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

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Fri Oct 3 14:24:52 EDT 2008


Karl W. Randolph: 
 
1.  You wrote:  “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.”
 
My posts consistently argue that the Patriarchal narratives are very closely 
based on the well-documented secular history of the Late Bronze Age.  No “
belief” is needed.  The text itself beautifully matches what we know about the 
Late Bronze Age, regardless of what religious beliefs a person may or may not 
have.
 
My concluding line in my prior message to you summarizes the overall nature 
of my posts:  “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.”
 
2.  You wrote:  “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.”
 
I have found nothing in secular history to back up the account of the Exodus 
that is set forth in the Book of Exodus.  We have voluminous Egyptian records 
from all the relevant time periods, but nothing similar to the Exodus of 
Hebrews recounted in the Book of Exodus.  Virtually no modern secular historians 
believe that anything like the Exodus reported in the Book of Exodus occurred.  
By sharp contrast, everything we know about the Late Bronze Age appears to 
match, in my opinion, what is said in the Patriarchal narratives.  What I am 
trying to do is to show that if we look at the Patriarchal narratives on their own 
terms, instead of through the lens of the Book of Exodus, the text of the 
Patriarchal narratives matches beautifully with what we know happened in the Late 
Bronze Age.
 
3.  You wrote:  “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.”
 
Although I do not agree that Abraham’s 318 armed retainers were “slaves”, 
you are right that Abraham had a considerable entourage of people, and a huge 
flock of sheep and goats.  But as I read it, the text does not indicate that 
Abraham sojourned “throughout most of the land” of Canaan prior to when Sarah 
got pregnant with Isaac.  The text indicates, rather, that for 25 stated “years”
 Abraham sojourned in Hebron.  From the end of chapter 13 of Genesis, through 
chapter 18 of Genesis, I see nothing in the text that indicates that Abraham 
ever left Hebron.  I view Hebron as being a large fertile valley, 17½ miles 
west of Beth-el, that was ideal pastureland for Abraham’s large flock of sheep 
and goats, and that could also, for a few years, support Abraham’s 318 armed 
retainers as well.  The Patriarchs’ “Hebron” cannot be the mountainous city of 
Hebron 20 miles south of Jerusalem, as such locale had little good pastureland 
and could not have supported Abraham’s large flock and 318 armed retainers.
 
Based on my reading, the text does not report Abraham as ever leaving Hebron 
until right before Sarah gets pregnant with Isaac.  Likewise, Abraham returns 
to Hebron upon Sarah’s death, and Abraham never leaves Hebron during the rest 
of Abraham’s long life.
 
4.  You wrote:  “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.”
 
There were quite a few Canaanites in Canaan in the Patriarchal Age.  The text 
mentions many cities, containing Canaanites, Amorites (including “Hivites”), 
and Hurrians (“sons of the Hittites”), near which the Patriarchs sojourn.  
The names of all of these many cities (13 by my count) are verified as being 
the names of historical cities in the secular historical record of Late Bronze 
Age Canaan.
 
There were also many tent-dwellers in Canaan at this time, however, like 
Abraham.  Sometimes tent-dwelling semi-pastoralists make uneasy alliances with 
each other, just as Abraham is stated at Genesis 14: 13 to be in a 
covenant/confederate relationship with certain tent-dwelling Amorites at Hebron.  The 
description of life in Canaan in the Patriarchal narratives, compared to what modern 
historians know of life in Canaan in the Late Bronze Age, is essentially one 
and the same, as far as I have been able to determine.
 
5.  You wrote:  “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 your 
messages, and even this one I read only bits and parts, not the whole.  I 
probably won't read a response to this.”
 
If you read my posts, you would realize that my “agenda” is to analyze the 
Hebrew text to show that the world of the Patriarchs is one and the same as the 
world of Canaan in the secular history of the Late Bronze Age.  Thus for 
example, on this thread a close examination of the key Hebrew word M$QH reveals 
that Lot must have gone to the eastern Jezreel Valley when he left Beth-el, not 
to the southern shore of the Dead Sea as traditionally supposed.  The “cities 
of the KKR/valley/‘Plain’” in the text are (or are closely based on) 
historical Late Bronze Age cities in the Jezreel Valley, not fictional cities south of 
the Dead Sea.
 
My “agenda” is to look at the Patriarchal narratives on their own terms, 
rather than through the lens of the Book of Exodus, and thereby discover the 
startling historical accuracy of the text of the last 40 chapters of Genesis in a 
Late Bronze Age historical context.
 
Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois




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