[b-hebrew] Eastern Galilee

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Tue Apr 7 12:11:25 EDT 2009


Yitzhak Sapir:
 
I would greatly appreciate your comments, and the comments of others on the 
b-Hebrew list, regarding the important Hebrew spelling issues that apply to the 
names of the city south of Adamah and the city (QD$) north of Hazor.  In this 
post, which I will try to keep fairly short, I will set forth my 
controversial view of Genesis 20: 1, which depends in large part on Hebrew spelling issues 
regarding the name of the city south of Adamah in eastern Lower Galilee. 
 
I agree with the slight majority of scholars who see NGB at item #57 on the 
mid-15th century BCE Thutmosis III list as being a reference to the city south 
of Adamah.  The name of the city south of Adamah was either (i) NGB, or (ii) 
Adami-the-NGB, or (iii) Adami-the-NQB.  As we will now see, the varying 
spellings are of absolutely critical importance.
 
Before focusing on the controversial Hebrew spelling issues, however, let me 
first briefly state that I agree with the plurality of scholars who see the 
location of NGB at item #57, and Adami-the-NQB at Joshua 19: 33, as being at Kh. 
ed Damiyeh, south of Adamah.  The “ed Dami” portion of that modern name 
nicely carries over the “Adami” portion of the ancient city name.  Here once 
again is the cite for that great map I previously referenced for Lower Galilee, 
where you can see Kh. ed Damiyeh, which is both NGB at item #57 on the Thutmosis 
III list and Adami-the-NQB at Joshua 19: 33 (while Adamah, by contrast, is T. 
Adami on that map):
 
_http://truthandpurpose.com/?p=113_ (http://truthandpurpose.com/?p=113) 
 
At Joshua 19: 33, the name of the city south of Adamah is spelled:  
)DMY-H-NQB.  A slight majority of scholars see NGB at item #57 on the Thutmosis III 
list as referencing that same city (which is my view of the case, too).  The 
critical, controversial question then is this:
 
Is the reference to “the NGB” at Genesis 20: 1 a reference to the city south 
of Adamah in eastern Lower Galilee, rather than being a reference to the 
Negev Desert?  
 
When times get tough for Abraham and Isaac in southern Canaan, it would make 
more sense for them to go to “the Paradise of Galilee” than to go deep into 
the inhospitable Negev Desert.  Even if there has been climate change, the 
Paradise of Galilee, just north of Adamah near Chinnereth, was a much better place 
to pasture a huge flock of sheep and goats than the middle of the Negev 
Desert, and in Galilee Isaac could grow the bumper crop that is referenced at 
Genesis 26: 12.  In describing where Abraham goes, the first geographical 
reference, at Genesis 20: 1, is “region the NGB”.
 
A slight majority of scholars see NGB at item #57 on the Thutmosis III list 
as referencing the city south of Adamah.  NGB at item #57 is a perfect match to 
NGB at Genesis 20: 1.  All the sources say that an Egyptian G is a gimel/G.  
[The other instance of the rare Egyptian G on the Thutmosis III list is at 
item #79:  RGD.  At p. 73 of “The Sacred Bridge” (2006), Anson Rainey shows RGD 
as being ru-gi-sa, with the Egyptian G being a gimel/G, and notes that this 
city is referenced in other ancient sources as either ru-gi-si or ru-heth + i –
sa, never with a qof/Q.  At pp. 36, 82 and 89 of “The Sacred Bridge”, this 
city is simply referenced by Rainey as Rogisu, with Egyptian G being gimel/G.]  A 
minority of scholars see NGB at item #57 as referencing the Negev Desert, 
which would require a G in the middle of the word.  However, although that makes 
linguistic sense, all the cities surrounding NGB at item #57 on the Thutmosis 
III lists are located in central or northern Canaan, and conquering pharaoh 
Thutmosis III never went to the Negev Desert.  So in context it makes no sense 
for item #57/NGB to be a reference to the Negev Desert, whereas item #57/NGB 
makes perfect sense as a reference to the city in eastern Lower Galilee south of 
Adamah.  The Egyptian letters NGB at item #57 are equivalent to the Hebrew 
letters NGB that we see at Genesis 20: 1 (and are not an Egyptian version of the 
Hebrew letters NQB).  In context, item #57 must be referring to the city in 
eastern Lower Galilee that is south of Adamah, not the Negev Desert.
 
Note that Joshua 19: 33 refers to “the-NQB”, and Genesis 20: 1 refers to “
the NGB”.  In both cases, the Hebrew definite article he/H is used.  
 
The sound of NQB is similar to NGB.  One possibility is that NGB was the 
earlier name, meaning “South”, and NQB was the later name, meaning in this 
context “pass”.  (Similarly regarding Hazor, HZR on the Thutmosis III list may be 
an earlier, different name of the city later called XCWR in the Bible.)  
Whether as an earlier or an alternative name for this city, Adami-the-NGB makes 
perfect sense, as this city was just south of Adamah.  So )DM + suffix + the + 
South is located just south of )DM + suffix.  And given that “Adami” sounds so 
much like “Adamah”, it would make sense for the city south of Adamah to be 
referred to routinely in the shortened form of “the South”/NGB.  Perhaps both of 
these names were used interchangeably for this city “south”/NGB of Adamah, 
which was also located at a “pass”/NQB.
 
Let’s now compare my proposed analysis of Genesis 20: 1 with the traditional 
analysis.  Genesis 20: 1 references, among other things, (i) the NGB, (ii) 
QD$, and (iii) GRR.  Scholars have been unable to find a single inscription in 
secular history prior to the common era for the NGB, QD$, or GRR south of Gaza 
(or anywhere in the general vicinity of Gaza, such as the Negev Desert or the 
Sinai Desert or southern Canaan).  By sharp contrast, we have just seen that a 
slight majority of scholars see NGB at item #57 on the mid-15th century BCE 
Thutmosis III list as being a reference to a city in eastern Lower Galilee.  
QD$, in the original unpointed Hebrew text, is documented in Ugaritic literature 
and elsewhere as being the historical Late Bronze City of QD$ of Upper 
Galilee.  And in 1907, a German scholar said that KRR at item #80 on the Thutmosis 
III list is Gerar.  Our own Yigal Levin has previously said on the b-Hebrew list 
that KRR is Galilee.  I think they’re both right.  KRR is both GRR/Gerar and 
GLL/GLYL/Galilee, recognizing that Egyptian R can be either resh/R or lamed/L, 
and that Egyptian K often comes out as a gimel/G in Biblical Hebrew.
 
George has given me good advice not to be “speculative”.  Note that I 
support my controversial view of the NGB, QD$ and GRR at Genesis 20: 1 as being 
located in Galilee on the non-speculative basis that each of those three 
geographical names is referenced in Galilee in the well-documented secular history of 
the Late Bronze Age.  By contrast, the traditional view has  n-o-t-h-i-n-g  in 
secular history prior to the common era to back up its traditional approach of 
seeing the NGB, QD$ or GRR at Genesis 20: 1 as being located south of Gaza 
(or in that general vicinity).
 
The Hebrew spelling issues here are critical, and I would like the good 
advice of people on the b-Hebrew list as to this.  On my controversial view, I am 
linking together, as being references to the same Late Bronze Age historical 
city, (i) “the NGB” at Genesis 20: 1, (ii) “NGB” at item #57 on the Thutmosis 
III list, and (iii) “Adami-the-NQB” at Joshua 19: 33.  I realize that the 
middle letter at Joshua 19: 33 is qof/Q, not gimel/G.  That is the critical 
Hebrew spelling issue here.  I would greatly appreciate everyone’s comments on this 
Hebrew spelling issue, which is of great importance in my efforts to show 
that the Patriarchal narratives were composed in the Late Bronze Age, using Late 
Bronze Age nomenclature.  Though the focus of this particular post has been on 
“the NGB”, I see all of the NGB, QD$ and GRR at Genesis 20: 1 as being Late 
Bronze Age nomenclature relating to historical places in eastern Galilee, as 
documented in well-known inscriptions from the secular history of the Late 
Bronze Age.
 
Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois

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