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

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Wed Jul 15 15:22:47 EDT 2009

James Christian:
Although I already answered both of your questions, I will answer them 
again, this time making the answers simpler.
1.  You wrote:  “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 
 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.”
The Jewish custom of a Bar Mitzvah at age 13 indicates that in the ancient 
and medieval worlds, the approximate time at which a boy became a man was 
age 13.  Likewise, the fact that most females in the ancient world bore their 
first child by age 15, and that age 13 was commonplace for a female to bear 
her first child, indicates that a girl became a woman in the ancient world 
at approximately the same time as a boy became a man.
2.  You wrote:  “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?”
It is an objective fact that the number 19 has outsized importance in the 
Koran, and is viewed positively in the Koran.  The most likely explanation 
for that numerical fact is that the Koran correctly ascertained that in terms 
of the 6-month “years” that are used to set forth everyone’s ages in the 
Patriarchal narratives, Ishmael was age 19 “years” when he was exiled by his 
father Abraham.  (That is age 9½ in regular, 12-month years.)   Thus the num
ber 19 symbolizes the birth of the Arabs, who later became Muslims.  It was 
when Ishmael was age 19 “years” in the Patriarchal narratives that Ishmael 
is portrayed in the text as separating from the Abraham-Isaac line.  That is 
the explanation for the otherwise mysterious sura 74: 30 in the Koran:  
"Over it is 19."  The number 19 symbolizes Ishmael, the birth of the Arabs, and 
the birth of Islam.
3.  There is no way that Joseph is age 17 years, in 12-month years, at 
Genesis 37: 2.  And there is no way that Ishmael is age 16 years, in 12-month 
years, in chapter 21 of Genesis.  No way.  If they were such ages, they would 
be grown men, not “boys”/nar/N(R.  Rather, Joseph’s stated age of 17 “years
” at Genesis 37: 2, and Ishmael’s stated age of 13 “years” at his 
circumcision (prior to Isaac’s birth) at Genesis 17: 25, are set forth in the text 
in terms of 6-month “years”.  On the day he was circumcised, Ishmael had 
witnessed a total of 13 New Years in Canaan:  7 spring New Years and 6 fall 
New Years.  Ishmael was age 6½ regular, 12-month years when he was circumcised.
The “secret” of the ages of people in the Patriarchal narratives, a “secret
” that was fairly widely known prior to modern times, is that all person’s 
ages in the text are set forth in terms of how many New Years they had 
witnessed, counting both spring New Years and fall New Years, combined.  The 
calendars in ancient Canaan, and the Jewish calendar to this very day, reflect 
two New Years every 12 months, which in turn reflect the two critical annual 
harvests in Canaan, in the fall and in the spring.  Each of those harvests 
was of equal importance to the Hebrews, and hence each heralded a New Year.  
That is the ancient basis for why the first day of the New Year in the 
Jewish calendar is in the fall, but the first month of the New Year in the 
Jewish calendar is in the spring.
But when the Hebrews are in Harran or Egypt, being places that only had one 
New Year every 12 months, periods of years in those foreign lands are set 
forth in the text in terms of regular, 12-month years.  As I noted in my 
first post on this thread, the verbal clue that a different meaning of “year” 
will be used in those foreign lands is the presence of the phrase “of days”. 
 Before the first use of “year” to mean a foreign, 12-month year (in 
Harran), we see the phrase “a month of days” at Genesis 29: 14.  And the first 
reference to a period of years in Egypt contains this same verbal clue, as 
the phrase is “two years of days” at Genesis 41: 1.  Those verbal clues tip 
us off that the periods of “years” referenced in the text in Harran and 
Egypt will be set forth in terms of 12-month years, even though all people’s 
ages in the text are set forth in terms of 6-month “years”.
Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois

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