[b-hebrew] Was Abraham Born in Mesopotamia?
JimStinehart at aol.com
JimStinehart at aol.com
Tue Nov 6 10:58:07 EST 2007
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
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