Thursday, February 22, 2007

Sarna's Sargon Solution

Remember Sargon?

I wrote about him on January 15, and pointed out that his story, as recorded in a Neo-Assyrian text, is strikingly similar to the story of Moshe's discovery by the daughter of Pharoh, as recorded in the book of Exodus.

Now, I've read Nachum Sarna, and here's his take:

The supposed close affinities... [between Moshe and Sargon] are fanciful.

He adds:

One almost gets the impression of a conscious attempt... to disassociate this narrative from features otherwise characteristic of the founding hero motif.

Bad news for the enemies of the Lord? Not really.

Sarna's take isn't an argument against the idea that the story was written by a man. By my lights, he manages to defeat the notion that Moshe's story is a straight retelling of Sargon's, but this isn't a proof that of Torah mi Sinai (alas, nothing can *prove* that) It simply leaves open the possibility that the Moshe really was left at the river-side.

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