[b-hebrew] Genesis 20: 1
jcr.bhebrew at gmail.com
Wed Oct 17 04:04:23 EDT 2007
Additionally, if you were to adopt such a scheme you could easily explain
why the translators of the LXX were mistaken as they would have understood
the construct in its later stage of evolution.
On 10/17/07, biblical hebrew <jcr.bhebrew at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Jim,
> OK! I get what you are saying. You are attempting to align biblical
> history with the Amarna letters in an attempt to prove the historicity of
> the patriarchal narratives. In order to achieve this you want to find the
> translation of Genesis 20:1 which permits such a harmony.
> I laud your attempts but, to be brutally honest, your games with
> punctuation do nothing to derive such a meaning. Your whole interpretation
> hinges on how best to translate NGB in this particular instance and NOT on
> funky punctuation schemes. As noted meanings such as 'southern' and 'Negeb
> desert' are more likely later meanings derived as a result of an established
> Isrealite society with the Negeb desert lying to the South. The evolution of
> meaning was therefore:
> 1: Desert/wilderness/arid land
> 2: Negeb desert (in the sense of a proper noun)
> 3: South (by extension of the fact that the Negeb desert lies South of
> If you are to argue a pre-Isrealite authorship of Genesis 20:1 then the
> first sense is the most likely and thus no specific direction is stated and
> no specific desert is referred to. The translation would therefore be:
> And Abraham went out into the desert.
> And he set up camp between Qadesh and Sur.
> And he stayed in Gerar.
> With such a translation no recourse to funky punctuation schemes is needed
> and you can arrive at the sense you are desperately trying to arrive at. I
> know what you may be thinking and just because Abraham left and went out
> into the desert does not mean that his final destination also had to be in
> the desert. It may be merely just a reference to the route he took. The
> significance of such a statement is that for the most part of Abraham's
> journey it is understood that he stuck to the fertile crescent in his
> movements and so any deviation from the fertile crescent is worthy of note.
> I think this is the only way we can make your translation work. Arguing
> that the generic construct that you are trying to translate was a frequently
> used collocate compound phrase for Southern Lebanon is unsubstatiated and
> unattested elsewhere and has no grounds other than your theory about where
> they stopped off.
> In short, I think your argument would be much stronger if you abandoned
> your punctuation schemes and worked on using the ancient and literal meaning
> of the construct in question rather than attempting to add an unprovable and
> unattested connotation to it.
> James Christian Read - BSc Computer Science
> http://www.lamie.org/hebrew Thesis 1 - Aleppo codex machine translation
> http://www.lamie.org/lad-sim.doc Thesis 2 - language acquisition simulation
> On 10/16/07, JimStinehart at aol.com <JimStinehart at aol.com> wrote:
> > James Christian Read:
> > My theory of Genesis 20: 1 is that Abraham went north from Bethel/Ai, a
> > locale which itself is 27 miles north of Hebron (and is north
> > of Jerusalem).
> > Abraham had gone up north to Bethel/Ai to witness the destruction of
> > Sodom, and
> > Abraham did not return to Hebron thereafter. Rather, after the rest of
> > his
> > party caught up with him at Bethel/Ai, Abraham continued on north to
> > Sur, in
> > southern Lebanon.
> > No matter how you slice it, I view Abraham as traveling north in
> > Genesis 20:
> > 1, rather than as traveling south.
> > If we go with a traditional translation, the first part of Genesis 20: 1
> > says that Abraham went "from there", that is, from Bethel/Ai on my view,
> > "to the
> > land of the south". At first glance, and before reading the rest of
> > Genesis
> > 20: 1, we would naturally think that "the land of the south" is either
> > (i)
> > the Negev Desert, or (ii) the entire desert area south of Hebron,
> > including
> > both the Negev Desert and the Sinai Desert. But in the context of
> > the rest of
> > Genesis 20: 1, the rest of chapter 20 of Genesis, and chapters 21 and
> > 26 of
> > Genesis, we eventually come to realize that the phrase "the land of the
> > south" at Genesis 20: 1 must actually be referring to southern
> > Lebanon. The
> > reference is to the south part of the land that stretches from Qadesh
> > in northern
> > Lebanon to Sur in southern Lebanon.
> > I realize that one's first thought as to what "the land of the
> > south" means
> > would not be southern Lebanon, since southern Lebanon is far north
> > of Hebron.
> > But the very next phrase of Genesis 20: 1 refers, in my controversial
> > opinion, to the Lebanese city-states of Qadesh and Sur. If
> > Abraham settled
> > between the world-famous Lebanese city-states of Qadesh and Sur, as
> > I believe the
> > middle third of Genesis 20: 1 is telling us, then the
> > preceding reference to
> > Abraham going to "the land of the south" must be read as
> > meaning "southern
> > Lebanon".
> > The key to understanding Genesis 20: 1 lies not so much in the exact
> > translation, but rather depends on a willingness to consider whether
> > "Qadesh" and
> > "S(h)ur" in Genesis 20: 1 may be referring to the world-famous Lebanese
> > city-states that were known in Biblical times as "Qadesh" and "Sur" (or
> > "Surru",
> > "Tsur", etc.).
> > In my view, it is simply impossible that a guy like Abraham, who is
> > portrayed as having 318 armed retainers (Genesis 14: 14) and a huge
> > number of
> > animals, would "settle" in the Sinai Desert. That makes no sense at
> > all. By sharp
> > contrast, it makes perfect sense for such a man to settle in southern
> > Lebanon.
> > Southern Lebanon is the same distance from Hebron as is the Sinai
> > Desert,
> > and if Abraham is starting from Bethel/Ai (which is my view of the
> > case), then
> > southern Lebanon is much closer than the Sinai Desert.
> > When you look at all the factors, including but not limited to the
> > particular words used at Genesis 20: 1, I think you will find that
> > the interpretation
> > that makes the most sense is that "Qadesh" and "S(h)ur" in Genesis 20:
> > 1 are
> > referring to the real "Qadesh" and the real "Sur", namely
> > the world-famous
> > Lebanese city-states that bear those names.
> > Jim Stinehart
> > Evanston, Illinois
> > ************************************** See what's new at
> > http://www.aol.com
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