[b-hebrew] Wellhausen vs. Camels
JimStinehart at aol.com
JimStinehart at aol.com
Sun Dec 30 16:00:56 EST 2007
You wrote: “Camels were not domesticated and used in caravans as in the
1. Camels Were Domesticated and Used as Beasts of Burden in the Middle
East Prior to the Patriarchal Age.
Virtually all archaeologists agree that camels had been domesticated, and
were occasionally used as beasts of burden, by the early 2nd millennium BCE,
prior to the time of the Patriarchs. The point that archaeologists make, whi
ch is valid as far as it goes (but no farther than that), is that camels were
only rarely used as domesticated beasts of burden prior to the 1st millennium
1. No Camel Caravans Are Portrayed in the Patriarchal Narratives.
It is true that caravans in the time of the Patriarchs did not use camels.
But that in fact fits the received text of the Patriarchal narratives
perfectly. The Patriarchal narratives open with Abraham on an extended caravan
trip to and from Mesopotamia with his father’s family. Note that there are no
camels on that caravan trip. The first mention of camels is in Egypt, after
Abraham has sold his valuable commercial merchandise in Egypt. To show how
wealthy Abraham had become from his caravan trip (which caravan trip had not
itself used any camels), Abraham is portrayed as purchasing several expensive
camels with the sales proceeds.
Abraham’s possession of camels would be an historical anachronism if and
only if the Hebrew author of the Patriarchal narratives in the mid-14th century
BCE had never once seen a single camel being used as a beast of burden. If
the author had seen at least one camel being used in that way once in the
mid-14th century BCE, then it would not be anachronistic to portray Abraham has
owning 10 camels. Whether the first historical Hebrew literally owned any
camels (which is highly doubtful) is not the point. The point, rather, is that
there is no historical anachronism in portraying Abraham as owning 10 camels.
1. The Patriarchal Narratives Lack Historical Anachronisms.
Except for a tiny handful of a few words and phrases that were added into
the text at a later time, there are no historical anachronisms in the
Patriarchal narratives for a mid-14th century BCE Patriarchal Age. That is to say,
not a single actual story in the received text, not one, is based on anything
that is an historical anachronism for a mid-14th century BCE Patriarchal Age.
As noted in my previous post, there is no depiction whatsoever of the
classic Philistines in the Patriarchal narratives.
As pointed out in this post, (i) archaeologists know that camels had been
domesticated prior to the mid-14th century BCE, though the use of camels was
quite rare prior to the 1st millennium BCE, and (ii) no camel caravans are
portrayed in the Patriarchal narratives. Rather, Abraham is portrayed as owning
ten super-expensive, exotic camels, in order to emphasize the tremendous
wealth that Abraham had after he sold his commercial merchandise in Egypt.
1. Archaeology Supports a Mid-14th Century BCE Patriarchal Age.
Archaeology is a great friend of a mid-14th century BCE historical
Patriarchal Age. There are essentially no historical anachronisms, and most aspects
of the text have had their existence confirmed by archaeologists for a
mid-14th century BCE time period, such as: Hittites, Hurrians, iniquitous Amorites,
Paddan-Aram, Naharim, tent-dwelling habiru/Hebrews, a strange pharaoh in
Egypt who was strangely friendly toward monotheism, the Decapitation of the
Shechem Offensive, the depiction of foreign mercenaries in Lebanon called “
Invaders”/“Philistines” (who have nothing to do whatsoever with the later classic
Philistines, in their five great cities on the southwest coast of Canaan),
and the rare presence of super-expensive camels in this time period.
Archaeology and a mid-14th century BCE historical Patriarchal Age are a
Yitzhak Sapir, my guess is that you may be honestly surprised that
archaeologists have no solid historical anachronisms whatsoever for a mid-14th century
BCE Patriarchal Age. But that is indeed the case. As to why no university
academic has proposed a mid-14th century BCE Patriarchal Age, that’s another
But people on the b-Hebrew list have the right to know that there is not a
single major archaeological historical anachronism for a mid-14th century BCE
Patriarchal Age. Not one. You see, it would have been literally impossible
for J, E, P and D in the mid-1st millennium BCE to craft a tale that has not
a single substantial historical anachronism for a mid-14th century BCE
Patriarchal Age. No human beings are that clever. That is literally impossible.
Rather, the reason why there are no archaeological historical anachronisms for
a mid-14th century BCE Patriarchal Age in the received text of the
Patriarchal narratives is because over 98% of the received text was composed in the
mid-14th century BCE, by a single author, and was never edited thereafter.
The one and only historical time period that fits the Patriarchal narratives
is the mid-14th century BCE. The more archaeological facts you mention, the
clearer this will become to everyone.
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