Dating the Pentateuch- Genesis and Ezra
mattfeld at mail.pjsnet.com
Mon Mar 13 01:22:38 EST 2000
In a recent post to this list (14 Feb. 2000) Professor Jonathan D. Safren
noted that the Jewish Humanist scholar Spinoza (ca. 1670 CE) suspected that
Ezra had written the Torah:
"Spinoza's idea that Ezra wrote the Torah is still a pretty good guess (but
If Ezra wrote the "Primary History" (Genesis-2 Kings), then it is most
unlikely that he would have written the statement found in Ge. 13:7,
describing the historical situation in the days of Abraham and Lot-
"At that time the Canaanites and the Perizzites dwelt in the Land"
This statement suggests to some commentators that the narrator is explaining
to his audience a situation that currently doesn't prevail, i.e., there are
no Canaanites or Perizzites presently in the land.
That Ezra would not have written this is suggested by comments attributed to
him in Ezr.9:1-
"The people of Israel...have not separated themselves from the peoples of
the lands...from the CANAANITES, the Hittites, the PERIZZITES, the
Jebusites, the Ammonites..."
How many years must elapse after Ezra's arrival in Jerusalem (ca. 458 BCE
according to some schools of thought), such that the national conscience
would have no memory of Canaanites and Perizzites having dwelt in the land-
100 or 200 yrs perhaps for the memory banks to have become erased,
warranting such a statement as Ge. 13:7 ?
This anomaly would suggest that Ge. 13:7 is perhaps a late gloss of either
the Late Persian or perhaps even Hellenistic periods, the 4th-3rd centuries
All the best,
Walter Reinhold Warttig Mattfeld
Walldorf by Heidelberg
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