Vale of Siddim at Genesis 14: 3

The main place for discussion the Hebrew Bible, its language and message.
Forum rules
Members will observe the rules for respectful discourse at all times!
Please sign all posts with your first and last (family) name.
Jim Stinehart
Posts: 325
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:33 am

Vale of Siddim at Genesis 14: 3

Postby Jim Stinehart » Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:54 pm

The Vale of Siddim: ‘MQ H-sDYM HW’ YM H-MLX at Genesis 14: 3

The first appearance of the phrase “the vale of Siddim” : ‘MQ H-sDYM is at Genesis 14: 3. A more literal translation of ‘MQ H-sDYM would be either (i) “valley the Siddim”, or (ii) if [as is likely] sDYM is a plural form of sDY at Deuteronomy 32: 13, with sDY there meaning “cultivated field”, and especially if, per BDB, sDYM may also be related to sDD, meaning “to harrow” or “to cultivate [plow] with a harrow”, then: “valley of the cultivated fields”. The only other places where the phrase ‘MQ H-sDYM appears are at Genesis 14: 8, 10: not elsewhere in the Bible, and not in any non-biblical ancient sources. The phrase “the salt sea” [which could more literally be translated as “sea the salt” : YM H-MLX] appears only at Genesis 14: 3 in the Book of Genesis. Outside of Genesis, that phrase appears at Numbers 34: 12 and Deuteronomy 3: 17, where in context it must be referring to the Dead Sea. However, “sea the salt” may be a generic reference to any salt sea, which as such could refer either to the Mediterranean Sea or to the Dead Sea, depending on the context. Thus at Genesis 14: 3 we should examine the context to determine whether YM H-MLX is referring to the Mediterranean Sea, rather than to the Dead Sea as heretofore always supposed, especially since there never was a "valley of cultivated fields" : Vale of Siddim at the Dead Sea. At Genesis 14: 3, first we see ‘MQ H-sDYM, and then comes the ambiguous Hebrew word HW’ [often translated as “that is”], which is the link to YM H-MLX. The Hebrew word HW’ is inherently ambiguous in that it might be followed by what is simply a different [perhaps later] name for the exact same place; yet alternatively, it might instead be identifying some particular aspect of the preceding name.

Let me now set forth several possible translations of Genesis 14: 3. We’ll start with KJV:

“All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea.”

Now consider a series of my own translations/paraphrases of Genesis 14: 3, where I have added explanatory material in brackets:

(i) “all the latter operated together at the Valley of Siddim, that is, the salt sea.”

(ii) “all the latter [i.e., the 5 rebellious rulers] operated together at the [portion of the] Valley of Siddim [a reference to a famous ‘valley of cultivated fields’ in western Asia] that is [at] the salt sea.”

(iii) “all the latter [i.e., the 5 rebellious rulers] operated together at the Valley of Siddim [which is referencing a famous ‘valley of cultivated fields’ in western Asia, namely the Orontes River Valley/Beqa Valley, which is the breadbasket of both Syria and Lebanon], that is[, i.e., at the western end of the Orontes River Valley, where the Orontes River empties into] the salt sea [i.e., the Mediterranean Sea] -- [namely, at Ugarit].”

Ugarit is located on the Mediterranean Sea, immediately west of the far northwest corner of the Orontes River Valley; that is to say, Ugarit is just north of where the Orontes River empties into the Mediterranean Sea. “At its greatest extent, the kingdom of Ugarit extended… eastward to the Orontes River….” http://ebooks.cambridge.org/chapter.jsf ... 996962A010 . The two keys to describing Ugarit's geographical location are precisely that (i) it is near a "valley of cultivated fields" [vale of Siddim : Orontes River Valley], and that (ii) it is located on a "salt sea" [Mediterranean Sea].

If the phrase ‘MQ H-sDYM HW’ YM H-MLX at Genesis 14: 3 is referencing Ugarit [which is my view of the case], then we are being told two different, important things here: (i) Chedorlaomer’s homeland is Ugarit, and (ii) Chedorlaomer’s homeland of Ugarit is now in Year 13 [per Genesis 14: 4] being attacked by a coalition of five rebellious princelings [per Genesis 14: 2]. Genesis 14: 2-4 is therefore specifically and explicitly telling us that in Year 13, Ugarit was raided by a coalition of five rebellious princelings. Historically, that has p-i-n-p-o-i-n-t accuracy in describing both the nature and exact timing of the instigating events of the world-famous Great Syrian War, which was fought the following year [in the “Year 14” referenced at Genesis 14: 5]. Genesis 14: 15 explicitly refers to Damascus, which is in Syria, so Syria is a viable locale to consider for the war being described at Genesis 14: 1-15, and Genesis 14: 4 can be viewed as explicitly referencing “Year 13”. Historically, by far the most important thing that happened in Year 13 in Syria was precisely that 5 rebellious princelings launched a series of raids on Ugarit, near where the most famous “valley of cultivated fields” in western Asia [the Orontes River Valley] meets the most famous “salt sea” in western Asia, the Mediterranean Sea. So shouldn’t we at least ask if ‘MQ H-sDYM HW’ YM H-MLX at Genesis 14: 3 means “the [portion of the] Valley of Siddim : ‘valley of cultivated fields’ : Orontes River Valley that is [at] the salt sea : Mediterranean Sea”? No university scholar has ever asked that question.

It is my opinion that the Hebrew wording translated by KJV as “the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea” is an accurate description of the geographical location of Ugarit. I see “the vale of Siddim” : ‘MQ H-sDYM as being the most famous “valley of cultivated fields” in western Asia, namely the Orontes River Valley/Beqa Valley, which is the breadbasket of both west-central Syria and eastern Lebanon. I see “the salt sea” : “sea the salt” : YM H-MLX as being, out of context, a generic reference to any salt sea, and as here, in context, referencing the Mediterranean Sea, which is the most famous, and most important, salt sea in western Asia, and which, unlike the Dead Sea, adjoins a "valley of cultivated fields" : Vale of Siddim at Ugarit. I see HW’, which links the above two geographical references, as in context delineating here which portion of the vast Orontes River Valley/Beqa Valley is being referenced at Genesis 14: 3, namely the far northwest corner of the Orontes River Valley, where the Orontes River empties into the Mediterranean Sea. Moreover, I see the phrase HW’ YM H-MLX as applying exclusively to Genesis 14: 3, and n-o-t to Genesis 14: 8 or Genesis 14: 10, which latter two verses are, rather, referring to entirely different portions of the vast Orontes River Valley/Beqa Valley.

By contrast to my above historical analysis of the key Biblical phrase ‘MQ H-sDYM HW’ YM H-MLX at Genesis 14: 3, university scholars insist, believe it or not, that Biblical inerrantists are spot on in saying that the Biblical author envisioned the Vale of Siddim as being a valley of cultivated fields in the Patriarchal Age which, by the Biblical author’s own time centuries later, had been flooded and was now lying underneath the southern half of the Dead Sea. I kid you not. That is what the freshmen are taught every fall at university by mainstream scholars as to how the Biblical author wanted us to understand Genesis 14: 3. But rather than being pure, unadulterated, non-historical fantasy as today’s university scholars would have it, I myself see ‘MQ H-sDYM HW’ YM H-MLX at Genesis 14: 3 as being an historically accurate geographical reference [with no fantasy whatsoever involved] to Ugarit’s location: “the [portion of the] Valley of Siddim : ‘valley of cultivated fields’ : Orontes River Valley that is [at] the salt sea : Mediterranean Sea.”

There is no valley of cultivated fields lying at the bottom of the southern half of the Dead Sea. Nor did the Biblical author of Genesis 14: 3 intend to reference any such bizarre, totally irrelevant fantasy. Nor, for that matter, does the Biblical author post-date the “four kings against five” : Great Syrian War that he accurately reports as a contemporary at Genesis 14: 1-15. Rather, it is my contention that, contra the scholarly approach, we should adopt a fully historical explanation of ‘MQ H-sDYM HW’ YM H-MLX at Genesis 14: 3.

Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois

Isaac Fried
Posts: 1029
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:32 pm

Re: Vale of Siddim at Genesis 14: 3

Postby Isaac Fried » Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:52 am

1. The name of the valley is עמק השדים EMEQ HA-SIDIYM with one D, and not with a double D as you transcribe it. If you think that the dot in the the letter D "doubles" it, then you are, in my opinion, mistaken.

2. EMEQ HA-SIDIYM may be related to סדום SDOM.

3. Methinks that ים המלח YAM HA-MELAX got its name from the solid salt found in its environs, not for the bitter מר taste of its water.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

Jim Stinehart
Posts: 325
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:33 am

Re: Vale of Siddim at Genesis 14: 3

Postby Jim Stinehart » Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:10 am

In my prior post, I asserted that the phrases “the vale of Siddim” and “the salt sea” at Genesis 14: 3 are generic. That is to say, out of context, “the vale of Siddim” could refer to any valley of cultivated fields, and out of context, “the salt sea” could refer to any salt sea [whether the Mediterranean Sea or the Dead Sea].

To bolster that key claim of mine, consider now that the names of all five cities of the rebellious princelings at Genesis 14: 2 are likewise generic. In fact, one of the meanings of all five generic city names is the same! Each city name on one level in effect means: “good land for growing grain”.

1. SDM : “Sodom”. As noted Biblical scholar Gordon Wenham rightly points out, “Sodom” : SDM sounds like “Siddim” : sDYM. As such, at one level the name “Sodom” means: “city of cultivated fields” or: “city by good land that is good for raising grain”. Isaac Fried agrees that SDM should be compared to sDYM: “ EMEQ HA-SIDIYM may be related to סדום SDOM.” [However, I don’t know where Isaac Fried is getting an interior vav/W in SDM.] I also agree with Isaac Fried that each of “Sodom” and “Siddim” has only one dalet/D [despite the KJV transliteration of sDYM as “Siddim”].

2. ‘MRH : “Gomorrah”. The root ‘MR references binding sheaves of grain. Thus ‘MRH as a city name has the same meaning as SDM: “city by good land that is good for raising grain”.

3. ’DMH : “Admah”. The meaning is “red earth” or “good land”. That would be land that is good for growing grain, thus having the same meaning as “Sodom” and “Gomorrah”.

4. CB’YM : “Zeboiim”. Compare CBY, which can mean “beautiful” or “glorious”. Thus at Daniel 8: 9, H-CBY literally means “the glorious”, but necessarily implies “the glorious land”. A “glorious land” is land that is good for growing grain, so that is the same basic meaning once again as the foregoing three city names. Likewise, at Ezekiel 20: 6 CBY means “glory” as part of a phrase referencing “the glory of all lands”. The plural format [similar to how SDM sounds like the plural sDYM] suggests: “city by fields that are good for growing grain”.

5. BL‘ : “Bela”. Compare BLL = “to give provender [consisting of several types of grain]”, and BLYL = “provender consisting of several kinds of grain, corn, grain”. YBWL at Judges 19: 21 means “he gave provender [to animals to eat]”. Note that there’s only one lamed/L there, just as in the city name BL‘. [The interior vav/W is plene spelling.] Once again, this city name is referencing grain.

Thus all five city names are generic, and all five reference the key fact that the city was located in a place that had good land/fields for growing grain.

We come to see that all seven geographical references at Genesis 14: 2-3 [the five city names, plus the two key phrases “the vale of Siddim” and “the salt sea”] are generic, and deliberately so. Many cities in both Syria and Canaan could be described as being a “city by good land that is good for growing grain”. On the one hand, in the context of the Great Syrian War of Years 13-14, all seven places can be identified with exactitude. But by using generic geographical references, the Biblical author is shrewdly making the following additional important point: though the five cities on good land for growing grain that were located in or near a valley of cultivated fields that were destroyed in Year 14 were located way up north in Syria, it is of utmost importance for Canaan to stand united against the dreaded Hittites, lest Canaan suffer the same sad fate as those five cities in Syria, which now had been forced to become Hittite vassal states. That is why the Biblical author does not give the historical names of these five cities or regions in Syria, but rather uses generic names.

And that is also why the place where the initial raids took place in Year 13 that instigated the Great Syrian War of Year 14 is described at Genesis 14: 3 in such generic terms -- a valley of cultivated fields at a salt sea -- that, out of context, it could just as well be referencing the Jezreel Valley in beloved Canaan as the Orontes River Valley way up north in Syria; and with a little stretching [to include nearby land], it could even possibly reference the Jordan River Valley also. [The tent-dwelling Hebrews sojourned south of the Jezreel Valley and west of the Jordan River Valley.] Note that one end of all three such valleys adjoins “a salt sea” [the Mediterranean Sea or the Dead Sea]. Moreover, the first two are each “a valley of cultivated fields”, and if land adjacent to the valley itself is considered, that description could even apply to the Jordan River Valley as well.

You see, the “four kings against five” is not only accurately reporting the sad fate of cities way up north in Syria in Year 14 [the Great Syrian War] in a valley that adjoins a salt sea, but also it is warning the people of Canaan that the dreaded Hittites, having conquered west-central Syria last year in a single one-year military campaign, might now well threaten Canaan itself in the near future.

The point is that all seven of the geographical names at Genesis 14: 2-3 are deliberately generic. The scholarly view that the key phrase “the salt sea” in all events, regardless of context, could only reference the Dead Sea, is in error. Out of context, “the salt sea” could reference any salt sea, whether the Mediterranean Sea or the Dead Sea. Biblical Hebrew identified the Mediterranean Sea with “salt”, as persons who sail the Mediterranean Sea are literally called “salts”. Ezekiel 27: 9, 27, 29. The Biblical reference to “sea the salt” at Genesis 14: 3 is deliberately generic, as is the phrase “the vale of Siddim”, precisely so that the early Hebrew author’s audience would realize that the terrible events that occurred last year in Year 14, in the Hittites’ dramatic permanent conquest in a single year of west-central Syria, might possibly be Canaan’s sad fate next year.

Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois

Isaac Fried
Posts: 1029
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:32 pm

Re: Vale of Siddim at Genesis 14: 3

Postby Isaac Fried » Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:37 pm

1. The MALAX, 'sailor' of Ezek. 27:9 has nothing to do with salt. It is possibly related to מלך KELEK, 'king, important person' as the English 'king' is related to 'kin', or it is related to the מלח MLX, 'sheet', of Jer.38:12, and that of Isaiah 51:6.

2. ים המלח YAM HA-MELAX is so called for the solid salt found near its shores, not for the bitter MAR מר taste of its water. There is no such thing in BH as מים מלוחים MAYIM MLUXIYM, 'salty water', only מים מרים 'bitter water', as in Ex.15:23.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

Jim Stinehart
Posts: 325
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:33 am

Re: Vale of Siddim at Genesis 14: 3

Postby Jim Stinehart » Sun Mar 02, 2014 5:55 pm

Isaac Fried:

1. You wrote: “The MALAX, 'sailor' of Ezek. 27:9 has nothing to do with salt. It is possibly related to מלך [M]ELEK, 'king, important person' as the English 'king' is related to 'kin', or it is related to the מלח MLX, 'sheet', of Jer.38:12, and that of Isaiah 51:6.”

Jerusalem is not near salt water, so Ezekiel 16: 4 says that Jerusalem was not washed with salt water. By sharp contrast, Tyre is located on salt water, that is, Tyre is an island in the salt water sea that we today call the Mediterranean Sea. Tyre was totally dependent on shipping in that salt sea and the sailors that manned its valuable ships. So Ezekiel 27: 9, 27, 29 refers to the people who sail the salt sea/the Mediterranean Sea as “salts”. Ezekiel is not calling the sailors of Tyre “kings”, for heaven’s sake. No, Ezekiel is calling them “salts”, because Tyre’s mariners spent their lucrative livelihood working on a salt sea, namely the Mediterranean Sea.

The plural of MLX at Jeremiah 38: 11, 12 means “rotten rags”. That has nothing to do with “sailors”. The sailors that made Tyre rich and powerful were neither “kings” nor “rotten rags”. No, they were “salts”, in the key sense that their business was conducted on salt water, namely the Mediterranean Sea.

MLX at Isaiah 51: 6 is a verb that means “vanish”. That doesn’t fit “sailors”, any more than “rotten rags” do. Rather, what fits “sailors” on the salt sea that is the Mediterranean Sea is “salt”. Sailors spend their working lives surrounded by salt, and hence in Hebrew sailors are called “salts”.

2. YM H-MLX : “sea the salt” : “the salt sea” at Genesis 14: 3 is n-o-t referencing the Dead Sea! Rather, the MLX at Genesis 14: 3 is, like the MLX at Ezekiel 27: 9, 27, 29, referencing the most important “sea the salt” in western Asia: the Mediterranean Sea. Out of context, “sea the salt” is a generic phrase that could refer either to the Mediterranean Sea or the Dead Sea, as both are bodies of salt water. But in context, “sea the salt” at Genesis 14: 3 must be referencing the Mediterranean Sea, as there is no “valley of cultivated fields” : vale of Siddim at or near the southern end of the Dead Sea.

No important king like Chedorlaomer ever lived near the southern end of the Dead Sea. Nor did any king near the Dead Sea ever call in a king with a bona fide Hittite royal name, “Tidal”, from Anatolia [north of Syria] for help when he couldn’t stop his homeland from being raided. No, in Year 13 [historically and per Genesis 14: 4] it was Ugarit [just south of Anatolia] that was being raided, and that called in for help the Hittite king who had seized the Hittite throne by the dastardly expedient of murdering his own older brother named “Tidal”. Hence the nasty, but apt, Patriarchal nickname of “Tidal” [effectively meaning “Murderer”] for by far the most famous and powerful Hittite king of all time: Suppililiuma. Ugarit is located where “a valley of cultivated fields” : vale of Siddim : Orontes River Valley ends at a “sea the salt”, namely the Mediterranean Sea. Ugarit was a port on the Mediterranean Sea, and its claimed territory extended east to the northernmost corner of the Orontes River Valley, a world-famous “valley of cultivated fields” in Syria. As we have discussed on another thread, Chedorlaomer’s name and title should rightly be analyzed primarily in terms of Ugaritic: KDRL‘MR MLK ‘LM is, in Ugaritic: kdr l ‘mr mlk ‘lm. That last phrase mlk 'lm means “king everlasting” in Ugaritic, and as such could have the following implied meaning at Ugarit: “all the kings of Ugarit: past, present and future”.

3. In analyzing Genesis 14: 3, forget the Dead Sea! The “sea the salt” that is referenced there is, in context, the Mediterranean Sea. Mariners of the Mediterranean Sea are called “salts” in Hebrew [not “kings”, “rotten rags”, or “vanish”]. Accordingly, it makes perfect sense for a generic reference to a salt sea, which depending on the context could be a reference to the Mediterranean Sea, to be “sea the salt” : YM H-MLX. The context of Genesis 14: 3 requires that the generic phrase “sea the salt” there is referring to the Mediterranean Sea.

Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois

Jim Stinehart
Posts: 325
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:33 am

Re: Vale of Siddim at Genesis 14: 3

Postby Jim Stinehart » Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:19 am

In order to determine the geographical location of the “slime pits”, that is, pits of bitumen : B’RT B’RT XMR referenced at Genesis 14: 10, let’s turn to Arie Nissenbaum, Department of Environmental Sciences and Energy Research, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel, “ ‘…and the Vale of Siddim was full of slime {= bitumen, asphalt?} pits’ (Genesis, 14: 10), in “Geochemical Investigations in Earth and Space Science”, edited by Ronald J. Hill (2004), at p. 359.

I. Where Pits of Bitumen Are Actually Located: Hasbaya, Lebanon, at the Foot of Mt. Hermon

“The term slime pits in the King James English version of the Bible corresponds to the original Be’erot Heimar, which means wells, or pits (Be’erot), of asphalt or bitumen (Heimar). The Arabic name for asphalt is also Hummar and the on-land asphalt mines in Hasbaya, Southern Lebanon were called ‘Biyar el Hummar’ [or Biar el Hommar] which means ‘asphalt wells or asphalt pits’ (BURCKHARDT 1823).”

Several 19th century travelers wrote about the Biar el Hommar, the pits of bitumen, at Hasbaya.

The Wikipedia article on Habaya observes: “Near Hasbaya were bitumen pits which were worked in antiquity and in the 19th century up to 1914.”

Thus from antiquity until 1914, the place to find “slime pits” : pits of bitumen : Biar el Hommar : B’RT B’RT XMR in western Asia was at Hasbaya, in the southeast corner of Lebanon.

II. Where Pits of Bitumen Are N-o-t Located: The Dead Sea

“The Dead Sea area has been associated with bitumen (= asphalt) for thousands of years. For this reason, it has commonly been taken for granted that pits of bitumen existed in the Dead Sea area, and into which the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fell after losing a battle in the vale of Siddim in the Dead Sea region (Genesis, 14: 10). However, physical evidence for the existence of pits is practically non-existent.”

Conclusion

The five losing princelings in the “four kings against five” were chased out of their homeland in Syria all the long way south to the southeast corner of Lebanon at Hasbaya. T-h-a-t is where pits of bitumen are located [being nowhere in the general vicinity of the Dead Sea]. The “four kings against five” at Genesis 14: 1-15 has nothing whatsoever to do with the Dead Sea, or any area in the general vicinity of the Dead Sea. Rather, (i) the “sea the salt” at Genesis 14: 3 is a generic phrase that could potentially reference any body of salt water, and in context is here referring to the Mediterranean Sea [not the Dead Sea], and (ii) such phrase does not apply either at Genesis 14: 8 or Genesis 14: 10. There’s no Dead Sea in chapter 14 of Genesis!

Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois

Jim Stinehart
Posts: 325
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:33 am

Re: Vale of Siddim at Genesis 14: 3

Postby Jim Stinehart » Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:26 am

1. Bitumen/asphalt that has long been traditionally thought to have come from the Dead Sea likely, in many cases, in fact came from Hasbaya in southeastern Lebanon:

“[S]ome of the archaeological asphalts that are found in the southern Fertile Crescent (Egypt, Israel, Syria, etc.) and which were assumed to be of Dead Sea origin, may actually have come from Hasbeya.” Jacques Connan, Arie Nissenbaum, “The organic geochemistry of the Hasbeya asphalt (Lebanon): comparison with asphalts from the Dead Sea area and Iraq”, in Organic Chemistry, Vol. 35, No. 6 (2004), at p. 775.

The well-known bitumen pits at Hasbaya date all the long way back to the 16th century BCE [from before the Great Syrian War]:

“The Hasbaya…bitumen, asphalt… mines are very rich, and have been worked since the country was held by the Egyptians, in the sixteenth century B.C., with the wells as deep as 60 m.” I.M. Toll, “The Mineral Resources of Syria”, E/MJ, Engineering and Mining Journal, Vol. 112, McGraw-Hill Company, Inc., New York (1921), p. 850.

Accordingly, the “slimepits” : pits, pits of bitumen : B’RT B’RT XMR referenced at Genesis 14: 10 should rightly conjure up an image of the Biar el Hommar : pits of bitumen at Hasbaya in the southeast corner of Lebanon. Those pits of bitumen at Hasbaya are located in a cultivated valley [“vale of Siddim”] surrounded by hills [being two additional factors accurately noted at Genesis 14: 10]. No reference is made to "sea the salt" at Genesis 14: 10, because Hasbaya is not located close to any body of salt water. Such pits of bitumen : B’RT B’RT XMR : Biar el Hommar have nothing whatsoever to do with the Dead Sea. Nor does any other aspect of chapter 14 of Genesis.

2. Historically, one of the five defeated parties in the Great Syrian War/“four kings against five” was princeling Itur-Addu of Mukishe, in the Orontes River Valley in central Syria. His fate, after being defeated by the Hittites, is not recorded. If he had become a Hittite vassal, or if he had been killed, one would expect the Hittites to have recorded that. Therefore, one suspects that he may have fled the scene. If so, then the logical direction to flee would be south [since the Hittite homeland in Anatolia was north of Syria], south of central Syria, into and through the Beqa Valley in eastern Lebanon. Did Itur-Addu literally get stuck in “slimepits” : pits, pits of bitumen : B’RT B’RT XMR : Biar el Hommar, at Hasbaya in southeastern Lebanon? Though that’s not very likely on a literal level, nevertheless one can easily see that by using a bit of artistic license here, the early Hebrew author [who was a contemporary of the events] deftly made the key point that all five rebellious parties were totally routed by the mighty Hittites [“Tidal”], in the Great Syrian War/“four kings against five” in Year 14.

Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois


Return to “General Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest