[b-hebrew] Year 13 Hebrew Grammar
Yigal.Levin at biu.ac.il
Tue Aug 23 06:00:57 EDT 2011
Just to humor you, Jim, could you please explain why the word MQWM means "major city-state"? That Shechem was a major city-state throughout most of the Bronze Age we know, but where else in the Bible does the word MQWM refer to a place's size or status?
From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of jimstinehart at aol.com
Sent: Tuesday, August 23, 2011 4:15 AM
To: George.Athas at moore.edu.au; b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Year 13 Hebrew Grammar
The only place in the entire Hebrew Bible where one sees the precise phrase MQWM [city name], with no letter in front of MQWM and nothing after MQWM except the city name, is Genesis 12: 6. Why is that? What does MQWM $KM actually mean, and why is no other place ever referred to in that precise way?
If the second half of Genesis 14: 4 means what it says and says what it means, then the question answers itself. On that view, Genesis 12: 6 relates to Year 12. If the hieratic docket number on Amarna Letter EA 254 is “Year 12” [which is one of two competing scholarly views as to that docket number], then in Year 12 the o-n-l-y major city-state in all of Canaan was, for an extremely short period of time, Shechem. (It seemed on the verge of dominating most of Canaan south of the Jezreel Valley.) In the historical context of Year 12, MQWM $KM means “the major city-state of Shechem”. [And Yes, on that view of EA 254 the ruler of Shechem in Year 12 was indeed a “Canaanite”, just as Genesis 12: 6 accurately asserts, even though at that time few cities in Canaan had Canaanite rulers.] The p-i-n-p-o-i-n-t historical accuracy of the Patriarchal narratives is absolutely stunning, if we know what precise time period is being referenced.
If the second half of Genesis 14: 4 means what it says and says what it means, then many otherwise inexplicable aspects of the Biblical text become self-explanatory. That’s why the Hebrew grammar of the second half of Genesis 14: 4 is so very important.
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