[b-hebrew] Tithing and Wellhausen: Part II of II

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Fri Dec 28 12:44:55 EST 2007


Stoney Breyer:
 
[Part II of II]
 
4.  You wrote:  “By the way, where do you get five generations in succession? 
I see only four: Ishmael(dubious), Esau, Reuben/Levi/Simeon, Manasseh.”
 
(1) Haran, who does not even survive his own father.  (2) Ishmael.  (3) Esau. 
 (4) Reuben.  (5) Zerah, who is the oldest son, but who does not even get the 
honor of coming out of the womb before his “younger” twin brother Perez.  
That’s 5 out of 5 firstborn sons who get the shaft, and properly so, in the 
Patriarchal narratives.  That strange theme is not reprised elsewhere in the 
Bible.  That’s because much of the rest of the Bible was composed by JEPD or some 
people like JEPD, whereas the Patriarchal narratives were not.  [Akhenaten was 
not a firstborn son.]
 
5.  You wrote (first quoting me):  “[I had written] Where in the text does 
"the author of the Abraham narrative .crow.about the badger game his hero pulls 
on Pharaoh"?  That's not in the text, as far as I can see.’  [To which you now 
respond:]  And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he 
had,
 and Lot with him, into the south. And Abram was very rich in cattle, in
 silver, and in gold.”
 
Note that the passage you quote says nothing whatsoever about Abraham “
crow[ing] about the badger game his hero pulls on Pharaoh”, as you allege.
 
You see, you are making the same mistake as the authors of the King David 
saga.  The author of the Patriarchal narratives did not have a negative view of 
the Pharaoh in chapter 12 of Genesis.  You are entitled to dislike Egypt on 
your own time, but that is not the view of the author of the Patriarchal 
narratives.  My discussion in item #3 above is very relevant to this very issue.
 
The Book of Exodus does not like Egypt.  I know that.  But that’s not the 
viewpoint of the Patriarchal narratives.  You see, the Patriarchal narratives are 
centuries older than the rest of the Bible.  That’s precisely the point I am 
making.
 
6.  You wrote:  “Me, I don't like Joseph;  Joseph's brothers don't like 
Joseph; and I don't believe the author of the narrative likes Joseph.”
 
You’re at least partly right there.  Joseph, you see, is the half-brother.  
Judah, the blood son of Jacob’s main wife #1, becomes the leader of the next 
generation of the new monotheists, whereas Joseph is passed over in that regard. 
 The author of the Patriarchal narratives does not like half-brothers, though 
he recognizes that half-brothers may have loads of individual talent (like 
Joseph).  [You see, Akhenaten was terribly afraid that his father would pick one 
of Akhenaten’s manly half-brothers, not unlovable, strange Akhenaten, to be 
the next pharaoh.  So there’s no way that half-brothers are going to turn out 
well in the Patriarchal narratives.]  Half-brother Joseph gets passed over for 
the leadership position, despite Joseph’s tremendous individual merit.  
Half-brother Benjamin is given a terrible final curse.  And half-brother Ishmael is 
exiled by his own father with only bread and water.  The lot of a half-brother 
is not a happy one in the Patriarchal narratives.
 
As I was saying, the Patriarchal narratives come straight out of the 
well-documented secular history of the mid-14th century BCE.  Thank you for helping me 
make this essential point about the sad fate of half-brothers in the text.
 
7.  You wrote:  “You see your Patriarchal narratives as ending with Gen50, 
with Exodus from a later hand; I see Genesis-Exodus as continuous”.
 
Yes, that is a critical point of disagreement.  Yitzhak Sapir, you, and 
modern scholars refuse to look at the Patriarchal narratives on their own terms.  
To me, that is an implicit admission that the Patriarchal narratives, viewed on 
their own terms, cannot be categorized as mid-1st millennium BCE fiction.  
All you guys have got to get the Book of Exodus in there all the time.
 
But if anyone out there is brave enough to look at the Patriarchal narratives 
on their own terms, instead of through the lens of the centuries-later Book 
of Exodus, then one will see that the Patriarchal narratives, so unlike the 
Book of Exodus, are coming straight out of the well-documented secular history of 
the mid-14th century BCE.
 
8.  You wrote:  “Or do you mean "no ... scholar has published anything 
supporting a C14 BCE origin of the Patriarchal narratives?" - may very well be true,
 possibly because no ... scholar believes it.”
 
Yes, that’s what I mean.  And Yes, no scholar supports my controversial 
theory of the case.  To date, no scholar has been brave enough to look at the 
Patriarchal narratives on their own terms.  All scholars, whether religious or 
atheist or agnostic, insist rather on interpreting the Patriarchal narratives 
through the prism of the Book of Exodus.  If the Documentary Hypothesis were 
valid, wouldn’t scholars be able to show the mid-1st millennium BCE origin of the 
Patriarchal narratives without resort to the Book of Exodus?  They can’t, you 
see.  If they could, they would, but they can’t.
 
Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois




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