[b-hebrew] Assumptions about ANE ages that just don't work.

Bryant J. Williams III bjwvmw at com-pair.net
Sun Oct 21 17:29:38 EDT 2007


Dear List,

What are the presuppositions/assumptions being applied that would justify taking
the ages = season? It appears that just because we do not believe that the ages
in Genesis are correct because "no one could live that long" does not
necessarily mean that that is so. The ages mentioned are in the text. There is
NO justification or evidence to prove that they are incorrect. Furthermore,
since Moses wrote it that way, and he was closer to the source(s) than any of
us, then it would be wise not to contradict him especially in comparison to the
Sumerian Kings List.

Rev. Bryant J. Williams III
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Yaakov Stein" <yaakov_s at rad.com>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Saturday, October 20, 2007 10:25 PM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Assumptions about ANE ages that just don't work.


> James,
> > Abram's father dies at the age of 205. That's three times greater than
> > modern life expectancy. It is therefore safe to assume that Te'rah
> aged
> > three times slower than modern humans. And so if a modern human would
> be in
> > his prime until 30 Terah would have been in his prime until he was
> about 90.
>
> Is a factor of three needed, or is a factor of two enough ?
>
> Terah could dies at the old age of 205/2 = 102,
> and Abraham at 75/2 = 35 took off from Haran.
>
> The reason I mention that 2 is enough,
> is that I believe that in this part of Genesis
> the counting is by seasons, rather than years.
>
> In Israel there are two seasons, namely the wet season and the dry
> season.
> They both commence with a "new year" celebration,
> the Tishri new year and the Nissan one.
>
> One can speculate that there was an early period when each season was
> counted,
> and only later, with more sophisticated astronomical knowledge,
> did the transition to our years occur.
>
> At an even earlier period, time was counted by months,
> which would explain Methuselah's 969 / 12 = 80 !
>
> If you think about it, the idea of a year being the time it takes
> for the sun to revolve around the earth (or the other way around for the
> ancients)
> is a rather sophisticated one. The first thing a group of shepherds
> would notice
> would be the month (the menstrual cycle, the moon coming up over the
> same hill).
> Later, when agriculture becomes important, the season is more critical.
> Finally, with more culture and time on their hands to develop an
> astronomy,
> the idea of a full year (the setting sun returning to the same place
> with respect
> to the stars) becomes obvious.
>
> Yaakov (J) Stein
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