[b-hebrew] Is "Kiriath Arbe" in Genesis an Historically-Documented City Name?

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Fri Oct 17 12:35:11 EDT 2008


On Fri, Oct 17, 2008 at 6:50 AM, <JimStinehart at aol.com> wrote:

> Karl:
> You wrote:  "Again you are doing violence to the text. The Oaks of Mamre
> overlooked the southern Jordan Valley.  Where exactly that place was, we
> don't
> know, but it
>  was clearly in what later became southern Judea.  There is no other way to
>  read the text."
> Your mistake is to think that Mamre is where Abraham witnesses the
> immediate
> after-effects of Sodom's destruction, and that Mamre "overlooked the
> southern
> Jordan Valley".
> A.  There are two reasons why Mamre cannot be the place where Abraham
> witnesses the after-effects of Sodom's destruction:  location and timing.
> (1)  Location
> Mamre is located at, or very near, Hebron, per Genesis 13: 18.
> (2)  Timing
> Genesis 19: 27 tells us that Abraham gets up early in the morning to see if
> Sodom has been destroyed.

> Everything like this in the text makes perfect sense, if and only if we
> understand the actual geography that underlies the Patriarchal narratives.
> Jim Stinehart
> Evanston, Illinois

Yes, everything makes sense, if one follows the text instead of your
convoluted thinking.

1) Location

"Near" (which is a relative term) does not mean "at" yet within a distance
from Hebron shorter than the width of the town where I live (seven miles)
there are several places that during the early bronze age had no towns, yet
were good pasture lands at that time and overlooked the southern Jordan
Valley. The Oaks of Mamre could have been any one of those.

"The place where Abraham stood before the Lord" was described in chapter 18
as a place near the tent, overlooking the valley.

2) Timing

"Early in the morning" is again a relative term. More exact timing can be
deduced from when the angels rousted Lot (at the first glimmerings of dawn)
and when Lot entered Zoar (at sunrise). So if Abraham got up at sunrise,
which is still getting up early, by the time he got to the place where he
stood before the Lord the smoke was already coming up.

Hence following the text within its linguistic, literary and historical
contexts makes perfect sense. There is no need to resort to your convoluted

Karl W. Randolph.

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