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

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Wed Oct 24 21:51:09 EDT 2007

George Athas: 
You wrote:  “Your theory is  interesting, but sounds like an odd way to read 
evidence.  It seems like special pleading to me  aimed specifically at
recalibrating the long lifespans in Genesis so that  they sound more
like lifespans we know.  I, for one, am just not convinced by it.” 
    1.  Special  Pleading?
My theory explains each and every stated age in the  Patriarchal narratives, 
beginning at Genesis 11: 26.  How is that “special  pleading”? 
    1.  Issues Other Than Long  Lifespans
The age issue goes to much more than “recalibrating the  long lifespans” in 
the Patriarchal narratives.  Consider the Hebrew word “nar”.  It means “boy”
.  A male age 8 – 13 or so would be a  “nar”.  Maybe a servant could be an  
older teenager and still be a “nar”. 
Pharaoh’s honest, sympathetic officer refers to Joseph as  being a “nar”.  
Here’s the exact  quote: 
“And there was with us there a  [nar/]young man, a Hebrew, servant to the 
captain of the guard;  and we told him, and he interpreted to  us our dreams;  to 
each man  according to his dream he did interpret.”  Genesis 41: 12 
In  context, this Egyptian official must be being scrupulously honest and 
accurate  in this situation.  He is neither  going to hype nor denigrate Joseph, 
because this official is recommending Joseph  to Pharaoh as a “nar” who may 
have the gift of interpreting dreams.  This official knows that his colleague  
who had not been straight with Pharaoh had been impaled, so this official must 
 be accurate in what he is saying to Pharaoh. 
If we’re talking accurate secular history, and not  fantasyland, Joseph 
should be age 8 – 13 or so in regular, 12-month years.  Otherwise, Joseph would not 
be referred  to here as being a “nar” by this powerful Egyptian officer who 
is giving an  accurate, official report to Pharaoh. 
(a)    When Joseph  interprets Pharaoh’s dream brilliantly, Pharaoh makes 
Joseph his vizier.  Joseph’s stated age is 30  “years”: 
“And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before  Pharaoh king of Egypt.”
  Genesis 41:  46  
(b)    But when Pharaoh’s  official had been temporarily in an Egyptian jail 
with Joseph, that had been two  years ago, in Egyptian 12-month years. 
“And it came to  pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed:  
and, behold, he  stood by the river.” Genesis 41:  1 
Traditional View 
On the traditional view, which you are defending, which  is essentially 
identical to the secular scholarly view, Joseph was age 28  regular, 12-month years 
when he was in jail with that Egyptian official, 2 years  before he reached 
age 30.  30 – 2 =  28.  In the ancient world, that  meant that Joseph was 
There is no way that this honest Egyptian officer would  refer to a 
28-year-old middle-aged man as being a “nar”/boy.  No  way. 
The traditional view, which is also the secular scholarly  view, makes no 
sense at all. 
6-Month “Year” View 
Joseph is age 30 “years”, in stated 6-month “years”, when  he becomes 
Pharaoh’s vizier.  That  is age 15 years, in terms of regular, 12-month  years. 
Two Egyptian, 12-month years earlier, Joseph had been age  13 years, in 
regular, 12-month years, when Joseph had been in jail with that  honest Egyptian 
official.  A  “nar”!  We’ve got it!  All these ages make perfect sense.  Joseph 
was indeed a “nar”/boy, age 13  regular years, when Joseph was in jail with 
that honest Egyptian  officer. 
Traditional and Scholarly View vs. 6-Month “Year”  View 
Virtually every age in the Patriarchal narratives is  nonsensically too old 
on the traditional view and the secular scholarly  view.  By sharp contrast, 
each and  every age makes perfect sense on the 6-month “year”  view. 
    1.  The Patriarchal Narratives Accurately Reflect Secular  History
No aspect of the Patriarchal narratives fails to  accurately track the 
well-documented secular history of the mid-14th  century BCE.  In particular, every  
single age makes perfect sense. 
No scholar since the Middle Ages has understood the ages  of the Patriarchs.  
Yet from ancient  times through the Middle Ages, many people knew the “secret”
 of the actual ages  of every person in the Patriarchal narratives.  Only 
modern scholars are in the  dark. 
I see no “special pleading” here on my part, since my  theory of the case 
explains 100% of the stated ages set forth in the Patriarchal  narratives, 
beginning with Genesis 11: 26.   
That also includes the ages of animals as well.  In another post, I pointed 
out that an  “eglah”/heifer/young female adult cow could not be 3 years old, 
in terms of  regular, 12-month years.  Genesis  15: 9 makes sense only if the “
eglah” is age 3 “years”, in terms of 6-month  “years”, meaning that the cow 
is between 18 months and 23 months of  age. 
Why be afraid of looking at the stated ages in the text  with eyes wide open? 
 Every single  age in the Patriarchal narratives makes perfect sense, once 
one understands that  each and every such age is being set forth in terms of 
6-month “years”.  No “special pleading” is required.  The text, as is, is  
Jim Stinehart 
Evanston,  Illinois

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

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list