[b-hebrew] Re: Job & Sumer

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Thu Jun 10 22:49:42 EDT 2004

Dear David K.,

      In support of Dave Washburn's possibility thinking, some ancient 
orderings of the biblical books put Job right after the Pentateuch, 
and this may be due to the thought that Job lived in the patriarchal 
times. A popular conservative dating for Abraham puts his birth in 
2166 B.C. By that scheme, if Job had been contemporary with Abraham, 
then his story could have been written prior to 1700 B.C. I've 
recently been reading about the canon, and the fact came up that the 
ancient rabbinic Jews had several conceptions about when Job should 
be dated, and a patriarchal date was one of them.

				Harold Holmyard

>Sure, why not?  We're dealing with what I call the accident of preservation,
>for one thing.  The LXX and DSS were done on parchment or papyrus, whereas
>the Sumerian documents were done on fired clay.  Is one likely to survive
>longer than the other?  I would hope so.  Furthermore, the DSS are not the
>oldest examples of "recorded Hebrew writing" that we have.  ISTM that the
>paragraph below has one standard for Sumerian and another for Hebrew, which
>is not a valid procedure.  We have no real idea how old the Hebrew language
>is, and were it not for the accident of preservation, we wouldn't have any
>idea that Sumerian ever existed.  Basing such crucial decisions on the whims
>of nature seems like shaky ground to me.

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