[b-hebrew] Genesis 20: 1

Yaakov Stein yaakov_s at rad.com
Wed Oct 10 02:35:29 EDT 2007


Jim

Your theory is interesting, but I am on recent record here
against immediately accepting theories based on tenuous evidence.

I quite agree with some of your points. Genesis defintely has more
word-play
(I don't call them "puns", but there are many fanciful name
interpretations)
than most other books in the bible (although I can show you many other
places
where this is done, perhaps more subtly).

Benjamin is definitely the "son of the south", with south referring to
the fact
that he is the only son born in Canaan, to the south of Aram Naharaim.

It is hard to determine which of the two meanings of Sheva was the
original
and which the later interpretation (the same can be said for the Arba in
Kiryat Arba).
Perhaps the name was specifically chosen to unite the two meanings.

The Beersheva of Issac is the same as that of Abraham
(it is specifically mentioned that Isaac went back and redug the wells
his father originally dug, and the Phillistines had stopped up).
Your suggestion that Hagar's Beersheva is a different place seems a long
shot.
Note that the term is "the desert of BeerSheva", i.e. the Negev desert
south of Beersheva. There are no Phillistines around simply because they
came in from the coast to BeerSheva, but did not wander into the desert.
Wells frequently go dry in the Negev desert, so the fact that Abraham
had to dig a well doesn't prove that this is a different BeerSheva. 

Shur (the Shur desert) was such a well-known place (at least during the
Patriarch's time), 
that if the name is used for  anywhere else, you would expect that fact
to be clearly specified.
I agree that in Saul's time this Shur is specified as "on the way to
Egypt", so that by that
time maybe another Shur was known. 

There are so many places called Kadesh, that it is hard to make
definitive statements
on that one.

Since Abraham ends up in Grar, that is the critical point.
I read your identification, but have trouble with it.
Isaac later goes back to Grar (and we have a replay of the same story),
but this Grar is a "nahal" in a desert with shepherds around - 
sounds like the Negev we know. Note that in Chronicles Grar is mentioned
again,
and it is, once again, in south Judea. 
AFAIK we don't see any other Grars, and thus any other place with the
same
name would have to be called out.

Another critical element here is that Abraham did not willingly leave
the promised
land to go down to Egypt, and would not willingly go as far north as
Lebanon.
The original promise (just before Hagar is mentioned the first time)
mentions all the land to the Euphrates, but this is expansive wording,
not to be taken very seriously.
Abraham symbolically walks around all of the promised land
(in order to claim it), but the specifics seem to be confined to the
land of Judea.

Y(J)S



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