y(h~)o. So the name Jonathan in 
the living language was Yahunatan, Yaunatan, or Ydnatan 
(jriii''), but never Yehonatan (jriJI.T). Nor, on the other 
hand, should we allow ourselves to be misled by the Maso- 
retic pronunciation of such Lamed-He forms as 1111, for this 
was of course pronounced hwaw by the Jews of Elephantine. 
Finally, Sachau's supposition (p. 10) that !"fl!T of the Mesha 
stone may be intended for ffi!T is entirely inadmissible ; in 
the Mesha stone the 1 is necessarily consonantal. 

Line 2. "p39. The singular suffix, if not a slip, probably 
has in mind Yedonyah alone, in spite of the plural address 
of the letter ; for the others are not Ma'uziyah's superiors, as 
we shall see. 

JTHStt. On the identity of the writer see below, pp. 27 ff. 

Line 3. 2 in JTIS3B is the Arabic fa ; it occurs again in 
lines 6 and 8, and in Sachau Papyrus 12 (not indexed) ; also 
in the Zenjirli, Nabatean, and Palmyrene inscriptions. 

33*1T1, the commander of the garrison at Elephantine, 
effects the arrest at Abydos not necessarily because his mil- 
itary jurisdiction extended to that city, but probably because 
Ma'uziyah, as a member of the " army of occupation," was not 
subject to the criminal jurisdiction of the local magistracy. 
— It would be well if in our ignorance of the correct 
pronunciation of the name JJTPI, the euphonious Waidrang 
could be conventionally adhered to. 

I *p3B3K "0773, not " wegen eines Edelsteins, eines ein- 
zigen," as Sachau ; the text is merely shorthand for *pJEDK 
in ; cf . in WK a certain man, Sachau Papyrus 62, obv., col. 
2, line 6. 



ARNOLD: PASSOVER PAPYRUS PROM ELEPHANTINE 23 

Line 4. VtbSl T3 Mi VOBT]. Sachau : " den man ge- 
funden hat als gestohlen (gestohlenes Gut) in der Hand (iru 
Besitz) von Kaufleuten." If that were the meaning, T3 
fcOTDI would follow insert. Besides, if the stone was actu- 
ally recovered from the merchants, the officials would have 
had little difficulty in tracing the thief. K'vIS*! are not the 
local shopkeepers, but the visiting traders, to which class 
Ma'uziyah belonged. The stone may well have been pur- 
loined while being exhibited, together with other jewels, to 
a company of such traders, without leaving any trace of the 
individual thief. On Vii, passive participle with the force 
of the pluperfect, cf. Noldeke, § 278 B. For TD of the 
agent cf. Syriac p^s. 

pllK s2. Sachau can make nothing of this. The phrase 
occurs also in Sachau Papyrus 52, col. 1, line 5 : pHK 79 
"O^SF, at last he will remember me; and col. 2, line 1 : 79 I "19 
pl"IX until at last. Lidzbarski (I.e., col. 2978) renders it cor- 
rectly enough schliesslich, but would read pftK 79 in all 
three passages. The letter ft, however, is perfectly distinct 
and unmistakable in every case. The fact is, we have here 
the phrase which has hitherto baffled the efforts and inge- 
nuity of the commentators on the Aramaic text of Dan. 4 5. 
The spelling p*lPlK of Dan. 4 5 proves, if any proof were 
needed, that the word has nothing to do with pHX another; 
the transmitters could never have inserted that \ for the 
Kethib is at cross purposes with the Masoretic tradition, 
which could make nothing of it, and with the Qeri, which 
demands the spelling pHX. On the other hand, the uniform 
spelling of the papyri, pHK 79, proves that the pointings 
suggested for Dan. 4 5 by Marti (Bihl.-aram. Qrammatik, 
§§ 87c, 94 J), JpHK or JPHK, as a( iverb in the one case and 
singular noun in the other, are alike impossible, for either 
form would be spelled p"inX in the papyri. For other coun- 
sels of despair, see the commentaries of Bevan and Kraetzsch- 
mar. We must accordingly point in harmony with both 
the Kethib of Dan. 4 5 and the spelling of the papyri, JPtJK, 
absolute plural corresponding to the construct ^fTK after, 



24 JOUENAL OF BIBLICAL LITEBATUBE 

and meaning (in the plural) the end , -26 compare the Hebrew 
JVJPFI '"IHK (2 Sam. 2 23), which is not the hinder end of the 
spear, but merely the end of the spear, a rhetorical expression 
analogous to U*in ^S the mouth {edge) of the sword. In Dan. 
4 5 accordingly we must read p*lt]X 721 and at last ; the ?S 
was corrupted to T9 as a consequence of the erroneous inter- 
pretation "until another." 

, S , 7S acquainted with, passive participle with reciprocal 
sense, cf . Noldeke, § 280 ; not servants of 'Anani, as Sachau, 
which is impossible in this context. Seha and Hor are quite 
too important and influential to be anybody's "boys." Be- 
sides, the ordinary interpretation cannot be reconciled with 
line 8, where Hor is described as the ffTJJ of Hananyah. 
Sachau concludes that two different persons of the name Hor 
are mentioned iu the papyrus. But even that bold remedy 
does not meet the substantial objection first mentioned. We 
must connect with pLa to know, not with J&±., $&Y^, 
youth, servant. Cf. Hebrew 9YT, and the expression DTPl 
}i*H>X pious, Sachau Papyrus 55, line 5 (Sachau transcribes 
erroneously jWPl). 

'MS is without doubt the 'Anani alluded to in line 19 of 
the petition to Bagoas, Sachau Papyrus 1, where Ostanes is 
singled out for special mention among the nobles of Jerusa- 
lem to whom previous appeals had been directed : " Ostanes, 
the brother of 'Anani " can only mean that the writers are 
acquainted with 'Anani in Egypt and are not acquainted with 
Ostanes in Jerusalem. Very probably also, this 'Anani is 
identical with the official scribe or secretary of the chancel- 
lerie of Arsames, whom we meet in an original decree of the 
governor which has come down to us, Sachau Papyrus 8. 
This document is signed first in the hand which engrossed 
the body of it : K*ISD "MS 'Anani the Scribe; then follows in 
the same elegant hand the title DSID 73J3 Master of decrees, 

26 This use of the indeterminate plural in an abstract sense, with a value ap- 
proaching that of our determinate singular, which occurs in the case of the 
Aramaic p^K as in that of the Hebrew D'rfrK, has not received sufficient 
recognition. In English I may say, " Grapes are a delicious fruit," or, "The 
grape is a delicious fruit" ; but I may not say, "The grapes are a delicious 
fruit." 



ARNOLD: PASSOVER PAPYRUS PROM ELEPHANTINE 25 

or Chancellor, introducing the signature of this last official, 
which was appended in another hand : 3T13 3)73133 Nebo'aqab 
has signed. So, against Sachau, pp. 48 f., and Ed. Meyer, 
I.e., p 1036 ; compare TOBJ [iT3Yp 13 iTDnO 3TD, Mahseyah 
bar Yedonyah has signed in person, written in a handwriting 
distinct from that of the notary, Sayce-Cowley E, lines 17 f. 
The word K"l£D which follows 3p3133 in the fragment of the 
docket of Papyrus 8, has been robbed of its context, and may, 
for all we know, be document, and not scribe. The D3tD 733 
was, as in Ezra 4, the higher official of the two, and in this 
case an Aramean. Incidentally, this document shows us 
what the Passover Papyrus would have looked like, had it 
been even remotely connected with a royal rescript. Not 
merely would it have been officially countersigned, but the 
names of the superscription would be reversed, and the 
papyrus would begin JT3T 73 !T33n p, if not indeed 
JT3T 73 dttHK p, in the name of the governor. — For 
the rest, there is nothing in our Papyrus 11 to indicate that 
'Anani was himself a resident of Abydos, where Ma'uziyah's 
misadventure occurred ; on the contrary, had 'Anani been at 
Abydos, the services of Seha and Hor would not have been 
required. 

Line 5. ''Sl^n was either the local Egyptian magistrate 
at Abydos or the plaintiff in the case. 

DIT73 lift, not be on your guard against them, as Sachau ; 
the expression occurs in the sense of solicitous attention in 
Sachau Papyrus 13, line 6 : 13511 *D TP31 Wttbs 73 IT? 
"[n n S7 care for the young people and my house as thou wouldst 
do for thine own house; also in the ostrakon published by 
Sayce, mentioned above, p. 13, note 19 : *13 tiTpV 73 Tt 
nnXJ, care for the children until we come. 

Line 6. TH was omitted at first, and later written in over 
the line ; hence ^3^ , in the singular. 

p Di"I73p lttp let your attitude to them be such; p so, 
modifying lttp. 

Line 7. Second 037, literally you have = there is. I have 
rendered you know. 

STD" 1 , punishment. The reading of this word, which 



26 JOURNAL OF BIBLICAL LITER ATURE 

Sachau gives up altogether, is quite certain ; the only letter 
that is very seriously mutilated is the 1. Point after Marti, 
§ 82, note 2. 

ffJfl, Hebraism = d3H of the Old Testament ; adverb, gra- 
tuitously. For the form d?3PT as a possible alternative of d3H 
compare Gesenius-Kautzsch, § 88 c. Sachau suggests the 
god-name Hnum = Hnub, the Egyptian god of Elephantine ; 
but (1) the third letter, though mutilated, is distinctly a ^ 
and not a 1, and (2) a proper name is out of place before the 
enclitic which follows. 

in, enclitic emphasizing the preceding word ; see Noldeke, 
§ 221. 

Line 8. IIITa The writer appears to have started by 
writing 3117 (for Hananyah), and then corrected to "11177. 

p39 Mttf£37. The 3 in both words is unmistakable, though 
Sachau omits the one and reads the other 1 ; I think there 
can be no question as to the letters I have supplied. 

Gry$. See above on line 4. 

171!. The Pe'al is to be cheap. The context requires the 
Pa'il; cf. the Aph'el, "billig verkaufen" (Dalman). 

}TO. The suffix refers to writer and readers combined ; 
Ma'uziyah's goods at Elephantine are included. 

Line 9. "83*1017 !"ld, literally, what we may have lost or what 
we may not have lost, be alike to you. Sachau transcribes HJS 
pdll Vb 1 nfil pDn 1. The characters between the first 
HO and K7 are mutilated or blurred, but enough of them is 
visible to make certain that the papyrus had no 1 in the first 
clause and that a letter followed the 3 of the first 31dn. In 
any case, the word cannot be the plural participle, referring 
to Seha and Hor, as Sachau and Lidzbarski (I.e., col. 2980). 
The form and reference must be the same as in line 10, where 
pdtt cannot be construed as the participle or as referring to 
the visitors, only one of whom is there being spoken of ; note 
the suffixes in WHIN (line 10), fh (line 11). On the idiom 
and the tense, cf. Noldeke, § 258, and 122C HO in line 6 above. 

Line 10. 17 \T\ occurs Sachau Papyrus 53, line 3. On its 
use with the perfect in hypothetical sentences, cf. Noldeke, 
§§ 259, 375. 



ARNOLD: PASSOVER PAPYRUS PROM ELEPHANTINE 27 

K£W. The K (for fi ?) was omitted at the first writing, 
and inserted above the line. 

W. On the use of the participle for future time in the 
apodosis of a conditional sentence, see Noldeke, § 271. ROTO 
D" 1 ^, literally, a treasure will be laid up. I take this to be 
intended figuratively : " 'Anani will be put under obligation 
to us." Compare the Syriac versions of Matth. 6 19-20, where 
identically the same language is employed ! Evidently the 
Syriac reproduced the original Aramaic logion of Jesus, 
and that in turn played upon an old Aramaic metaphor. 

VTHJTK, after him, that is, after his visit. 

"'333? fTOS must not be taken too literally; fV!33 = apud — 
chez 'Anani. 

Ma'uziyah, the author of the above letter, was one of the 
most prosperous and well-educated members of the Jewish 
community at Elephantine, and second in importance only 
to Yedonyah. When he wrote, he was temporarily absent 
from home, at Abydos. This appears by comparing his 
letter, addressed to Yedonyah and Uriyah as the chief 
laymen in the community, with Sachau Papyrus 10, where 
a Jew in difficulties elsewhere appeals for aid to the Jews 
of Elephantine and addresses his appeal to "Yedonyah, 
Ma'uziyah, Uriyah, and the garrison." 

Again, this Ma'uziyah appears in Sachau Papyrus 5 as one 
of the five prominent Jews dispatching an official petition 
(perhaps to the Persian governor in Egypt, before appealing 
to outsiders) for permission to rebuild the temple which 
has been destroyed. The petition must therefore be dated 
after 410 B.C., though probably before 407. The five men 
indicting it are : Yedonyah bar Gem(aryah), Ma'uzi bar 
Natan, Shema'yah bar Haggai, Hoshe' bar Yatom, and 
Hoshe' bar Natun. This Ma'uzi, second again to Yedonyah, 
is certainly identical with our Ma'uziyah, and here his sur- 
name is given as bar Natan. 21 

27 In Sachauis transcription of Papyrus 11, Ma'uziyah's letter to Yedonyah, 
there appears a memorandum scribbled by the recipients on the outside of 
the papyrus, which Sachau reads Kl"fit 13 H'TOS ... 'I. The reading of the 
last word alone is indicated as uncertain. Unfortunately, hardly a trace of 



28 JOURNAL OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE 

Now we have several documents from Elephantine pro- 
fessedly written by the hand of this same Ma'uziyah bar 
Natan : 

(a) Sayce-Cowley H, an act of release dated in the 4th 
year of Darius (420/419 B.C.), and written by the hand of 
Ma'uziyah bar Natan, as notary. 

(6) Sayee-Cowley J, a quit-claim deed dated in the 8th 
year of Darius (416/415 B.C.), and written by the hand of 
Ma'uziyah bar Natan, as notary. 

(c) Sachau Papyrus 34, a deed of gift of which the date 
has been lost, but in which the notary's name is given with 
even more precision as Ma'uziyah bar Natan bar 'Ananyah. w 

Papyrus 11, Ma'uziyah's letter from Abydos, which is in 
the same handwriting as that of the three documents just 
mentioned, was written some time after 419 B.C. (when 
Hananyah came to Egypt), but before 410 B.C. (when the 
temple was destroyed), and while Hananyah was still in 
the country. Note the formal mention of the priests of the 
temple in the address. Besides, it is not likely that that 
outrage would have been committed while Hananyah was 
in Egypt. He doubtless returned to the king long before 
410 B.C. The letter should therefore be placed some three 
or four years after 419 B.C. 

Still other papyri in these finds introduce us to the father 
of our Ma'uziyah on the one hand, and to his children on 
the other. 

In Sayce-Cowley C and D, two deeds of the 6th year of 
Artaxerxes (459/458 B.C.), Ma'uziyah's father, Natan bar 
'Anani, appears as a witness. In Sachau Papyrus 28, a 

this legend can be discerned in the photographic reproduction. But I have 
no hesitation in affirming that an indorsement of this sort would not have 
set forth Ma'uziyah's surname, and that what was set down was afO 1 or T 
KriX bv rniSB rbV, Ma'uziyah's letter about Seha. 

28 Sachau calls attention to the similarity of the handwriting in this papyrus 
to that of the mutilated, but originally superior, second copy of the petition 
to Bagoas (Papyrus 2), and concludes that they belong to the same period. 
They do, as a matter of fact, belong to the same period, but it is the kalams 
that are similar, not the handwritings. Papyrus 2 was very probably written 
by the hand which penned the memorandum Papyrus 3, in which case it will 
be the personal copy of the emissary of the Jews of Elephantine to Bagoas. 



ARNOLD: PASSOVER PAPYRUS PROM ELEPHANTINE 29 

document of the 9th year of Artaxerxes (456/455 B.C.), 
Natan bar 'Anani is the notary, as also in Sayce-Cowley E, 
of the 19th year of Artaxerxes (446/445 B.C.), and still 
again in Sayce-Cowley G, of the 25th year of Artaxerxes 
(440/439 B.C.). 

The sequence yielded by these documents — the father, 
Natan bar Anani, appearing as an adult witness in the 6th 
year of Artaxerxes, and the son, Ma'uziyah bar Natan bar 
'Anani, acting as one of the leaders of the community after 
the 14th year of Darius — affords us more direct evidence 
than any which has thus far been adduced, that the Darius 
of the days of Yedonyah bar Gemaryah and of the Elephan- 
tine temple outrage was Darius II. 

On the other hand, in the list of subscribers to the fund 
collected for the God Yahu (Sachau Papyrus 18), we find a 
brother of Ma'uziyah, Ahyo bar Natan bar 'Anani, and 
one of his sons, 'Anani bar Ma'uzi, with perhaps another, 
Meshullam bar Ma'uzi. Under the circumstances it is 
permissible to assume that this list, which is dated 5th 
year, but without the name of any king, is to be assigned 
to the 5th year after the expulsion of the Persians, which 
occurred about 404 B.C. Perhaps no king is mentioned 
because Amyrtseus had not yet succeeded in establishing 
himself firmly upon the throne of the Pharaohs. In that 
case, this great collection may well represent the money 
employed for the rebuilding of the temple of Yah we, some 
seven or eight years after the petition to Bagoas. 

Finally, a Natan bar Ma'uziyah, who appears in an un- 
dated papyrus (Sachau 20), is certainly the son of our 
Ma'uziyah bar Natan. 

I have called attention to the demonstrable prosperity, 
education, and importance of this Ma'uziyah bar Natan, 
because of the deferential, almost obsequious tone in which 
his letter to Yedonyah refers to the person of Hananyah. 
It is clear that the latter was one to whose favor both he 
and Yedonyah earnestly aspired. And though they recog- 
nized him as the cause, or at least the occasion of their 
embarrassment, there was no thought of resentment or oppo- 



30 JOURNAL OP BIBLICAL LITERATURE 

sition, but only of continued compliance with his will and 
ministering to his good pleasure. I think I detect a slight 
difference of attitude even from that exhibited toward 
'Anani, the secretary of the Persian government. From 
'Anani, Ma'uziyah expects a quid pro quo of a commercial 
kind ; he will return their favors in due season. Of Hanan- 
yah nothing so definite seems to be expected. It is the bare 
favor of an exalted personage that is involved, one who 
can easily do harm if he will. Moreover, Hananyah is 
"in Egypt" — obviously at the seat of government, and a 
national figure. And, as already pointed out, he is a for- 
eign Jew, who has but recently come into the country. It 
can no longer be disputed that the interpretation I gave of 
line 3 of the Passover Papyrus is correct. It was Hananyah 
himself who was sent from Darius to Arsames, and the Pass- 
over was his private concern. 

One is tempted to speculate as to the character of the 
tantalizing " difficulty " which Hananyah's presence in Egypt 
had brought upon his coreligionists at Elephantine. Clearly 
it was of a kind that adverse reports by Seha and Hor con- 
cerning them might help to augment. Did Hananyah bring 
with him a religious exclusiveness and Levitical zeal which 
interfered with their traditional worship, disturbed the even 
tenor of their pagan ways, and put an end for the time being 
to their cordial relations with their neighbors ? Did he find 
them Judeans, and try to make them Jews? 

Sachau has called attention to the identity in name of 
this Persian official and the brother of Nehemiah, Hanani 
= Hananyah, upon whose moving report of conditions in 
Jerusalem, Nehemiah was impelled to undertake his work 
of restoration. Hananyah was not an uncommon name, to 
be sure. But Jews occupying exalted positions at the Per- 
sian court cannot have been so very numerous at any time; 
and such Jews bearing the name of Hananyah were doubtless 
fewer still. It is not at all unlikely that the Egyptian papyri 
have introduced us once more to the brother of Nehemiah. 
If this be the same man, the date of Nehemiah is settled be- 
yond all controversy, as of Artaxerxes I, not II. For we 



ARNOLD: PASSOVBK PAPYBUS FROM ELEPHANTINE 31 

can well suppose that Hananyah had traveled from Jerusa- 
lem to Susa, when a very young man at the Persian court, 
twenty-five years before he was appointed ambassador to 
Arsames ; whereas it is well-nigh impossible to assume that 
he did so thirty-six years after he had attained to that dig- 
nity, and found his brother Nehemiah in the prime of life. 
In any event, we have as little reason for connecting 
Darius II with the religious motives of Hananyah, as we 
have for identifying Artaxerxes with those of Nehemiah. 
And the Passover Papyrus gives us a picture, not of the 
Persian Empire espousing the cause of Yahwe and busying 
itself with the details of "Ezra's" ceremonial law, but of 
the new-born Judaism in Jerusalem reaching out to reform 
and to control the half-heathen Judeans of the Diaspora. 

In conclusion, I venture to add a few words regarding the 
view which has been energetically revived since the discovery 
of the Elephantine papyri, and recently defended by Torrey, 29 
to the effect that Judaism offered, on principle, no opposition 
to the establishment of sacrificial temples ad libitum outside 
of Palestine. Against that view it must be urged that not 
only do we actually know of but one such temple in the days 
when Judaism had come into its own, but the form of the 
Mishnic reference w to the temple of Leontopolis clearly 
shows that the latter was in fact the only one in existence 
in those days. The evidence of the well-informed priest 
Josephus is distinctly to the same effect, and incidentally 
contradicts the above-mentioned hypothesis as to the general 
attitude of Judaism on the theoretical question. Josephus 
manifestly had never heard of the " foreign soil " justification 
of the temple of Onias ; which makes it hard to believe that 
it was anywhere entertained. In the next place, it must be 
remembered that the establishment of that single foreign 
temple was due not to religious necessities, but, like that of 
the Samaritans, to personal ambition, or at all events to per- 
sonal vicissitudes. Circumstances rendered it innocuous to 

29 Ezra Studies, pp. 315 ff. 
3 » Menahoth, 13 10. 



32 JOURNAL OP BIBLICAL LITERATUBE 

the centralizing spirit of Judaism, and it was first tolerated 
and then grudgingly recognized. This much it owed to the 
accident of its location outside of Palestine — and outside of 
Alexandria. A richly endowed Aaronic monastery rather 
than a rival metropolitan see, it was not forced, in self- 
defense, to question the primacy or the legitimacy of the 
parent sanctuary at Jerusalem. But all this lies aside from 
the main point, which is, that the developed Jewish system, 
in contrast to the pre-Deuteronomic religion — which latter 
we must not make the mistake of supposing ceased to exist 
after 621 B.C. — had no need of more than one temple, any 
more than it had need of more than one tabernacle. It was 
not the accessibility or the location of the sanctuary, but the 
unity of the " congregation " and the vicariousness of the 
ritual that constituted the characteristic note of the priestly 
law. And if, as Wilrich maintains, 31 the temple of Onias 
was founded by an Emigre High Priest at a time when Jeru- 
salem was in the hands of the heathen and inaccessible, the 
act was more at variance with the somewhat antiquated bur- 
den of Deuteronomy than with the spirit of the Levitical 
law. In any case, it is impossible to imagine a temple being 
founded outside of Palestine under the auspices and with the 
approval of the Jerusalem priesthood, merely to meet the 
religious needs of the Diaspora. 

On the other hand, there may well have been other Yahwe 
temples besides that of Elephantine, founded by the earliest 
emigrants from Judea, which were survivals of pre-Deutero- 
nomic Yahwism. These the Jews of Jerusalem will have 
countenanced in the fifth and fourth centuries B.C., for much 
the same reasons that led their successors to countenance the 
temple of Leontopolis. It was a choice between easy, almost 
insensible compromise and irreparable schism. Such temples 
were theoretically illegitimate, but the question of their legit- 
imacy was never a pressing one. What is more important, 
they were fundamentally incompatible and practically super- 
fluous. It was not necessary to strangle them ; they died a 

81 Juden und Griechen, pp. 126 fl. 



ARNOLD: PASSOVER PAPYRUS PROM ELEPHANTINE 33 

natural death with the spread of the new Judaism, the Syna- 
gogue, and the Mosaic law. When once the earliest settlers 
in Egypt learned to believe that the sacrifices at Jerusalem 
availed for all Palestine, they were quite content to have 
them avail for all Egypt too, and taxed themselves accord- 
ingly. The temple of Leontopolis remains an accident. 
And if there were any other sacrificial cults of Yahwe in 
out of the way corners of the earth at the beginning of the 
Christian era, they certainly lacked the " Aaronic " priest- 
hood and were distinctly irregular. The ceremonial law of 
Judaism paradoxically carried with it the death sentence of 
sacrifice as an essential of Jewish religious life.