was Michael -- Re: deuteronomy, (try to be short)

Banyai Banyai at t-online.de
Tue Mar 13 03:45:05 EST 2001

Dear Ian, you wrote:

> You may explain away one of the dissident orders to your canonical list
>  theory, but
> it might be better that you first *establish* a date for it before attempting
>  to
> apply it. I don't think you can, and therefore it's pretty irrelevant until
>  you can
> relate a date to both texts and some evidence for your corruption hypothesis.
> So, where are we again.

What realy matters for our concern, is that Joseph and Ephriam always predate 
Benjamin. Other small incongruences may interest specifically someone who wants 
to analyse the lists in detail, not us.

Your strategy reminds me a joke about a UNO discussion between the 
representatives of the Sowjets and of the USA. On each accusation against them, 
would the Sowjets just stereotypicaly answer "but you have problems with the 
blacks". If you should have some particular interest in the rest of the lists, we 
should discuss about it. But don´t do so, as if it had any tangency to our 

> >If it should mean anything, and this is the ground why Benjamin was inserted
>  at
> >this position, than it worked later to an allusion to the temple of
>  Jerusalem,
> >where Elyon dwells in Benjamin. However there is the crux with the
>  shoulders, a
> >clear reminscency of older times, as the passus heared like: he (Elyon)
>  rests on
> >his shoulders (in Schechem).
> All you are doing is repeating your belief in your personal aberrant approach
>  to the
> text. We got that message the first time. I see no evidence whatsoever for it
>  and
> proposed a more literal alternative which makes sense of the material without
> straining it, unlike yours. You need to support your alternative view with
>  more than
> your preference.

You didn´t propose a more literal alternative, since it wholy depends on your 
identification of the acting subject. Mine is better insofar it corresponds a 
historical situation, Elyons temple was in Benjamin. It is no reference to a 
Benjaminite summer camp between Elyon shoulders.

> >Sic, I would explain it the other way round, and with far better arguments.
> >Danuna (Denyen) comes from Dan, and if you follow the Danaos story as told by
> >Diodorus Siculus (this guy had also to polemise against those who told this
>  story
> >in conection with Danaos, he sought he should replace the name by Dyonisos),
>  than
> >you would hear that Danaos (Dyonisos) after leaving Egypt settled first in
>  the
> >teritorry of Cilicia called by us Danuna.
> When was Diodorus writing?!

It doesn´t matter. This is aquote from a preserved poem by the Frygian Thymoites 
one generation before Homer, that is about 730 BC. The poem was preserved in an 
archaic language, and was written in archaic characters, as Diodorus relates, and 
was object of the comentary of still earlier historians before Diodorus. This 
answers your question.

> It's a shame that this is only mythology and isn't born out in fact. Danuna
>  is found
> in the Amarna letters in a report from Tyre to the pharaoh. (I note here now
>  the
> stupifying conclusions you later mention.) I don't think working from
>  mythological
> sources is any modus operandi for historical research. Notwithstanding the
> possibility that there is some real events may be behind the myth, you have
>  no way
> of knowing which part of the myth might have history behind it, so in the end
>  the
> process is at best pleasant conjecture. (Hence, I'll omit the rest of it.)

Ian, you have no idea with what kind of modern myth you are presently juggling 
with. The invasion of the Sea Peoples is a modern invention, having lost any 
tangency with the real sources. 
First: the Philistine, the Denjen, and the Tjekker are not called Sea-Peoples in 
the Egyptian sources. Rathermore they are presnted as sedentary from the very 
first moment, and as dwelling in cities. The Tjekker appear probably in the 
Amarna correspondence in just the same geographical position we have them later. 
The identification of the whole ethnical group PH+De+Tj is possible already in 
the Beni Hassan murals, where feather crown wearing people are the asiatic 
neighbours of Egypt.
Second: we are left only with the insgnificant group of the veritable 
Sea-Peoples, which doesn´t play any role, neither demografically nor 

> I'm pretty amazed at this. I've tried to find the seeds of history in it and
>  for the
> life of me there's nothing I can identify as such. Working with texts of
>  mainly a
> "mythological", or at least historically untenable (in the case of the bib.
>  lit.),
> nature, undatable in origin, contrary to the little historical and
>  archaeological
> evidence we have, you come up with conclusions and dates (eg "1622 BC" for
>  which it
> would be nice to have some shred of historical substance) that come out of
>  the air
> (or mythology). 

This is but your stubborn opinion, excuse me Ian. But there is no reason why no 
older  ANE texts shouldn´t have survived to our hands. The old ANE literature, 
including Gilgamesh, and so on has survived till the end of antiquity, as it was 
surpressed on religious reasons. The Biblical texts, and among them there is 
realy old, have survived to us exactly because of the religious continuity. We 
would have otherwise to deal just with some Qumran or Papyri rests.

> This Danuna of yours then comes back attempting to break into Egypt along
>  with the
> Philistines, Tjekker et al. some centuries later only to be repulsed and end
>  up on
> the Palestinian shore along with the other sea peoples! With the apparently
>  total
> lack of evidence other than mythology, I think one would have a party using
>  Occam's
> razor here.

It doesn´t come back. It was always there, as well as the Danuna in Cilicia. Do 
you have any names for the population of the coastal regions, except some archaic 
names given to them almost a millenium before by the Egyptians, or some for our 
purpose meaningless city-names lists. The bigger statal formation, within Danuna 
was, was called Retenu, but which is its name during the pre-Ramses period. On 
the basis you could assume there were no Danites there even during the Assyrian 
period, since the Assyrians called this coastal province completely different. 
There is no single reference in extra-biblical sources to the southern Dan in the 
whole history between Ramses and late antiquity.

> This a plan of "reintegrating" the "righteous" refugees into Israel by a
>  "trick",
> not to break the oath, remembering sentimentally also of the fate of Lot´s
> daughters, who didn´t find a human male being to mate with.

We are juggling just with words and adjectives. It doesn´t lead anywhere. A fact 
is the perfectly identical construction of both stories, of the Benjaminites and 
of Sodom. We may look for help in the second story.

> I don't really have that much time to wade into the conjectural type style
>  that you
> have so far put on the list. Your basic premises seem to involve your ability
>  to
> extract historical data, in what appears to me to be a totally arbitrary
>  manner,
> from texts that don't claim to be historical, 

What? Do you pretend to be still serious? What are they intending to be? Car 

> I personally find it extremely hopeful to start out trusting a text to contain
> history as you consistently seem to want to do, especially when you know
>  nothing
> about the writing or history of the text until it appears in either the
>  earliest of
> the Greek traditions or, in the case of biblical lit., in the first century
>  BCE of
> the Qumran texts. Here you are claiming to be able to reclaim "history" which
> according to you happened over a thousand years earlier than the earliest
>  references
> in the literature we possess.

We have the explicite Greek pretension to be related with the Hebrews. You will 
find it quoted in Maccabees. The common departure of Greek and Hebrew fom Egypt 
in Manetho.

> I think the growth of the text of Deuteronomy is complex and I'd hazard at the
> moment to attempt to do anything other than try a relative chronological
>  approach to
> the history of that growth. How chapter 33 became the farewell speech I don't
>  know.


Best regards,

Michael Banyai

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