Iron and Bronze.

Yigal Levin Yigal-Levin at utc.edu
Fri Sep 6 12:24:01 EDT 2002


At 05:51 PM 9/6/2002 +0200, Ian Hutchesson wrote:
>>So even if we accept Ian H's line of argument it tells us only that
>>Genesis was written no earlier than the 12th-13th century. This is not a
>>very strong claim, it doesn't even rule out authorship by a 13th century
>>Moses.
>
>This seems to be hard to fathom, but the HB/OT knows nothing 
>about the arrival of the Philistines in the twelfth century. 

That's not quite true. Gen. 10:14 and Deut. 2:23 both seem to recognize
that the Philistines had migrated from Kaphtor, presumably Crete or
Cypress. And Amos 9:7 says the same, in fact comparing the Philistines'
migration from Kaphtor to that of the Israelites from Egypt and of the
Arameans from Kir, wherever that is. None of this is proof of Mosaic
authorship, but it does show that the 8th-7th century Judahites had a
better sense of history than you would think.
>Had the Hebrews already been in Southern Levant at that time 
>they had to know about their arrival. The texts simply show 
>them as being there when the Israelites, as they spread into 
>the area, became aquainted with them. This means that the 
>stories of Abraham and Abimelek and Isaac and Abimelek post-
>date the arrival of the Philistines, but post-date them by 
>far, so that there is no awareness that there were no 
>Philistines at the time of attributed to Abraham or Isaac. 

I think that, at least on some level, they knew full well that the Semitic
named "Philistines" of patriarchal-period Gerar were not the same as the
later Kaphtorian Philistines of Gaza etc. I suspect that the use of the
title "Philistine" for Abimelech and friends is just another anachronism,
caused by the (later) refernce to the Ziklag area as "Philistine-Land". As
is evident from many examples, this kind of anachronism, even when
blatently obvious, did not bother the biblical authors.

>The Philistines, who were definitely from Greek or Luwian 
>background, were even placed within Ham, as though they were 
>semi-autochthonous. 

Not exactly. Read Gen. 10:14 again. They are not "descended" from Ham, but
rather "came out" from "there". This is a reflection of the Philistines'
political ties to Egypt, either in the days of Ramses III or at the time of
writing.

There is no hope of Moses having written 
>down such stories. (This is where people start running to 
>gormless manipulation of chronology with its absurd 
>conclusions.)

No argument from me there.

>
>And what is an 8th century Nubian pharaoh doing as a son of 
>Cush in a text you want Moses to have written?

If you're reffering to Nimrod, have a look at my article in the last Vetus
Testementum. My argument is that he's based on the traditions about Sargon
of Akkad with some Naram-Sin thrown in, reshaped under Sargon II of
Assyria. "Cush" here is "Kish", where Sargon became king "after the flood",
mistakenly identified with Nubia. Of course, this doesn't make the text any
earlier....


Dr. Yigal Levin
Dept. of Philosophy and Religion
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
615 McCallie Avenue
Chattanooga TN 37403-2598
U.S.A.



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