[b-hebrew] Genesis 20: 1

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Mon Oct 22 11:05:29 EDT 2007

After Abraham's death, Isaac lives at Beer-lahai-roi,  south of Hebron, on 
the northern edge of the Negev Desert.  Isaac is not wealthy at that point, but  
that soon changes.  A terrible  drought/famine devastates the northern Negev 
Desert where Isaac is living.   
Today's scholars tell us that in response to a terrible drought/famine in  
the northern Negev Desert where Isaac was living, Isaac did the  following: 
(i)  Isaac moved a mere 20  miles, and he moved southwest, further into the 
northern Negev Desert, near the  site of the modern Israeli city of Beersheba.  
Does that interpretation of the text  make sense? 
(ii)  And while living near  the site of the modern Israeli city of Beersheba 
in the northern Negev Desert,  Isaac got rich planting crops.  Does  that 
interpretation of the text make sense? 
Why should we blindly follow today's scholars' interpretation of the text  of 
the Patriarchal narratives, when what they're saying makes no  sense? 
Now consider that Biblical "Gerar" may be historical Garu, whose western  
edge included southern Lebanon.  Since southern Lebanon is, like the Negev 
Desert, dependent on water  wells, sites in southern Lebanon could be given the 
Hebrew nickname of  "Beersheba".  Now everything makes  sense. 
Isaac, hitherto a man of modest means, goes to the wealthy land of  southern 
Lebanon/Garu/"Gerar" and gets rich growing crops in southern  Lebanon. 
Here's the relevant text.  Note that the entire text makes perfect sense if 
Biblical "Gerar" is  wealthy Garu in southern Lebanon.  (The "Philistines" at 
Gerar are the foreign  mercenaries/"Invaders"/p'lishti that infested all of 
Lebanon in the historical  epoch of the Patriarchal Age.  Foreign mercenaries 
never operated in the Negev Desert.) 
"And it came to pass after the  death of Abraham, that God blessed Isaac his 
son;  and Isaac dwelt by Beer-lahai-roi."  (25: 11)  "And there was a famine 
in the land,  beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham.  And 
Isaac went  unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar." (26: 1)  "And 
Isaac dwelt in Gerar."  (26: 6) "And Isaac sowed in that land,  and found in the 
same year a hundredfold…."  (26: 12) "And the man waxed great, and  grew more 
and more until he became very great."  (26: 13) "And he had possessions of  
flocks, and possessions of herds, and a great household; and the Philistines  
envied him."  (26:  14) 
When Genesis 20: 1 says that Abraham "settled between  Qadesh and S(h)ur", it 
means exactly what it says.  Abraham settled between the famous,  wealthy 
Lebanese city-states of Qadesh and Sur.  Abraham was wealthy when he left  
Garu/Gerar/southern Lebanon, though we can figure out that Abraham's wealth  
steadily declined back in modest Hebron, because Isaac has to make his own  way.  
Isaac does not get wealthy  until Isaac goes to Garu/Gerar/southern  Lebanon. 
See how the received Hebrew text makes perfect sense, and  needs no changes 
whatsoever, once we recognize that Biblical "Gerar" is  historical Garu -- 
wealthy (though dangerous) southern  Lebanon. 
Jim Stinehart 
Evanston, Illinois

************************************** See what's new at http://www.aol.com

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list