[b-hebrew] 6-Month "Year"

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Mon Oct 29 17:55:32 EDT 2007


 
George: 
Here's my last attempt to convince you that all 23 stated ages of people  in 
the Patriarchal narratives are set forth in the text in terms of 6-month  
"years".  If this does not convince  you, I will give up trying to convince you. 
This post shows that all 23 stated ages of people in the Patriarchal  
narratives make sense on the 6-month "year" view.  Meanwhile, none of the 23 stated 
ages  makes sense if a stated year of a person's age in the text of the 
Patriarchal  narratives is a regular, 12-month year. 
1.  Terakh sires Abraham at  stated age 70 years, which is too old for a man 
to sire a child in the ancient  world.  But age 35 years is a fine  age for a 
man to sire a child. 
2.  Abraham in his prime  travels from Harran to southeastern Canaan at 
stated age 75 years.  That is too old to make such a long  trip, but age 37½ is 
just right. 
[2.5  Abraham is told to  sacrifice a 3-year-old eglah/heifer.  No cow at age 
3 regular years is still an eglah/heifer, but almost every  cow age 1½ years 
old is an eglah/heifer.] 
3.  Abraham sires Ishmael at  stated age 86 years.  That's too  old, but age 
43 works fine. 
4.  Abraham is stated age 99  years when YHWH says that Sarah will still bear 
Abraham a son.  That is too old for Abraham to be a  biological father, but 
age 49½ makes sense. 
5.  Abraham initially laughs  at the thought of siring a child at age 100, 
but YHWH insists that will be the  case.  All of this makes sense if  Abraham is 
age 50, since men in the ancient world rarely sired children at age  50 or 
older.  This whole sequence is  senseless if Abraham is age 100 regular years. 
6.  Abraham initially laughs  at the thought of Sarah bearing a child at age 
90, but YHWH insists that will be  the case.  This makes sense if Sarah  is 
age 45, but would be impossible if Sarah were age 90 regular years.  It would be 
a near-miracle, but not a  biological impossibility, for a woman age 45 
regular years in the ancient world  to give birth successfully to her first child. 
7.  Abraham circumcises  himself at stated age 99 years, confident that he 
will sire Isaac very  soon.  This makes sense if Abraham  is age 49½, but makes 
no sense if Abraham is actually age 99 regular  years. 
8.  Ishmael is circumcised at  stated age 13 years, and then a few years 
later, after Isaac is born and weaned,  Ishmael is carried by his mother Hagar 
into exile.  This makes sense if Ishmael is age 6½  years when he is circumcised. 
 At  age 16 regular years or so, Ishmael would no longer be a "na'ar", and 
Ishmael  would carry his mother into exile, not vice versa.  So Ishmael cannot 
be age 13 regular  years when he is circumcised. 
9.  Abraham is stated age 100  years at Isaac's birth.  That makes  no sense 
if these are regular years, but makes perfect sense if Abraham is age  50. 
10.  Abraham's father dies at  stated 205 years.  These obviously  cannot be 
regular years.  Terakh  dies at age 102½. 
11.  Sarah dies at stated age  127 years.  This must be age  63½. 
12.  Isaac marries at stated  age 40 years.  With the fate of the  world 
resting on Isaac siring a son who will become Patriarch #3, Abraham and  Sarah 
would not wait until Isaac is age 40 regular years to find him a  wife.  Abraham 
finds Rebekah as  Isaac's spouse when Isaac is age 20. 
13.  Isaac sires twin sons at  stated age 60 years.  That is too  old in the 
ancient world, but age 30 makes perfect sense. 
14.  Abraham dies at stated  age 175 years.  That is an  impossibility, but 
makes perfect sense at age 87½. 
15.  Esau marries at stated  age 40 years, while Jacob remains a bachelor.  
That sequence makes no sense if these  are regular years.  In fact, Esau  
marries at age 20, and Jacob waits 7 more years before getting engaged.  There is 
no way that Jacob would wait  until a ridiculously old age to marry. 
16.  Ishmael dies at stated  age 137 years.  This is obviously  age 68½. 
17.  The narrator calls  Joseph a "na'ar" when Joseph is stated age 17 years. 
 Joseph is a mere helper to his  half-brothers by his father's minor wives at 
this point, and Joseph tattles on  them.  All that makes perfect sense  if 
Joseph is age 8½, but would be senseless if Joseph were age 17 regular  years. 
18.  Joseph is still called a  "na'ar" shortly before he becomes Pharaoh's 
powerful vizier at stated age 30  years.  Joseph is age 15, and has  just now 
become an adult man.  Joseph is not already middle-aged, and still being called 
a "na'ar"/boy,  when Joseph becomes the second most powerful man in the world. 
19.  Isaac dies at stated age  180 years.  That is obviously age 90  years, 
as no man can live to age 180 regular years.  
20.  Jacob enters Egypt and  tells Pharaoh (using a translator) that Jacob's 
years are "few" to this point,  namely being stated age 130 years.  Jacob is 
obviously a spry age 65 when he leads all the Hebrews out of  Canaan into 
Egypt.  
22.  Jacob dies at stated age  147 years.  That is impossible in  regular 
years, but makes perfect sense at age 73½ years. 
23.  Joseph dies at stated  age 110 years, predeceasing all 10 of his older 
half-brothers.  That sequence makes sense only if Jacob  dies at age 55 years. 
Conclusions: 
(i)  All 23 stated ages make  no sense if the text of the Patriarchal 
narratives is setting forth people's  ages in terms of regular, 12-month years. 
(ii)  By sharp contrast, all  23 stated ages make perfect sense if the text 
of the Patriarchal narratives is  setting forth all people's stated ages in 
terms of 6-month "years". 
Why go with a 0 for 23 "match"?  Why not go with a 23 out of 23 complete 
match?  The author of the Patriarchal narratives  is clearly setting forth 
everyone's stated ages in terms of 6-month  "years".  Since the Gezer Calendar,  the 
Hebrew Calendar, the calendars of Ugarit, and the calendars of ancient Ur  all 
had both a New Year event in the fall and a New Year event in the spring as  
well, 6 months later, it was easy for the author of the Patriarchal narratives 
 to envision a true 6-month "year" concept, and to set forth everyone's 
stated  ages in his composition in terms of 6-month "years". 
Jim Stinehart 
Evanston, Illinois



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