[b-hebrew] Hebron: The Linguistic Search for the Patriarchs' Bronze Age "Hebron"

dwashbur at nyx.net dwashbur at nyx.net
Fri Oct 10 18:24:11 EDT 2008

On 10 Oct 2008 at 18:31, JimStinehart at aol.com wrote:

> Dave Washburn:
> 1.  You wrote:  "No, the text says Haran died "in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the 
> land of his birth."  That's Gen 1128, NIV."
> But you read Hebrew, so you know that´s a mistranslation.  

I know no such thing.

> As Yigal Levin 
> confirmed on a thread long ago, "molodet" in Biblical Hebrew refers to one´s 
> father´s descendants.  Only in modern Hebrew has the word "molodet" taken on the 
> new meaning of "birth".  

"Confirmed" is a strong word.  "Suggested" is more like it, and it's incorrect.  Among other 
passages, in Ezek 16:3 and 4 it means "ancestors" and "birth" respectively.  The expression 
in Gen 11:28 is )RC MWLDTW, "the land of his MOLEDET" (note that it's "moledet," not 
"molodet").  To say that Haran died before his father in the land of "his father's 
descendants" makes no sense.  Likewise, Lev 18:9 makes no sense when rendered 
"father's descendants" either time.  

> Genesis 11: 28 says that Haran died at Ur of the 
> Kasdim (not "Chaldeans") in the presence of his father, in the land of his 
> father´s descendants, that is, where Haran´s "molodet" were at the time.  Haran 
> died on the "road" on a long "caravan" trip way out to Ur.

You're pulling this "caravan trip" out of nowhere, because there's absolutely nothing in the 
text to indicate such a journey.  The previous verse is a simple genealogy about Terah 
fathering Abram, Nahor and Haran and Haran fathering Lot.  There's nothing to suggest any 
journey "to" Ur.  Verse 31 speaks of a journey FROM Ur TO Haran, but that's the only trip 
mentioned, and verse 28 most naturally indicates that Haran died before this particular trip, 
in the land of his "birth."  The Holladay lexicon, which is based on Kohler-Baumgartner, 
renders *'eretz moladtow* as "the land of his origin."

That's not even to address the fact that the "Kasdim" and the "Chaldeans" are the same 
thing.  I'll let that pass.
[snip - blah blah blah]

> 2.  You wrote:  "[I]f we take the text at face value, this was his [Haran´s] 
> name at birth and had nothing at all to do with any travel plans by Terah or 
> anybody else."
> So you are arguing that none of the people´s names in the Patriarchal 
> narratives foreshadow what their main role will be in the Patriarchal narratives?  

They may or they may not.  It really doesn't matter.  But in the cases you present here, no, 
they don't.

[snip - more blah blah blah]  
> Shall I go on?  Every single important name in the Patriarchal narratives has 
> an important symbolic meaning, based on puns.  When you and Karl Randolph try 
> to deny that basic, objective fact, I do not know quite what to say.  Both of 
> you know Hebrew so well.  How can you possibly miss every one of these puns 
> after puns after puns after unending puns? 

Maybe the fact that we know more Hebrew than you do should tell you that these "puns" 
only exist in your mind.  There's nothing "objective" about any of this.
> Most scholars recognize that every single important name in the text of the 
> Patriarchal narratives has obvious symbolism.  If you close your eyes to all 
> those many puns, you will not be able to follow what the author of the 
> Patriarchal narratives is telling us.

Who exactly are "most scholars"?  You seem to pick and choose the ones that support your 
preconceived notions and ignore those that don't.
> 3.  You wrote:  "Gen 48:22 says nothing at all about Shechem...."
> Heavens, Genesis 48: 22 uses the identical word in unpointed text as "Shechem"
> , used as the common noun "shechem".  How can a pun be any clearer than 
> that?  It´s the identical spelling in the original, unpointed text.

"Tear" as in "rip" and "tear" as in a water droplet from the eye are identical,  as well.  that 
doesn't make them the same word.  This is one of the most common fallacies committed by 
those who don't really know the language.  Welcome to a very non-exclusive club.
> 4.  You wrote:  "Hamor is described in Gen 34:2 as a "Hivite, not an Amorite. 
>  You're still getting nowhere."
> As I explained before, "Hivite" is a made-up, non-historical pejorative 
> nickname, that is shrewdly designed to claim that the expansionist-minded Amorites 
> in Shechem were nefariously acting like the regional equivalent of the 
> dreaded international menace at the time:  the classic Hittites.  Genesis 48: 22 is 
> important in confirming that Hamor is actually "the Amorite".

You can say it all you want, but that doesn't make it true.  Once again, you're making stuff 
up, in this case a "made-up, non-historical pejorative nickname."  This is so far beyond 
ridiculous I'm not sure English has a word for it.  Gen 36:2 thoroughly refutes this idea about 
"Hivite."  You're welcome to keep inventing things, but don't expect us to buy your 
inventions because they don't work.
> 5.  You wrote:  "There is no need for these names [Nahor, Haran, Hamor, 
> Hebron] to have any particular meaning.  They may or may not, but it really doesn't 
> matter.  As for coincidence, I'm reminded of the Bible Code:  we can find 
> most anything we want to find if we look hard enough and use enough imagination." 
> Each name makes perfect historical and textual sense, as I have shown, once 
> one realizes that the Hebrew author is engaged in clever Hebrew wordplay in 
> playing off heth/X against he/H.  Every single important proper name in the text 
> has an important meaning.

No, you have "shown" no such thing.  There's a big difference between "said" and "shown."

[snip - rehash, including smokescreens like "Sodom" and "Gomorrah" which I have not 
addressed at all]

It is clear that you are not interested in learning anything about Hebrew, and are not actually 
asking questions but pushing an agenda.  Karl, Pere, myself and several others have 
demonstrated that your agenda is built on nothing but wishful thinking and has no real basis 
in the Hebrew language.  I'm tired of this game of yours and I will not play any more, even if 
directly challenged.  

Dave Washburn
"I'll hold the nail.  And when I nod my head, you hit it with the hammer."

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