[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 
that  one?" 
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 
are reasonable. 
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. 
Jim  Stinehart 
Evanston, Illinois

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