was Michael -- deuteronomy, (very short)

Banyai Banyai at t-online.de
Tue Mar 13 04:51:58 EST 2001

Ian wrote:

> Actually the birth order is different as you should notice from that which
>  you 
> seem
> to be calling the canonical order which places all the Leah sons together,
>  and 
> which
> places Joseph and Benjamin before the concubines' sons.

As you point out, there are several slightly different schemes one could derive 
from the birth stories as a canonical order:

1. Strictly by birth - than in the case of mentioning Joseph one has to put him 
before Benjamin.

2. By their mothers - in which case again Joseph has again to be put before 

3. The situation is open when one wants to adress the Joseph clans individualy: 
that is Ephraim and Manasseh, but this is not our soup. 
Too much insistence on 3-rd example can occur only in the intention to obscure 
the discussion.

The Deut. 33 coresponds to the cases 1 or 2 (there is no individual adress to 
Ephraim or Manasseh) and thus we have to absolutely expect Joseph before Benjamin 
and not otherwise. The only exception from this order is Deut. 33. and needs 
therefore an explanation. An originar lack of Benjamin (as of southern Dan and 
SIMEON - this is my stress and please don´t jump the subject) correspond to the 
geopolitical isolation of Judah in the same text. It is therefore highly 
reasonable. You are remaining at the word level in your analysis and neglect any 

For your relief I am quoting a german standard Bible translation (unbiased by 
mine or yours preconceptions):

Täglich wacht über ihn der Höchste, und zwischen seinen Schultern wohne er. Deut. 
33,12 (GOD? Benjamin?) Of course God IS dwelling in Benjamin (Jerusalem), so we 
not do need any magic to come to this interpretation. But if previously there was 
no adress to Benjamin, than we have a wordly translation: und in Schechem wohne 
er. Indeed this is a documented situation. 

... führe ihn heim zu seinem Volk, mit eigenen Händen kämpfe er dafür. Deut 33,7

und ein König erstand in Jeschurun, als sich die Häupter des Volkes 
versammelten.... Deut 33,5

...denn wo der Anteil des Anführers war (Moses grave in GAD), da versammelten 
sich die Häupter des Volkes Deut. 33,21 Add this to the precedent to derive the 
place of the crowning.

Dan ist ein junger Löwe der aus dem Baschan hervorspringt... Deut 33,22

You are selfcontradicting as always Ian, if you posit the southern Dan to be a 
result of the Sea-Peoples invasion. On your own time-scale you would have this 
text (Deut 33) much later as this (imaginary) Sea-People invasion, so you should 
expect a reference to the southern Dan on your schem too unaware of this 
Sea-peoples interpolation. Or do you suppose, the text is earlier than Ramses 
III? Welcome in the club.

BTW you can not make out of the northern Dan a result of same "invasion" too: it 
is mentioned in the Mari archives a coté de Hazor. One argument more for the high 
dating of the Exodus. 
Same makes true for Lus in the country of the Hettites (that is 
Luhuzati - Lawazantia) called by the earlier name of Beth-El called in the Karum 
Same makes true with the presence of the Kaftorites on the Levante coast (both 
archaeologically palpable but also in "Ipuwer" as well as in the Mari documents 
present in the Levante - see Malamat). 

All this speaks for a very high date, like mine, for the Exodus. 

Best regards,

Bányai Michael

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