[b-hebrew] The Role of Hebron

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Tue Jan 15 11:28:30 EST 2008

Yigal Levin:
You wrote:  “Maybe we should read "Hermon" instead of "Hebron", thus placing 
 Patriarchs' burial place in northern Canaan as well?”
I catch the humor.  But consider the serious linguistic arguments I am 
setting forth on the b-Hebrew list in support of my northern Canaan theory of the 
Patriarchal narratives.
1.  Gerar/Garu
Biblical “Gerar” is a nice match to “Garu” in the secular history of the 
mid-14th century BCE, in northern Canaan.
You have no “Gerar” in southern Canaan.
2.  S(h)ur/Sur
The rich island city-state of Sur in southern Lebanon is a nice match to 
S(h)ur at Genesis 20: 1.
You have no Sur in southern Canaan.
3.  Luz/Lus
The historical city of Lus at the southern foot of Mt. Lebanon in northern 
Canaan is a nice match to Luz, and hence to the place that Jacob calls “Bethel”.
You have no Luz in southern Canaan.
4.  Phicol
Based on the scholarly etymology of the name “Phicol”, this military man 
used by Abimelech appears to be a non-west Semitic-speaking foreign mercenary 
from the southwest coast of Anatolia.  Lebanon was rife with foreign mercenaries 
like that in the mid-14th century BCE (such as the Sherden).
There were never any foreign mercenaries in southern Canaan in the mid-2nd 
millennium BCE.  The name “Phicol” makes no sense at all in a southern Canaan 
context.  The southern Hebrews knew nothing, and cared less, about Anatolia.
5.  Abimelech/Abimilki
The ruler of Sur in Garu in the mid-14th century BCE has essentially the same 
name as the ruler of Sur in Gerar in the Patriarchal narratives:  Abimilki 
vs. Abimelech.
6.  Migdal E-der/En-dor
As shown in a previous post, “migdal e-dor” could well be the linguistic 
equivalent of “the fortified town of En-dor”.  If so, then Jacob was operating 
in northern Canaan, and Rachel is buried in Bethlehem of Galilee/Bethlehem Sur, 
not Bethlehem of Judea.
You have no fortified town of any kind between Bethlehem of Judea and Hebron. 
 And you have no En-dor/E–d-r anywhere in southern Canaan.  This is all 
northern Canaan vocabulary, from a northern Hebrew mindset.
7.  Tidal/Tudhaliya
Most all the experts agree that the name “Tidal” in chapter 14 of Genesis is 
the Hebrew version of an authentic Hittite kingly name, “Tudhaliya”.  No 
southern Hebrew ever paid any attention to the far-away Hittites whatsoever.  But 
the northern pre-Hebrews were terrified in the mid-14th century BCE that 
northern Canaan might be overrun at any minute by the dreaded Hittites.  That’s 
Amarna Letter #170, referencing 90,000 battle-tested, menacing Hittite troops in 
the Bekka Valley.  And that’s the “iniquity of the Amorites”, when the 
Amorites in northern Lebanon and western Syria iniquitously sold out to the dreaded 
Hittites in the mid-14th century BCE, thereby endangering the northern 
pre-Hebrews.  No southern Hebrew cared a fig about such irrelevant happenings.  
Meanwhile, the northern pre-Hebrews were desperate to avoid being wiped out by the 
rampaging Hittites from the north.
The Amarna Letters from northern Canaan can’t stop talking about the dreaded 
Hittites.  The Amarna Letters from southern Canaan never mention the Hittites. 
 Rebekah’s passionate invective against the Hittites at the end of chapter 27 
of Genesis is coming straight from the heart of a northern pre-Hebrew:  “I 
loathe my life because of the Hittite women!”  
*       *       *
What is your counter to the serious linguistic arguments that I am setting 
forth in support of my northern Canaan hypothesis for the Patriarchal 
narratives? You have no Gerar, Sur, Luz, Phicol, Abimelech, migdal Eder, or Tidal in 
southern Canaan.  That’s all northern Canaan vocabulary, evidencing a northern 
Hebrew point of view.  How could J, E, P or D be coming up with such northern 
Canaan vocabulary?  And why would J, E, P and D, as southern Hebrews, stud the 
Patriarchal narratives with such ancient northern Canaan lingo?  Furthermore, 
how on earth could all four of J, E, P and D, as southern Hebrews, somehow “
forget” to mention Jerusalem even once in 40 chapters of text in the Patriarchal 
I catch your humor, but I fail to see any strength to your traditional view 
that the Patriarchal narratives were composed by southern Hebrews.  The text, 
the linguistics, and the secular history are all four-square against your 
traditional view, as far as I can see.  As we are seeing on my threads, the 
Patriarchal narratives were composed by a pre-Hebrew from northern Canaan, not by one 
or more southern Hebrews.  The northern Canaan vocabulary and mindset in the 
Patriarchal narratives tell the tale.  
Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois

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