[b-hebrew] Was Abraham Born in Mesopotamia?

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Tue Nov 6 13:35:40 EST 2007


On 11/6/07, jason silber <uzisilber at gmail.com> wrote:
> K et al,
> baymim hahem, doesnt mean 'yesterday', or last week.  it means a very long
> time ago.  it meant that throughout early jewish history through mishniaic
> times too.
Maybe in Mishnaic times, but as I showed in my last message, not in
Biblical times where the phrase is sometimes used to refer to future
(to the writer) events.

> ok, no need to get didactic about 'bayamim hahem'.  i was referring to all
> variations on the notion of bayamim hahem that would imply that the
> recording of the event as we read it occurred a very long time after the
> events took place.  'ad hayom hazeh' is another version, as is the use of
> 'az'.
> a reminder:.
> 1) genesis 12:6 -- 'vehaknaani az baaretz' and also in 13:7...the land was
> free of canaanites and prizites  this implies that thw writer was writing
> long after canaanites were gone from the scene, which imples hundreds of
> years after the events described
Repeatedly I mention that we should not read into the text more than
what is there. Just because it is mentioned that the Canaanites and
Perizites were then in the land, does not mean that they had ceased to
be in the land at the time that the narrative was written.

> (incidentally i do note that the footprints of an old source are evidenced
> by the references to el elyon and its cohen and el shadday).

> 2) the sdom story, referring to the birth of Moav and Amon in 19: 37,38.
> 'avi moav (and) avi amon ad hayom'.  or that theses two brothers (results of
> incest) were the founding fathers of what was known in the writers day as
> the nations of amon and moav.  again,many years after the events of sdom
Even if written only a century after the event, the number of
descendants to each could have been a recognizable group, as
paralleled by Israel being a recognizable group when Jacob took his
family to Egypt while still numbered at 75 people.
> 3) 21  beer sheva was a site known by its readers (hagar was lurking in the
> desert there) but a few verses later the readers were given a history of its
> naming.
Wwweeellll ......... the literary evidence within Genesis is that the
same person wrote both narratives, there is no requirement that he not
give the later name of the place when referring to an earlier event.

> 4) the fact the abe lived in Pleshet many days, again written from a later
> perspective.
Yeah, ... but how much later? That could have been written by one of
Abe's sons and still use exactly the same wording.

> 5)  as for luz, the text says that luz was the original name of beit el
> not that it was a nickname like windy city of big apple or big easy.
That's your only argument that has legs, yet even there I can give a
more modern example: the city where I now live previously was named
Yerba Buena, then as the city grew, the newer parts of the city were
known by its present name while Yerba Buena continued as the name of
the original settlement so the city was known by both names, up to
today where the modern name has superseded the original name. So the
same way, according to Biblical chronology, Luz may have continued as
the name for the place as used by its original inhabitants while at
the same time the family that later became Israel had already started
referring to it as BT )L, already at the time of Abe's sons, soon
enough that when Abe's sons wrote about their father (I am making the
assumption that when Moses wrote Genesis, he incorperated older
documents), they used the family name for the place when describing
their father's movements.

> uzi
The evidence still falls short of being sufficient to indicate that
the stories were written in the eighth century BC or later, instead of
by people who personally knew players mentioned in the narratives.

Karl W. Randolph.

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