[b-hebrew] Canaan as the Original Homeland of the Hebrews: Part I

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Wed Jun 25 17:28:26 EDT 2008

There you go again. I'll only reply to one (long) point at the moment:
> 6.  You wrote:  “The problem is, that when the details don’t all match, 
> you
> make some up. There is NO indication in the text that Terah was originally
> from Canaan and was on his way ‘home’.”
> Let me cite the text, which supports my view:
> “And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his son's son, 
> and
> Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife;  and they went forth with 
> them
> from Ur of [Kasdim], to go into the land of Canaan;  and they came unto
> Haran, and dwelt there. And the days of Terah were two hundred and five 
> years;  and
> Terah died in Haran.” Genesis 11: 31-32
> It was Terakh’s plan to go to Canaan, not Abraham’s plan.  Why would 
> elderly
> Terakh be trying to go to Canaan?  It’s because Terakh was trying to get 
> back
> home to northern Canaan, after completing a one-time caravan trip way out 
> to
> Mesopotamia.  Otherwise, why would elderly Terakh be trying to go to 
> Canaan?
> Are you claiming that Terakh was not trying to go to Canaan?  That
> contradicts what the text says.
> On your view, why was elderly Terakh trying to go to Canaan?  Terakh had 
> had
> no divine guidance from YHWH.
> We must also ask why Terakh allows his precious firstborn grandson (Lot) 
> of
> his beloved, deceased firstborn son (Haran) to go to Canaan, leaving 
> Terakh in
> Harran.  The answer is that Terakh was indigenous to Canaan, and Terakh 
> wanted
> precious Lot to return to the family homeland in northern Canaan.  From 
> Terakh
> ’s point of view (though not from our point of view), it was something of 
> an
> afterthought that Terakh’s youngest son Abraham perhaps could be of help 
> in
> leading Lot back to Canaan, and could also be of help in selling the 
> commercial
> luxury goods that the party had been purchasing on this long caravan trip 
> way
> out to Mesopotamia.  Lot will come out of Egypt rich.  Lot did not get 
> rich in
> Egypt because his aunt Sarah had a pretty face.  No, Lot got rich in Egypt
> from the sale of the valuable commercial merchandise that the party had 
> acquired
> on the long caravan trip way out to Mesopotamia.  See how the text makes
> perfect sense on this view?
> Old Terakh wanted to go back to his homeland in northern Canaan with his
> precious grandson Lot.  But when Terakh proved to be too infirm to make it 
> past
> Harran, Plan B had to be devised, under which Lot would be guided back to 
> Canaan
> by Abraham, while middle son Nahor would stay on in Harran to care for 
> Terakh.
> What text can you cite that says that Terakh had never been in Canaan? 
> There
> is no such text.  Genesis 11: 31-32 only makes logical sense if Terakh is
> indigenous to Canaan and is trying to lead the whole family back to 
> Canaan.
> Jim Stinehart
> Evanston, Illinois

You see, it does say that Terah was on his way to Canaan. It does NOT say 
why he was on his way to Canaan. The idea that he was on his way BACK HOME 
to Canaan is entirely your invention. Maybe he was out of work and there was 
work in Canaan? Maybe he had bought a retirement condo in Ashdod? Maybe he 
was ultimately headed for Egypt? Maybe God told him to go? The author does 
not say that he was not originally from Canada, either. The details that are 
missing were apparently not important to the author - that does not give us 
lisence to "fill in the gaps" however we want to.

Yigal Levin 

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