[b-hebrew] 1 Kings 20:14 Who are the young men, princes of the districts?

James Christian jc.bhebrew at googlemail.com
Fri Apr 30 17:03:26 EDT 2010


Jim,

many of us who read the bible (like Karl and I) are already convinced that
not only Genesis 14 is accurate history but pretty all of Genesis, the torah
in general, Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings. In fact, we're pretty much
convinced that no other contemporary nation has such an accurate history as
that of Israel with this collection of books.

Where you lose people, even those who doubt the authenticity of Genesis and
the reliability of its contents, is your blatant refusal in face of the
linguistic facts that the story of Sodom and Gomorah relates how a once
fertile region became a desolate waste. When you make claims such as no
mountains South of the dead sea you alienate your readership even further. I
was in the Arabah only a few weeks ago as I made my way from Eilat to
Jerusalem for the passover along the King's highway and I can assure you
that there is a mountain range on the Israel - Jordan border that stretches
from Aqaba right the way up to the dead sea. I can also assure you that many
of the mountains have a distinct reddish colour which we associate with
Edom.

Your blatant refusal to engage with these facts make you look like a Dan
Brown wannabe who is trying to gain a following with contraversial theories
that to the uneducated may look seductive but don't stand up to any form of
close scrutiny. Yigal, wisely, has chosen to refrain from answering you
because time and again you have shown that trying to present the facts to
you is a pointless exercise.

James Christian

On 30 April 2010 23:12, <JimStinehart at aol.com> wrote:

>  James Christian:
>
>
>
> 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 years you've
>
>
> 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 being “faulty”?
>
>
>
> 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 have it?
>
>
>
> 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.
>
>
>
> Jim Stinehart
>
> Evanston, Illinois
>
>



More information about the b-hebrew mailing list