[b-hebrew] Tithing and the Wellhausen JEPD Theory of the Patriarchal Narratives
JimStinehart at aol.com
JimStinehart at aol.com
Fri Dec 21 14:47:42 EST 2007
You wrote: “The 'mindset of the 1st millennium BCE' covers a long time, a
territory and a lot of different people with (on the authority of the
prophets) a lot of different mindsets.”
I agree. Yet the Patriarchal narratives consistently “march to the beat of a
different drummer”, compared to anything in the 1st millennium BCE.
1. No Hebrew religious figure in the 1st millennium BCE would tell YHWH that
the Hebrews will worship YHWH only if YHWH allows the Hebrews to prosper.
Yet that is what Jacob says at Genesis 28: 20-22, in the passage that started
2. No Hebrew bearing the Levi priestly name would induce Gentiles to adopt
the sacred rite of circumcision in order to weaken them so that those Gentiles
could then be killed in a surprise attack, but that’s what Levi does in
chapter 34 of Genesis.
3. No one in the 1st millennium BCE would craft a storyline in which for
five generations, each and every firstborn son gets the shaft, and properly so.
But that’s what happens in the Patriarchal narratives. (Haran, Ishmael, Esau,
Reuben and Zerah all are firstborn sons who get the shaft, and properly so.
Zerah does not even get to come out of the womb before his “younger” twin
brother comes out.)
4. No Hebrew in the 1st millennium BCE would be expected to wax lyrical in
praise of Egypt. But the Patriarchal narratives are fanatically pro-Egypt.
5. No Hebrew in the 1st millennium BCE would posit 3 of the 4 Matriarchs as
coming from a place (on the upper Euphrates River) which, for most of the
first half of the 1st millennium BCE, was synonymous with hated Assyria, because
hated Assyria destroyed both Israel and Judah in the 1st millennium BCE. But
that’s where Rebekah, Leah and Rachel are from.
6. No one in the 1st millennium BCE remembered detailed information about
the Hurrians and Hittites in their prime, but it’s right there in the received
text of the Patriarchal narratives.
7. Shall I go on? Yitzhak Sapir can say that no one but a fundamentalist
would question the 100-year-old Wellhausen JEPD theory of the Bible, which
posits that the Patriarchal narratives are fiction created by four or more southern
Hebrews in the mid-1st millennium BCE. But will Yitzhak Sapir be able to
point to a single story in the entirety of the Patriarchal narratives that is
redolent of the 1st millennium BCE, and is not redolent of the mid-2nd millennium
My point is that the Patriarchal narratives are authentic, truly ancient
material, coming directly out of the mid-2nd millennium BCE, unvarnished,
un-edited, and incapable of being squared with the mindset of the 1st millennium BCE,
which was a quite different world.
If I’m wrong in that assertion, and the 100-year-old Wellhausen JEPD theory
of the Patriarchal narratives is right, then it should be very easy for Yitzhak
Sapir to come up with at least one story in the Patriarchal narratives that
is redolent of some particular time period in the 1,000-year time span of the
1st millennium BCE, and that does not fit the mindset of the mid-2nd millennium
BCE at all.
For if there’s not a single story like that in the entirety of the
Patriarchal narratives, then why would anyone trust the 100-year-old Wellhausen JEPD
theory of the Patriarchal narratives?
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