[b-hebrew] 6-Month "Year"

Shoshanna Walker rosewalk at concentric.net
Sun Oct 28 23:20:56 EDT 2007

Jim, I know you were not talking to me, but:

I don't know about the Academics, but:

We who have Chazal to teach us Torah from an unbroken line from Adam, 
all do understand that the ages and periods of years make complete 
sense, down to the exact details, WITH 12 month years, because the 
Torah tells us that a month was a month as today, and a year was a 
year as today, and it gives the chronology and ages of various people 
in great detail, and we actually BELIEVE the Torah, and since the 
Torah says that a year was 12 months, there is no possibility that it 
is lying.  And since the lifespans of humans were different than 
ours, we do not have to measure their life events according to our 
lives today.

As for the "two" new years, Nissan is the "beginning" for us because 
it is when we were liberated from Egypt, but it just so happened that 
it was on the first day of the seventh month after we were liberated, 
Tishrei, Rosh Hashana, many years before, that the world was created. 
There is no contradiction, and nothing that says that a year was 6 
months long.


    1.  You wrote:   ’ÄúAlso, 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.’Äù
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’Äôre wrong.  It’Äôs 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 ’Äúa majority consensus’Äù 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’Äôre
completely wrong, in my considered opinion, in all regards, but  they do have
unanimity on their side.
    1.  You wrote:   ’ÄúI 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.’Äù
(a)   Why would  Pharaoh’Äôs honest official use the demeaning 
expression ’Äúboy’Äù
 to describe a  middle-aged Hebrew, who was age 28 regular years when he was
the official’Äôs  jailkeeper, and who is age 30 regular years now?  That honest
official is recommending that  Joseph be called in to interpret Pharaoh’Äôs
great dream.  Is that the time to be insulting Joseph  by calling a middle-aged
Hebrew a ’Äúboy’Äù/"na’Äôar’Äù?
(b)   The  narrator calls Ishmael a ’Äúboy’Äù when, by your count, Ishmael is
about age 16  regular years when he is exiled.  The narrator calls 
Joseph a ’Äúboy’Äù
 when, by your count, Joseph is age 17  regular years.  The narrator calls
Isaac a ’Äúboy’Äù 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 9¬‡ regular
years.  Joseph is age 8¬‡ regular years.  Isaac is a naˆØve age 15 
regular  years.
Each is called a ’Äúna’Äôar’Äù by  the narrator, because each is 
indeed a mere boy.
4.  You wrote:  ’ÄúJacob'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?'’Äù
That’Äôs not true.  Jacob’Äôs  parents have told Jacob to go out to Harran and
marry a daughter of his mother  Rebekah’Äôs brother Laban.  Genesis  28: 2  No
one is surprised that  Jacob is staying that long.
    1.  You wrote:   ’ÄúThe 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’Äôs 
daughters.  But
all that trickery only delays  Jacob’Äôs marriage to Rachel by one week.
    1.  You wrote:   ’Äú[N]othing you've offered so far convinces me of the
need to  eat
some now.’Äù
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’Äôs  scholars
see it, then the Patriarchal narratives do not seem realistic.  How can you
be comfortable with such  absurd ages, when there’Äôs 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’Äôt 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 ’Äúna’Äôar’Äù/boy in the 
text of the
Patriarchal narratives.  That’Äôs got  to make you nervous that maybe 
their stated
ages are in fact being set forth in  the text in terms of 6-month ’Äúyears’Äù,
which is my novel theory of the  case.
Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois

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