[b-hebrew] xrm and the Canaanites' VIP treatment

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Sun Jan 6 00:11:57 EST 2008


On Jan 5, 2008 5:15 PM, Yitzhak Sapir <yitzhaksapir at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Jan 3, 2008 10:47 PM, K Randolph wrote:
> > Then how do you account for that many Canaanites did survive?
> Where does it say in the book of Joshua that Canaanites from Lachish
> survived?

What misreading of the data makes you think that anyone thinks that any
Canaanites who were *in* Lachish survived?

> > You have just described medieval feudalism, but was this the case of
> ancient
> > Near East as well? From what I read, that was only partially true. Those
> who
> > had something to fear from the invader, yes, would take refuge in the
> > fortified stronghold, but what about the rest? The most clear example is
> > Jeremiah 37:12–14 where Jeremiah attempted to wait out the siege of
> > Jerusalem "among the people" outside of Jerusalem. While it is true that
> > Jeremiah was centuries later, did his example show a change in
> > circumstances? I think it is unlikely, from what history I have read.
> Jer 37 may be applicable, except it describes what Jeremiah did after the
> invaders retreated.  In any case, I did not discuss medieval feudalism.
>  If it
> happens that in medieval times, the same situation took place, then that
> would only indicate that across these different times, people acted much
> the
> same way.

Jeremiah attempted to live outside of the city when he knew that the
Chaldeans retreat was only temporary, that they would be back to finish the
siege that they had started. That shows his expectation that the siege of
Jerusalem would not mean the deaths of those who lived in the villages
outside the fortified cities.

If his story is indicative of ancient warfare, would that not also apply to
Joshua's blitzkrieg?

> > Yet there is a literary standard for when the repetition is used. Follow
> > that when evaluating a text. Does this text follow that literary
> formula?
> Who says there is a literary standard.  No one says there is a formula
> that
> must be followed in order to use repetition.  Besides, formula is just the
> same as no repetition -- it eliminates the possibility for literary
> creativity.

How so? It sounds as if your expectations do more to eliminate the
possibility of literary creativity than anything I said.

> > You are adding to the text. The fulfillment came in 1 Kings 16:34,
> during a
> > time of idolatry, the foundations were laid with human sacrifice, namely
> the
> > oldest son of the builder, the gates blessed with another human
> sacrifice,
> > namely the builder's youngest son. This was apparently a building
> formula
> > among certain idolatrous societies. There is nothing in the text about
> all
> > the other details you added above.
> As you can see, your view that human sacrifice is implied by these verses
> is your own addition to the text.  I am not sure what details I mentioned
> are
> not in the text, but it is pretty clear that Josh 6:17 is talking
> about a continuous
> state rather than a singular action in the past (hence the use of the
> imperfect), and
> the 6:26 is a curse that relates to whoever builds the city.
> Evidently it talks
> about the death of the builder's children, but nowhere does it say he
> would
> be idolatrous or sacrifice them.  As a curse, it just means that his
> children
> will die if he tries to build the city.  1 Ki 16:34 doesn't mention any
> child
> sacrifice either.

How does this relate to the capture of Lachish?

> > And are you sure that your "knowledge" is not modern mythology concocted
> to
> > push an ideology? For example, what about the use of human sacrifice?
> How
> > widespread was it? How was it expressed in the language? Do you deny
> that
> > Joshua 6:26 and 1 Kings 16:34 linguistically refer to that practice?
> Why?
> Please refrain from using terms such as "modern mythology."  Modern
> linguistics
> is not mythology, even if you think it to be so, and it adds nothing
> to the discussion
> to call it that.…

Here you have just done a classic red herring logical fallacy: linguistics
had nothing to do about mythology, history is the subject of the mythology

> > Yet on another level, the personal level, do you claim that people were
> > different then than they are today? In other words, they don't share the
> > same loves, desires, sense of right and wrong, and so forth that modern
> > individuals have?
> People are not different, but they have different cultural values, and
> our cultural sense
> of right or wrong is different from the values during Biblical times.

Oh? How are they different? Can you give any specific examples?

> > On a technical level, what do you know about agriculture, weaving,
> ceramics,
> > cooking, metalsmithing, etc.? Can you tell me why the locksmiths were
> > specifically mentioned in 2 Kings 24:14, 16? What tools do these trades
> use?
> Locksmiths are not mentioned in those verses.

Then what do you call them? And why were they specifically mentioned?

> > Which is the best preparation for a lexicographer? Is it good and
> > concentrated study on languages and linguistics? Or is a person of wide
> > interests, insatiable curiosity of many subjects, experiences in many
> > fields, better prepared to recognize how words are used in their
> contexts?
> There is no question that if the two are placed as two options, then
> it is clear that
> concentrated linguistic study is best for the lexicographer.
> Generally, in a specific
> topic or area of expertise, then it helps a lot to also have expertise
> in that area.  But
> that does not mean that an expert in this area does not need to have a
> good solid
> foundation in linguistics.  For example, if we are discussing the word
> masger, then
> it is clear that someone who has expertise in archaeometallurgy as opposed
> to
> someone with just a general background in linguistics would be better
> prepared to
> comment on such terms. On the other hand, without knowing that Arabic has
> a

cognate verb of the root sajara meaning "to heat up in a furnace," (so
> HALOT) one
> might not be prepared to understand the word correctly.

That's exactly where a reliance on linguistics and cognate languages leads
astray when one does not know history and technology. The locksmiths were
the top technicians of that time, dealing with the most intricate of
mechanisms that their technology allowed. This is connected with the idea of
shutting up, precisely what a lock does.

> Yitzhak Sapir

Karl W. Randolph.

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