[b-hebrew] $XR = black?

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Wed Apr 1 15:59:25 EDT 2009


Karl: 
 
You wrote:  “[T]he context of the invasion following the Exodus was that God 
would
 drive out the previous peoples little by little, over several generations, 
not all at once (c.f. Exodus 23:30, Deuteronomy 7:22).  Therefore the 
suggestion that Joshua would lead the fight to finish the occupation is nonsense.”
 
The specific question at issue on this thread is how far west the border of 
the Promised Land extended.  I believe most people read the Bible as saying 
that the southwestern edge of the Promised Land was somewhere just southwest of 
Gaza, or perhaps a considerable distance south of Gaza, but not very far west 
of Gaza.  That is to say, the Promised Land does not include the Sinai.
 
In particular, in my opinion the Promised Land does  n-o-t  extend as far 
west as the northeastern edge of the Nile Delta, which is located on the 
northwest corner of the desolate Sinai.  I am arguing that $YXWR at Joshua 13: 3 is 
not referencing the northeastern edge of the Nile Delta.
 
In this connection, I got out Yigal Levin’s fine article, whose title I will 
abbreviate as “The Boundaries of the Land of Canaan”.  At p. 57, in footnote 
4, Yigal Levin addresses this very question head on:
 
“We [that is, Yigal Levin], on the other hand, would agree with N. Na’aman, “
The Shihor of Egypt and Shur that is Before Egypt”, “Tel-Aviv” 7 (1980), 99, 
that ‘in the course of time…it [‘Shihor’] developed into a more figurative 
term for ‘river’, ‘stream’ or ‘wadi’.’  While 1 Chr. 13:5 may very well 
have been influenced by Josh. 13: 3, it is also dependant on the description of 
Solomon’s dedication of the Temple in 1 Kgs. 8:65;  the term ‘Shihor of Egypt’
, when linked to ‘Lebo-hamath’, seems to be a literary substitute for ‘the 
Brook of Egypt’, which is definitely not the Nile.”
 
Thus Yigal Levin and I and a majority of scholars agree that the $YXWR at 
Joshua 13: 3 is  n-o-t  the northeastern edge of the Nile Delta, but rather is 
only a short ways southwest of Gaza.
 
On the other hand, Nadav Na’man’s fanciful claim that $XR does not mean “
Black”/Egypt, but rather “developed into a more figurative term for ‘river’, ‘
stream’ or ‘wadi’”,  makes no sense.  Please note that no scholar is ever 
willing to consider that $XR may mean “Black”/Egypt, even though $XR as a common 
word often means “black”, and everyone knows that the ancient Egyptians 
called their own country “Black”/Kemet.  But though I disagree with the 
linguistic analysis, I agree with the geographical analysis.
 
In looking at p. 59 of Yigal Levin’s article, two candidates for the Brook of 
Egypt are shown.  The one farther to the southwest of Gaza is only about 40 
miles southwest of Gaza, on the northeast corner of the Sinai, nowhere near the 
northwest corner of the Sinai.   
 
So for once I agree with a majority of scholars, as to the question of the 
western geographical border of the Promised Land.
 
The #1 problem with arguing that $XR or $XWR or $YXWR = Shihor/“pond of Horus”
/“northeast edge of the Nile Delta” is not a linguistics problem.  On the 
linguistics front, Kevin Edgecomb’s theory makes more sense than the majority 
scholarly view that $XR “developed into a more figurative term for ‘river’, ‘
stream’ or ‘wadi’”.  But the fatal flaw in Kevin Edgecomb’s analysis is the 
geographical problem.  In the Bible, $XR never references the northwest corner 
of the bleak Sinai Desert!  Rather, $XR/$XWR/$YXWR consistently references the 
Nile River and bountiful Greater Egypt as a whole, extending to the 
north-e-a-s-t  corner of the Sinai, not the north-w-e-s-t  corner of the Sinai. 
 
I certainly do not agree with Yigal Levin that the Patriarchal narratives 
nonsensically portray Abraham as going to a “Persian Period fortress” (QD$) at 
Genesis 20: 1.  No way!  But I do agree with Yigal Levin that the western 
border of the Promised Land was no farther west than 40 miles southwest of Gaza, 
and never extended anywhere near the northeast edge of the Nile Delta.
 
Kevin Edgecomb’s view directly contradicts the published view of Yigal Levin 
as to the western border of the Promised Land.  Both men know a lot, but both 
cannot be right on this issue.  On this one issue, I’m with Yigal Levin.  The 
western border of the Promised Land was no farther than 40 miles southwest of 
Gaza, nowhere near the Nile River.
 
Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois

**************Feeling the pinch at the grocery store?  Make dinner for $10 or 
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