[b-hebrew] 1446 BCE Exodus ? Apiru/Habiru = Hebrew ?

Walter R. Mattfeld mattfeld12 at charter.net
Sat Jul 24 05:34:08 EDT 2004

Jonathan D. Safren wrote :

"I haven't been following this thread very closely, so I would like to ask
the following points have been discussed or elucidated:
1) Habiru would be 'ober in Hebrew because of the Canaanite shift, and not
2) Moreover, 'ibri in the earlier books of the Tanakh (Exodus, 1 Sam.) does
not appear to be an ethnic term but a socio-economic class. It's only in
Deut. 15 and Jonah where 'ibri appears to be an ethnic designation."

Dear Jonathan,

There exists an extensive literature arguing as to whether the 'Apiru/Habiru
are the Ibri (Hebrews) of Scripture. Some say yes, some say no. I am sure
that if you go to www.google.com and key in Habiru/Hebrew you will get a
sampling of arguments pro and con.

For the sake of argument Jonathan, lets take your above observation about
the Canaanite shift and say that the 'Apiru/Habiru cannot be the Ibri

The question still remains, the Bible suggests that Shechem since 1406 BCE
has been in Israelite hands under Joshua and his successors, the Judges. How
does one "account" for the _disharmony_ of the political situation in the
Tell el-Amarna letters concerning Shechem vis-a-vis the Bible ?  If Hebrews
during the days of the Judges are in control of Shechem, ca. 1406-1050 BCE,
who is Labayu, an _Egyptian-appointed mayor_ of Shechem, and accused
'Apiru/Habiru, writing in Akkadian (Babylonian) cuneiform, betraying a
"Canaanite dialect" and NOT a "Hebrew dialect" ? Again I ask, where are "the
Hebrews" (Ibri) of Shechem under the Judges, ca. 1406-1050 BCE ?

Regards, Walter
Walter Reinhold Warttig Mattfeld y de la Torre, M.A. Ed.
mattfeld12 at charter.net

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