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The "Bloody Husband" / חתן דמים

ש. טלמון and S. Talmon
Eretz-Israel: Archaeological, Historical and Geographical Studies / ארץ-ישראל: מחקרים בידיעת הארץ ועתיקותיה
Vol. ג‎, DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF M.D.U. CASSUTO 1883-1951 / מוקדש לזכרו של משה דוד קאסוטו‎ (1954 / תשי"ד), pp. 93-96
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23614020
Page Count: 4
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The "Bloody Husband" / חתן דמים
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Abstract

The story of the "bloody husband" in Ex. 4: 24-26 describes the making of a covenant between God and Moses. It may be a popular and possibly pre-Israelite version of Moses' encounter with the Deity, which culminates in the assignment to him of his mission to Pharaoh (Ex. 3:6—4:17) This interpretation is based on the reading of לי in verse 25 as an abbreviation of the Tetragrammaton. Zipporah's words are an endorsement of the covenant between her husband and God: ליהוה (Moses) חתן דמים אתה. The original reading was suppressed very early, since it conflicted with later conceptions of God.

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