Question Concerning Inspiration (Joe)

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Sun Dec 10 02:51:09 EST 2000

Joe wrote:
>Further to your response to my comparison of Moab and Judah.
>Just where do you place Mesha - 750 or 850?
>If it is 850 then what extra-Biblical evidence are you using?

As I don't know any extra-biblical information on the matter, I can't help

>While we are on the subject of the reliability of Bible for information
>about the monarchy period, let me again bring up the following argument.
>Shalmaneser 3 says that in the time of Assur-rabi (1013-972), the king of
>the land of Arumu, seized by force the city of Mutkinu on the Assyrian side
>of the bank of the Euphrates. This city was near the bend of the Euphrates
>and in the time of Shalmaneser was held by Bit-Adini. Now earlier Aramean
>raiders had shaken the empire but it had recovered. But this was a new
>threat. The Arameans now had powerful kings capable of taking fortresses
>over the next few reigns they began to take cities and set up kingdoms even
>in the upper Khabur region.

As I don't have the Shalmaneser III text I can't really draw an independent
view of the data, which is usually a necessity, so comments below could have
been more useful with that extra knowledge.

However, the period we are dealing with marked the rise of Bit-Adini. I
don't see why one cannot simply assume the more likely scenario that we are
observing the foundation of Bit-Adini with the seizure of cities in the

>Now based on biblical information it so happens that the "supposed" king
>David of Israel was ruling between 1010 and 971. This would make him a
>contemporary of Assur-rabi. Now about the middle of his reign (going by the
>information in the book of Samuel) he fought with an Aramean king named
>Hadadezer of Zobah who controlled territory from the Euphrates to Hauran.
>one occasion it is said that Hadadezer was on his way to restore his
>over the river [Euphrates].

1) Sobah was a small state in the Beka'a Valley
2) There is nothing to suggest that Mutkinu was a newly aquired gain for the
Assyrians, so it is difficult to argue for the use of "restore" above.
3) There were Aramaic states between Damascus and the Euphrates bend.
4) If you want to cite biblical references, 2 Sam 8:9 tells us of the king
of Hamath, Toi, was relieved to hear of Hadadezer's defeat, suggesting that
any notion of Hadadezer going off to "restore his control over the area"
would have meant traversing the territory of Toi.

I would not rush to make the parallel you would like to, Joe.

>Is this just a coincidence? Why would the writers of this story even know
>that the Arameans were establishing control of the Euphrates bend at this
>time. After all we know that for most of the period, down to neo-Assyrian
>times, it was the neo-Hittite states of Carchemish and Masuwari (Bit-Adini)
>who controlled this part of the Euphrates.

(Bit-Adini, with its Aramaic name, is not usually seen as a neo-Hittie
state. David Ussishkin has argued that it was an Aramaic state with a
Hittite ruling elite.)

Let us assume for a moment that one overcame all the difficulties in the
hypothesis that you put forward regarding Hadadezer and his possessions on
the Euphrates. I think the argument behind it is a red herring: that because
some of the trappings of a text are correct, the rest of the text is given
credibility. There was a Mesopotamian king called Nebuchadnezzar, he was
extremely powerful, and he did have forces in Palestine: do these facts lend
credibility to the book of Judith?


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