[b-hebrew] Genesis 20: 1
JimStinehart at aol.com
JimStinehart at aol.com
Fri Oct 12 10:42:37 EDT 2007
I. Yigal Levin wrote: "I'll grant Jim the following: 'between Kadesh and
Shur', assuming that the 'Kadesh' referred to is the Kadesh (Barnea) that we
know, is NOT in the Negev. Thus I do agree now that 'Arcah Hannegev' here
may mean 'to the land
of the south' and not 'to the Land of the Negev' specifically."
I take it this means that people are now more or less comfortable with my
Version #3 new translation of Genesis 20: 1:
Version #3 (traditional view) of Genesis 20: 1
"And departed from there Abraham to The South Land; and he settled between
Qadesh and Shur; and he sojourned in Gerar."
Or "to The South Land" could just as well be "to the land of the south".
Yigal Levin's comment shows, however, the major inherent problem with Version
#3. Gerar is not located anywhere near the Sinai Desert. How can Abraham
"settle" in the Sinai Desert, yet "sojourn" for many, many years in Gerar, far
from the Sinai Desert?
Because Version #3 has this inherent major problem, and because the original
Hebrew text had neither punctuation nor capitalization, we should look to
see if there is an alternative meaning possible in Genesis 20: 1, if the
punctuation and capitalization are changed. Here is Version #2:
Version #2 (alternative view) of Genesis 20: 1
"And departed from there Abraham to the southland -- and he settled --
between Qadesh and Sur and he sojourned in Gerar."
On Version #2, Biblical "Gerar" is viewed as being historical Garu, whose
western border likely extended to the southern two-thirds of the land between
the Lebanese city-states of Qadesh and Sur. On Version #2, Abraham is viewed
as going "to the land of the south…between Qadesh and Sur", which would
include the mainland of southern Lebanon immediately northeast of the tiny island
of Sur. On Version #2, Abraham settles on the mainland opposite Sur, which
is 'between Qadesh and Sur".
Thus as opposed to the terrible geographical problems inherent in the
traditional Version #3 view of Genesis 20: 1, where Gerar is located far from the
Sinai Desert, in Version #3 all references are to but one place: the mainland
of southern Lebanon immediately northeast of the tiny island of Sur.
II. Yigal Levin says nothing about any possible grammatical problems with
my proposed Version #2 translation of Genesis 20: 1. Rather, Yigal Levin
"[A]s I and others have written, the context definitely points to Abraham
in the south of Canaan; it makes no sense to think that he went all the way
My next post will address that precise issue.
Jim StinehartEvanston, Illinois
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