[b-hebrew] Ecc 9:14

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Fri Jul 12 16:49:04 EDT 2013

Chris Watts: 
You wrote:  “I am reminded of the account in Genesis where Abraham, for 
example, sets  off with just 500 of his servants and defeats 5 Kings, not one, 
but 5. That  should really sum it all up for an appetizer.” 
1.  Abram has  the Hurrian number of armed men:  318.  Genesis 14: 14.  But 
don’t feel too bad about that,  because Akhenaten’s father, pharaoh 
Amenhotep III, made a similar mistake.  He told everyone in Egypt that the  
Hurrian king of Mitanni/MDYN had sent him a Hurrian princess bride and 317 of  her 
retainers, never realizing that to the Hurrians, the number that counted 
was  the number of total women who were sent:  318.  Note also that Hurrian  
princeling IR-Heba of Jerusalem uses that same number, 318, at Amarna  Letter 
EA 287: 55.  [By the way,  regarding #2 below, although the dating of 
Amarna Letters is controversial, I  myself date Amarna Letter EA 287 to Year 13.] 
Why is all this important?  The early Hebrew author is deliberately  
portraying Abram as being as powerful as a Hurrian princeling in  mid-14th century 
BCE Canaan. 
2.  Abram did  not defeat 5 kings.  It was the 4  “kings” [two of whom 
were mere princelings] who had taken Lot hostage.  And Abram merely rescued Lot 
and Lot’s wife and Lot’s daughters and the  loot that had been taken from 
Sodom, rather than inflicting a definitive  military defeat on 5 kings. 
Why did the coalition of 4 kings, one of whom has a bona  fide Hittite 
kingly name, “Tidal”, take Lot and Lot’s wife and Lot’s daughters hostage?  
Lot had  not participated in any fighting against them, so the motive was not  
revenge.  No ransom is ever  mentioned, and if the Hittite-led coalition 
wanted ransom, they would certainly  have left the bereaved wife and daughters 
of Lot in Sodom to beg for a ransom  to be raised. 
Here’s the historical explanation.  This famous story is coming directly  
from what happened in Year 13 historically, with “Year 13” being explicitly  
mentioned at Genesis 14: 4.  Mighty  Hittite King Suppiluliuma, who had 
seized the Hittite throne by the ruthless  expedient of murdering his own older 
brother named “Tidal” [so that the Biblical  name “Tidal” is a nasty 
Patriarchal nickname that effectively calls the Hittite  king “Murderer”], and 
who historically had 3 allies when operating in Syria  [being the “4 kings” 
at Genesis 14: 1], hoped to do to Lot and Lot’s family what  he had 
successfully done in or about Year 13 historically to Hurrian princeling  Aitakkama 
and Aitakkama’s family regarding Qadesh-on-the-Orontes in southern  Syria:  
turn the man into a Hittite  puppet, to be installed as the new leader of 
the prosperous  city-state. 
*       *       * 
Just think Year 13 and the Hurrians, and suddenly chapter  14 of Genesis 
makes perfect sense historically.  Including the specific number  318. 
Jim Stinehart 
Evanston, Illinois
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