[b-hebrew] 6-Month "Year"
JimStinehart at aol.com
JimStinehart at aol.com
Mon Oct 29 17:55:32 EDT 2007
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
[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
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.
(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".
************************************** See what's new at http://www.aol.com
More information about the b-hebrew