The tribe of Dan
mc2499 at mclink.it
Mon Sep 16 10:44:24 EDT 2002
>We already had an argument, Ian, about the benediction of Moses, Deut.33:1-29.
I'm sorry, Michael but it's not improved the second
time round: it still has the same methodological
difficulties it had the first time. You cannot
extract history from tradition, despite the fact
that it may contain history, unless you have some
external yardstick, some way of sustaining you
substantive claims, but you've got nothing up your
sleave. You cannot assume what the general status
quo of a tradition is if you cannot date it, so
talking about Benjamin's "canonical" position in
the twelve can only reflect that undated period in
which the twelve tradition has currency.
Then one has to ask, expecting some evidence to back
the answers up:
1) What amphictiony? (You can't assume it.)
2) What is the period of Gideon? (And how do you know?)
3) What connection is there between the word play on
shoulder [$km] in Gen 48:22 and the mention of
shoulder [ktp] in Deut 33:12? (Perhaps the similarity
between $km and $kn ["dwell"] in Deut? Surely not
Here's an interesting piece of logic:
>The place Benjamin occurs in Deut. 33 is not its canonical one, prevailing
>in cases where there is no other reason, geographic or else to override it.
>We may conclude that Benjamin is a later pious insertion as the sanctuary
>moved to Jerusalem.
If it were a pious insertion, then you'd expect that the
"canonical" position was well known and Benjamin could
have been placed in the correct position, but, as it
wasn't, the contrary is suggested, ie this is a direct
negation of your claim in this matter.
There are many other problems that come to mind from
these thoughts of yours, but I usually find going into
them merely leads to more.
The Philistine problem is an essential one. Despite the
fact that the sea peoples had such an enormous impact
on Southern Levant, their having taken complete control
of the coasts and destroyed all the major cities,
including those under the aegis of Egypt, and having
spread a new material culture throughout the lowlands,
the Hebrew literature is blithely unaware of this big
entry on the scene. It is also unaware that Egypt had
held sway in the land for centuries before that time,
so I think it's reasonable to presume that the Hebrew
cultural self-awareness was not in operation until
after the Philistines had settled into their
traditional territories and evolved the five major
centres. If this is correct, it puts the bulk of the
creation of Hebrew traditions sufficiently after
1140 BCE -- perhaps all.
However, the Philistine problem is more profound: the
tribes of Zebulun and Asher are related to sea peoples
in the Onomasticon of Amenemope. Garbini in a book on
the Philistines has related Issachar to the Tjekker,
showing that in Indo-European languages there is an
alternation between t and s, eg glott- and gloss-. And
I can add that the sea peoples had infiltrated the
Jezreel Valley leaving a cemetery at Beth-Shean, so
the proposition is reasonable. With Dan there could be
four of the twelve tribes which were in fact sea
peoples. This also would make the twelve tribes post-
date the Philistine arrival.
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