[b-hebrew] 6-Month "Year"
JimStinehart at aol.com
JimStinehart at aol.com
Sun Oct 28 22:19:30 EDT 2007
Let me address each of your points, but in a different order than in your
1. You wrote: “Are you willing to admit that you might be mistaken?
Yes. I come here to learn, like everyone else. I have learned many things
in the short time I have been following the b-Hebrew list.
1. You wrote: “Also, are you willing to admit that your view is
marginal or 'out on a
limb'? I don't mean 'impossible' when I say that; just that it is a
novel view which does not find a majority consensus.”
George, I will go farther than that. There is not a single mainstream
academic out there, to the best of my knowledge, who has made any effort
whatsoever to try to make sense out of the ages and periods of years set forth in the
Patriarchal narratives. All of them say the ages and periods of years make
no sense. They’re wrong. It’s important for you to know, George, that
academic scholars are not proposing a coherent theory of the ages of the
Patriarchs that could be contrasted with my all-encompassing theory. Rather, all the
academics that I have read simply insist, point blank, that the ages of the
Patriarchs do not make sense, and that a coherent internal timeline of the
Patriarchal narratives is impossible.
So your reference to “a majority consensus” understates the point. All the
academics say that the ages of the Patriarchs make no sense, and that a
coherent internal timeline of the Patriarchal narratives is impossible. They’re
completely wrong, in my considered opinion, in all regards, but they do have
unanimity on their side.
1. You wrote: “I don't find my explanations of *na`ar* and the phrase
'two years of
days' problematic whatsoever. The so-called 'problems' you identify
are not problems at all in my book. Joseph being called *na`ar* is
indicative of his inferior status within the Egyptian court.”
(a) Why would Pharaoh’s honest official use the demeaning expression “boy”
to describe a middle-aged Hebrew, who was age 28 regular years when he was
the official’s jailkeeper, and who is age 30 regular years now? That honest
official is recommending that Joseph be called in to interpret Pharaoh’s
great dream. Is that the time to be insulting Joseph by calling a middle-aged
Hebrew a “boy”/"na’ar”?
(b) The narrator calls Ishmael a “boy” when, by your count, Ishmael is
about age 16 regular years when he is exiled. The narrator calls Joseph a “boy”
when, by your count, Joseph is age 17 regular years. The narrator calls
Isaac a “boy” when, by your count, Isaac is about age 37 regular years or
thereabouts in the binding incident. That makes no sense. In my opinion, you
and the academics have all the ages all wrong. Ishmael is age 9½ regular
years. Joseph is age 8½ regular years. Isaac is a naïve age 15 regular years.
Each is called a “na’ar” by the narrator, because each is indeed a mere boy.
4. You wrote: “Jacob's 'month of days' is an unusually long period to stay
as a guest in
someone's house when usually it was just overnight or at maximum three days
that one stayed as a guest (cf. Jdg 19). That Jacob stayed for a month makes
us ask, 'Why is he staying so long?'”
That’s not true. Jacob’s parents have told Jacob to go out to Harran and
marry a daughter of his mother Rebekah’s brother Laban. Genesis 28: 2 No
one is surprised that Jacob is staying that long.
1. You wrote: “The answer, as you've picked up on, is that he was
'ogling' Rachel. This gives rise to the device later in the narrative where Jacob
can put up with inordinately long periods of time in order to get Rachel (14
years all up + 1
That is not true. Jacob only waits 7 regular years plus one week to marry
Rachel. Jacob had to commit to working an additional 7 years for Laban in
order to get Laban to agree to let Jacob marry both of Laban’s daughters. But
all that trickery only delays Jacob’s marriage to Rachel by one week.
1. You wrote: “[N]othing you've offered so far convinces me of the
need to eat
How can you be comfortable with Abraham not bothering to find a wife for his
sole heir Isaac until Isaac is age 40 regular years? Why does Esau wait
until age 40 regular years to marry? Why does Jacob wait until Jacob is in his
70s in regular years to marry? How could Sarah be attractive to Pharaoh at
age 65 regular years? How can Sarah bear Isaac at age 90 regular years? Why
does exiled Ishmael live to age 137 regular years?
If those ages are taken as being regular 12-month years, as today’s scholars
see it, then the Patriarchal narratives do not seem realistic. How can you
be comfortable with such absurd ages, when there’s nothing else absurd about
that fine text whatsoever?
On my theory of the case, 100% of the ages in the Patriarchal narratives
make perfect sense, in the secular historical context. Whereas absent my theory,
each character is usually twice as old as he or she should be. Doesn’t that
seem suspicious? And with every character being twice as old as he or she
should be, there also is no coherent internal timeline of the Patriarchal
narratives whatsoever. Yet on my view, the entire internal timeline of the
Patriarchal narratives makes perfect sense, without a single error.
I cannot believe you are truly comfortable with grown men (in the ancient
world) over age 15 repeatedly being called “na’ar”/boy in the text of the
Patriarchal narratives. That’s got to make you nervous that maybe their stated
ages are in fact being set forth in the text in terms of 6-month “years”,
which is my novel theory of the case.
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