Tarshish article

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Sat Feb 24 08:47:45 EST 2001

Dear Walter,

You write:

>I have just posted an article to my website (click on the url in my
>signature, if interested) on Tarshish possibly being Joseph's Tarsus.

I read the article and thank you for the edifying information. I have had
an interest in the location of Tarshish, along with many others. There is
one place in the article that I feel you intruded a statement that seems
premature. You wrote:

"I would venture to stick out my neck here, and say that the Hebrew
"t-r-s-s," if indebted to Neo-Assyrian sources, suggest that Genesis'
Tarshish is a "marker" that Genesis is no older than the reign of
Esarhaddon, it could be later, but not older."

We do not seem to know the basis for Esarhaddon's spelling of the place.
Even if Tarsus is biblical Tarshish, it may be that the Cilician region
sounded out the name in a way that would encourage Esarhaddon in this
spelling. If so, then it could have encouraged the biblical writer to spell
the place similarly. This pronunciation could be old, allowing the biblical
writer to precede Esarhaddon by many years and still use it. On the other
hand, there is evidence for the updating of names in the Bible, as scribes
copied the materials. It is possible that such updating could have occurred

Thanks again for your scholarly efforts.

				Harold Holmyard

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