[b-hebrew] 1 Kings 20:14 Who are the young men, princes of the districts?
JimStinehart at aol.com
JimStinehart at aol.com
Fri Apr 30 16:12:00 EDT 2010
You wrote: “with all due respect Jim the archives of this list show that
we have all (including Yigal) been considering your theory for the full 3
been presenting them. You have consistently brushed aside the refutations
without handling them properly and this has led to us not being convinced.
What more do you want from Yigal? He's looked at your theory and seen that
the foundation is faulty.”
It would help me if you would specify which precise aspects of what I have
presented in the last few days are evidence “that the foundation is faulty.”
1. Chapter 14 Was Composed in the Late Bronze Age
I have set forth lots of aspects of the wording of chapter 14 of Genesis
that indicate a very old composition date, dating all the long way back to the
Late Bronze Age, and perhaps even to the mid-14th century BCE. As to
chapter 14 of Genesis (but not as to the rest of the Bible), this is a mainstream
scholarly view, as Yigal Levin of course is well aware, as can be seen from
the following quote from the Anchor Bible series:
“Genesis xiv stands alone among all the accounts in the Pentateuch, if not
indeed in the Bible as a whole. …The date of the narrative has been
variously estimated. …A fresh re-examination of all the available scraps of
evidence, both internal and external, favors an early date, scarcely later in fact
than the middle of the second millennium [BCE].” E.A. Speiser, “The
Anchor Bible Genesis” (1962), Doubleday, New York, at pp. 105-106.
Karl’s response, not surprisingly, was basically along the lines that all
the rest of the first five books of the Bible are much older than university
scholars think. But James Christian, I think you may realize that,
regardless of what your or my own personal views may be, about the only prose
section of the Bible that mainstream scholars are willing to concede may well date
all the long way back to the Late Bronze Age is chapter 14 of Genesis.
I would think that perhaps all of us might agree that there is a very
realistic possibility that chapter 14 of Genesis may have been composed in the
Bronze Age. Maybe Yigal Levin would not go quite that far, but at least he
knows that that is one mainstream university scholarly view as to the date of
the composition of chapter 14 of Genesis.
I myself see that as the rock-solid foundation of my analysis. Do you see
that starting point as being “faulty”?
2. Amorites South of the Dead Sea?
If chapter 14 of Genesis was composed in the Bronze Age, how could it
portray Amorites as living south of the Dead Sea? To me, that makes no sense.
In the Middle Bronze Age, the Amorites had dominated both Mesopotamia and
Syria. By the Late Bronze Age, the Amorites were largely confined to Lebanon
and Ugarit, though there were some Amorite princeling rulers in Canaan south
of Lebanon. In the Late Bronze Age, Amurru was an Amorite state, in
northern coastal Lebanon. Plus we know from Richard Hess’s detailed analysis of
Amarna names that there was an important enclave of Amorite princelings in the
north-central Beqa Valley, at and near Hasi, in the Amarna Age.
Meanwhile, no mainstream scholar has ever suggested that the Amorites at
any time historically lived south of the Dead Sea.
Yet 100% of university scholars who have opined on this subject in writing,
to the best of my knowledge, nevertheless tell us that the Amorites at
Genesis 14: 7 are portrayed as living south of the Dead Sea. How can that be?
If chapter 14 of Genesis is a truly ancient text, composed when the Amorites
were well known by all, how could the Amorites be portrayed as living in a
place where they never lived?
That is a key aspect of the foundation of my analysis. Do you see that as
3. No Peoples and Places at Genesis 14: 6-7 Historically Attested South of
the Dead Sea
Don’t you think it’s suspicious that no peoples or places at Genesis 14:
6-7 are attested in the secular history of the ancient world as being south
of the Dead Sea?
Genesis 14: 6. I interpret HRRM %(YR at Genesis 14: 6 as meaning “
well-wooded hill country”. That’s a perfect description of the well-wooded hill
country north and south of Seir/Jazer in the Transjordan east of the Jordan
River, but there’s no well-wooded hill country south of the Dead Sea. In a
Late Bronze Age document, the “Horites” would be the historical Hurrians, and
they are never attested south of the Dead Sea. El-paran means “Great Desert
”. In a sentence that begins (at Genesis 14: 5) with a reference to
Ashteroth in the northern Transjordan, we would naturally expect El-paran/Great
Desert to reference the Great Desert -- the Great Desert/Syro-Arabian Desert
that forms the entire eastern border of the Transjordan, and that stretches
in magnificent desolation all the long way east to Babylon. How could “Great
Desert” be thought to reference a navigable waterway, as scholars would
Genesis 14: 7. George Athas specifically told me that I cannot assume that
$WB at the beginning of Genesis 14: 7 means “return”, in the sense, in
context, of meaning “And then they returned (back north to the Ashteroth area)”
. To the best of my knowledge, 100% of university scholars who have
published on this issue have insisted that $WB at the beginning of Genesis 14: 7
has the following extremely peculiar, and totally unique, meaning: “And then
they made a very wide turn to the right (and proceeded into the Sinai
Desert).” But did you notice that George Athas did not cite HALOT in attacking
my view of $WB at the beginning of Genesis 14: 7, even though George Athas
often relies on HALOT? Let’s take a peek at what HALOT has to say about $WB:
HALOT states at p. 1,429 as to $WB: “qal (683 times)…The basic meaning of
$WB is defined by Holladay loc. cit. 53 as a word which is used of someone
who has shifted direction in a particular way and then shifted back from it
in the opposite way. As long as there is no contrary factor the assumption
is that such persons or people will turn back and reach the original point
from which they departed. …–1. a) to turn back, return Gn 14:7”.
Whereas every lexicon emphasizes that the most common meaning of $WB is “to
return”, not a single lexicon has ever said that $WB means “to make a very
wide turn to the right”.
As to QD$, our own Yigal Levin is, I believe, the world’s leading expert on
that topic. He has found not a single inscription in the Sinai Desert in
ancient times having the name QD$ or Kadesh-barnea. The text says QD$, not
Kadesh-barnea. QD$ is attested historically in Upper Galilee. An alternate
name for Qadesh of Upper Galilee in the Late Bronze Age was “Eye on Mt.
Hermon”. A variant of that name is at item #5 on the mid-15th century BCE
Thutmose III list, roughly corresponding to En-mishpat at Genesis 14: 7. “
Amalekites” cannot be the future descendants of an illegitimate
great-great-grandson of Abraham. Either the word means “valley dwellers”, as often surmised,
or there was a one-letter scribal transcription error in the 1st millennium
BCE, with the original word having been “valley” (which is what happened
at Judges 5: 14, as we know from the Septuagint). In either event, the
original reference was to the Beqa Valley. The Amorites, as noted above, are
historically attested at Hasi in the Beqa Valley in the mid-14th century BCE.
I see XCCN TMR as being a Hurrian name, whose short form would be XCC, which
comes out in Amarna Letter EA 175 as Hasi.
Note how virtually every people and place at Genesis 14: 6-7 is
historically attested in the Late Bronze Age north of the Dead Sea. Remember, there is
n-o-t-h-i-n-g in terms of an ancient historical attestation for any of
those peoples or places south of the Dead Sea.
James Christian, please specify which aspect of my analysis is “faulty”.
To the best of my knowledge, no university scholar has e-v-e-r looked
north of the Dead Sea in analyzing Genesis 14: 6-7. Why not? Why not take a
look? There’s nothing historical that backs up the conventional view that
Genesis 14: 6-7 is referencing peoples and places south of the Dead Sea.
Is there a Big Secret out there that university scholars are hiding from
us? If not, why is it that no university scholar is willing to look to Late
Bronze Age historical inscriptions from north of the Dead Sea in analyzing
Genesis 14: 6-7?
I am trying to reinstate the historical integrity of the “four kings
against five” at Genesis 14: 1-11. But if “the foundation is faulty”, please
specify with specificity the error of my ways.
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