[b-hebrew] Genesis 12: 5: Are "Souls" Slaves?

Uri Hurwitz uhurwitz at yahoo.com
Mon Nov 19 10:32:34 EST 2007

 Yigal wrote, inter alia:
  ..."3. There is no evidence of "Hebrews" in Late Bronze Age Canaan.
   It has been shown that the so-called "Habiru" or "Apiru" of the
   Amarna texts are NOT "Hebrews" in the biblical sense of an ethnicity. 
  Some scholars even deny an etymological connection between the
   terms, although that is still debated. "
    Scholares such as Rainey deny such a connection, but Th. Meek
  considers them identical. And I found the latter's arguments in
  Hebrew Origins more convincing.
    As for the Habiru (to use the Jerusalem spelling from the EA tablets), yes,
  Greenberg and others have demonstrated that this term occurs throughout
  the ANE in the second millenum and is is not an ethnicon,  referring rather
   to landless elements.
    Now it is intresting that  Ivrim, (Ibrim, in the HB is a term used often by 
  others, Philistines, Pharaoh's daughter etc to describe the  Hebrews.
   Further interesting is thre fact that only about four generations separate
   the Amarna period from the Mrerenphah Stella time. And the time limits
   of the Amarna period are arbitrarily limited by the parts of the archive which
  were unearthed. The Habiru activity described in them could well
  have started earlier and lasted a few generations longer, and then one
   has a temporal connection between some of them and Israel. 
   The above is speculation, but  it is not so far fetched if one takes into 
  consideration the following: no existing self description of Habiru is available;
  they must have acted in groups in some cases and such had soical
  organization and a name of their own. As menioned, some of them may well
   have been early Israelites.
  Uri Hurwitz

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