[b-hebrew] 1450 BCE Exodus ? 'Apiru = Hebrews ?

Uri Hurwitz uhurwitz at yahoo.com
Fri Jul 23 17:57:37 EDT 2004

Walter Mattfeld wrote,inter alia:

"...Under Pharaoh Akhenaten who reigned ca. 1350-1334 BCE, we are informed
that the land of Canaan is in a state of rebellion to Egyptian authority
egged-on by forces who are called 'Apiru/Habiru. Loyal Egyptian-appointed
mayors of some Canaanite settlements inform Pharaoh that the intent of the
'Apiru/Habiri to seize all the land of Canaan to the border of Egypt to make
it their own...."

Most of the Amarna correspondence is attributed to the rule of Amenhotep III, Akhenaton's father.  UH

"...If the "Apiru/Habiru residing in the Hill Country of Canaan and Shechem of
1350-1334 BCE are NOT the Hebrews in the days of the Judges, 1406-1050 BCE,
then WHERE ARE THE HEBREWS ? Why _no mention of them_ in the Tell el-Amarna
correspondence ? Are they just invisible tent-dwelling "phantoms" wandering
the hills with their tents, goats and sheep, waiting to settle down and
build their villages in Iron I ca. 1200-1000 BCE ?..."

Many scholars see no connection whatsoever between  Early Israelites and the Habiru; some do find the formers among the nomads termed Shasu in Egyptian , and Shutu in Akkadian; "Shosim" in BH may well be derived from it.

Perhaps. But I tend to support the association with the 'A/Habiru because of the linguistic assocation with (BRY in the HB, and also because the term Habiru is ill defined when it appears iun ANE documents. Clearly not all Habiru that appear all over the ANE in the 2nd millenium are early Hebrews, but perhaps many early Hebrews were described as such by their neighbors.

However when it comes to such early period in biblical history, one can describe it only tentatively in general terms, in what may be called Outline History.


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