Question Concerning Inspiration (Peter)

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Sun Dec 3 12:35:01 EST 2000

>>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.

What's the Mediterranean end of the route? Is it not Gaza? Why wander off
into the desert, when one can whizz down the coast (being fleeced by all the
cities one passes through) and then cut inland, when it is shorter and
perhaps safer going by the Shephelah?

>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?

Trade. What archaeological evidence suggests gold?

>>... 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?

Every city one passes through one has to pay or be delayed. The normal
process is that one avoids paying where one can and has some control over
the access routes. This is what I was looking at with the archaeological
evidence for Israelite control in the Shephelah.

>... whereas going south from the
>Shephelah is. From the Shephelah Kuntillat Ajrud makes sense.
>PK: Why not from the Gaza area?

Because Gaza was not Israelite.

>Is KA so far from the route from Gaza to Eilat?

No, it's on the route. It is a waystation.

>>(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?

Mine was a geographical comment.

>>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.

You have demonstrated no such thing. You have theorized that because big
powers could romp down the coast, so could little ones. Just have a look at
the hassles an Egyptian merchant got a century before while he was going up
the coast (Journey of Wen-Amun).

>>As for the 6-chambered gates in the 10th century, which "indicate that
>>were built by the same realm." This looks like confirmation of the
>>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!

Joke, right? It seems to me that you are ready to "absentmindedly" abandon
things that you would otherwise not admit to. You, being a relatively
literal user of the OT/HB, would normally date the Davidic golden era
through internal biblical dating. But you get back on track below.

>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.

You can live with this logic. It has nothing to do with history.

>Or perhaps the inaccurate one is Finkelstein.

Yes, but you should read him before commenting.

>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.

Discrete, before Finkelstein. That's what I said.

>>continue, "In this case that realm was Israel, for we know that Megiddo
>>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
>Israelite", for we have no evidence that they weren't controlled by China,
>or Judah.

You question was: "what 10th century evidence do we have for that which
rules out the alternative that they were under the control of Judah at that

To which I answered: "Nothing at all indicates it. You may as well propose

>>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
>of resources which is not the case here. Before suggesting it for
>why not show another example in the area.
>PK: I don't know if Herod's kingdom counts as a large imperial state, but
>is obvious to any modern visitor to Jerusalem who risks the crossfire on
>Temple Mount that he (or someone at about his time) levelled off a large
>area of the city.

Times change. We are talking about 900 years later, when economic power was
much better organised.

I don't know about your analysis of the temple mount, but there has been the
suggestion that parts of the city was raized (contra Kenyon) in a period of

>>By the way, what has this discussion to do with Biblical Hebrew? ...
>Getting the dating of the text right should help you get a better idea of
>the significance of the texts...

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

You are not dealing with the main matter being talked about in this thread.
What do we learn about the biblical histories, if there was no "divided
kingdom", if Kuntillat Ajrud is a reflection of an Israelite power that had
control of the Shephelah?

I see no efforts from you to understand when, how, why, and for whom texts
were written. You assume they are basically literal efforts and that you
already know because you believe them to be correct (biblical texts not the
others). However, unless you can do a little better than what you've done so
far with your maybes and why nots, you'll never have any coherent, logical
rationale for your assumptions.


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