[b-hebrew] What Does "salt sea" Mean at Genesis 14: 3?

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Tue Dec 2 12:12:35 EST 2008


On Tue, Dec 2, 2008 at 6:39 AM, <JimStinehart at aol.com> wrote:

> Karl:
> 1.  You wrote:  "The present division into chapters came relatively
> recently
> (when compared to the total time period the text talks about to the
> present).
> Therefore it
>  must be read in context of chapter 13, where the area is clearly listed as
> being to the east. So, within the context, it is clear that the Dead Sea is
> meant."
> From a mountaintop east of Beth-el, one can see the Jordan River to the
> east
> and northeast, and Mount Hermon to the far northeast.  One cannot see the
> southeast coast of the Dead Sea.  In fact, all view of the Dead Sea is cut
> off by
> the hill country south of Beth-el.

What is your fixation about Bethel? The text does not say that this event
happened in Bethel. The way the language is written, it leaves open that
this event happened a while later, after Abraham and Lot wandered away from
Bethel in search of pasture.

> Note that the words "Jordan" and "east" are so notably absent in chapter 14
> of Genesis.  Those are the words that the author would have used, in
> addition
> to "salt sea", if he was intending to reference the Dead Sea.

Oy veh! That´s like claiming I have to mention ¨west coast¨ and ¨California¨
every time I mention ¨San Francisco¨, otherwise it might refer to a
different place.

> 2.  You wrote:  "%DYM can come from the root %YD, to whitewash, which is
> what
> salt encrusted objects look like when taken from the lake."
> Let's investigate that.
> (a)  Strong's

Nobody on this list considers Strong´s an authority on Hebrew language.

> (b)  Gesenius

Gesenius is the reason I went into lexigocraphy, his glosses too often do
not fit the contexts where words are found. Furthermore, his work is

(c)  BDB:

BDB basically is an update of Gesenius, sharing many of the same faults.

By referring to these ¨sources¨, you admit you don´t know what you are
talking about.

> As to your theory, &YD means "lime", but there is no plural form.  And why
> on earth would a force of four mighty invading rulers attack a "valley of
> lime"
> ?  That makes no sense.
> You are speaking nonsense.

Further, I mentioned this only as a possibility. With names, when we have no
history telling why people named a place, we can only guess. Linguistics can
help in that guessing. In this case, the plural for fields is different from
the name listed here, therefore the theory that it is from ¨fields¨ is ruled
out from linguistics. Linguistics leaves open the possibility that when
people came to the area, they noticed that the immediate area around the
Dead Sea resembled white wash, so named it so.

There are other possibilities as well.

> &DYM sure looks like an archaic plural of "field" to me.

But you are ignorant of the language, therefore no authority.

> Why would you think that a big battle for Canaan would be fought in a
> "valley
> of lime"?

This question shows utter foolishness, that you have not read the text. It
is nonsense like this that has led to repeated calls to the moderators to
ban you from the list.

> 4.  You wrote:  "Just because you are ignorant of any battle there [at the
> Dead Sea] does not mean that none was ever fought there, especially when we
> take
> into account all history back to the early bronze age."
> I have tried to read all the scholarly articles I can find on the "four
> rulers against the five", and a fair number of traditional accounts as
> well.  No
> one has offered an historical battle at the Dead Sea as the basis for that
> story.
> By your own admission you have been looking for the wrong cause and wrong
time period, so of course you will not find it.

> I will address your informative comments about Beth Shan in a separate
> post.
> Let me just note here that we know from the archaeological evidence that
> Beth
> Shan was a wealthy place in the Late Bronze Age, complete with "temples"
> and
> "governors' residencies", and even a ritual bath.  Beth Shan was not a mere
> army barracks.  No, Beth Shan was the most logical first target for any
> group
> of serious invaders of Canaan.  Egypt's small garrison at Beth Shan would
> have
> to be taken out first.  In addition to strategic considerations, that would
> also generate plenty of nice looting opportunities there as well.  Then it
> would be on to the "final battle" for control of Canaan at Megiddo.
> Sources, sources, sources. Based on your previous and present statements,
your credibility is zero. I gave a link to an archaeologist who personally
investigated the tell at Beth Shean as well as studying the findings by
previous archaeologists. Who do you think I should trust more?

> You're missing the pinpoint historical accuracy of the Patriarchal
> narratives
> by dreaming, with Gesenius, that the Dead Sea came into existence from the
> sinking of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Who said I believe this theory?

>  That age-old traditional theory of the case has
> no historical backing.  Nor does it follow what the text of Genesis says.
> Genesis 19: 21-22, 30 expressly states that Zoar, a town in the same valley
> as
> Sodom that was located close to Sodom, is spared by the angels.  That does
> not
> fit a theory of the Dead Sea being formed when Sodom and Gomorrah sank.
> The ruins of five early bronze age cities have been found a short distance
south and east of the Dead Sea, four of which were destroyed by a tremendous
conflagration and the fifth abandoned shortly thereafter. The amount and
variety of foodstuffs found in the ruins indicate that at the time the
cities thrived, the area around them was very fruitful, until the time that
the cities were destroyed.

> If you will go with what the text of the Patriarchal narratives actually
> says, and compare it to the well-documented secular history of the Late
> Bronze
> Age, you will find a very tight fit.

I read the text in Hebrew, not in English translation. Not only do you not
know Hebrew, but you don´t listen to those who do. Linguistically, your
claims are foolish.

> Jim Stinehart
> Evanston, Illinois

Again you have not answered my question concerning your qualifications. What
are you hiding?

Karl W. Randolph.

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