[b-hebrew] B vs. P

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Thu Nov 20 16:50:25 EST 2008

Kevin Riley:
Another key instance of B/bet substituting for P/peh in the Patriarchal 
narratives is at Genesis 14: 2, in the phrase:  bet-lamed-ayin he-yod-aleph 
ssade-ayin-resh/BL( HY) C(R.
The B/bet in “Bela” substitutes for P.  Now we see that BL(, or PL(, is a 
virtual anagram of historical “Afula”, which is spelled ayin-peh-vav-lamed-he.  
Leaving off the vowel-type indicators, the three key consonants in “Afula” 
are ayin-peh-lamed/(PL.  Put the ayin at the end, and [as an anagram] you have 
peh-lamed-ayin, which [with B substituting for P] is then bet-lamed-ayin at 
Genesis 14: 2.
The only rich city in a valley in Canaan that historically had “Zoar” or “
small” in its name is item #54 on the mid-15th century BCE Thutmosis III list:  “
Afula the Small”.  Although this rich city in this wealthy valley was by no 
means tiny, this city nevertheless was often apparently called “Small” by the 
locals for short.  The other four cities in this incredibly rich valley are 
Afula the Great, Jezreel, Megiddo and Beth Shan.  As previously mentioned on an 
earlier thread, the eastern half of the Jezreel Valley, which includes Afula 
the Small (apparently often simply called “Small”), is the northwest corner of 
the Jordan River Valley, because the rain that falls there runs into the 
Jordan River to the east.  So Afula the Small, referred to as “Small” for short, 
was located both in the Jezreel Valley (a word not used in the Patriarchal 
narratives) and in the Jordan River Valley -- the KKR of the Jordan that is 
referred to in chapter 13 of the Patriarchal narratives.
Scholars see both “Bela” and “Zoar” at Genesis 14: 2 as being entirely 
fictional.  (Scholars also don’t realize why this one of five cities, which is 
portrayed in the text as being defeated by the historical four attacking rulers 
referenced in the prior post, is portrayed, historically accurately, as not 
having a ruler, but that’s another story.)  But once one recognizes that the 
early Hebrew author of the Patriarchal narratives sometimes deliberately 
interchanges B and P in order to slightly disguise a name (with every one of these five 
cities’ names being disguised here), one can see that “Bela, that is Zoar” 
means “Afula, that is Small”.  Historical “Afula the Small” was, apparently, 
often simply called “Small” for short.  Rather than being pure fiction, as 
scholars would have it, this is a slightly disguised historical Late Bronze Age 
name of a fully historical Late Bronze Age wealthy city in a wealthy valley:  
Afula the Small.  Both historically and in the Patriarchal narratives, Afula 
the Small was one of the five “cities of the Plain”, that is, one of five 
wealthy cities in a wealthy river valley.  Four of those five cities, including 
Afula the Small and “Sodom”, were located in the KKR of the Jordan, the Jordan 
River Valley, where the eastern half of the Jezreel Valley is viewed as being 
the northwest corner of the Jordan River Valley.
Unless one realizes that the early Hebrew author of the Patriarchal 
narratives sometimes deliberately substitutes B for P and vice versa, one will not 
appreciate the stunning historical accuracy of the Patriarchal narratives.  These 
city names at Genesis 14: 2 are not fictional, as scholars would have it.  No, 
they are disguised versions of historical Late Bronze Age names of historical 
Late Bronze Age cities located in a wealthy river valley in the heart of 
(P.S.  Note that in chapter 19 of Genesis, Sodom and Gomorrah, but not the 
other three cities of the river valley, are portrayed as being destroyed by 
divine fire.  Gomorrah is on the western end of the Jezreel Valley, whereas Sodom 
is on the eastern end of the Jezreel Valley.  The crops throughout the entire 
river valley are destroyed, but the three middle cities in the center of the 
Jezreel Valley, including Afula the Small, are not themselves destroyed.  It is 
only after Sodom’s destruction that Lot leaves Afula the Small/Zoar.  Genesis 
19: 30  Finally following the angels’ original advice, Lot at last heads for 
the hills on the eastern bank of the Upper Jordan River.  If we don’t 
understand the local geography of the Patriarchal narratives, we cannot follow the 
storyline.  Historically, it was Qatna, north of Canaan, not Sodom and Gomorrah 
in Canaan, that in the Patriarchal Age was burned to the ground and never 
reinhabited, after being one of five cities in a league that was historically 
demolished by the four attacking rulers referred to in the prior post:  “four 
rulers against the five”.  The early Hebrew author of the Patriarchal narratives 
well knew that, of course.  In chapters 14 and 19 of Genesis, the author of the 
Patriarchal narratives is warning that what historically happened last year 
north of Canaan might be the dire fate of Canaan proper itself next year, unless 
everyone pulled together to resist the dreaded Hittites.) 
Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois

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