Dating the Pentateuch

Walter Mattfeld mattfeld at
Wed Jun 13 00:44:01 EDT 2001

Dear b-hebrew haverim,

Knowing many have an interest in dating the Hebrew bible from past
discussions, I thought this letter, posted to another list (Ancien-L) might
be of some help to those struggling to date the scriptures.

Dear Tom,

Your last statement, "10 years of research since 1990, pfft !"  IS AN
OBSERVATION I CAN PAINFULLY RELATE TO. From 1990 to 1999 I pursued research
lines, gathering what I thought were clues to the OT's being a Hasmonean or
even Herodian creation. I eventually came to realize my error by the Summer
of 1999.

Hindsight is always 20/20 they say, and I now know what threw me off, it was
a combination of several factors. First, the fact that I am an amateur
scholar, not fully conversant in all areas of research (I simply didn't have
the breadth and depth of training to comprehend the problems arising from
reconciling the data in the OT with a Hellenistic era creation). Secondly,
the presence of Greek motifs which I had discovered in Genesis threw me off.
I was unaware that the Greeks were in contact with Judaea in the Pre-Exilic,
Exilic and Early Post-Exilic periods, so I incorrectly assumed the Greek
motifs in Genesis were Hellenistic.

A recently released book touches upon the contact between Judaea and the
Greeks from circa the 7th century BCE and onwards, Ephraim Stern,
Archaeology of the Land of the Bible. Vol. 2. The Assyrian, Babylonian and
Persian Periods (732-332 BCE). New York. Doubleday. 2001. ISBN
0-385-42450-7 hdbk pp. 665.

Stern devotes a whole chapter to the Greeks, titling it "The Greek
Penetration" (Chapter 7, pp.217-227), and notes the presence of Greek trade
pottery along the Mediterranean coast as early as the 11th century, then
penetrating Judaea, Moab and Edom in the 7th and 6th centuries BCE,
continuing in ever increasing numbers through the Persian period. One needs
to remember that with trade comes new ideas, think of the penetration of the
American (USA) culture in all lands today accompaning our trade !

Stern's final concluding paragraph :

"From this combined evidence of both written documents and archaeological
remains, it appears that, even before the arrival of the Assyrians, but
mainly during and after their period of domination, THERE WAS GREEK
PERIOD CAN IGNORE THEM, and in any case, their presence here seems to
reflect somewhat more than the results of regular trade relations alone, as
was suggested by J. Waldbaum." (p.227, Stern)

My "discovery" in 1992 that Genesis' Madai (the Medes) Japhethic descent was
preserved in the Athenian Greek Medus myth (which is no earlier than the
6th/5th century BCE) pinpoints the creation of Genesis and the Pentateuch.
My other "discovery," that Noah's blessing of Japheth making him co-ruler
with Shem (the Jews) of the coveted Promised Land, established that Cyrus
and all the kings of Persia possessed in Athenian Greek myths, a pedigree
from the Greek Titan, Iapetos. Cyrus' grandfather, according to Herodotus,
was Astagyes, the last king of Media. Genesis makes the Medes descendants of
Japheth. And Greek myths preserved by Herodotus make the Persians declare to
the Greeks on the eve on their invasion of Greece, circa 490 BCE that they
are brothers and related to each other. Medus, son of a King of Athens and
Medea of Colchis is of Japhethic descent through his royal Greek bloodline.
The Greeks believed that all Greeks were the descendants of Iapetos through
his son Prometheus.

In sum, the genealogical bloodlines preserved in Greek myths and histories
MATCH THE ASSERTIONS MADE IN GENESIS about Madai's Japhethic descent, and we
know that a descendant of Japheth did indeed rule of the Promised Land WITH
GOD'S BLESSING, for Deutero-Isaiah declares that Cyrus is God's MESSIAH, and
he, God, has given HIS Messiah RULE OVER ALL LANDS (and that includes the
Promised Land, cf. Isaiah 44:28; 45:1-6). Ergo, Genesis' blessings are for
the Persians not the Hellenistic Greeks. The Primary History (Genesis to 2
Kings) is then, in my understanding, a Persian creation of circa 538-450
BCE, its not Hellenistic Greek. If the Primary History had been written in
the Hellenistic Era, why create a blessing for the Persians who are past
history ? If the Primary History is a Hellenistic creation then one would
expect that he Greeks who rule the Promised Land in the Hellenistic Era
should be the descendants of Japheth singled out by Noah to co-rule with
Shem (the Jews), but, I point out in my article, "The Pentateuch a Second
Temple Creation (Unraveling the Japheth Mystery)," why the Greeks of the
Hellenistic (Hasmonean era) period would be a poor choice for such a
blessing (they are oppressors of the Jews from Ptolemy I's conquest of
Jerusalem ON THE SABBATH in 330 BCE, knowing the Jews would not fight on
that day,  to Antiochus IV's attempt to eradicate Judasism ca 163 BCE).

Tom, I keep a motto on my classroom wall to keep all of this in perspective,
it says in essence:

"It is quite normal to be confused and possess only partial knowledge."

Fondly,   Walter

Walter Reinhold Warttig Mattfeld
Walldorf by Heidelberg
Baden-Wurttemburg, Germany

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