Question Concerning Inspiration (Peter)

Peter Kirk Peter_Kirk at
Sun Dec 3 11:00:38 EST 2000

-----Original Message-----
From: Ian Hutchesson [mailto:mc2499 at]
Sent: 02 December 2000 19:33
To: Biblical Hebrew
Subject: Re: Question Concerning Inspiration (Peter)

>The coastal plain would be easier for travel than the highlands of
>Judah. Who knows which would have been cheaper? And whichever way you go
>(apart from through Moab), I guess, KA is en route from Israel to Eilat.

If they go down the coast, why don't they simply tap in at Gaza?...

PK: Tap into what? Have I missed something? I thought the point I was making
was that KA was on the route to Eilat and thence to places like Ophir.
Obviously a few assumptions there. But it seems there was something the
Israelites could get at or via Eilat which they couldn't get on the
Mediterranean coast (and the Biblical text and some archaeological evidence
suggests what: gold!), otherwise why bother going so far south?

... Going down
the coastal plain is obviously not an option,...

PK: You can't make something true into something false just by saying it is
obviously false. What is your evidence that it would have been impossible
for the Israelites to travel to KA via the coastal plain?

... whereas going south from the
Shephelah is. From the Shephelah Kuntillat Ajrud makes sense.

PK: Why not from the Gaza area? Is KA so far from the route from Gaza to

>(But could KA be en route from Israelite-controlled Moab to Egypt?)

(I think Edom is in the way. But then what's the source of your
"Israelite-controlled Moab"?)

PK: My sources are the Moabite Stone or Mesha inscription, which some might
see as confirmed by the books of Kings. But I'm not so sure about the
timing. But what are your sources, for an Edom in the way (and not east of
the Arabah) and sufficiently powerful and hostile to obstruct this route?

>forget there was no Suez canal as a short cut from the coastal plain to

The trade route from Gaza to the gulf of Aqabah is assumed, Peter.

>So much for your "the only rational way for Israelites to get there
>[KA] is straight through this hypothesized Jerusalem territory".


PK: If you don't understand "So much for...", let me explain my meaning: I
have demonstrated that your statement is false, by showing that there was
another feasible and sensible route, via the coastal plain.

>As for the 6-chambered gates in the 10th century, which "indicate that they
>were built by the same realm." This looks like confirmation of the Biblical
>account, which indicates that Judah and Israel were one at this time.

Shame it's at the wrong time. (This is heightened by Finkelstein's
re-evaluation of the archaeological chronology.)

PK: What's at the wrong time? What evidence do you have for the dating of
the United Monarchy? If you have any, that is evidence for its existence! Do
you think you can accurately date the events recorded in 1 Kings from their
internal evidence alone? That seems odd, since a moment ago you wouldn't
look at the Biblical data at all. Perhaps 1 Kings contains a generally
accurate record of the events dated by Finkelstein but its internal dating
is not so accurate. Or perhaps the inaccurate one is Finkelstein. Anyway,
the Biblical text seems to place Solomon mid tenth century, and it was you
who gave the date of these gates as 10th century, so the discrepancy can't
be very great.

>continue, "In this case that realm was Israel, for we know that Megiddo and
>Hazor were Israelite." But what 10th century evidence do we have for that
>which rules out the alternative that they were under the control of Judah
>that time?

Nothing at all indicates it. You may as well propose China.

PK: I take that as a retraction of your "we know that Megiddo and Hazor were
Israelite", for we have no evidence that they weren't controlled by China,
or Judah.

>As for Jerusalem being a village, you cannot be sure of that as
>you have no answer to the hypothesis that all remains from this period
>(including perhaps similar gates) were cleared away, or buried deeply,
>during the building of the platform of Herod's temple.

Such clearings away were the prerogative of large imperial states with a lot
of resources which is not the case here. Before suggesting it for Jerusalem,
why not show another example in the area.

PK: I don't know if Herod's kingdom counts as a large imperial state, but it
is obvious to any modern visitor to Jerusalem who risks the crossfire on the
Temple Mount that he (or someone at about his time) levelled off a large
area of the city.

>By the way, what has this discussion to do with Biblical Hebrew? Not much
>you are rejecting the evidence from the BH text!

Getting the dating of the text right should help you get a better idea of
the significance of the texts. But you already know that.

PK: But you are not giving arguments for late dating, you are just assuming
it and using that assumption to batter others with.


Peter Kirk

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