[b-hebrew] Gezer Calendar and 6-Month "Year"

Bryant J. Williams III bjwvmw at com-pair.net
Wed Oct 24 11:54:58 EDT 2007

Dear Jim,

I think you are grasping at straws here. I have read the Gezer Calendar. All the
Gezer Calendar (if that is what it actually is, but, I digress) is doing is
showing the agricultural periods with the two harvest periods, one before the
early rains (Fall) and one after the latter rains (Spring) which is roughly six
months apart. It is not even indicating that a year = six months. What you are
doing is eisegesis not exegesis.

Rev. Bryant J. Williams III
----- Original Message ----- 
From: <JimStinehart at aol.com>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Wednesday, October 24, 2007 8:13 AM
Subject: [b-hebrew] Gezer Calendar and 6-Month "Year"

> Joel:
> You wrote:  "Regarding the many recent postings  about the Gezer calendar, I
> think
> it's worth pointing out that the  traditional translation is, at best,
> speculative. In my opinion, it is  largely unfounded, and even the
> designation "calendar" should be considered  tentative.  Just by way of
> example, the translation distributed at Tel  Gezer assumes that the
> various VAVs (frequently assumed to be otherwise  unattested dual
> markers) are not suffixes at all but rather prefix VAVs  meaning 'and'."
> If we go with your view of the VAVs, but still regard the  Gezer Calendar as
> being some type of a calendar, we then have an interesting  result.  The Gezer
> Calendar could as  such be seen as chronicling, in order, 8 months of
> specific agricultural  activities that occur throughout a 12-month period in
> Canaan.  4 months of agricultural inactivity  during this 12-month period
> have, not so surprisingly, been left out.
> The month of "feasting" or "termination" is the 5th named  month.  If the VAV
> is not indicating  2 months (in each of 3 preceding periods), then there is
> no necessity for that  month of "feasting" or "termination" to be the 9th
> month.  It could just as easily be the  7th month, which would be ideal for my
> concept of a 6-month  "year".  One month of inactivity in  the winter has been
> left undescribed.  3 months of agricultural inactivity in the long hot summer
> have also been  left undescribed.  8 monthly periods  are chronicled, in
> over a 12-month period, with 4 months of inactivity  not being described.
> That would fit my view of the case perfectly.  In fact, it's better than the
> traditional view, which seems to awkwardly place a "feasting" or
> "termination"  in the 9th month, which does not make much sense.
> If the Gezer Calendar is a calendar, then it starts a New Year in the  fall,
> since the first activity described is a fall activity.  The "feasting" or
> "termination" at the  time of harvesting barley and wheat could signal another
> Year in the spring,  and this could fall in the 7th month of the 12-month
> period.  As such, there would be a New Year  festival in the 1st month
> that is when the calendar begins),  and a New Year festival in the 7th month
> (indicated by "feasting" or  "termination"), so that there would be a New
> and a New Year festival,  every 6 months, just as was certainly the case in
> ancient Ur.  Though not a true 6-month "year" for all  purposes (since
> ages were probably not increased by one every 6  months), this type of
> calendar is nevertheless redolent of a 6-month "year"  concept, in my view.
Such a
> 6-month  "year" concept makes perfect sense based on the agricultural
> of  ancient Canaan, which featured two annual harvests, of equal importance,
> spaced  about 6 months apart, in the fall and in the spring.
> Jim Stinehart
> Evanston, Illinois
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