LEARNING TO CURSE FROM MOSES

GRANT
Graeco-Roman Antiquity & the New Testament

There are things you can tell about an entire ocean even if you have only one cup of water from it.  Naturally a scientist would like to have as many cups and as broad a sampling as possible, but even a single cup is of some help.  The same is true when investigating the world of the New Testament.  You can learn something even from one ancient document, though the explorer of the ancient world would like to have as many documents as possible. 
I hope once a week to present a small sample of information that mirrors some aspect of the ancient world surrounding nascent Christianity.
LEARNING TO CURSE FROM MOSES
Sometimes ancient documents contain curses against one’s enemies.  In one such pagan inscription the author of the inscription calls down a curse upon an enemy using the language of Moses.  Much like the magical Greek papyri that employ Mosaic materials in its magic and exorcisms, this Greek inscription relies upon a direct curse from Moses for its own wording.  It reads in part, “May God strike this one with difficulty and fever and cold and irritation and blight . . . ,” wording that is identical to the wording of the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures (LXX) in Deuteronomy 28:22, 28.  
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