[b-hebrew] Genesis 20: 1
JimStinehart at aol.com
JimStinehart at aol.com
Fri Oct 19 12:37:52 EDT 2007
1. You wrote: "Jim, I can't EVEN read your run-on sentences."
I leave plenty of spaces in what I type, but on this b-Hebrew list (and
nowhere else), what I send in comes out as having no spaces. It's frustrating for
2. You wrote: "G-d said that Avraham was a Prophet and that he knew. You
changing the subject, you are GROPING to disprove the Torah. NOT MY
Not so. I agree that Abraham was a prophet, and that Abimelech viewed
Abraham as being a prophet. On my view, Abimelech would not have taken old Sarah
into Abimelech's household unless Abimelech believed that Abraham was a
prophet. Abimelech wanted a fertility prayer from a bona fide prophet, from
I am not seeking to disprove anything about chapter 20 of Genesis. Indeed,
the key to my historical theory of the Patriarchal narratives is, precisely,
chapter 20 of Genesis.
All I am saying is that even if nothing happened between Abimelech and
Sarah, that was not known for sure by Abraham. YHWH could have told that to
Abraham in private, or it could be reported in the text. But based on the way
Abraham acts, it sure seems like Abraham for many years was unsure as to whether
Isaac was Abraham's blood son or Abraham's adopted son. It turns out that
Isaac is Abraham's blood son. But on my view, Abraham did not know that for
many years. If Abraham had been certain that Isaac was Abraham's blood son,
Abraham would have jumped for joy at Isaac's birth, and Abraham would have
loudly praised YHWH to the heavens for the long-awaited arrival of Abraham's sole
heir. But in fact, Abraham says nothing. Not even a single thank-you.
3. You wrote: "For instance, if, as you claim, S'dom was in the North, and
the Dead Sea area, where ALL THE MOUNTAINS ARE MADE OF SALT (maybe
you don't know Israel so well, but you can actually break off pieces
of the mountains, and they are pieces composed of crystals of SALT,
and salty to taste), then you would have to call G-d a liar for
reporting that Lot's wife was turned into a pillar of salt for
turning around to look at S'dom up in the north - after all, if the
whole story took place in the north, WHERE THERE ARE NO SALT
MOUNTAINS, then that is much more of a geographical impossibility
than that of Avraham being able to see the SMOKE of the destruction
of 4 cities from not a lot of miles west of them, which is not
impossible at all - as I could see the actual waters of the Dead Sea
(a) You and I agree that Lot's wife died as Sodom was being destroyed. I
myself see the peculiar manner of the death of Lot's wife as being
metaphorical. As set forth in my post to Yigal Levin, I see the assertion that Lot's
wife was turned into a "salt" statue as meaning that Lot's wife had been
unrighteous in not trying to bear Lot a son, after only bearing Lot four daughters
who grew up to be teenagers. On my historical theory of the case, Lot's wife
is being compared to an historical Queen, who was in effect turned into a
type of statue by her husband, the King, when the Queen apparently refused to
get pregnant again in middle-age after bearing her husband only four daughters
who grew up to be teenagers. So I am not taking this story as literally as
you are. But I am seeing this story as being closely based on actual secular
history. I am not trying to disprove this story. I am only viewing it in a
different, less literal, light than you.
(b) I myself do not think that the Patriarchal narratives conceptualize
Sodom as being located close to the Salt Sea (Dead Sea). I read chapter 13 of
Genesis as clearly locating Sodom somewhere near historical Beth Shan, north
of Shechem, very far north of the northern end of the Dead Sea. On my view,
Abraham had to go up north to Bethel/Ai to see the smoke coming down the
Jordan River Valley from the destruction of Sodom.
(c) But the very point you raise in this connection is very important to
me. Unlike you, I see a few words in the Patriarchal narratives as being later
glosses on the text, that were not in the text originally. In particular, I
view the phrase "now Salt Sea" at Genesis 14: 3 as being a later gloss. It
would not make sense for a "Valley of Fields" to be located at the Salt Sea.
The word "hiy" is inherently suspicious, as it may indicate a later gloss.
Deleting those three suspect words leaves a text that makes perfect sense
without those three words.
On my view, in the mid-1st millennium BCE a later editor wanted to make the
story of Lot's wife being turned into a salt statue seem more realistic. So
this later editor tried to locate Sodom at the Salt Sea, where there is a lot
of salt. I see the three-word phrase "now Salt Sea" at Genesis 14: 3 as
being a gloss on the text, added about 700 years or so after the original
composition of the text.
I realize that you see every single word in the Torah as being perfect. I
agree with you as to over 98% of the received text of the Patriarchal
narratives, but I part ways with you as to a handful of suspect phrases, which I
myself see as being later glosses on the original text.
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