[b-hebrew] Amarna Abdi-Heba

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Wed Dec 26 22:01:15 EST 2007

    1.  Abraham buys Sarah’s burial plot from “the  sons of the Hittites”.  
I take  that odd phrase to mean the Hurrians.   There were never any Hittites 
in southeastern Canaan.  But the Hurrians were there.  In fact, the name “
Abdi-Heba”  references a Hurrian god.  Most of  the Hurrians north of Canaan were 
defeated by the Hittites during this time  period.  Yet the Hittites adopted  
Hurrian culture.  So in the  mid-14th century BCE (but not before then, nor 
long after then), it  would make sense for the Hurrians to be referred to by a 
Hebrew author,  somewhat disparagingly, as “the sons of the  Hittites”.
    1.  You are right that the Amarna Letters  cover an incredibly short 
period of time.  If there was an 11-year co-regency,  then in my opinion the 
Amarna Letters are largely confined to only about 4  years.
I do not see the Amarna Letters as having  much of any relevance to the 
I myself see the Amarna Letters and the  Patriarchal narratives as reflecting 
the same secular historical  background.  The bulk of the Amarna  Letters 
consist of Canaanite princelings complaining about Akhenaten’s lack of  action, 
in particular his failure to introduce more Egyptian troops into  Canaan.  
Akhenaten’s inaction  allowed Aziru, the iniquitous Amorite of Amurru/northern 
Lebanon, and Etakama,  the Hittite-controlled Hurrian leader of Qadesh, to 
operate like bandits and  despoil northern Lebanon.  And  behind them, encouraging 
such banditry temporarily, were the truly dreaded  Hittites.  In my 
controversial view  of the case, one main reason for the composition of the Patriarchal 
narratives  by the first historical Hebrew was to try to bestir Akhenaten to 
muster Egyptian  troops to prevent the Hittites from invading  Canaan. 
The last sentence of chapter 27 of Genesis  is anti-Hittite rhetoric from the 
heart, in my view, a sentiment that makes  sense coming from a Hebrew only in 
the mid-14th century BCE time  period. 
Jim  Stinehart 
Evanston,  Illinois

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