[b-hebrew] Israel's "Aramaic" Origins

Jonathan D. Safren yonsaf at beitberl.ac.il
Sat Jul 19 12:56:02 EDT 2003

Regarding Israel's origins, one has to take into account the complex and
diverse origins of what later (how much later is a matter of controversy,
some claiming Israel was a historical construct) became Israel. In addition
to Deut. 26:5, one must also consider such verses as Ezek. 16:3:"and say:
Thus said the Lord God to Jerusalem: By origin and birth you are from the
land of the Canaanites-your father was an Amorite and your mother a
Hittite." - to which one can adduce as support, inter alia, Jud. 1:27-36.
Here there is support for N. Gottwald's thesis expressed in _The Twelve
Tribes of Yahweh_.

But then there is also Ex. 12:38: "Moreover, a mixed multitude went up with
them,,,", indicating the variegated ethnic origin even of those Israelites
covered by the Exodus tradition.

Perhaps we'll never know for sure the true origins of the Israelites, but
claiming that the Israelites originated only from such and such a place, or
in such and such a way, has, IMHO, no justification.


Jonathan D. Safren, Editor
Mo'ed - Annual for Jewish Studies
Center for Jewish Culture
Beit Berl College
Beit Berl Post Office
44905 Israel
Tel. 972-9-7476396
e-mail: moed at beitberl.ac.il
Tel. 972-9-7476396

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