[b-hebrew] Genesis 20: 1

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Sun Oct 14 06:03:54 EDT 2007

Hello Jim,

Your translation #4 looks an awful lot like translation #3.

However, $ur is not Cur no matter how you turn it up.  Tyre is not a
"mispronunciation."  The Sade of Hebrew refers to what was originally
three consonants in Hebrew.  We don't know exactly when they coalesced,
and I think that at least during the First Temple period, Sade was used
to transcribe two phonemes.  One of the Sade sounds coalesced with Tet
in Aramaic.  This is likely the Sade of the place name Tyre.  It was, in any
case, very different from Shin.

Genesis 26 speaks of a special blessing of God to Isaac.  But look at the
way the shepherds fight over water in Gen 26:20.  It doesn't seem like there's
plenty of water.

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were pastoral nomads.  You can read about
them here - http://anthro.palomar.edu/subsistence/sub_3.htm
It is perfectly reasonable for them to settle for only a "short" period of time,
since their natural migratory pattern is to settle seasonally in one place and
then move to another.  Sometimes, these places are half-permanent.  They
build structures, and store produce, for the next time they migrate back.
Thus, it is also reasonable for them to settle for a long period of time.  This
doesn't mean they stayed in one place all this time.  It just means that they
had a more than temporary encampment there and they would return to that
encampment yearly.

If you want to discuss things with Lemche, you can join the biblical-studies

However, the idea that the Patriarchal Narratives are largely fictional is not
just a Minimalist idea, using the scholarly definition of minimalism (Read here:
http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-hebrew/2006-June/028805.html )  If you read
through the fine print, you'll see that both minimalists and maximalists all
fall in the category that the Patriarchal Narratives at best represent
memories" even if the details have become garbled.

Your details do not fit Southern Lebanon, and a good scholar is not just a
creative and imaginative scholar who can think "outside the box."  He
is also one
who knows when to throw away an idea that does not square with the facts.

Yitzhak Sapir

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