Question Concerning Inspiration

Banyai Michael banyai at
Fri Dec 1 04:13:36 EST 2000

Dear Ian Hutchesson:

> This is not correct. I'm identifying the fact that the names are Israelite
> names as indicated by the YW theophoric, that the artwork is Phoenician
> influenced as one expects from Israelite artwork and done not only on the
> pythoi but on the door lintels etc. Then the ceramics are northern or from
> Jerusalem in origin. Do you agree with all the substantive information in
> this paragraph? If not, what don't you agree with?

As I you can see, I have no problem with this. But since the YW cult in
wasn´t reserved to the Jahweh of Samaria but also to that of Teman, we
expect at least a part of the YW theophoric names to be those of Temanite
individuals as well. There is no way to make a distinction.

> The word governor was in quotes. The word used was sar, which is used as
> prince or governor, but it obviously has a slightly wider usage than I could
> convey, hence the quotes.

Exactly. It could denote also the head of the merchants in the
caravanserai. What
I beleave we in fact have in Kuntillet.

> If you assume Judean controlled territory. Jerusalem controlled might be
> more likely.

May it be called as you wish. 
I don´t still see the grounds why you thought the biblical tradition to be
seriously challenged by Kuntillet. The caravanserai is as outside the 
Judahite/Jerusalemite territory as it could be. The southern border of 
Juda/Jerusalem (snip) is the river of Musri, that is the Besor, by
Kuntillet is far south of this natural border.

> And how does one get to Kuntillat Ajrud without travelling south, through
> what you want to call Judean controlled territory?

I alluded to this already. Kuntillet is in a line between the port of
Raphia and
Elat. An intermediary station for caravans bringing the merchandise to and
the Red sea and the Mediteranean. Simple isn´t it? The Israelite got a
to make the trade, as soon as Elat was in Arab hands. Kuntillet wasn´t
but was abandonned as soon as Elat got again in Judahite/Jerusalemite
hands, and
the trade flow to Elat had again to pass Judahite/Jerusalemite territory.

> You assume Eilat was Judean. You simply cannot. You assume that Kuntillat
> Ajrud was once in the hands of a hypothetical Judah of the era. You simply
> cannot do that. 

I never assumed that. Exactly the opposite. But I assume that Elat was 
occasionally Judahite, occasionally Egyptian and occasionally Arab. Since
we are
quite informed about the main scope of the Elat trade, that is Ofir gold,
I may
remind you the Ofir gold ostraca from Juda (7-th or 8-th century BC?).
We know that the Egyptians before Hatschepsut never themselves traded with
but with the help of the Byblite merchants, whom they offered their
protection by
the transit of the Negev. See for this an Egyptian inscription of the
11-th Dyn.
, the statement of an Egyptian official who fared 11 times to Byblos and
By the time of Hatschepsut have the Egyptians lost controll of the access
Elat, and were in clinch with the fenkhu (statement of Thuthmosis III) so
tryed to do it alone departing from Egypt. 
Similarly did according to the Bible the later Israelites with the help of

> You are making far too many assumptions. The archaeology of
> the site -- as I said -- points not to Jerusalem but to Israel. There is
> nothing to make one think that Jerusalem ever had any control over the
> place.

I didn´t even dream about such a possibillity.

> >Historical sources speak of a political influence of the Arabian king over
> >the region.
> Which historical sources for the period?

The Assarhadon expedition to Egypt, 671-669, bypassing Juda by Jordan he
than direction to Raphia by the Brook of Egypt (were there is no water!)
and so
on. He made this with the accord of the Arab kings. The biblical sources
state that this geopolitical situation should be extrapolated to earlier

> So you are admitting that one cannot show anything for this Teman idea.

Nothing but that there is a missing actor on the scene in Kuntillet. the
giving the trade concession. Since this one can not have been the king of
whose territory Kuntillet is avoiding he may have been but X. 
Make a better proposition for this Mr. X. The israelites from Kuntillet
come there from a position of power, to resist there without contact to
motherland, against the locals, who surely wanted their part in the trade.
didn´t make fortifications. Don´t speak about having been built to be able
resist local attacks. It has to conform the contemporary standards to may
speak of defenses.

> The question is of course was it so foreign? The particular place was
> controlled by them. To have such an outpost of civilisation there means that
> they had some control that far.

Oh, Jan. Don´t fool yourself with such arguments. (Please don´t take
offense with last sentence). You can not conclude from the absence of
defensive architecture on an israelite control of the Negev. This is too
far fetched. Control means massive military presence, in first line so far
off the mainland. You don´t have it. Point.

You have than no Israelite control but only a caravan concession. It
remains the question of how should this challenge our image of the
biblical world. I have no idea.

Best regards,

Bányai Michael

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list