[b-hebrew] Was Abraham Born in Mesopotamia?

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Tue Nov 6 10:58:07 EST 2007


 
Uzi: 
You  wrote:  “the semi mythical nature  [of the Patriarchal narratives] would 
explain…the rounded numbers (in babylonian  style) of 180, 120, 40." 
The number 120  as such never overtly appears in the Patriarchal narratives.  
The number 180 appears only once, as  Isaac's age in "years" at his death.  
The number 40 is the stated age in "years" of Isaac and Esau at their  
marriages.  Those stated "years" are  6-month "years".  Isaac dies at age  90 in 
regular, 12-month years.  Each  of Isaac and Esau, and very probably Abraham by 
analogy, marries at age 20 in  regular, 12-month years. 
But enough of  such "rounded" numbers. 
1.  Jacob is stated to die at age 147  "years".  Genesis 47: 28  Is that a 
"rounded number (in Babylonian  style)"?  No, it’s a play on the  number 17.  7 
+ 7 + 3 = 17.  7 x 7 x 3 =  147. 
2.  In the very same sentence (Genesis 47:  28), Jacob is stated to live in 
Egypt for 17 "years".  Is that a "rounded number (in Babylonian  style)"?  No, 
it emphasizes the  number 17.  The pharaoh at that time  in the mid-14th 
century BCE died in his 17th regnal  year. 
3.  Abraham is stated to die at age 175  "years".  Genesis 25: 7  Is that a 
"rounded number (in Babylonian  style)"?  No, 175 is a play on 17½,  being 17½, 
tenfold.  A famous  pharaoh in the mid-14th century BCE died more than ½-way 
through his  17th regnal year, thus suggesting the number  17½. 
4.  Genesis 14: 14 refers to three hundred  eighteen (318) good men being 
mustered from southeastern Canaan for the good  cause of the first historical 
monotheist.  Is that a "rounded number (in Babylonian style)"?  No, that's the 
same number in footnote  18 of Wm. Moran's edition of Amarna Letter EA 287, 
which refers to, get  this: 
three hundred  eighteen (318) good men being mustered from southeastern 
Canaan for the good  cause of the first historical monotheist. 
Should I go  on?  (I'm just getting warmed  up.)  Every single number in the  
received text of the Patriarchal narratives is redolent of the 
well-documented  secular history of the mid-14th century BCE, which in my  controversial 
view is the time period of the historical Patriarchal Age.  There's nothing 
Babylonian or  Mesopotamian or exilic or post-exilic about the Patriarchal 
narratives.  Rather, every single story, and every  single number, relates to the 
secular history of the mid-14th century  BCE, which was the historical Patriarchal 
Age of the first  Hebrews. 
Semi-mythical  material does not feature the numbers 147 and 17 and 175 and 
318.  No  way.  Those particular numbers, and the entirety of the Patriarchal  
narratives for that matter, are vintage mid-14th century BCE all the way,  in 
every way. 
Jim  Stinehart 
Evanston,  Illinois



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