[b-hebrew] Benjamin

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Mon Jun 26 22:19:17 EDT 2006


Yigal:

Not anyone (last paragraph below) but there are 
some who so do.

I was in a debate with someone online a couple 
of years ago, who made the claim that he had 
proof that the Bible was self-contradictory, 
because there was a report of Abraham visiting 
a place with a certain name, and he had done so 
before someone else was born who had the same 
name as the place where Abraham visited. He 
refused to admit to the possibility that there may 
have been at least two people with the same name 
with the place named after the first individual. But 
as my memory is fading of the incident, I don't 
remember the name in Tanakh that was mentioned 
(I think it was Midion), nor the name of the person 
I debated. For me, the impression I got from the 
discussion was that the person I debated thought 
that there was only one person with that name, 
therefore that Abraham visited a site with the same 
name that a later individual carried was evidence 
that the Biblical message was garbled.

I have run into similar situations elsewhere.

Similarly, there was a tribe and country in what is now 
southern Turkey that had the name of Dan, not to be 
confused with the Israelite tribe of Dan, and the Mari 
Benjaminites are a different people than Israelite 
Benjaminites. The names were reused. Maybe often.

A similar argument is found that because a location 
had a name mentioned in Genesis, therefore there was 
a town there. Abraham visited Beersheba, there is no 
archeological evidence that there was a town there in 
Abraham's time, therefore Genesis report is garbled 
(despite Genesis' report that indicated that there was 
only a well and pastureland at Beersheba in Abraham's 
time, no town until later).

Karl W. Randolph.

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Yigal Levin" <leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il>
> 
> Karl,
> 
> If by "the claim you mentioned in the paragraph at the bottom of this note"
> you mean "the insistance of some scholars that anything in the ANE must be
> somehow related to the Bible, and that the "Patriarchal traditions" in the
> Bible MUST reflect a "pre-Israelite" reality", than I agree, this claim is
> also absurd.
> 
> Where I don't think that I agree with you is when your state that "they
> assume that any name that is also reported in Tanakh therefore refers to a
> Biblical individual is a de facto denial that names may have been reused by
> ancient, Semitic peoples".
> 
> Do you mean that anyone who thinks that "Abraham" was a real person
> automatically denies that there may have been other, unrelated, people who
> were also named "Abraham"? Why?
> 
> Yigal Levin

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