[b-hebrew] Assumptions about ANE ages that just don't work
JimStinehart at aol.com
JimStinehart at aol.com
Mon Oct 22 10:04:49 EDT 2007
1. You wrote: "I think you could easily make a few million on an Indiana
Jones film or with a best selling Da Vinci Code style novel with this theory
but you will find it a little more difficult to persuade the academics of the
validity of such a theory on this list."
(a) Why does the text tell us that Jacob/"Israel" died after being in Egypt
for 17 "years"? Is that a possible clue that the Patriarchal Age occurred
during the reign of an important Egyptian pharaoh who died in his 17th regnal
(b) Why does the text report Abraham that died at age 175 "years"? 175 is
17½, tenfold. Is that a second numerical clue that the most important ruler
in secular history during the Patriarchal Age died more than half-way through
his 17th regnal year? Why studiously ignore all these possible numerical
(c) You and I have noted the many parallels between Biblical Abimelech and
historical Abimilki. Who was pharaoh when Abimilki was the ruler of Sur in
southern Lebanon? Did that pharaoh die more than half-way through his 17th
regnal year? Aren't these exciting clues that we should look into?
2. You wrote: "However, what is of particular note, is your ability to
completely self contradict yourself. In one thread you arguing for Sarah's old
age in order to advance a conspiract theory. And in another you are proving
that she wasn't that old in order to advance another conspiracy theory. Are you
going to choose which conspiracy theory you prefer and make a solid stand on
I never contradict myself on my favorite subject: the ages of people in the
Patriarchal narratives. When Sarah arrived at Gerar, she was age 90
"years", in 6-month "years", making her age 45 in terms of regular, 12-month years.
Age 45 was long past the normal age of childbearing in the ancient world.
Most women age 45 in the ancient world could be described as being
"withered", as Sarah is in chapter 18 of Genesis. After being barren for 30 regular
years, it is not surprising that Sarah is not expected to be able to bear a
child at age 45 regular years, so Abraham's reactions in chapter 17 of Genesis
The text never says that Sarah was beautiful at Gerar. Rather, the text
says that Sarah was "withered" before she went to Gerar. The text never says
that young Abimelech lusted after Sarah. He didn't. Sarah was too old at this
point to be lusted after by a young foreign ruler.
All of the stated ages in the Patriarchal narratives (beginning at Genesis
11: 26) make perfect sense. The text is perfect, as is. We just need to
understand how to interpret the text.
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