[b-hebrew] Amalekites

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Sun Aug 8 12:04:04 EDT 2004

Shalom Shoshanna,

> The Stone Chumash, page 47, does not have Amalek listed as one of the
> 70 nations descended from Noah's sons.

Don't you mean that Genesis 10 does not list Amalek as one of the 70
nations? That's true, but it does not list any of the nations who are
descended from Abraham's family. Not Edom/Esau, not Moab and Ammon, not the
Ishamael and his sons. So?

> There's a geneological chart of Abraham's family on page 7, one of
> Esau's descendents on page 197, and one of Jacob's descendents on
> page 261.
>  From the chart, Amalek was the son of Timna and Eliphaz (a concubine
> relationship), Timna was the daughter of Seir, and Eliphaz the son of
> Adah, one of Esaus' wives, and Elon.

The chart describes the relationships as they are written out in Gen. 36
(which are actually quite complex).

> Since the Torah knew in such detail, these geneological
> relationships, why would anyone not believe that the Torah was indeed
> describing facts, and not "myths"????

I've read plenty of works of fiction that were written out in great detail.
Ever read The Lord of the Rings? The fact that a book "knows" a lot of
detail is not "proof" of its historicity.

I never said, however, that Genesis was "fiction" in the modern sense, and
the word "myth", which I did use (although I did write "sort of myth") may
be unfortunate because it has negative connotations in modern English.
Remember, the Bible is neither a work of history nor one of ethnography. The
Bible is a literary work, whose purpose is to deliver the message of God, as
understood by the people who wrote it. We must be very careful not to allow
OUR modern presuppositions to stand in the way of understanding the message
that the writers intended us to understand.


> Shoshanna
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