[b-hebrew] Amalekites!

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Thu Aug 12 01:06:20 EDT 2004


You assume that when Noah and his sons got off the ark, that they saw the same landscape with which they were familiar from before the Flood. But if the flood were world wide, as reported in Genesis, then what is to prevent the old world from being completely wiped out and replaced by a completely different landscape? Then, when Noah and his sons came across a river, they just named it with a name they knew from before, in the same way immigrants from England named towns and other features of America (Canada & U.S.) with English names?

Nowhere in Tanakh does it claim that the tribe of Amalek was descended from Esau. Who is to say that it was not named from a previous person with that name? Even assuming that the Bible is a true history does not assume that it is an exhaustive history, and the people of Amalek is a loose thread that comes into the story from who knows where, and were wiped out.

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Yigal Levin" <leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il>

> What bothered Chris was that Amalek is supposed to be descended from Esau,
> Abraham's grandson, and so could not have been around in Abraham's day. This
> obviously did not bother the writer or editor of Genesis (that is, whoever
> either wrote both Gen 36 and 14 or whoever put them in the same book).
> Assuming that he took himself seriously, he could not have meant that "the
> field of the Amalekites" had Amalekites living in it at the time.
> Another such anachronism is in Gen. 2:11-14, where the rivers that flowed
> from Eden went to Havilah, Kush and Ashur, all of which are descendants of
> Noah in Gen 10. Once again, even is you ascribe Gen 3 to JE and Gen 10 to P,
> someone still put them in the same book. What was HE thinking?
> Well, he was not an idiot. But he was also not a historian. What we call
> "anachronisms" did not bother him. What was more important, was that his
> readers understand his story. What he meant to say was, "the rivers flowed
> to what we now call the lands of Havilah, Kush and Ashur". AND, the kings
> defeated the inhabitants of what you, the Judahite reader, would call "the
> field of the Amalekites".
> "The field of the Amalekites" is, in itself, a place name, but one named
> after a people called "Amalek". According to Gen 36, Amalek was the son of
> Eliphaz and Timna. As I already wrote, I don't think that the author of
> Genesis necessarily understood any of these names as "real" people.
> Genealogies are a literary expression of the relationships between nations
> and tribes. Was the "tribe" of Amalek originally named after a place or a
> region. It is a theoretical possibility, but we will probably never be able
> to know for sure.
> Yigal
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