[b-hebrew] Amalek's attacks before the big battle of Ex 17:8?

jimstinehart at aol.com jimstinehart at aol.com
Sat Jul 13 21:17:12 EDT 2013


Prof. Yigal Levin:
 
You wrote:  “Karl, you've got to be kidding. Whoidentifies Amalek with the Hyksos, and what do the ‘Amu’ have to do withanything? Where's the evidence?”
 
That’s right.  For heavens sake, the Hyksos were westSemitic-speaking people.  There’s nothingwest Semitic about any of the following Biblical names:  Amalekites, Kenites, Kenizzites, Hittites,Perizzites, Girgashites, Jebusites, Hivites. But university scholars err in asserting that those are non-attestednames of non-attested Canaanite peoples. No, they’re attested Hurrian personal names, being used as clever, aptPatriarchal nicknames for the historical Hurrians who dominated the rulingclass of Canaan in the mid-14th century BCE Patriarchal Age.  Likewise, the expected Biblical Hebrewspelling of “Mitannians” is, once one recognizes that Hebrew yod/Y is beingused to render the Hurrian true vowel A, exactly what appears at Genesis 37: 28,letter-for-letter:  MDYN-YM [“Midianites”].  All of the spellings of these non-Semiticnames are accurate, and none of these peoples are fictional, non-attested westSemitic-speaking Canaanites.  Why notstick with what’s attested, instead of always hypothesizing fictional,non-attested Canaanite peoples allegedly bearing what are in fact non-Semiticnames?  As opposed to the Canaanites, thenon-west Semitic-speaking peoples who lived in or near Canaan during thePatriarchal Age usually are referred to in the Bible by non-Semitic Patriarchalnicknames.
 
That’s the same reason why the numberthat was important to the Hurrians and to no other peoples in 5,000 years ofhuman history -- 318 -- appears smack dab in the middle of Genesis 14: 14.  The early Hebrew author is portraying Abramas being as powerful as a Hurrian princeling. In the Patriarchal Age, that was quite a compliment.  None of this is fictional ornon-attested.  But none of it is westSemitic.  Prof. Levin, you know BiblicalHebrew like the back of your hand. Surely you of all people can tell a non-Semitic name when you seeit -- Amalekites, Kenites, Kenizzites, Hittites, Perizzites, Girgashites,Jebusites, Hivites, Midianites, Ephron, Zohar, Arioch, just to name the firstdozen non-Semitic names in the Patriarchal narratives that come to mind.  Prof. Levin, the Patriarchal narratives aremuch older as a written text, and much more historically accurate, than scholarsrealize.  These vintage non-Semitic namesthat permeate the Patriarchal narratives through and through are Exhibit A inthat regard.  Not a single one of thesenames is non-attested, and not one has anything whatsoever to do withCanaanites or any other native west Semitic-speaking peoples.  The converse of knowing Biblical Hebrew sowell should be the ability to recognize a non-Semitic name as being a non-Semiticname.
 
Throughout almost all of recordedhistory, most of the people living in Canaan have been native west Semitic speakers[excluding only the armies and administrators of conquerors such as the Romans,etc.].  All of these native westSemitic-speaking peoples had west Semitic names.  The one major exception to that picture isthe mid-14th century BCE when, per the Amarna Letters, we know thata majority of the ruling class princelings in and near Canaan bore non-Semiticnames.  If the Patriarchal narrativeswere reduced to cuneiform writing during that time period, then of necessitythe received text is going to feature dozens of non-Semitic names like Amalekites,Kenites, Kenizzites, Hittites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Jebusites, Hivites,Midianites, Ephron, Zohar, Arioch, etc., all of whom are closely associatedwith Canaan.  These names, with theirpinpoint letter-for-letter spelling accuracy that is historically attested,show how incredibly old the Patriarchal narratives are as a written cuneiformtext.  
 
Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois

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