[b-hebrew] Israel Palaistes (Wrestler)

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Tue Feb 14 17:13:46 EST 2012

Rob Acosta:
In connection with questioning my assertion that Biblical Abimelek of 
chapters 20, 21 and 26 of Genesis is one and the same person as princeling 
Abimelek in the Amarna Letters, you wrote:
“Mr K.A. Kitchen, in his book "Suppiluluima and the Amarna Letters" comes 
to the carefully laid out conclusion that the Abimilek of Tyre in the Amarna 
Letters abandoned the island "no later than Year 14 of Akhenaten"    Your 
theory, of course, depends on Abimilek being in power on Tyre for years after 
this date as you believe Abraham rescues Lot from the Hittites in Year 14.   
However, Mr Kitchen points out that the Great Syrian War, long over by the 
time Abimilek leaves Tyre,as most likely having occurred in Year 12 of 
Akhenaten, as do a number of other genuine experts in the field such as William 
1.  You have somewhat misunderstood my theory of the case.  I see chapters 
20, 21 and 26 of Genesis as reflecting [like the rest of the Patriarchal 
narratives] Years 12-14 of Amarna [rather than viewing all chapters after 
chapter 14 of Genesis as referring to a period of time after Year 14].  On my 
theory of the case, the early Hebrew author is continually going back to those 
three years, Years 12-14, in order to tell us how Judaism historically was 
born in that specific time period.  So I would date many of these letters 
from Abimelek of Sur/Tyre to Year 14, not later.
Now let’s see what the facts show.  Let’s start with the leading 
Egyptologist expert on Amarna:  “…Meritaten, who about Year 14 had become the 
consort of Akhenaten, and ‘the mistress of [his] house’ as the Babylonian king 
mentions about this time in a letter to the pharaoh.”  Cyril Aldred, “
Akhenaten:  King of Egypt” (1988), p. 227.  So Amarna Letters, such as EA 11 and EA 
10 from the king of Babylon, and Amarna Letter EA 155 from Abimelek of Sur, 
which refer to “Mayati”, being Meritaten’s pet name, can be expected to 
date to Year 14 or so.  It is well known that the princeling ruler of 
Sur/Tyre, in seeking to ingratiate himself with Akhenaten, declares himself to be “
the servant of Mayati” and Sur/Tyre to be “the city of Mayati”.  Amarna 
Letter EA 155: 7-47.  So Amarna Letter EA 155 from Abimelek of Sur cannot be 
earlier than Year 14.
If you are right that Abimelek abandoned Sur after Year 14, then the  
o-n-l-y  year in which Abimelek could have written Amarna Letter EA 155 referring 
to “Mayati” is Year 14.  That is precisely the time period I am asserting.
Please note that the only person in the Bible, and the only person in the 
Amarna Letters, who complains about contested access to water wells is named 
Abimelek.  For example, to quote from Amarna Letter EA 155 above from 
Abimelek of Sur:  “The king [Pharaoh, that is, Akhenaten] ordered that the breath 
of life be given to his servant and to the servant of Mayati, and water : 
mi-ma be given for his drink, but they have not acted in accordance with the 
command of the king.”  That is to say, Pharaoh (Akhenaten) gave a verbal 
order to stop sabotaging the water wells on the mainland of the far northwest 
corner of Upper Galilee, but such verbal orders were not followed by Zimredda 
and others who are using foreign mercenaries [“Philistines”] to attack 
Abimelek’s needed water wells on the mainland.  “Moreover, O king, my lord, 
since there is no wood, no water…, may the king, my lord, take cognizance of 
the servant of Mayati, that life be given to him.  Should the king, my lord, 
give water to drink to the servant of Mayati, then I will devote myself to 
his service and that of Mayati, my mistress, night and day.  …But the 
commissioner has not done what the king commanded.  He does not give water, as the 
king commanded.”  Amarna Letter EA 155: 7-39.  That Amarna Letter obviously 
dates to Year 14, per the frequent references to Mayati/Meritaten as the new 
Queen of Egypt.  And only a guy named Abimelek -- both in the Amarna Letters 
and in Genesis -- was consumed by the issue of contested access to water 
If you want to know what type of guy Abraham and Isaac had to deal with in 
GRR/Galilee when interacting with Abimelek, just read the Amarna Letters 
from Abimelek.  The main theme, both Biblically and in those Amarna Letters, is 
contested access to invaluable water wells.  This is not Biblical fiction.  
Rather, this is pinpoint accurate historical recall of those troubled times 
in Year 14, when Judaism was being born in reaction against Akhenaten’s 
troubled reign.
2.  As to the exact dating of the Great Syrian War in western Syria, which 
per Genesis 14: 5 I see as occurring in Year 14, that is well within the 
range of the time periods suggested by most experts. “[T]he Great Syrian 
campaign falls at the latest in years 14/15, but conceivably as early as year 12….”
  Wm. J. Murnane, “The Road to Kadesh” (1990), p. 126.  “At some point in 
the reign, the Hittite King, Suppiluliuma, conducted a major campaign in 
north Syria, seizing Egyptian vassal states.  This is probably to be dated 
between years 12 and 14 of Akhenaten’s reign.”  Robert Morkot, “Historical 
Dictionary of Ancient Egyptian Warfare” (2003), p. 5.
So non-biblical sources place the Great Syrian War in western Syria as 
occurring some time between Years 12-15, and Genesis 14: 5 specifies that it was 
Year 14.
Note the  p-i-n-p-o-i-n-t  historical accuracy of the Patriarchal 
narratives in reflecting the well-documented world of Years 12-14 of Amarna.  The 
Patriarchal narratives are much older, and much more historically accurate, 
than university scholars realize.  The numbers, and the peculiar phenomenon of “
Philistines” sabotaging valuable water wells of Abimelek, tell the tale.
Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois

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