Dating the Pentateuch

Jonathan D. Safren yonsaf at beitberl.ac.il
Wed Jun 13 03:57:42 EDT 2001


The Table of Nations (Gen. 10) mentions Media but not Persia; Ionia but not
Doria; the Romans are not at all within the ken of its author. It mentions
the Scythians and the Mushku, known to us from 7th century BCE inscriptions.
I imagine that "fundamentalist" minimalists will claim that this is
archaizing; but I see it as clear evidence for an early date of composition.
But we've already had this argument, Walter!
Yours,
Jonathan D. Safren
Chairman
Dept. of Biblical Studies
Beit Berl College
44905 Israel


----- Original Message -----
From: "Walter Mattfeld" <mattfeld at mail.pjsnet.com>
To: "Biblical Hebrew" <b-hebrew at franklin.oit.unc.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, June 13, 2001 6:44 AM
Subject: Dating the Pentateuch


> 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
> PENETRATION INTO PALESTINE BY TRADERS AND MERCENARIES. NO DISCUSSION OF
THIS
> 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
> http://bibleorigins.homestead.com/index.html
>
>
>
>
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