Jack Kilmon jkilmon at
Fri Sep 1 17:31:19 EDT 2000

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bill Ross" <wross at>
To: "Biblical Hebrew" <b-hebrew at>
Sent: Friday, September 01, 2000 12:53 PM
Subject: RE: Israel

> <Jack>
> >The first time "Israel" appears in the epigraphy is on the Merneptah
> dating to 12th century BCE.  It doesn't appear again until the 7th or 8th
> century BCE but it refers to an incident that dates historically or
> mythologically to
> the bronze age.  It is probably safe to assumr that the name "Israel" on
> Merneptah stele does not refer to a country or defined nation but to a
> people who "persevere" for their deity in spite of the hardships of a
> nomadic existence.
> <Bill>
> What is the accepted dating of the book of Genesis?

There is no accepted dating for the composition of Genesis since the book
is composed of various source elements, some pre- and some post-exilic.
Some make a strong case for its final form during the time of, and with
probable editing by, Jeremiah in the 6th century BCE.  The earliest real,
"hold in your hand" inscription of a *possible* pentateuch verse is the
Kettef Hinnom Silver Amulet with the priestly blessing found in Numbers
6:24-26. My own view is a composition around the 8th century BCE.

That means I fall in between the "sacred traditionalists" who credit Moses
as the author and the "minimalists" who assign the composition of the
Tanakh to the Hellenistic period.


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