Bill Ross wross at
Fri Sep 1 15:52:30 EDT 2000

Bill, you're assuming that the story actually occurred,


...and that there was no people Israel prior to the story.

What do you know that I don't? Is there extensive evidence of the the

Whereas I, on the otherhand, think the name existed, and the story was
created as a post hoc etiology on the name.

Are you saying a people that would have naturally been called Iaakovim were,
without reason, called "Israelites" and then, in a pursuit of significance,
assigned a ficticious reason? Might there be any evidence to that effect?

Therefore, I don't think the story is at all relevant in the derivation of
the name.

This is the oldest, most reliable documentation of the naming, attested to
by the current nation and land of Israel and thousands of years of embracing
an otherwise illogical name, yet you reject it as irrelevant because "I
don't think..."? I thought this was a specifically Biblical Hebrew list, not
a Near Eastern Studies list?

What is relevant are other tribal names from the ane. How are other peoples
named? How do they choose name for themselves, what is the linguistics
behind their names? That is the approach one should take, imo.

I appreciate the "imo" but would have preferred "imho"!  :->

Now, does anyone know of another people or tribe that has a theophoric in

Probably not any of that ane that have "perservered" to the current day,
have resurrected a dead language, have mass immigrated from wealthy nations
to live in desert communities, identify with each other under a name
(Israel) that is hated and persecuted from one end of the globe to
another... Therefore, I believe you err when you lump Israel in with the
nations. There is a historically observable Difference. How can we
understand the Book while rejecting the Book out of hand as irrelevant to
interpreting it and the words contained therein?

The origin of the name Israel is recorded in the very text we are studying,
and it is backed up by history. It is only irrelevant if precluded by
religious (or in this case, anti-religious) bias.

And even if Iaakov and Esau were ficticious characters (your view? certainly
not mine), surely the text would have only then been more significant in the
origin/persistence of the identification of so many, in terms of their
physical anscestry, national identification, and spiritual identification.
And of the meaning of the name.

Irrelevant?? Near Eastern Studies only to be relevant to Biblical Hebrew
study? Mesopotamian myths only?

Not nearly as miffed as I might sound... Your many learned contributions
have not been forgotten because of this singularly inappropriate remark. :->


Bill Ross

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