[b-hebrew] Carmel again

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Mon Jan 19 15:33:57 EST 2009

And now that the question has been asked and answered with no new 
information being offered, this thread is CLOSED.

Yigal Levin


----- Original Message ----- 
From: <JimStinehart at aol.com>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Monday, January 19, 2009 10:23 PM
Subject: [b-hebrew] Carmel again

> Kenneth Greifer:
> You wrote:  “I did not understand what you said lately about David being 7
> miles south of Hebron in the wilderness. When you used to say Hebron was 
> not in
> the Negev, how far away from the Negev did you mean it was? I am confused
> because I thought you said Hebron was further north, but I don't think you 
> said
> how many miles from the Negev desert.  I know you have started a different
> subject, but I think you could take a minute and answer my question even 
> if it is
> stupid.”
> Professor Yigal Levin set forth the scholarly view of Carmel, which is 
> that
> Biblical Carmel is the same place as the modern Arabic town with the 
> Arabic
> name of Kurmul.  That Arabic town is located 7 miles southeast of the city 
> of
> Hebron.
> On the Carmel thread (which is now closed, so I will not re-argue the 
> points
> I was trying to make on that thread), I tried to show that Biblical Carmel 
> is
> not the modern Arabic town of Kurmul, but rather is located on the 
> northeast
> corner of the Sorek Valley, a few miles west of hill country, based on the
> Thutmosis III list, the Amarna Letters, and what is said about Abigail’s 
> Carmel in
> I Samuel.
> Your real question, though, concerns Hebron.
> Based on secular history, the city name “Hebron” did not exist prior to 
> the
> 8th century BCE.  Archaeology has revealed that there was a grand citadel 
> of a
> city at the site of the city of Hebron in the Early and Middle Bronze Age.
> But in the Bronze Age that grand citadel of a city was not called “Hebron”.
> If the Patriarchal narratives were composed prior to the 8th century BCE, 
> and
> if the most important geographical place name in the Patriarchal 
> narratives
> was not edited in during the 8th century BCE or later, then it is hard to 
> see
> how the Patriarchs’ “Hebron” could be one and the same place as the city 
> of
> Hebron.  The city name “Hebron” was not in existence yet in the 
> Patriarchal
> Age, which in my controversial view is when the Patriarchal narratives 
> were
> composed.  The city of Hebron is located 20 miles south of Jerusalem, in 
> the heart
> of hill county, on the northern edge of the Northern Negev Desert.  That 
> would
> be an odd place for Abraham to choose to sojourn with his huge flock of 
> sheep
> and goats, which more naturally would be pastured in the Aijalon Valley. 
> The
> first thing the text of the Patriarchal narratives tells us (at Genesis 
> 13:
> 18) about the Patriarchs’ “Hebron” is “oak trees”.  Oak trees famously 
> line
> the Aijalon Valley, but the city of Hebron, in the Northern Negev Desert, 
> is
> too far south for there to be notable oak trees there.
> The second thing the text of Genesis tells us about the Patriarchs’ 
> “Hebron”
> (also at Genesis 13: 18) is “Mamre”, which the text soon clarifies means, 
> at
> least in some contexts, “Amorite”.  The new thread I have opened on 
> Jacob-El
> will attempt to show that the Aijalon Valley is the only place in southern
> Canaan that historically was associated with the Amorites.  That is a 
> second key
> clue that the Patriarchs’ “Hebron” is the Aijalon Valley, not the city 
> south
> of Jerusalem in the Negev Desert that was later re-named “Hebron”.
> Not a single Biblical author ever asserts that Abraham’s “Hebron” and 
> David’
> s Hebron are one and the same place.  I do not think that a single 
> Biblical
> author viewed those two places as being the same place.  It is a 
> post-Biblical
> mistake that erroneously asserts, against the evidence in the Bible, that 
> Ab
> raham’s “Hebron” and David’s city of Hebron are one and the same place.
> I agree with the standard view as to where the city of Hebron, being David’s
> Hebron, was located.  I disagree, however, with the standard post-Biblical
> view that the Patriarchs’ “Hebron” is the city of Hebron.  I view the 
> Patriarchs’
> “Hebron” as being the Aijalon Valley, which is not located close to the
> Negev Desert.
> The reason I have discussed “Magaroth” and “Halhul” and “Carmel” on
> previous threads is to try to get people to realize that towns listed at 
> Joshua 15:
> 52-60 are not necessarily located in hill country proper, but rather may 
> be
> located a few miles west of hill country proper, in the eastern Shephelah.
> The problem is not what the Bible says about geography.  No, the problem, 
> in
> my opinion, is the post-Biblical misunderstanding of what the Bible says 
> about
> geography.  The reason why the Bible never says that Abraham’s “Hebron” 
> and
> David’s Hebron are one and the same place is because every Biblical author
> knew that they were two completely different places.  David’s Hebron is 
> the city
> of Hebron, located 20 miles south of Jerusalem in hill country, in the
> Northern Negev Desert.  The composition of the books in the Bible that 
> mention David
> was done no earlier than the 8th century BCE (though David lived in the 
> 10th
> century BCE), and so the 8th century BCE city name “Hebron” is used.  By
> contrast, the Patriarchal narratives were composed prior to the 8th 
> century BCE,
> before the city name “Hebron” existed, and in my view there was virtually 
> no
> later editing of the substantive content of the Patriarchal narratives. 
> The
> Patriarchs’ “Hebron” in Genesis is not the city of Hebron, but rather is 
> the
> Aijalon Valley.
> Jim Stinehart
> Evanston, Illinois
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