In case I didn’t know how stupid I am- just sign me up for Ancient Near East studies and Old Testament. Now I knew my knowledge was lacking in the Egyptian history department, but if I had a dollar for the number of times I have made those little paper necklaces with the hieroglyphs, I would be rich. Which is why I was excited when we started covering the Middle Kingdom and the role of Pharaoh’s and etc. But apparently my professors don’t care that I can make a real crafty cartouche. Today I only had 2 classes but they were 2 hours each with a 10 minute break in between. I really do enjoy the Ancient Near East class, but when you have a professor who worked on the Dead Sea scrolls (and has arranged for you to see them on Sunday)- he tends to cover more info than I can even comprehend.
Same with my Old Testament teacher- I have never taken more notes in my life than I did today. I even had a pounding headache after class. I guess this is just the first time that a religion teacher has stressed the geography of the scriptures this much. Which truly is great, but there is just so much information, especially when we analyze the Hebrew root of every word we discuss and go over the reasons they would have moved into certain areas based on the water flow or where the gospel needed to be preached. And without fail, every class we have something that refers to the temple mount and my professor will point out the window and say see just right of the dome there, that is where he had his altar of sacrifice… etc.
Oh some fun insights of the lesson today. We have been discussing the Apocrypha a lot. It is the “secret or hidden Bible” that the Jews use in addition to our Old Testament. When Joseph Smith asked whether it should be translated, he was told that it contained some truth and some “interpolations of men”… and said it is not needful at this time. But of course my Old Testament teacher has read it and he said it goes into great detail about Noah. He said there are traditions which could be true as likely as untrue but just for fun, I will list a few because they were new to me and it is kind of interesting to think about, even if it didn’t happen, So take this with a large grain of salt:
-Noah had 120 yrs of knowing about the flood and so he planted the trees he would use to build the ark.
-He was a farmer so he harvested his plantation for the animals.
-Noah’s wife burned it down at one point because she was mad that all her family would die in the flood.
-It started raining one week after Methuselah (a righteous man--Noah’s grandfather, son of Enoch) died.
- It didn’t just rain from the sky, geysers came from the ground with water hot enough that it burned flesh.
-It was really cold on the ark and everyone got sick.
- An elephant stepped on Noah’s leg and broke it during the flood.
Kind of random- but I don’t have much to do right now. We were supposed to go to the Western Wall, which is the most holy site in Judaism- and the Orthodox Jews go there to pray on Friday nights as the beginning of Shabaot. We were going to be in groups with 4 professors to pray there and watch the Jews,
but once again, the Israeli police are in the blimp above the city, indicating they expect violence- so we are on lock-down again today. Hopefully we will get to go next month!
My Balcony! This is me standing inside my room, which is why I left the door open a little bit, so I could prove that I was really inside and I am that close to the Old City! Yay!
Oh and in case you think I am breaking the rules... the director here said that we actually could post pictures as long as were careful and didn't do too many. This is the first I have done, even though I just heard someone in the hall say they added 29. So I am certainly ok to do 3.