[b-hebrew] Genesis 41: 1: "Two Years of Days"

James Read J.Read-2 at sms.ed.ac.uk
Wed Jul 15 13:54:31 EDT 2009


Hi,

I never cease to be amazed at people, who instead of answering a  
question, continue to pile more conjecture on the original conjecture  
they stated as if the new conjecture in some way gave foundation to  
the old conjecture. All you have succeeded in doing is convincing me  
that:

a) you did not read my questions
b) you did not understand my questions
c) you were not interested in understanding my questions
d) I am never likely to get an answer from you

Just in case, please allow me to repeat my questions and make them more clear:

1) When do you see a boy becoming a man? Stating things like 'In the  
ancient world ... blah, blah, blah' is not an answer unless you are  
willing to provide some evidence in some form. If your only evidence  
is how they support your conclusions then this is called 'circular  
reasoning' and is unlikely to convince me.

2) How does the Quran's importance of the number 19 support you claims  
when there is no indication of whether their tradition refers to 6  
month years or 12 month years? Restating your interpretation and  
embellishing me with further details of further conjectural  
interpretations of similar style is not what I consider evidence. It  
is just conjecture heaped on conjecture. Are you actually going to  
offer any evidence in the near future or just keep embellishing  
further conjectural ideas?

James Christian

P.S. I know I'm going to regret this just like I knew I would regret  
asking the last time. In the hope I get a sensible answer this time I  
make one last attempt.


Quoting JimStinehart at aol.com:

>
> James Christian:
>
> 1.  You wrote:  “1) What age do you consider somebody to be a 'grown man'?
> I venture that a few list members may disagree.”
>
> In the ancient world and in the medieval world, a boy became a man at about
> age 13 years.  That is why the Bar Mitzvah custom is set at age 13 years,
> symbolizing manhood.  In the ancient world, ages 10-12 were a transitional
> period, somewhat akin to teenage years in modern times.
>
> If Genesis 37: 2 is interpreted (that is, misinterpreted) to mean that
> Joseph is age 17 regular, 12-month years, the narrator would not call beloved
> Joseph, who at that point would be a grown man, a “nar”/N(R/“boy”.  No way.
> Nor would favorite son Joseph at that point be a mere helper, in tending
> the flock, to his older half-brothers by father Jacob’s minor wives.  The
> entire scene makes perfect sense if Joseph is age 8½ regular years, while not
> making sense if Joseph is age 17 regular, 12-month years.
>
> As a point of reference, on the female side, most females married at ages
> 13 – 15 in the ancient world, and bore their first child by age 15.  Ages
> 10-12 were transitional years for females, when arguably they should not have
> gotten married or pregnant, but fairly often they did.
>
> A male or female older than 15 years in the ancient world was certainly an
> adult.  Many males in particular were poor at that age, and did not have
> enough resources to take a bride.  But a male older than age 15 was certainly
> an adult, and was treated as such in the ancient world.  Age 13 was the
> approximate changeover point from being a boy to being a man, in the ancient
> world.
>
> I understand that mere servants were routinely referred to as being “boys”
> /nar/N(R, throughout their teenage years, as we see at Genesis 22: 3.  But
> that usage was confined to mere servants.  In the Patriarchal narratives,
> when the narrator is talking about Joseph, the narrator does not   
> view Joseph as
> being a mere servant.  And when the narrator, YHWH and an angel of YHWH are
> talking about Ishmael, they are not viewing Ishmael as being a mere
> servant.  So in context, nar/N(R/“boy” in chapters 37 and 21 of   
> Genesis must be
> referring to an actual boy, that is, a male who is probably less than age 13
> years, and who is certainly less than age 15 years (in regular, 12-month ye
> ars).
>
> 2.  You wrote:  “2) Does why do you think that the Quran acknowledging
> Ishmael to be 19 has a bearing? It makes no mention of whether this is 19 12
> months years or 19 6 month years that you postulate. i.e. interesting but
> irrelevant (quran tradition is largely of biblical origin).”
>
> Prior to modern times, many people knew the “secret” of the ages of the
> Patriarchs, namely that all stated ages in the Patriarchal narratives,
> beginning at Genesis 11: 26, are set forth in terms of 6-month “years”.
>
> (a)  Hebrews.  The Hebrews of course knew the “secret” of the Patriarchs’
> actual ages.  The Hebrews knew that the foundational moment of Judaism came
> when Abraham was age 50.0 regular years, upon the birth of Isaac to
> long-barren Sarah.  Abraham is stated age 100 “years”, in 6-month   
> “years”, meaning
> 50.0 regular, 12-month years.  That is why, per Leviticus 25: 8-10, the
> Hebrew Jubilee celebration was famously set at 50 years.  Although Leviticus
> 25: 8 mentions “seven weeks of years”, nevertheless Leviticus 25: 10
> unequivocally states that it is the 50th year that is the Hebrews’   
> holy Jubilee.
> The true focus is on the number 50, not on 7 x 7.
>
> (b)  Medieval Christians.  The medieval Christian scribes who put chapter
> divisions and chapter numbers into the Bible likewise knew this “secret” of
> the Patriarchs’ ages.  That explains why the Book of Genesis has exactly 50
> chapters.  The medieval Christian scribes, like the Hebrews, knew that the
> foundational moment of Judaism is when Abraham sired Isaac at age 50.0
> regular years, making the number 50 special for Judaism.  (Though   
> not as easy to
> see, it can also be determined that Jacob is age 27 regular, 12-month years
> when, in chapter 27 of Genesis, Jacob manages to get named the leader of the
> next generation of Hebrew monotheists.  The medieval Christian scribes
> manipulated the chapter divisions in Genesis so that chapter numbers  
>  often fit
> what the text is saying.  As a less important example, you just know that
> Genesis 13: 13 is not going to be a pleasant sentence, given the   
> double presence
> of the awkward number 13.)
>
> (c)  Koran.  Like the Hebrews, Jews and medieval Christians, the early
> Islamic wisemen likewise knew the “secret” of the ages of the Patriarchs.  It
> is an objective fact that the number 19 has an outsized importance in the
> Koran.  (I realize that some people have gone too far with that   
> notion, but the
> basic concept is valid.)  The only sensible explanation of why the number
> 19 is so important in the Koran is that the Koran associates the number 19
> with the moment when Ishmael broke off from the Abraham-Isaac line, and in
> effect became the first Arab at that point.  Using the 6-month “years” in
> which all ages are stated in the Patriarchal narratives, Ishmael was age 19 “
> years” when he was exiled by Abraham.  That is age 9½ regular,   
> 12-month years,
> so Ishmael was a mere boy, and hence is called by both YHWH and an angel of
> YHWH “boy”/N(R/nar.  Likewise, each of Joseph and Dinah is involuntarily
> separated from his or her father’s family at the identical age:  9½ regular
> years.  Note that all three are called nar/N(R, including Dinah (showing an
> archaic usage of nar/N(R at Genesis 34: 3, 12 to refer to a female).  Joseph
> is age 8½ regular years at the beginning of chapter 37 of Genesis, per
> Genesis 37: 2.  But by the time Joseph is later almost murdered by his older
> half-brothers and is sold to slavetraders who take young Joseph to   
> Egypt, Joseph
> is age 9½ regular years.
>
> (d)  Medieval Christians vs. Koran.  The Koran views Ishmael positively,
> and hence the Koran has a positive view of the number 19.  The medieval
> Christians did not view Ishmael positively, and hence they did not   
> like the number
> 19.  Note how the medieval Christian scribes who made chapter divisions in
> Genesis managed to get chapter 19 of Genesis to be the story of evil Sodom
> and Gomorrah being destroyed, and the incest of Lot with his young teenage
> daughters.  Since 19 x 2 = 38, we should also look at chapter 38 of Genesis.
> Chapter 38 of Genesis has the other incest story, when Judah impregnates his
> own daughter-in-law Tamar with twin sons.
>
> Here we see the medieval Christians putting their own interpretation on the
> Patriarchal narratives.  The Hebrew author of the Patriarchal narratives
> himself did not view Ishmael as being evil (Genesis 17: 20).  The Hebrew
> author viewed the actions of Lot’s daughters as being laudable   
> (Genesis 19: 32),
> and viewed Tamar’s actions as being laudable as well (Genesis 38: 26).  It
> is fascinating to note this medieval Christian commentary on the Patriarchal
> narratives, based on how the medieval Christian scribes divided Genesis into
> chapters so that certain actions would be associated with certain chapter
> numbers.
>
> The only reason I have mentioned (b), (c) and (d) above is to make the
> basic point that prior to modern times, many people knew the “secret” of the
> ages of the Patriarchs.  Beginning at Genesis 11: 26 and continuing   
> on through
> the end of Genesis, all people’s stated ages are set forth based on how
> many total New Years, counting both spring New Years and fall New Years,
> combined, each person had witnessed.  That is a sensible approach to  
>  setting forth
> people’s ages in the Patriarchal narratives, since (i) people’s ages were
> increased by one at a New Year in the ancient world, and (ii) ancient Canaan
> is famous for uniquely having both a spring New Year and an equally
> important fall New Year, as reflected in the Jewish calendar to this  
>  very day.
>
> If we take the numbers in the Patriarchal narratives seriously, we can make
> exciting discoveries about what the text is really telling us.
>
> Jim Stinehart
> Evanston, Illinois
>
> **************Can love help you live longer? Find out now.
> (http://personals.aol.com/articles/2009/02/18/longer-lives-through-relationships/?ncid=emlweu
> slove00000001)
>



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