[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 
says: 
"[A]s I and others have written, the context  definitely points to Abraham 
wandering 
in the south of Canaan;  it makes no sense to think that he went  all the way 
to Lebanon…." 
My next post will address that precise  issue. 
Jim  StinehartEvanston,  Illinois



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