[b-hebrew] Year of Exodus. Can Miriam's Song offer a clue?
atdgz at hotmail.com
Mon Jan 19 12:08:35 EST 2009
According the FM Cross, the Song of the Sea appears, arguably (see his account and reasoning), to be a product of circa 13 century bce. It includes some elements that point clearly to late 1200 (existence of Philistines) yet also some pre 1200 elements (pre-monarchic chieftains in Edom & Moab etc.).
As well, elements of the 'conquest' of Canaan are included in it too...).
It antiquity and period are also indicated by the account of the drowning of the Egyptians. Rather than splitting of the sea and walking on dry land, the later lore, it is almost a ntural phenomenon in the Song of the Sea: God blows the Reed Sea waters to flood and drown the pursuing Egyptians .
All of the above said and granted, the antiquity of the text etc., indeed, the question remains how useful it is in dating exodus.
I made the humble claim that being based on an oral tradition, the roots of which can be pin-pointed to circa 1200, one may speculatively ask, why would it be composed much later (even though it could have been, of course)? If we assume that upon successful departure from Egypt the escapees felt, indeed grateful and came up with a hymn, the Song of the Sea, they must have done it upon joining the other Israelite elements and within the same generation or, one or two generations later? Some 0 to some 60 years later?
There is no proof here, just somewhat of a common-sense and/or educated guess... Educated or common-sense in the sense that the language and content may be shown to be 1200-ish coupled with the absence of reason for delayed composition... No hard evidence. Admittedly...
> Date: Sat, 17 Jan 2009 22:19:33 +0200
> From: leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
> To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Year of Exodus. Can Miriam's Song offer a clue?
> While it is true that many scholars have claimed that such poems as the Song
> of the Sea and the Sond of Deborah and others as well, are "old" or "contain
> archaic language", the is really no way to prove this. The main problem is
> that since we have no extra-biblical examples of "early Hebrew" there is
> nothing to compare them with. The similarities between Hebrew poetry and
> that of Ugarit, for instance, does not prove anything about the date of the
> Hebrew poetry. And we should always remember, that poets aften tend to use
> "achaic" language.
> In the specific case of the Song of the Sea in Ex. 15, the mention of Edom,
> Moab and Philistia, none of which, based on archaeological evidence, were
> around as nations before the very late 13th century, might indicate
> something, but who really knows for certain?
> Yigal Levin
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "G. Zack" <atdgz at hotmail.com>
> > At any rate, as it is a Biblical Hebrew Language Forum, most pertinent to
> > the forum is the text of Miriam's song, which, to my understanding, can be
> > __shown__ to be one of the oldest in the bible alongside the later dated
> > Deborah song (curiously--both are women-poets...-) and, I believe, even
> > dated.
> > I am surprised no reference was made to this point inthis forum and
> > context.
> > Can someone comment on that (which would also assist in dealing with the
> > issue of the date of Exodus...)?
> > Gad Za"k
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