Question Concerning Inspiration (Peter)

Peter Kirk Peter_Kirk at
Mon Dec 4 00:25:35 EST 2000

-----Original Message-----
From: Ian Hutchesson [mailto:mc2499 at]
Sent: 03 December 2000 21:35
To: Biblical Hebrew
Subject: Re: Question Concerning Inspiration (Peter)


>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?

PK: "Shorter and perhaps safer", and perhaps cheaper, I accept. What I was
objecting to was "only feasible".


>>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.

PK: I am rather wary of people who try to revise chronologies after your
hatchet job on Rohl.

>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

PK: There is no evidence either way, if you rule out the Biblical accounts.
Try this one in court:
Ian: "Megiddo and Hazor were Israelite in the 10th century."
Judge: "What's your evidence for that?"
Ian: "Ummm... your honour... I say so, and there's nothing to prove me


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

PK: My tentative hypothesis is that there was a significant city and
fortifications on the site of the temple mount in the 10th century, but that
no evidence remains, or is accessible, because it was all destroyed or
buried 900 years later, in Herod's time. I know I can't prove it, but you
can't disprove it, and so you can't prove your claim that Jerusalem was
insignificant at this time.

>>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?

PK: "If" - and your case is far from proved - I don't think we learn very
much. The books of Kings seem to imply Judahite control of the Shephela
during the divided monarchy period, but stories are not set there (except
perhaps for the flight of Elijah, 1 Kings 19), and so the control could have
been theoretical rather than real.

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.

PK: Well, let's discuss this issue of why and for whom the narratives of the
United Monarchy were written, and let's assume for the sake of argument that
they were written at least several centuries after the time portrayed. Note
that these narratives are intensely human stories, and the heroes are mostly
seriously flawed, not the stuff of folk tales and certainly not the stuff of
political propaganda. Why were stories like that written down? Were they an
attempt to reconstruct what actually happened? Were they deliberate fiction?
Now most, not all, peoples do have a traditional history and understanding
of their past. It is very likely that someone would have written down this
traditional history, especially at a time when the ethnic identity was under
threat. It is unlikely that someone could have written a work of fiction
which conflicted with this traditional history and have it accepted. Compare
modern film versions of stories like King Arthur and Robin Hood - they have
to fit the basic facts of the traditional history, though they fill in gaps
and bring in new slants. The Biblical author could have filled in the gaps
(including the time line) in the traditional history from his/her
imagination, and I think that scenario is much more likely than pure
fiction - though it is far from proved that anything was from the
imagination. I would suggest a minimum framework that comes from traditional
history that there was (at an uncertain date, though you have suggested an
archaeological context for this) a United Kingdom under kings reigning in
Jerusalem, traditionally called David and Solomon, which then split.


Peter Kirk

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