[b-hebrew] )BYMLK vs. Abimelech vs. Abi-Molech
JimStinehart at aol.com
JimStinehart at aol.com
Wed Apr 15 09:46:58 EDT 2009
You wrote: “It seems extremely tendentious that a text has so many 'false
positives' for the south….”
What “'false positives' for the south” do you see in the unpointed Hebrew
text of the Patriarchal narratives?
1. )BYMLK at Genesis 20: 2 is the historical name of the ruler of
Ssur/Tyre in the mid-14th century BCE in northern Canaan, per the Amarna Letters.
No ruler named )BYMLK is attested in secular history for southwest Judah in
2. GRR at Genesis 20: 1 is a linguistic match to KRR at item #80 on the
mid-15th century BCE Thutmosis III (“T III”) list. (Yigal Levin and a
majority of other scholars see the Egyptian K in KRR as being equivalent to
gimel/G in Biblical Hebrew.) GRR also is close to GR in Ugaritic literature and
to GR in the Amarna Letters. All of those locations are regions in Late
Bronze Age northern Canaan. There is no GRR/Gerar attested prior to the common
era in southwest Judah, as scholars readily admit.
3. QD$ at Genesis 20: 1 is a well-documented Late Bronze Age city in Upper
Galilee that is attested by that name in Ugaritic literature. George A.
Barton, “Danel, a Pre-Israelite Hero of Galilee”, in “Journal of Biblical
Literature”, Vol. 60, No. 3 (Sept., 1941), pp. 216-218, 225. Yigal Levin’s 22
page article, with 84 footnotes, on the boundaries of the land of Canaan,
which focuses primarily on Kadesh-barnea, cites not a single secular
historical inscription prior to the common era for the name QD$ or Kadesh-barnea in
southwest Judah or thereabouts.
4. NGB at Genesis 20: 1 matches NGB at item #57 on the T III list, in
northern Canaan. NGB is not attested prior to the common era as being a name
for the desert in southern Canaan. That was confirmed for me by Prof. Steve
Rosen, of the Archaeology Department of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev,
in a 7/6/08 E-mail he wrote to me: “We do not have any pre-biblical (Bronze
Age or second millennium BC) texts, Egyptian or otherwise, which use the
word [NGB]. I am not sure concerning classical period references to the
region. It is true that the Negev as such does not serve as a name for any
administrative region, but I am not sure that it does not appear in texts from
Roman and Byzantine times.”
I have shown exact, letter-for-letter matches to well-documented Late
Bronze Age inscriptions from secular history for all four of the above items at
Genesis 20: 1-2, in a northern Canaan setting.
Scholars, by sharp contrast, have n-o-t-h-i-n-g in terms of a secular
historical inscription prior to the common era for any of the above four items
in a southwest Judah geographical context. N-o-t-h-i-n-g.
In post-exilic times, Ezra reinterpreted the Patriarchal narratives in a
Judah-centric manner. Ezra’s reinterpretation of the Patriarchal narratives
is “late”, non-historical, and unreliable. But the unpointed Hebrew text of
the Patriarchal narratives makes perfect sense in a Late Bronze Age secular
historical context. The Patriarchal narratives portray Isaac as being born
in Upper Galilee.
The only “false positives” for a southwest Judah geographical locale of
which I am aware are coming from the Ezra era, not from the unpointed text of
the Patriarchal narratives. II Chronicles 14: 13-14 says that Gerar is in
southwest Judah. That’s from the Ezra era. Pursuant to the medieval
pointing done in the Middle Ages, QD$ at Genesis 20: 1 is, as Yigal Levin points
out at p. 63 of his article, pointed to look like a QD$ south of Gaza, not the
historical Late Bronze Age city of QD$ in Upper Galilee. But that pointing
was done in the Middle Ages, and reflects the Ezra era non-historical
reinterpretation of the Patriarchal narratives.
To the best of my knowledge, there are no “false positives” for a
southwest Judah location of Gerar in the unpointed Hebrew text of the Patriarchal
narratives. Rather, there is match after match after match to a northern
Canaan locale for Gerar in a Late Bronze Age secular historical context.
As far as I know, there is not a single secular historical inscription
pre-dating the common era that would link Gerar in the Patriarchal narratives,
or anything associated with Gerar in the unpointed Hebrew text of the
Patriarchal narratives, to southwest Judah or any place anywhere near southwest
Judah. In particular, if you know of a secular historical inscription
pre-dating the common era that would link the name )BYMLK, GRR, QD$ or NGB to
southwest Judah or thereabouts, in any time period, please set it forth.
Otherwise, the “false positives” you are referencing are most likely merely
reflecting the “late”, religious, non-historical reinterpretation of the
Patriarchal narratives done in the post-exilic Ezra era, not the unpointed Hebrew
text of the Patriarchal narratives itself.
GRR/Gerar is an historical Late Bronze Age name of a region in northern
Canaan, that roughly approximates the later concept of Galilee. GRR/Gerar is
not a fictional name of a fictional city in southwest Judah.
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