[b-hebrew] Genesis 12: 5: Are "Souls" Slaves?
JimStinehart at aol.com
JimStinehart at aol.com
Sat Nov 17 19:45:58 EST 2007
1. You wrote: “Let's not get carried away. The fact that I don't
disagree with you on every point does not mean that I accept your whole theory.”
Yes, I realize that you do not agree with many aspects of my controversial
new theory of the Patriarchal narratives. Yet to date, I believe that you and
I have always agreed as to what the Hebrew words are literally saying.
1. You wrote: “First of all, as you may have seen in my reply to
Shoshanna, Alter seems to follow an age old tradition when seeing these people as
Thank you for providing those references.
1. You wrote: “But I agree with you that the text does not support
that interpretation. However, neither does it support yours. The Patriarchs
originated in Mesopotamia, NOT Lebanon.”
Can you cite me any text in the Patriarchal narratives that supports the
Ezekiel-era proposition that the Patriarchs originated in Mesopotamia?
The word “am”/people/ancestors never once is used when anyone is at Ur or
Harran in the Patriarchal narratives. I believe that most of the Hebrew
experts on this b-Hebrew list agree with BDB that “mowlodeth” means “kindred”
(or “father’s descendants”). So neither Genesis 11: 28 nor Genesis 12: 1 is
telling us where Abraham or his brother Haran were born. Rather, they are
telling us where Abraham’s father’s descendants were at the time.
Genesis 25: 8 tells us that Abraham was indigenous to Canaan: “And Abraham
expired, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was
gathered to his people [“am”][at Hebron, in Canaan].” Genesis 25: 8
There’s nothing bad about Abraham’s ancestors being from northern
Canaan/Lebanon. What separates the Hebrews from their ancestors is, in large part,
the divine advice at Genesis 12: 1 that Abraham was directed to go to a new
place, southeastern Canaan. Abraham’s ancestors had never been at Hebron. But
Abraham’s ancestors were from northern Canaan/Lebanon. The author of the
Patriarchal narratives does not hate Sur (“Tyre”) in southern Lebanon. That’s
chapters 27 and 28 of Ezekiel, not the Patriarchal narratives.
1. You wrote: “No-where does it say that Abraham's "fellow travelers"
were actually his relatives.”
That’s true. But they’re not slaves, and they come with Abraham to modest,
dull Hebron. All that only makes sense if they are relatives who are
temporarily acting as security guards for this one-time caravan trip.
1. You wrote: “There is no evidence that Abraham "got rich" from
trading goods. In fact, gen. 12:17 says that the pharaoh made him rich because of
Sarah was age 65. Note that the text does not say that Pharaoh gave or paid
Abraham one dime. Sarah’s beauty was one factor in Pharaoh agreeing to
Abraham’s and Sarah’s unusual proposal regarding Sarah. On her account, Pharaoh
further agreed that Abraham could sell his RK$/luxury commercial goods on
the same terms that Pharaoh routinely extended to state-sponsored caravans,
where the state sponsor was a formal ally of Egypt. Pharaoh simply authorizes
the normal high price to be paid for Abraham’s RK$, and Pharaoh agrees that
middle-aged Sarah will come into Pharaoh’s household for a short time. It was
not that big a deal for Pharaoh. It was a huge deal for Abraham.
1. You wrote: “Abraham and Lot are pictured as shepherds, not traders.
I agree that Abraham and Lot are not professional traders. That is why I
often refer to their long trip out to Mesopotamia as being a “one-time”
caravan trip. That was the only caravan trip a Hebrew was ever on. But note that
Lot does not stay a shepherd for very long, quickly moving into the city of
1. Certainly you do not see Abraham learning broken Hebrew at age 75,
do you? Didn’t YHWH speak to Abraham in Hebrew at Genesis 12: 1, while
Abraham was at Harran? Or do you think that the author of the Patriarchal
narratives was so unsophisticated that he did not realize that during the Patriarchal
Age, the people in Mesopotamia did not speak a language similar to Hebrew?
For that matter, I presume that you agree with the findings of today’s
scholars that the Hebrews were indigenous to Canaan or greater Canaan, and did not
come from Mesopotamia. Why do you think the Patriarchal narratives would
seek to lead us astray about that?
It’s Eziekiel, not the author of the Patriarchal narratives, who hated
southern Lebanon so much that he refused to view the Covenant as being fulfilled
with Isaac’s birth in southern Lebanon.
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