[b-hebrew] Hebrew historical records

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Tue Dec 2 22:44:05 EST 2008

You are back to repeating yourself. It wasn't convincing the first time
around, and less so this latest time.

On Tue, Dec 2, 2008 at 12:17 PM, <JimStinehart at aol.com> wrote:

> Kenneth Greifer:
> You wrote:  "I feel that you are denying the possibility of the Hebrews
> having any historical records. You only believe that Egyptians had real
> historical
> records for some reason.  I don't understand why you have to prove every
> place
> and battle in Canaan was mentioned in the Egyptian records, as if the
> Hebrew
> historical records don't count."
> On the contrary, I think that the Patriarchal narratives are the finest
> single record we have concerning the Late Bronze Age.
> You contradict yourself. Either the record is an accurate history, or it is
a myth full of inaccuracies. If it is accurate, then you have to admit that
it is an early bronze age history. If it is myth, it can be like the Iliad,
based on an actual event yet mythologized to make a better story. Either
way, it is not "…the finest single record we have concerning the Late Bronze

> There is nothing to fear from comparing the Patriarchal narratives to
> Egyptian records.  The closer one looks, the more one is impressed by the
> pinpoint
> historical accuracy of the Patriarchal narratives.
> You don't take into account that the Egyptian records are bad, so bad that
today there is controversy over which pharaoh lived in which century. With
the Egyptian records so bad, how can you substantiate using Egyptian records
to verify your theory?

> Consider:
> Each name of a city in Canaan in the Patriarchal narratives has a
> counterpart
> in either the mid-15th century BCE Thutmosis III list and/or the mid-14th
> century BCE Amarna Letters.

Repeatedly we have told you that that is not true.

>   For example, there is no city name "Hebron" in
> any Bronze Age source,

This is exactly what Kenneth Greifer alluded to, that you discount bronze
age Hebrew history, in order to substantiate your theory. In Jewish history,
Hebron, at the present site, is mentioned in both early and middle bronze

> and there were never magnificent groves of oak trees at
> the city of Hebron on the northern edge of the Northern Negev Desert
> (because
> there is not enough rainfall that far south).

1) the text does not say "magnificent", that's your invention. (I always got
the impression that they were more like the scrub oak, such as found in the
high deserts of the American South West, but I could be wrong.)
2) Your omniscience concerning ancient climatic conditions rivals God's, as
you have sure knowledge concerning ancient conditions that you confidently
contradict ancient records. I don't have that clairvoyance, so I have to
depend on the ancient records.

>  Those magnificent groves of oak
> trees (referenced regarding "Hebron" at Genesis 13: 18;  14: 13;  and 18:
> 1)
> were, rather, located on the low hills that surround the Aijalon Valley.
>  The
> Patriarchs' "Hebron" is the Aijalon Valley, being item #99, JBR, on the
> Thutmosis III list.  XBR or XBL [having a wide variety of meanings,
> including "
> tract of land (measured by a rope)"] appears 89 times in the Hebrew Bible,
> whereas )BL, meaning "meadow" or "stream", only appears 3 times.  Although
> J,
> which is an Egyptian single reed (and is not the Egyptian aleph), often
> came into
> Biblical Hebrew as an aleph, here in JBR is one of several occasions in
> which
> J came into Biblical Hebrew as a heth/X.  Thus JBR came into Biblical
> Hebrew
> as XBR, not as )BL as scholars have heretofore thought.  (An Egyptian R
> could
> represent either resh/R or lamed/L, and over the centuries a resh/R would
> often
> soften into a lamed/L.  XBR and XBL were the same word in the Bronze Age.)
> In order to turn JBR/XBR into a specific geographical place name, the most
> co
> mmon way, as we know from the Thutmosis III list, is simply to add a
> vav-nun/WN
> suffix.  JBR/XBR + WN = XBRWN, which is the letter-for-letter spelling of "
> Hebron".  Note that both the spelling of "Hebron", and the description of
> the
> Patriarchs' "Hebron", fit the well-documented secular history of Late
> Bronze
> Age Canaan perfectly, once one realizes that the Patriarchs' "Hebron" is
> not
> the city of Hebron south of Jerusalem, but rather is the Aijalon Valley
> "tract
> of land":  JBR/XBR + WN = XBRWN/"Hebron".
> This little exercise is complete nonsense, as has been repeatedly pointed
out to you. Yet you persist in it.

Secondly, there are bronze age records of Hebron in the place where the
modern city is found, but as Kenneth Greifer pointed out, you discount it
because it is a Jewish, not Egyptian, record.

> The Patriarchal narratives are an incredibly accurate record of Late Bronze
> Age Canaan, better than any single Egyptian source by far.

Either it is accurate, and early bronze age, or mythologized and late, but
not accurate and late. The claim that it is accurate and late breaks logic,
history and linguistics.

>  Unfortunately, the
> basic local geography of Canaan that is utilized in the Patriarchal
> narratives
> has been profoundly misunderstood for a very long time.  The problem is not
> the text of the Patriarchal narratives.  The text is perfect.  Rather, the
> problem is the longstanding misinterpretation of the text.
> Ahhh…  So the stories have been mythologized, and only you hold the key
to decipher the myth making. That's the sort of nonsense that people react
to as nonsense.

> I am trying to restore the historicity of the Patriarchal narratives by
> showing that everything in the text matches the life and times of Late
> Bronze Age
> Canaan, as documented by plentiful secular historical records.
> Kenneth is right, you do not count "religious" history as history.

> The traditional interpretation of the Patriarchal narratives does not match
> secular history.

Secular history does not match secular history. Different secular historians
disagree with others by centuries, or more. So which secular history does it
fit? Do you even know?

Meanwhile the traditional understanding is there because it follows the text
as written, not as interpreted.

> [delete a couple of paragraphs of foolishness]
> The more historical background one has, the more impressive are the
> Patriarchal narratives.

Obviously you don't know much about history either.

>  Yes, the Patriarchal narratives are told from an early Hebrew
> perspective, instead of being altruistic or neutral or passive or literal,
> but
> that's the way historical records are.
> Rather than "denying the possibility of the Hebrews having any historical
> records", as you allege, I in fact view the Patriarchal narratives as being
> the
> single best historical record we have of Late Bronze Age Canaan, bar none.
>  The
> problem is not with the Biblical text, but rather is with the longstanding
> misunderstanding of what the text actually says.
> Without knowing Hebrew, how do you know what the text actually says? How do
you know if the translations that you depend on are accurate?

> Jim Stinehart
> Evanston, Illinois

By the way, what are your credentials? By refusing to answer this question,
what are you hiding?

Karl W. Randolph.

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