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

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Mon Jul 15 10:40:32 EDT 2013


 
Ezekiel 16:3 can be viewed as being an accurate  one-sentence summary of 
the Patriarchal narratives and of the historical  background of the 
Patriarchal Age: 
“And say, Thus saith the Lord God unto Jerusalem;  Thy  birth and thy 
nativity is of the land of Canaan;  thy father was an Amorite, and thy  mother a 
[XTY].” 
The Amorites were west Semitic-speakers, and in this  poetic passage, “
Amorite” should be given an expansive meaning of “native west  Semitic 
speakers:  Amorites,  Canaanites and Hebrews”. 
XTYis xu-ti-ya, the most frequently-attested Hurrian name  at Nuzi in the 
Late Bronze Age.  92  different people at the Hurrian province of Nuzi bore 
that name!  Xu-ti means “to praise”, and -ya is a  theophoric, which in a 
Hurrian name implies “Teshup”.  So the classic Hurrian name xu-ti-ya  means “
Praise Teshup”.  Far from my  view of XTY/xu-ti-ya having been “refuted”, 
as George Athas’s post implies, that  is basically the view of leading 
scholar Edward Lipinski: 
“Ewri’s qualification H-XTY suggests that the man [‘Uriah  the Hittite’
/XTY] was regarded as a foreigner, but one might surmise that XTY  was his 
proper name, viz. the frequent Hurrian name Xu-ti-ya.”  “Itineraria Phoenicia” 
 (2004), p. 500. 
The final Hebrew alphabetical yod/Y does double duty in  these non-Semitic 
names.  On the one  hand, it’s the Hurrian true vowel A as its own separate 
syllable, here in the  form of -ya or -ia.  But on the  other hand, the 
final yod/Y is also the generic west Semitic suffix that means  “people”.  So 
XTY means “the Praise  Teshup people” [where -Y first means “Teshup” in 
Hurrian, and then also means  “people” in Hebrew], that is, the Hurrians.  
Please note that XTY has  n-o-t-h-i-n-g  whatsoever to do with the classic  
Hittites from eastern Anatolia, who were referred to as “Hatti” in the 
ancient  world [and who were never in Canaan!].  “Hittites” is a modern 
English word that  is a KJV mis-transliteration of the Hebrew XTY;  this 
mis-transliteration created a  modern word that has no equivalent in the ancient 
world.  Rather, XTY/xu-ti-ya is a colorful  Patriarchal nickname for the 
Hurrians. 
What Ezekiel 16: 3 is saying is what I pointed out in my  last post:  most 
of the married  couples in the Patriarchal narratives, including all three 
Patriarchs, follow a  very specific pattern.  The husband,  and all his 
paternal ancestors, are native west Semitic speakers.  The wife’s mother, by 
contrast, is an  ethnic Hurrian.  Those are the  people who, per Ezekiel 16: 3, 
came to dominate Jerusalem and Canaan in  due course:  the Hebrews.  “[T]hy 
father was an Amorite [that is, a  native west Semitic speaker], and thy 
mother a [XTY/Hurrian].” 
Not only is Ezekiel 16: 3 accurate Biblically, but it’s  also accurate 
historically as well.  The key figure in Canaan who immediately pre-dates the 
first Hebrews, and  who overlaps with the first Hebrews, is the Amorite 
princeling Milk-i-Ilu of the  Ayalon Valley, just west of Jerusalem.  His name is 
honored at Genesis 46: 17,  in that one of Jacob’s descendants who moves to 
Egypt with the Hebrews has been  given the name Milk-i-Ilu:  MLK  -Y-  )L.  
[To make sure we know what’s going on,  MLK  -Y-  )L is paired with the XBR 
root of  XBR-WN/xa-bu-ru-u-ne/“Hebron” at Genesis 46: 17.]  Historical 
Amorite princeling Milk-i-Ilu  was an “Amorite”, even in the narrowest sense of 
that word.  His wife’s mother was a Hurrian who was  married to the Hurrian 
princeling Tagi, as we know from the Amarna Letters.  Yet their firstborn 
son, Yapaxu [whose  name makes good sense in both west Semitic and Hurrian], 
became the greatest  threat to the first Hebrews.  Yapaxu  hated 
tent-dwellers, and was a bona fide threat to drive the first Hebrews out  of their 
beloved valley.  By sharp  contrast, the first Hebrews had been in confederate 
relationship with the  longtime ruler of the Ayalon Valley, Milk-i-Ilu, whose 
Biblical  nickname is “Mamre the Amorite” at Genesis 14: 13.  Year 14, 
referenced as being “the  14th year” at Genesis 14: 5, was the approximate 
historical year when  Milk-i-Ilu died and the first Hebrews now had to contend 
with his tent  dweller-hating firstborn son, Yapaxu.  Thank goodness, Yapaxu’
s reign lasted less than one full year, so the  Hebrews could remain in the 
valley and prosper on a modest scale. 
Thus I see Ezekiel as being accurate both as a  one-sentence summary of the 
Patriarchal narratives, and as a one-sentence  summary of the traumatic 
historical events that gave rise to the birth of the  Hebrews as a coherent, 
distinct, YHWH-loving people in Year 14.  7 out of 7 firstborn sons are 
portrayed  in the Patriarchal narratives as getting the shaft and properly so:  
Haran,  Lot, Ishmael, Esau, Reuben, Er, Manasseh.  That reflects the 
historical fact that  firstborn son Yapaxu was a dire threat to the Hebrews’ very 
existence in the  year [Year 14] in which the Hebrews first came together as a 
distinct people in  Canaan, whereas Yapaxu’s younger brother was more like 
their father Milk-i-Ilu  and allied with the tent-dwellers [per Amarna Letter 
EA 298]. 
If George Athas were right and my views have been  “refuted”, with the 
Patriarchal narratives being late as a written text and  largely fictional, 
then it would not be possible for virtually the entirety of  the Patriarchal 
narratives to match up so closely, down to the most minute  details of names 
and specific years, with what is historically attested in the  Amarna 
Letters. 
Jim Stinehart 
Evanston,  Illinois 
P.S.  As to  TMN( [mis-transliterated as “Timna”] at Genesis 36: 12, that 
is ta-ma-ni  Semiticized or ta-am-ni Semiticized.  Ta-ma or ta-am is a 
Hurrian root of the following Hurrian names:  Ta-ma-a-a, Ta-a-ma-ku, and the woman
’s  name Ta-am-$i.  -a-a-, -ku, -$i and  -ni are all standard Hurrian 
suffixes.  The final alphabetical ayin/( is the old-style way of showing that a  
Hurrian name has been Semiticized, as in BR( and BR$( at Genesis 14: 2.  The 
Semiticization of the name TMN(  [“Timna”] means that this Hurrian woman 
married a native west Semitic-speaking  son of Esau and though merely a 
concubine, threw in her lot with Esau’s native  west Semitic-speaking 
descendants.
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