Re: [biblicalist] Numbers Show Antiquity of Patriarchal Narratives
1. You wrote: “Gen 26:23 doesn't say Isaac is going to a drainage
basin. It says Isaac is going to Beer-Sheva, which is a Tel. That's why he goes ‘
Your assertion that Biblical Hebrew uses “go up”/‘LH when a person goes
to a city on a tel is simply false. Consider the following example from the
Patriarchal narratives: “And it came to pass at that time, that Judah
went down/YRD from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose
name [was] Hirah.” Genesis 38: 1. Judah goes “down” to the city of
Adullam, which was located on a tel: Tell esh-Sheikh Madhkur.
When Isaac is said to “go up”/‘LH to Beersheba, that means that Beersheba
must be located at a significantly higher elevation than where Isaac has
recently been. Going to a city that is situated on a tel is n-o-t “going up
”/‘LH in Biblical Hebrew. The wells at the southern Beersheba are located
at the bottom of a drainage basin, so Isaac cannot “go up”/‘LH to the
wells at the southern Beersheba. By sharp contrast, Beersheba of Galilee is
located fairly high up in the foothills of Galilee, at a much higher
elevation than where Isaac has previously been re-digging wells near the west
coast of Upper Galilee. Note how the Hebrew wording fits Galilee so naturally,
while not being capable of being forcefit to the southern Beersheba.
Note also that both the Hebrew author and his entire audience knew that it
is impossible to dig a series of permanent wells, whether called Sitnah,
Eshek, Rehoboth or otherwise, in the general vicinity of the southern
Beersheba. Nor could the well at the southern Beersheba be the least important
well in any such series of wells. That description of a series of fine,
permanent wells (that are worth sabotaging by rival mercenaries/“Philistines”
) fits the west coast of Upper Galilee and the inland foothills at
Beersheba of Galilee perfectly, while being impossible in the general vicinity of
the southern Beersheba. Both the author and his entire audience knew that
the o-n-l-y permanent wells in the general vicinity of the southern
Beersheba were located at the bottom of the drainage basin there, in a dry area
where permanent wells were not to be found elsewhere. When chapter 26 of
Genesis talks about Isaac re-digging a series of wells and then “going up”/‘
LH to Beersheba, that fits Beersheba of Galilee perfectly, while not
fitting the more famous southern Beersheba at all.
2. You wrote: “If we don't know anything about Beer-sheba of Galilee
during the Bronze Age, not even if it was called Beer-sheba, then it's
obvious that you shouldn't postulate it as the place mentioned in Genesis. To do
so is to engage in pure guesswork.”
If you’re talking about non-biblical sources, then it’s a similar
situation at both Beershebas. There is little evidence of Late Bronze Age
occupation of southern Beersheba, and no non-biblical evidence that the wells
there were called “Beersheba” prior to the 4th century BCE or so. Moreover,
Isaac is living in tents and sojourning by wells where there is little or no
settled population anyway, so archaeology is not going to be able to prove
much of anything here. Rather, we should carefully study the text and
ask what part of Canaan fits what the text says. That’s Upper Galilee as to
GRR in the Patriarchal narratives. One has to “go up”/‘LH to Beersheba of
Galilee, whereas in Biblical Hebrew one would not be said to “go up”/‘LH
to the bottom of the drainage basin where the wells at the southern
Beersheba were located. Isaac does not go to a city at Beersheba, but even if he
did, going to a tel on which a city is situated does not mean that one has “
gone up”/‘LH to that city, per Genesis 38: 1 quoted above. And whereas a
sequence of wells fairly near Beersheba of Galilee is an objective fact,
since near the west coast of Upper Galilee (near the base of the hills of
Galilee) is the best place in all of Canaan to dig permanent wells, such a
sequence of permanent wells would be impossible near the southern Beersheba,
which is world-famous precisely because it is the only place in that dry
area where permanent wells could be dug.
3. You wrote: “No, I don't get your chronology. It looks absurd to me.”
I see the Patriarchal Age as being Years 12-14 of the 17-year Amarna Age.
Virtually all of the main stories in the received text refer to that one,
unique, very short time period.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- --- In email@example.com, "Jerry Shepherd" wrote:
> This thread is closed.
You closed the thread two minutes after reading my post.
That's a visceral response.