[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 17:42:08 EDT 2010

James Christian:
1.  You wrote:  “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.”
My post was limited to chapter 14 of Genesis.  There is nothing in chapter 
14 of Genesis about “how a once fertile region became a desolate waste.”
Once one leaves chapter 14 of Genesis, then one loses most all mainstream 
university scholars as to a Late Bronze Age composition date.  So in the last 
few days I have narrowly limited my comments to chapter 14 of Genesis.  I 
disagree with your interpretation of chapter 19 of Genesis, but for right 
now, I’d prefer to keep the focus on chapter 14 of Genesis.
2.  You wrote:  “When you make claims such as no mountains South of the 
dead sea….”
That’s totally false.  I am very well aware of the fact that there are 
mountains south of the Dead Sea.  I have posted on that very subject several 
times in recent days.  Genesis 36: 8-9 is talking about Mt./HR Seir, south of 
the Dead Sea.  My point is that chapter 14 of Genesis, by sharp contrast, is 
talking about HRRM/hill country, not Mt. Seir south of the Dead Sea.  The 
word %(YR means “hairy”, and is often thought to imply “well-wooded”.  There 
is well-wooded hill country in the Transjordan, that’s for sure, but there’
s no well-wooded hill country south of the Dead Sea.
Indeed, HR at Genesis 36: 8-9 vs. HRRM at Genesis 14: 6 is a perfect issue 
concerning Biblical Hebrew language issues to discuss on the b-hebrew list.  
So many of the words in chapter 14 of Genesis are archaic that it must be a 
Late Bronze Age composition. 
3.  You wrote:  “…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. “
There you go again talking about Genesis 36: 8-43, whereas by contrast, I 
am talking about truly ancient chapter 14 of Genesis.
In the Patriarchal Age, there was no state of Edom.  All mainstream 
scholars see that famous passage in chapter 36 of Genesis as being very late:
“[Genesis] 36: 31 (‘these are the kings who reigned in the land of Edom 
before a king reigned over the Israelites’) suggests that the list originates 
from the period of the early monarchy [10th century BCE].  If it were from 
an earlier period [the Late Bronze Age], such a statement would be impossible.
”  Gary Rendsburg, “The Redaction of Genesis”, at p. 110. 
In fact, I believe that Yigal Levin himself made a comment along those very 
same lines recently.
If you want to talk about the 1st millennium BCE state of Edom, you can 
talk about Genesis 36: 8-43.  But I’m talking about the Patriarchal Age in the 
mid-14th century BCE, per the truly ancient composition of chapter 14 of 
Indeed, one of my key arguments is the exact opposite of what you assert.  
HRRM at Genesis 14: 6 is referring to the hill country of the Transjordan, 
not to Mt./HR Seir south of the Dead Sea in the 1st millennium BCE state of 
I am very well aware that there are “mountains [that] have a distinct 
reddish colour” south of the Dead Sea.  But that part of the world is never 
referenced in any way, shape or form in chapter 14 of Genesis.  That’s my point, 
you see.  If we could just get the underlying geography right for the “four 
kings against five”, then we could convince mainstream scholars that they 
are in error in denying the historicity of Genesis 14: 1-11.  The geography is 
critical.  Professor Yigal Levin is one of the leading Biblical geographers 
in the world, based on his published article about QD$ and the talk he will 
be giving for Anson Rainey concerning Biblical geographical matters.  Until 
and unless we can get someone of Prof. Levin’s great stature to glance  
n-o-r-t-h  of the Dead Sea in analyzing Genesis 14: 6-7 on the basis of Late 
Bronze Age historical inscriptions, mainstream scholars will never see the 
pinpoint historical accuracy of the “four kings against five” in its 
description of the harrowing first year of the Great Syrian War.  The geography is 
the key to re-establishing the historicity of the “four kings against five”.  
That’s our only chance of getting mainstream university scholars to change 
their minds about Genesis 14: 1-11.
Both the early Hebrew author of the truly ancient chapter 14 of Genesis, 
and today’s university scholars, know that the Hurrians and the Amorites never 
lived south of the Dead Sea.  Consequently, the unanimous view of the 
scholarly community today that the Amorites and Horites/Hurrians at Genesis 14: 
6-7 are portrayed as living south of the Dead Sea is dead wrong.  That’s my 
point.  Until and unless we can get university scholars over that hump, there’
s no chance that they’ll recognize the pinpoint historical accuracy, in a 
Late Bronze Age context, of the “four kings against five”.
Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list