[b-hebrew] Job: Who Influenced Whom?

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Fri Jun 11 14:56:11 EDT 2004

Dear David K.,

>1) Job is said to own 3,000 camels.  It is 
>pretty well established that camels were not 
>domesticated too much before 1,000 BC.  Job is 
>also presented as being a sedentary individual, 
>not a migratory shepherd as would be more 
>appropriate to a Israelite of the patriarchal 

HH: This idea about the absence of camel use 
before about 1,000 B.C. has been proven wrong for 
a long time. Here is the International Standard 
Bible Encyclopedia, under "Camel":

It is no longer necessary to regard the mention 
of camels in the patriarchal narratives as 
anachronisms, since there is ample archeological 
evidence for the domestication of the camel 
before the time of the patriarchs. Camel bones 
from the pre-Sargonid era (ca. 2400 B.C.) were 
excavated at Mari by Parrot, while similar 
remains at least a millennium older have been 
recovered from sites on the island of Bahrein. 
Camel bones dating back to the 3rd millennium 
B.C. have also been recovered from India and 
southeastern Persia, while a relief from Byblos 
in Phoenicia, dated in the 18th cent. B.C. 
depicts a camel in a kneeling position. Cylinder 
seals from northern Mesopotamia dating from the 
Middle Bronze Age show riders seated upon camels, 
indicating that the camel was by then a 
well-attested feature of Near Eastern domestic 

>2) Job-like poems were an entire genre in Sumer 
>and Babylon.  One of the earlier ones (Ludlul 
>Bêl Nimeqi) was written around 1700 BC.  Now 
>according to traditional chronologies, this is 
>the period of Egyptian captivity for the 
>Israelites.  Now how could the Sumerians be 
>copying Israelite poetry when they were enslaved 
>in Goshen and Pi-Ramesses.

HH: Why do they have to be copying it? The two works can be independent.

					Harold Holmyard

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