[b-hebrew] Genesis 13:18 Abraham and Abimelech

rob acosta robacosta at hotmail.com
Fri Jul 1 16:18:49 EDT 2011

Jim     You wrote:     " Based on Genesis 14: 4, we can deduce that Abram and Lot leave Bethel in Year 13.  "
      This statement is pure fabrication and is irrelevant to the discussion of Genesis 13:18.  and my focus to whetheror not Abraham obeyed the command literally and immediately.     I could demonstrate you don't have a accurate grasp of the events of the Amarna period but this is not the time.
     Still, you go on:     "Abram cannot perfect his claim to all of Canaan until Lot’s provisional claim to the northern two-thirds of    Canaan, which Abram effectively allowed at Genesis 13: 9-11, has been eliminated"
     Jim, where does this "northern two thirds" come from? It is fantasy, there is nothing in the Hebrew textthat gives any such indication. The land was promised to Abraham and Abraham alone from the beginningyet you drag in Lot time after time and some froth about a "provisional claim" mentioned nowhere.        you do seem to be personally taken by "provisional claim"...sounds impressive I guess, to some.                               As for your description of the political situation in Canaan let's review again how inaccuratemost  of your claims have been.     You have insisted, for years, the Abimeleck of Abraham is Abi Milku of the Armana letters.     Yet even a casual reading the the letters tells a far different story.     Abi Milku was appointed as mayor of Tyre by Akhenaten after the murder of the real King and his family.     EA 89 letter Rib Addi      After a few brief years Abi Milku leaves Tyre amidst the wars and NEVER returns.
     " I go away with all the ships and my whole city so let the King care for his servant and protect the ships of the King in..." (number 155 letter 10)."
      Abi Milku is likely murdered before he gets to Egypt as he is never heard from again. Nor is he ever referred to by any other ruler. He must have been a minor player only stage for a brief few years.     Yet, you claim Mamre is named after Abi Milku and that some twenty years after his death Abraham dashes off to interact with Abi Milki because according to you he cannot "perfect his claim" on Canaan and Sarah cannot get pregnant until he sees Abi Milku.    You take a bit player in the Amarna period and make him the foundation of Genesis    This is your record. It is obvious you did not study Abi Milku.   .    Now you claim the political situation of the time is the real reason why Abraham and Lot leave Bethel, andthe biblical version in the bible that it was due to strife between the shepherds is a lie.
You repeat yet again" we can then see the  p-i-n-p-o-i-n-t  accuracy of this Biblical text in the historical context of Year 13.  There is no way that multiple authors in the 1st millennium BCE would know all these precise details about the  e-x-a-c-t  historical situation as of early in Year 13! "Jim, you yourself have no clue what happened in year thirteen and that is painfully obvious to even the casual researcher.You present what I consider grade school level Amarna history here. Again, some may be impressed, but to me this is  simplistic nonsense for the most part.. You invent myths like Abi Milku  and now you inject Lab’ayu  in yet another distortion of events.   I can dismantle your Labayu story as easily as I did Abi Milku. The flaws in chronology as as plain as the sun.      Of course, when faced with authoritative contradiction, you claim everyone else is wrong, not you.     *You disputed  King Suppiluliumas' own record describing  the capture of Aitakama   and claimed he was wrong, thathe actually captured Aitakama in some secret raid a year earlier.... " Now that was a doozy   * You dismissed Israel Finklestein's petrographic evidence Aziru had yet to control  Amurruby the time the Great Syrian war was over.  You claim camels can't live in Hebron in winter. Too cold....so OBVIOUSLY Abraham couldn'tlive there...  You claim Hebron can't support more than a few cows. Not enough watermoutains too high... Nevermind it supports 250,000 people  Now you claim the Dead Sea Scrolls that confirm Abraham immediately obeyed God's order  in Genesis 13:18 is "fanciful"   This is your pattern. Everyone, including Abraham, is wrong. he lied about theshepherds., lied about Abimelech...       I contend Abraham followed God's order in Genesis 13:17-18. He Obeyed God, no matter ifyou are convinced he did not. HE traveled the land(not the world and the Dead Sea Scrollsdon't say he traveled the world). He traveled in peace. He wasn't concerned about Labayu,there was no Labayu at that time. He traveled during a time of peace in Canaan.     Lot was irrelevant to his journey. Lot was irrelevant to Abraham's inheritance.   ...
Rob Acosta                         

From: JimStinehart at aol.com
Date: Fri, 1 Jul 2011 10:00:12 -0400
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Genesis 13:18  Appositional Phrase vs. Adjectival Phrase
To: robacosta at hotmail.com; b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org

Rob: 1.  Of course Abimelek's water wells, both historically and in Genesis, are on the mainland.  Your two E-mails to me [perhaps only one of which was posted to the b-hebrew list] focus a lot on Abimelek, and do not seem to raise issues of Hebrew grammar suitable for discussion in this forum.  But your posts do also continue to raise the question of Lot’s role in the Patriarchal narratives, which is important to this thread [which, as discussed in #2 below, will then return us to this thread’s Hebrew grammar focus on whether H-KN(NY at Genesis 12: 6 and 13: 7 can have a singular meaning:  “the Canaanite”];  so in this post I will limit myself to that subject, because it is directly related to Hebrew grammar.   In the Patriarchal narratives, the firstborn son gets the shaft in every generation, and properly so.  That’s Haran, Lot, Ishmael, Esau and Reuben.  Haran predeceases his own father, but then Lot, as Haran’s only son, in effect thereafter represents the line of Terakh’s firstborn son.  The text emphasizes this by on four occasions referring to Lot as being Abram’s “brother”.  Genesis 14: 14, 16;  Genesis 13: 8, 11.  At Genesis 13: 8, Abram could have forced Lot to leave Canaan, using some of Abram’s 318 armed men at Genesis 14: 13 if necessary;  YHWH has already at Genesis 12: 7 promised all of Canaan to Abram, which implies that Lot, representing the line of Terakh’s firstborn son, will get none of Canaan.  But instead of booting out of Canaan the son of Abram’s older brother, and thereby commandeering all of Canaan of his own accord, Abram quite properly does just the opposite, and graciously allows Lot to go anywhere from Bethel that Lot may choose to go, provided that both Lot and Abram will leave Bethel, and Abram will go the opposite of whatever direction Lot chooses to go from Bethel.  “And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we are brothers.  [Is] not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if [thou wilt take] the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if [thou depart] to the right hand, then I will go to the left.”  Genesis 14: 8-9.  Lot chooses to sojourn in the Jordan River Valley, the KKR of the Jordan, which is in Canaan, and is north of where Abram then sojourns at the Patriarchs’ XBRWN.  Although YHWH has promised Lot nothing, Abram has graciously and provisionally allowed his “brother”/nephew Lot to lay claim to all of Canaan north of Bethel, at least for the time being, until such time as YHWH may divinely direct otherwise.  As I explained in my prior post, Abram on at least three occasions declines the opportunity to hasten Lot’s downfall or to remove Lot from Canaan [even though from the beginning, YHWH has promised all of Canaan to Abram and Abram’s descendants, while not promising anything to Lot]:  Abram does not kick Lot out of Canaan in chapter 13 of Genesis, he rescues Lot as a hostage in chapter 14, and he pleads for Sodom (where Lot is living) to be spared if there are at least 10 righteous people there in chapter 18.  So even though YHWH has promised Abram all of Canaan a second time at Genesis 13: 14-15, nevertheless Abram cannot perfect his claim to all of Canaan until Lot’s provisional claim to the northern two-thirds of Canaan, which Abram effectively allowed at Genesis 13: 9-11, has been eliminated, and that elimination will be done by YHWH, not by Abram on his own motion elbowing Lot aside.  Though Abram graciously helps Lot, instead of unilaterally kicking Lot out of Canaan, nevertheless Lot as the firstborn/only son of Terakh’s firstborn son Haran does not have a chance, as we realize after we have read the entirety of the Patriarchal narratives.  As with the case of every firstborn son in the Patriarchal narratives, the firstborn son always gets the shaft, and properly so.  Haran predeceases his own father, Lot is reduced to living in a cave, Ishmael is exiled by his own father, Esau never gets the grand blessing that his father had planned to give him and ends up living outside of Canaan, and Reuben gets a final curse, rather than a blessing, from his father.  Jacob is going to win out over Esau, because Esau is Isaac’s firstborn son, and in every generation the firstborn son gets the shaft and properly so.  Ditto with Isaac being fated to win out over Ishmael, and Abraham regarding both Haran, his literal older brother, and Lot, the son of Abraham’s older brother who in effect represents in Canaan the line of the firstborn son of Abraham’s father.  [Moreover, Joseph’s firstborn son gets the shaft, at the express direction of Jacob/“Israel”, and Judah’s firstborn son by Tamar does not even get to come out of Tamar’s womb before his “younger” twin brother is born.  How can scholars see multiple authors here, when the monolithic unity of thought is readily apparent?] 2.  Of more direct relevance to the linguistic issue on this thread, however, is to ask why Abram properly insists that both Abram and Lot must leave the Bethel area, with neither man remaining in central hill country.  Based on Genesis 14: 4, we can deduce that Abram and Lot leave Bethel in Year 13.  Now think what the historical situation was at the beginning of Year 13 from Shechem to Jerusalem.  Two leaders dominated that entire area, with Bethel in effect being a no-man’s land, if you will, separating their two spheres of influence.  Lab’ayu was a Canaanite strongman temporarily operating out of Shechem, who was trying to become the most powerful princeling in all of Canaan, largely by recruiting tent-dwelling Habiru to do his fighting for him.  IR-Heba was the Hurrian princeling ruler of Jerusalem, who rants and rails against the tent-dwelling Habiru in the Amarna Letters, and who would give no ground to anyone.  As we have seen on this thread, KN(NY and H-KN(NY and H-PRZY can all be understood as having a singular meaning, in addition to being singular in form.  As such, Genesis 12: 6 and 13: 7 refer to “the Canaanite” at Shechem, that is, Lab’ayu, the Canaanite strongman ruler of Shechem, north of Bethel.  Genesis 13: 7 by necessary implication then refers to the powerful Hurrian princeling ruler south of Bethel, H-PRZY, “the Perizzite”, meaning “the Hurrian lord”, namely IR-Heba.  Abram has wisely decided that both Abram and Lot should vacate central hill country, because that area would obviously soon descend into civil war in Year 13, given rapacious Lab’ayu, “the Canaanite”, and uncompromising IR-Heba, “the Perizzite”/“the Hurrian lord”.  The foregoing analysis as to non-biblical history is largely confirmed by Israel Finkelstein here: “The fourteenth century BCE Tell el-Amarna letters confirm the partition of the central hill country between two city-states, or actually early territorial states, Shechem and Jerusalem….  A number of the letters refer by name to the rulers of these two city-states -- a king called Abdi-Heba who reigned in Jerusalem and a king named Labayu who reigned in Shechem -- each of whom controlled territories of about a thousand square miles. These were the largest areas held by a single local ruler…at this time….”  Israel Finkelstein, “The Bible Unearthed” (2001), at p. 155.    So if Genesis 14: 4 is giving us Year 13 as the exact date when Abram and Lot were at Bethel in chapter 13 of Genesis, then Abram would have known about both “the Canaanite”/H-KN(NY/Lab’ayu of Shechem, and “the Perizzite”/“the Hurrian lord”/H-PRZY/IR-Heba of Jerusalem, and would have known that it was wise not to have anything to do with either of those awful rulers.  T-h-a-t  is why Abram insists that both Abram and Lot must leave Bethel [with Abram graciously and wisely trying to get Lot out of harm’s way, instead of Abram looking out solely for Abram], and that is why the two men go “east” and the opposite of east (that is, west) from Bethel (per Genesis 13: 9-11), thereby leaving hill country (which runs north and south of Bethel, not east and west). If we can understand the Hebrew grammar here, where each of H-KN(NY and H-PRZY can be singular in meaning, in addition to being singular in form, we can then see the  p-i-n-p-o-i-n-t  accuracy of this Biblical text in the historical context of Year 13.  There is no way that multiple authors in the 1st millennium BCE would know all these precise details about the  e-x-a-c-t  historical situation as of early in Year 13!  Nor would whoever composed the Genesis Apocryphon know such Year 13 details either.  My point is that chapters 12-14 of Genesis must have been composed by a contemporary in the mid-14th century BCE, the first historical Hebrew, because there is no non-miraculous way that multiple authors in the 1st millennium BCE, be they JEPD or whoever, could possibly know all the ins and outs of exactly what life was like in Canaan in Year 13.  The magnificent wealth of pinpoint accurate details about Year 13 in chapters 12-14 of Genesis is telling us that these three chapters were composed by a contemporary who knew exactly what he was talking about, rather than JEPD somehow conjuring up this material in the 1st millennium BCE. I am trying to make the point that an analysis of Hebrew grammar can lead us to make great discoveries as to Biblical mysteries like this that have baffled analysts for millennia.  The key is simply to realize that each of H-KN(NY and H-PRZY at Genesis 13: 7 can be singular in meaning, in addition to being singular in form, which is the Hebrew grammatical thesis of this thread. Jim StinehartEvanston, Illinois 		 	   		  

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