[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
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
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
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