[b-hebrew] Portrait of Joseph in Chapter 40 of Genesis

jimstinehart at aol.com jimstinehart at aol.com
Sun Mar 25 23:53:10 EDT 2012

Prof. George Athas:

To my assertion that we should expect the Biblical text to give us a clue as to what the Baker’s horrible crime was, you replied:  “Nope. Why should it? The biblical text says what it says, and that's just how it is. Such gaps are common in storytelling. Your expectations may be different, but I fear they have led you to look for things that simply aren't in the text.  Maybe the Baker's crime was that his mother taught him to handle his gun?”

A Baker would not be expected to be a military man, and so would not be expected to use weapons.  [I do not understand scholarly humor, so I will not comment further on your odd remark about a gun.]

More importantly, though, you assert that I have unreasonable expectations as to what the Biblical text should tell us, which allegedly “have led [me] to look for things that simply aren't in the text.”  That raises the key question as to whether CLY XRY at Genesis 40: 16 indicates a treasonous dream that contradicts Pharaoh’s new Year 12 anti-XRY policy.  To address that key issue, let’s compare straight up how it happened that such historical pharaoh broke off relations with the XRY state of Naharim in Year 12, 7th month, with what Jacob does 12.7 tenfold years after Abraham’s birth.  The historical material comes largely from Amarna Letters EA 27-29.  The Biblical material is in part at Genesis 31: 30-36.

1.  Each of Pharaoh and Jacob had been forced to marry a woman from Naharim against his will.  [Historically, it was a diplomatic marriage that was supposed to be for Pharaoh’s father, but he died.  Biblically, Jacob wanted to marry only statuesque Rachel, but could only do so by agreeing not to annul the prior marriage to Leah into which he had been tricked.]  Both the Amarna Letters and Genesis 24: 10 refer to eastern Syria as “Naharim”.

2.  The father of each of Pharaoh and Jacob had gotten along swimmingly with his in-laws from Naharim.

3.  The father-in-law from Naharim of each of Pharaoh and Jacob calls the semi-monotheist “brother”.  At Genesis 29: 15 Laban calls Jacob his “brother”, even though they’re not literally brothers.  In the Amarna Letters, the king of the XRY state of Naharim calls Pharaoh “brother”, meaning fellow king.

4.  Although the semi-monotheist had many grievances against his father-in-law from Naharim, the last straw in both cases was the same unique event, which only happened once in 5,000 years of human history.  In each case, the irate father-in-law from Naharim imperiously demanded that certain family statues be handed over to him by his semi-monotheistic son-in-law from far to the west, but such statues were never handed over.  [In Genesis, that’s the teraphim.  In the Amarna Letters, that’s the solid gold statues that were supposed to become part of a family mausoleum in Naharim.]

*       *       *

Chapter 15 of Genesis is more of the same.  (i) QYN-Y at Genesis 15: 19;  (ii) QNZ-Y at Genesis 15: 19;  (iii) XT-Y at Genesis 15: 20;  (iv) PRZ-Y at Genesis 15: 20;  (v) GRG$-Y at Genesis 15: 21;  and (vi)  YBWS-Y at Genesis 15: 21:  those are six different non-west Semitic names for the XRY.  Genesis 15: 18 says that Canaan is to be divinely reserved for the Hebrew semi-monotheists, and that the XRY will in due course be displaced by the new Hebrews.

*       *       *

We see that chapters 15, 27, 31 and 40 of Genesis, collectively, strongly support Pharaoh’s controversial new policy as of Year 12 of breaking with the XRY state of Naharim.

If chapter 40 of Genesis is referring to Year 13, and if XRY in the phrase CLY XRY at Genesis 40: 16 has the same meaning as XRY at Genesis 14: 6, then everything makes complete sense on all levels.  Historically, everything checks out.  And, we would then know precisely what the treasonous nature was of the Baker’s dream of three CLY XRY.

You write:  “I fear..your expectations…have led you to look for things that simply aren't in the text.”  Yet look at what  i-s  in the text.  Rebekah reams out the XRY at Genesis 27: 46, per the following paraphrase:  “I loathe my life because of the XRY women.  If Jacob marries a local XRY woman like these [the XRY wives of Jacob’s older twin brother Esau], what good will life be to me?”  Jacob reams out his father-in-law Laban from the XRY heartland in Naharim at Genesis 31: 36:  “And Jacob was wroth, and chode with Laban….”  Both historically and Biblically, the last straw leading to the break between the early semi-monotheist and his irate father-in-law from far-off Naharim are family statues that are imperiously demanded but never turned over.  YHWH explicitly grants Canaan to the Hebrews, as opposed to the XRY, at Genesis 15: 18-21.  Finally, the Baker is duly impaled three days after Joseph divines the Baker’s dream of three CLY XRY at Genesis 40: 16.

If all these various stories in Genesis are looked at from the vantage point of Year 13, then  e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g  makes sense, including the key phrase CLY XRY at Genesis 40: 16.  Then at long last I could join with you, and heartily agree that as to chapter 40 of Genesis:  “No mystery.  No enigma.”  In my opinion, it’s simply a matter of doing an historical linguistic analysis of the Hebrew phrase CLY XRY from a Year 13 perspective.

Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois

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