[b-hebrew] Robert Alter on Joseph

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Fri Jul 24 18:28:04 EDT 2009


Jim:

I already wrote that I would not accept evidence from Ugarit, and there are
good reasons for that.

On Fri, Jul 24, 2009 at 2:00 PM, <JimStinehart at aol.com> wrote:

>  Karl:
>
>
> 3.  You wrote:  “Where do you get your two basic meanings for N(R? Show Bible passages. Infact, some of the passages you mention argue against your theory.”
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> Meaning #1 of N(R is Genesis 37: 2.  It means “boy”.  It would apply to a named individual who is a male age 2 – 15.
>
>
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> The text here says that he was 17 years old, contradicting your claim.

> Meaning #2 of N(R is Genesis 22: 19.  It refers to unnamed mere servants, who are often in their late teens, but could have a broad age range, prior to middle age.
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>
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> This is not evidence that the servants’ ages were counted differently than
his and his sons’ ages.

You have come up empty with these verses.


> 4.  You wrote:  “So Benjamin was only 15 when he already had at least seven sons, not
>
> counting daughters? That’s pushing it, even for regular years. Genesis 46:21.”
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>
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> Chapter 46 of Genesis is a convenient place for the author of the Patriarchal narratives to record every son and grandson of Jacob (plus a handful of other people), including Jacob’s grandsons who were born in Egypt, after the Hebrews moved to Egypt.  All of Benjamin’s sons were born in Egypt, after the Hebrews had moved to Egypt.  Benjamin is age 15 years at this time.  It is obvious from the preceding text that when the Hebrews moved to Egypt, Benjamin was not yet married, much less that he had already sired 10 sons.
>
>
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> Read the whole chapter, and it clearly states that these are the names of
the people who came with Jacob as he went to Egypt, and their relationship
to Jacob. The exception is clearly stated in verse 20 for Joseph.


> 5.  You wrote:  “I am still waiting for primary source data.”
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>
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> (a)  As to Biblical material, anything not in the Patriarchal narratives is going to post-date the Patriarchal Age by at least 700 years.
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> (b)  As to texts from the secular history of Bronze Age greater Canaan, we’re basically limited to Ugarit for any extensive material.  I am reluctant to spend too much time typing up snippets of Ugaritic documents, since you have already stated that you will not accept anything from Ugarit.  The rest of us are interested in what light the Ugaritic material may throw on the Patriarchal narratives.
>
>
>
> OK, so you admit that you have no data to back up this claim of two counted
birthdays a year. So this is a private theory pulled out of thin air.


> 6.  Karl, may I ask you why you are trying so hard to back up the scholarly view that the ages of the Patriarchs make no sense on any level?  Does it make historical sense to think that the Hebrew author of the Patriarchal narratives is presenting Abraham’s father Terakh as living to age 205 years, in 12-month years?
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>
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> Is this history or not? If history, then this is evidence that for whatever
reason, people’s lives have been getting shorter.


> Jim Stinehart
>
> Evanston, Illinois
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>
> ------------------------------
>

Now that you have admitted that you have no data to back up your claim, why
do you keep pushing it?

Karl W. Randolph.



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