Re: Did Moses Know the Alphabet? Was There Writing in Ancient Israel?
> --- In email@example.com, Miles Jones wrote:Hello Miles,
> > Rich,
> > You expressed your point rather well. Â I will have to check out the Redford analysis of the Joseph narrative. Â I have read some of his work. It has been a while. Where would I find that analysis?
> rich replied:
> When I get home I'll type up some of Redford's remarks on the Joseph novella from Egypt, Canaan and Israel in Ancient Times. I understand he also has a separate volume on just the Joseph novella which I haven't seen.
Here are the snips from Donald B. Redford's book and my remarks below.
Excerpts from Donald B. Redford's coverage of the Joseph origin tradition in Genesis in his Egypt, Canaan and Israel in Ancient Times (Princeton 1992 ppgs. 422-8):
"No piece of prose elsewhere in the bible can equal the literary standard attained by the Joseph story of Genesis 37-50; and few extra-biblical works in the ancient Near East can rival it for excellence of style and composition. The story is constructed around a beautifully turned and symmetrical plot that displays a unity and integrity that bespeaks single authorship... In short, the nine or so chapters that comprise the Joseph story show all the earmarks of a compositon rather than a record...
"...The identification of the genre of the Joseph story as that of the novella helps to explain why the narrative makes such a 'poor fit' as a composition in the chain of Patriarchal Tales in Genesis. Not only is there a marked change in style when one passes from the short and disjointed sections dealing with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to chapter 37 of Genesis, but the author's interest and purpose change also."
"...Genesis 12-35 has focused repeatedly on the covenant of God with the patriarchs, has reiterated the promises time and again, and sought to establish precedents for the Israelite occupation and cult associations. In the Joseph story these voices fall silent, and these concerns cease to inform the narrative..."
Redford then discusses the Egyptian names in the story in detail concluding that "...the mean period when all three name types had achieved maximum popularity vis a vis the the others can be said to be the seventh and sixth centuries B.C or the Kushite-Saite period."
He discusses titles:
"...The term 'overseers' in Genesis 41:34, the officials whom Joseph advises Pharaoh to appoint, is an Aramaic title ubiquitous in the Egyptian administration during the Persian period (525-410 B.C.). The word saris of Genesis 37:36 rendered variously 'officer' or 'eunuch' has long been recognized to be a rendering of sa resi the common Akkadian title of the administration. Whether in fact it here means eunuch is beside the point. The title seems only to be found in the Persian administration of Egypt where it is applied to high ranking governors."
"Although the Joseph story is not interested in the cult etiology of Israel, it does show wide eyed interest in how the economy of cereal production and storage and pharaonic ownership of land and chattels came to the state with which the writer was familiar. In short: it was Joseph who brought about these economic and agrarian reforms."
"We conclude that on a judicious appraisal of the evidence, the biblical Joseph story was a novella created sometime during the seventh or sixth century B.C. (the end of the Judean monarchy or the exile)..."
"There is no reason to believe it has any basis in fact- the absence of the story from the earlier tradition in the prophets speaks against such a belief - and to read it as history is quite wrong headed."
If you are willing to entertain the proposition that you can divide the Torah structure into the establishment of the first successful diaspora in Genesis and the establishment of the nation of Israel in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy (each establishment process self evident within the text), then the essential Torah must include the Joseph story making an early dating of the Patriarchal narratives and even the Mosaic narrative problematic (given Redford's support) as the late Joseph story consists of foundational structure.
The Rig Veda, the oldest religious text in the world, also describes the establishment of pastoralism and the establishment of nationalism.
The evidence is also on the ground in the 21st century; a biblical diaspora and a biblical nation.
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Jerry Shepherd" wrote:
> This thread is closed.
You closed the thread two minutes after reading my post.
That's a visceral response.