[b-hebrew] M$QH at Genesis 13: 10: Where Did Lot Go?

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Fri Oct 3 11:13:49 EDT 2008

I usually trash your messages unread because, to put it gently, you're full
of hot air. You do not believe the Bible, as your comments below indicate.

First of all, the history of Exodus indicates that it happened in mid to
late bronze age, so if Abraham lived centuries before, that would put him in
early to early mid bronze age. Therefore, you don't trust the Biblical
narratives as giving an accurate history.

We read in Genesis 14 that Abram had 318 fighting men among his slaves,
therefore the total number of Abram's slaves including women and children
were about 1000, maybe more. It would take vast flocks to support that
number. Yet Abram was able to pasture his flocks throughout most of the land
except around a few towns that existed at that time. Though the Canaanites
lived in the land at that time, they were few in number that allowed such
vast flocks to be pastured throughout the land.

My understanding is that you are on this list to push an agenda. What that
agenda is, I don't know. Therefore I almost never read you messages, and
even this one I read only bits and parts, not the whole. I probably won't
read a response to this.

Karl W. Randolph.

On Thu, Oct 2, 2008 at 11:53 AM, <JimStinehart at aol.com> wrote:

> Karl W. Randolph:
> 1.  You wrote:  "[P]opulation densities were also different at different
> periods.  For example, looking at the way conditions in the land of Canaan
> were
> talked about during the times of the Patriarchs, it appears that the land
> was
> largely uninhabited."
> That's not what the text of the Patriarchal narratives says.
> (a)  "And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Shechem, unto the
> terebinth of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land."  Genesis 12: 6
> (b)  "Abram the Hebrew--now he dwelt by the terebinths of Mamre the
> Amorite,
> brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner;  and these were confederate with
> Abram.
> "  Genesis 14: 13
> (c)  "And Abraham rose up from before his dead [Sarah], and spoke unto the
> sons of the Hittites".  Genesis 23: 3
> I would agree that Canaan did not have a terribly large population in the
> Patriarchal Age, which in my view is the Late Bronze Age.  But the
> Patriarchs'
> Canaan was not "largely uninhabited".  The text says that in Abraham's day,
> the
> land of Canaan featured (i) Canaanites, (ii) Amorites and (iii) sons of the
> Hittites (who probably are the historical Hurrians).  That's exactly what
> we
> know about Late Bronze Age Canaan in secular history:  it was populated
> with (i)
> Canaanites, (ii) Amorites, (iii) Hurrians, and (iv) tent-dwelling people
> like
> the Patriarchs.
> 2.  You wrote:  "Places that later had towns and fields were at that time
> pastures."
> Could you provide a specific example?  Are you perhaps thinking of the
> Patriarchs' "Hebron"?  Regardless of the geographical location or nature of
> the
> Patriarchs' "Hebron", we know from the text that there is a bona fide city
> there, Kiriath Arbe, that is twice referred to as a "city" (Genesis 23: 10,
> 18),
> and which is stated to have a "gate" (Genesis 23: 10, 18).  (If we are
> willing
> to look west of Beth-el, we can find Late Bronze Age inscriptions for the
> city of Arbe, and for the ideal place to graze sheep and goats, whose
> pre-Hebrew
> name seems to be the forerunner of the Patriarchal name "Hebron".)
> 3.  You wrote:  "Beersheba was apparently merely a well surrounded by
>  pastures, no town in existence…."
> That is correct, whether you are talking about Beersheba of Galilee, or
> Beersheba in the Negev Desert.  But that matches what we know of those two
> Beershebas in the Late Bronze Age, so it should be no real surprise.
> 4.  You wrote:  "[L]ikewise I get that impression about Bethlehem too."
> Yes, but once again, whether you are talking about Bethlehem of Galilee, or
> Bethlehem of Judea, these places are just wide spots in the road, both in
> the
> text of Genesis and in the secular history of the Late Bronze Age.  We have
> no
> confirmation that an actual town was in existence at either such locale at
> that time, either in the text of Genesis, or in the secular history of the
> Late
> Bronze Age.  By sharp contrast, for every actual town in Canaan near which
> the
> Patriarchs are portrayed as sojourning, there is a Late Bronze Age
> inscription
> documenting that such town existed, and that the town had such name in the
> Late Bronze Age.
> 5.  You wrote:  "Therefore a person like Abraham and his sons need not live
> at
>  the fringe of the desert."
> We know from the Amarna Letters that tent-dwellers somewhat like Abraham,
> namely the habiru, routinely lived virtually cheek-by-jowl with
> city-dwellers in
> Canaan in the mid-14th century BCE.  You are certainly right that there was
> no
> reason for Abraham to "live at the fringe of the desert".  And he didn't.
> 6.  You wrote:  "Even so, the land around Sodom would have appealed to Lot
> as
> being more lush."
> Yes, and where is that lush M$QH that Lot covets?  In the Jezreel Valley,
> of
> course.  With Canaan not having a terribly large population at that time,
> which is the initial point that you were properly making, the Jezreel
> Valley is
> the one valley in Late Bronze Age Canaan where rich "cities of the
> KKR/valley/'
> Plain'" were commonplace.  Well-attested Late Bronze Age cities in the lush
> M$QH of the Jezreel Valley include Achshaph/Aksapa, Megiddo, Afula the
> Great,
> Afula the Small (S-R/Biblical Zoar), and Beth Shan.
> Both historically and in the text of Genesis, the only place known to Lot
> where Lot could find rich cities in the M$QH of a fertile valley in Canaan
> was:
> the eastern Jezreel Valley.
> Based on everything I have been able to track down, chapter 13 of Genesis
> fits perfectly with the well-documented secular history of Late Bronze Age
> Canaan.
> Jim Stinehart
> Evanston, Illinois
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