Rashi on Hebron

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Jim Stinehart
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Rashi on Hebron

Post by Jim Stinehart »

Rashi on Hebron

Genesis 37: 14 explicitly says that the Patriarchs’ Hebron was located in an emeq. In the Bible, when the geographical context is southern Canaan, the word emeq always means the Shephelah: either the entire Shephelah, or any one of more of the constituent valleys of the Shephelah, including the Ayalon Valley. (The Iron Age name “Shephelah” didn’t exist in the Late Bronze Age.)

One of the rare honest statements about the Genesis 37: 14 “problem” was about one thousand years ago, when Rashi (whose proposed solution is fanciful and is rightly rejected) accurately and bluntly stated the problem with Genesis 37: 14:

“Hebron was in the high hills [har] and not the valley [emeq].”

Dare we then ask the question that has never been asked in any published writing in 2,500 years? Is it in fact the case that (i) the Patriarchal narratives are much older than the rest of the Bible, and (ii) King David’s first capital city and the Patriarchs’ favorite place to sojourn share the same n-a-m-e , but have nothing else in common?

Based on what the text of Genesis says, the Patriarchs’ Hebron is located in a completely different place, having completely different characteristics, than King David’s city of Hebron. To be specific, whereas King David’s city of Hebron is located in southern hill country / har, the Patriarchs’ Hebron is, by sharp contrast, located in the Shephelah / emeq. In Genesis, no one is ever said to go “up” / ‘alah to southern “hill country” / har in connection with the Patriarchs’ Hebron, whereas such wording is commonplace in later books in the Bible in describing the site of King David’s first capital city of Hebron.

Is the Bible in fact telling us about two completely different places, that merely have the same n-a-m-e ?

Jim Stinehart
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Re: Rashi on Hebron

Post by ducky »

Hi Jim,

In this verse, it doesn't say "explicitly" that Hebron is in a valley.
It says that Jacob sent Joseph from the valley of Hebron.

Hebron was built on a mountain, and every mountain has its valley/plain.
And we (probably) need to understand it as Jacob walked with Joseph out of the city, to its plain, and sent him from there.

What you see in Rashi, is not his words. He gives a reference to an old Midrash, and there is nothing to reject it since this is a Midrashic commentary that comes to complete (or stand by) the "simple" literal one without "hurting it".
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Re: Rashi on Hebron

Post by Jason Hare »

Jim Stinehart wrote:One of the rare honest statements about the Genesis 37: 14 “problem” was about one thousand years ago...
Do you think that commentators and interpreters are generally dishonest?
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ducky
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Re: Rashi on Hebron

Post by ducky »

The other problem with your theory of "same name to different places" is that Hebron has a few names (or few places are called also as Hebron), and for example, one of the names is קרית ארבע Qiryat-Arba'.
And you can see this name in Gen 35:27 for example, קרית ארבע היא חברון.

And then. you go to Joshua 20:7 קרית ארבע היא חברון בהר יהודה

So in Joshua, it also says about Hebron that it is Qiryat-Arba', just like in Genesis. and also adds that it is on the mountain.

So it is one thing to say that the name Hebron defined two different places, but it is hard to say that both the names Hebron and its brother-name Qiryat Araba' somehow moved to define another place. Because now you're not talking about one name, you're talking about two, and if there was another place called Hebron, how can he get also the other name Qiryat-Arba' as well?

So the Hebron that we see in Joshua is the same Hebron that we see in Genesis, and so it is on a mountain just like it is said in Josh.
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Re: Rashi on Hebron

Post by Jim Stinehart »

Jason Hare:

You wrote: “Do you think that commentators and interpreters are generally dishonest?”

Before I address that specific issue (at #II below), let me first set forth what the scholarly view of the phrase “emeq Hebron” at Genesis 37: 14 is.


I. The Scholarly View of the Phrase “emeq Hebron” at Genesis 37: 14

This key phrase has generally gotten the silent treatment from scholars since about 1910 or so, but there are two current Hebrew experts who have waded into this longstanding controversy.

(a) Fine Hebrew scholar Robert Alter aptly remarks at p. 211 of Genesis (1996) regarding the word emeq at Genesis 37: 14:

“the valley [emeq] of Hebron. The validity of this designation can be defended only through ingenious explanation because Hebron stands on a height.”

Prof. Alter notes the problem, but suggests no solution.

(b) Professor Baruch J. Schwartz, an Associate Professor of Bible at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is one of the leading scholars in the world on the Patriarchal narratives in Genesis. With a wave of the hand, Prof. Schwartz dismisses the phrase “emeq Hebron” at Genesis 37: 14 as allegedly being a “meaningless expression”.

Here is Prof. Schwartz’s analysis of this issue:

“In the E narrative [E is one of several alleged authors of the Patriarchal narratives],…it seems quite clear that E imagines a northern setting for all of the events connected with Jacob. E must have originally contained a different toponym at this point…. Jacob and his sons have settled in Hebron (Gen 35:27). …Hebron is situated high in the hills and no valley bears its name. Most probably then, E read, ‘So he sent him from the valley of (supply the name of some other place), and he reached Shechem,’ and the compiler, in his attempt to harmonize, created the meaningless expression ‘valley of Hebron’.” Baruch J. Schwartz, “The Composition of Genesis 37”, at pp. 266-267 of The Book of Genesis: Composition, Reception, and Interpretation, editors Craig Evans, Joel Lohr, David Petersen (2012).

* * *

Jason Hare, are you willing to dismiss the phrase “emeq Hebron” at Genesis 37: 14 out of hand as being a “meaningless expression”?

Neither am I.


II. The Corresponding Genesis 13: 18 “Problem”

If the Patriarchs’ Hebron is, unlike King David’s first capital city, actually portrayed in Genesis as being located in the Shephelah / emeq (which is precisely what Genesis 37: 14 says, after all), then where in the Shephelah is the Patriarchs’ Hebron located? When Judah left the family temporarily and lived on his own, he sojourned in Adullam (Genesis 38: 1) and had his sheep shorn at Timnah (Genesis 38: 12-14) (where Judah famously interacts with his daughter-in-law Tamar), in the central and south-central Shephelah. So the likely part of the Shephelah where the Patriarchs’ Hebron would then be expected to be located is northernmost Shephelah (since when Judah left the family, he would not want to live real close to the family homestead): the Ayalon Valley. The plene spelling of “Ayalon” (not defective spelling) is ’YLWN / אילון. [I am using the Iron Age term “Shephelah” in this post, but in the Late Bronze Age time period of the Patriarchal narratives, such term did not yet exist; there was only emeq.]

We are told where in the Shephelah the Patriarchs’ Hebron is located three times, at Genesis 13: 18; 14: 13; and 18: 1. The key Hebrew letters in that regard in the Hebrew Masoretic Text are ’LN / אלן.

When you ask whether “commentators and interpreters are generally dishonest”, the perfect issue to analyze in that regard is the question of the three mysterious Hebrew letters ’LN / אלן at Genesis 13: 18 of the Hebrew-language Masoretic Text. Let’s take a look at how the top scholars throughout history have dealt with the “problem” of Genesis 13: 18 (which is very closely related, in my opinion, to the “problem” of Genesis 37: 14 referring to “emeq Hebron” that I raised in my initial post on this thread).

A. Onkelos and Targum Jonathan

I greatly admire Onkelos and Targum Jonathan, both because they knew Biblical Hebrew better than anyone else in history, and also because they never abandoned the Hebrew Masoretic Text, even when the going got rough (at Genesis 13: 18).

Both Onkelos and Jonathan knew that there is no Biblical Hebrew common word ’LN / אלן. Onkelos went with “plain”, and Jonathan went with “valley”, as “placeholders”, as it were, since there is no Biblical Hebrew common word ’LN / אלן, but they did not want to upset the pro-Judah applecart too much by asking if ’LN / אלן may be the defective spelling of a proper name. Note that Jonathan’s translation of “valley” at Genesis 13: 18 is, in effect, in direct contradiction to Prof. Schwartz’s assertion above that allegedly the reference at Genesis 37: 14 to the “valley” / emeq of Hebron is a “meaningless expression”.

Though I admire Onkelos and Jonathan for sticking with the Hebrew Masoretic Text through thick and thin, nevertheless the not-so-great part of their translations into Aramaic is that the Hebrew letters ’LN / אלן are definitely not a Biblical Hebrew common word that means “plain” or “valley”.

B. Catholic Bibles

For the better part of 2,000 years, all Catholic Bibles, beginning with the Vulgate (in Latin), followed Jonathan and translated ’LN / אלן as “valley”. Unfortunately, in 1986 the Catholics switched to “oak” in the Nova Vulgata.

C. English Protestant Bibles

Beginning with the first English language Protestant Bible -- The Bishops Bible in 1568; continuing through the well-known Geneva Bible in 1599 (influenced by John Calvin); and the most famous and most popular English language Bible of all time, the King James Version (KJV) in 1611 -- all Protestant Bibles in English went with Onkelos and translated ’LN / אלן at Genesis 13: 18 as “plain”. Unfortunately, in 1982 the New King James Version (NKJV) fell in line with all other modern translations, such as NRSV and NIV, and abandoned KJV “plain” in favor of “terebinth trees” (a more colorful variant of the more standard “oaks of”).

D. English Translations for Jewish People

Unfortunately, there isn’t even a switch here. Rather, all English translations of the Hebrew Bible for Jewish people have always gone with the Greek-language Septuagint as to this issue, abandoning the Hebrew Masoretic Text as to the Hebrew letters ’LN / אלן. For example, JPS 2003 uses “terebinths”.

* * *

Remember, the two greatest experts on Biblical Hebrew of all time, Onkelos and Jonathan, knew that there is no Biblical Hebrew common word ’LN / אלן, and accordingly they knew that the Hebrew letters ’LN / אלן in the Hebrew Masoretic Text are not a Biblical Hebrew common word that means “plain” or “valley” or “oak”.

Jason Hare, is it proper for a-l-l modern translators of the Hebrew Bible in the Western world, who profess to be translating the Hebrew Masoretic Text for us, to abandon the Hebrew letters ’LN / אלן in the Hebrew-language Masoretic Text, and instead, sub silentio, substitute the Greek-language Septuagint’s simple Greek common word “oak”?

Jason Hare, are you willing to a-s-k whether the Hebrew letters ’LN / אלן in the Hebrew-language Masoretic Text may instead be the defective spelling of a proper name, namely, a defective spelling of “Ayalon” / ’YLWN / אילון?

In my humble opinion, whether the Patriarchal narratives are accurate Late Bronze Age historical commentary, or rather are Jewish fiction from the Iron Age, is riding on that question.

Jim Stinehart
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Re: Rashi on Hebron

Post by Jim Stinehart »

David Hunter:

1. You wrote: “In this verse, it doesn't say "explicitly" that Hebron is in a valley. It says that Jacob sent Joseph from the valley of Hebron.”

In Hebrew, emeq means “valley-land”. That is why, in the context of southern Canaan, emeq in the Bible always references the Shephelah, which is classic “valley-land”.


2. You wrote: “Hebron was built on a mountain, and every mountain has its valley/plain.”

Wrong on both counts.

(a) The Patriarchs’ Hebron was n-o-t “built on a mountain”. Genesis never associates the Patriarchs’ Hebron with har, which is the Hebrew word that means “mountain” or “mountains” or “hill” or “hills” or “hill country”. Moreover, no one is ever said in Genesis go “up” / ‘alah to the Patriarchs’ Hebron. That’s because the Patriarchs’ Hebron is portrayed in Genesis as being located in the relatively low-lying emeq / Shephelah.

(b) In Hebrew, emeq means “valley-land”. In the Hebrew Bible, emeq is never associated with southern “hill country” / har, because southern hill country is not “valley-land”.

The Biblical Hebrew word emeq is not directly comparable to the English word “valley”. In English, we could say that southern hill country consists of hills and valleys, as you say. But in Biblical Hebrew, one cannot say that southern “hill country” / har consists of “hills” / hars and “valley-lands” / emeqs.


3. You wrote: “The other problem with your theory of "same name to different places" is that Hebron has a few names (or few places are called also as Hebron), and for example, one of the names is קרית ארבע Qiryat-Arba'.”

Not. Kiriath Arbe means “City of RB”, that is, “City of [the] Great”. That is historical Rubu -tu which, like “Arbe”, features the consonants RB.

Note that Abraham has to leave the Patriarchs’ Hebron to get to Kiriath Arbe to mourn Sarah’s death and buy her a gravesite there:

“And Sarah died in Kirjatharba [Kiriath Arbe]…in the land of Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her.” Genesis 23: 2

Biblically, Hurrian princeling Ephron rules the roost at Kiriath Arbe (equivalent to Hurrian princeling Shuwardata ruling the roost historically at Rubutu in Year 13 in the Late Bronze Age), but Ephron is never present in the Patriarchs’ Hebron, which instead is ruled Biblically by the vigorous Amorite princeling Mamre the Amorite (historical Milkilu the Amorite, the vigorous Amorite princeling ruler of the Ayalon Valley in Year 13). (Genesis 14: 4 explicitly references “Year 13”.)

To cinch the matter, Genesis 23: 17 explicitly says that Sarah’s burial site was “facing” / panym / “near” the Patriarchs’ Hebron, not that such burial site was “in” the Patriarchs’ Hebron. (The actual wording used here by the text is not “Hebron”, but rather is “Mamre”, being short for Ayalon -- Mamre.) “And the field of Ephron, which [asher] was in Machpelah, which [asher] was before [panym] Mamre…..” Note that Genesis 23: 19; 25: 9; 49: 30; 50 13 then repeat this same phrase four more times, making it clear that the Patriarchs and Matriarchs were buried “facing” / panym / “near” Mamre [Ayalon -- Mamre], that is “facing” / panym / “near” the Patriarchs’ Hebron. So contra popular belief, Kiriath Arbe cannot possibly be the prior name of (or an alternate name for) the Patriarchs’ Hebron, because five times the text tells us that the Patriarchs and Matriarchs were buried at Kiriath Arbe, which is “n-e-a-r” / “facing” / panym the Patriarchs’ Hebron, but is not “in”, or the same as, the Patriarchs’ Hebron.


4. You wrote: “And then, you go to Joshua 20:7 קרית ארבע היא חברון בהר יהודה”.

Later books in the Bible were written in the Judah-centric Iron Age, and routinely misunderstand the Late Bronze Age text of the Patriarchal narratives, which was composed before Israel and Judah were separate entities.

If and to the extent Joshua 20: 7 is talking about the Patriarchal narratives (which is not clear to me, by the way), then: (i) Kiriath Arbe is not an alternate name for, or the prior name of, the Patriarchs’ Hebron, and (ii) the Patriarchs’ Hebron is definitely not located on a “mountain” / har of Judah -- the Patriarchs’ Hebron, unlike King David’s first capital city of Hebron, is neither located on a “mountain” / har, nor is it located in Judah.

* * *

David, we must focus on the text of the Patriarchal narratives in Genesis, and the non-Biblical history of the Late Bronze Age, without getting ourselves too bogged down with the question of how later books in the Bible misunderstand the truly ancient Patriarchal narratives.

Jim Stinehart
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Re: Rashi on Hebron

Post by ducky »

Hi Jim,

you wrote a lot of stuff, but please let us make it more simple.
There is no point to address all of the things you wrote (which some of them are not relevant to your claim at all, but just general notes) before you can answer the simple questions that I ask. Because the answers to the questions would give the basis of where we stand.

I tried to show you that Hebron (also in Genesis) is on the mountain through parallel verses and I don't think I got an answer.

You claim that Hebron in Genesis is not on a mountain.

Now I'll tell you what I see, and just try to tell me why I am wrong.

1. In Genesis, Hebron is written in a relationship with Qiryat-Arab and Mamre.

2. For this subject, it doesn't matter what is the relationship (if that is the same place, or names of squares, or close places in the region, or whatever- what matters now is that we see the relationship these names of places).

3. In Joshua, we see the same relationship between Hebron and Qiryat-Arba and Mamre.

4. That tells me, that Hebron in Joshua is the same Hebron in Genesis (or in the Torah - first five books).

5. Why? Because It is not reasonable to believe that there is another place called Hebron which also has the same relationship with the other same names.

6. In Joshua, I see that it says that Hebron is on a mountain.

7. Therefore, I must understand also that Hebron in the Torah is placed on a mountain.

8. More than that, In Joshua and Judges, it talks about the three giants (Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmay) which lived in Hebron.

9. These three are mentioned also in Numbers as living in Hebron.

10. So once again, It is not reasonable to believe that there are two places called Hebron, which both have the same relationship with the same names of places (Qiryat-Arba and Mamre), and also in both of these Hebrons there are three giants with the same names. So I must see the Hebron in Joshua is the same Hebron in the Torah.

11. And we saw that it is said in Joshua that Hebron is on a mountain.

12. Also, the people who lived in Hebron were the Hittite, as it is said in the Torah (and Abraham bought the grave from them in the region of Hebron).

13. And also in Numbers and in Joshua, those Hittites are mentioned as those who live in the mountain.

14. So if they lived on a mountain, and we know that their place was in Hebron, once again, it supports the understanding of Hebron in Genesis and the Torah is on a mountain.

Just tell me what I see wrong here, what is the mistake that I'm doing.
(I didn't write the references to the verses, and if you can't find them, I'll write them)
David Hunter
Jim Stinehart
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Re: Rashi on Hebron

Post by Jim Stinehart »

David Hunter:

1. You wrote: “I tried to show you that Hebron (also in Genesis) is on the mountain through parallel verses and I don't think I got an answer.”

Parallel verses from later books in the Bible, which were written in the Judah-centric Iron Age, should not be relied upon in interpreting the text of the truly ancient Patriarchal narratives.

Here are two quick examples:

(a) Emims

Deuteronomy 2: 10 mistakes the Emims in the truly ancient Patriarchal narratives as being mythical giants: “The Emims dwelt therein in times past, a people great, and many, and tall….” But “Emims” is a Hurrian-based Patriarchal nickname for Hurrians, who at Genesis 14: 5 are effortlessly defeated by the invading parties in the “four kings with five”.

(b) Rephaims

KJV Joshua 12: 4 translates “Rephaims” as if this were a Biblical Hebrew common word meaning “giants”: “And the coast of Og king of Bashan, which was of the remnant of the giants [RP’-YM / רפאים], that dwelt at Ashtaroth and at Edrei.” NRSV is better [though it expressly says that it is following here the Septuagint in omitting “the coast of”]: “and King Og of Bashan, one of the last of the Rephaim, who lived at Ashtaroth and at Edrei.” The KJV rendering is based on a singular form of this name, RPH / רפה, at II Samuel 21: 20: “And there was yet a battle in Gath, where was a man of great stature, that had on every hand six fingers, and on every foot six toes, four and twenty in number; and he also was born to the giant [RPH / רפה].” Here, NRSV uses the same lingo: “There was again war at Gath, where there was a man of great size, who had six fingers on each hand, and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number; he too was descended from the giants [RPH / רפה].”

But “Rephaims” (in the plural) is an historical name (not a Patriarchal nickname) for Hurrian charioteers, from Late Bronze Age Ugarit. At Genesis 14: 5, the Rephaims are the historical Hurrians at Ashteroth, a locale dominated by Hurrian princelings in the mid-14th century BCE Patriarchal Age. Needless to say, Joshua 12: 4 doesn’t realize that both “Og” and “Bashan” are also Hurrian names.

* * *

My point is that later books in the Bible are from the Judah-centric Iron Age, and should not be relied upon in interpreting the truly ancient Patriarchal narratives, which are so old that they pre-date the later split of Canaan between Israel and Judah.


2. You wrote: “You claim that Hebron in Genesis is not on a mountain.”

True.


3. You wrote: “In Genesis, Hebron is written in a relationship with Qiryat-Arab and Mamre.”

True. Kiriath Arbe is historical Rubutu (modern Latrun), located immediately south of the southern edge of the Ayalon Valley / the Patriarchs’ Hebron. Biblically, in Year 13 (per Genesis 14: 4) Kiriath Arbe was ruled by Hurrian princeling E-pi-ri -i[n]-ne [KJV: “Ephron”], just as historically Rubutu was ruled in Year 13 by Hurrian princeling Shuwardata. Mamre means “vigorous Amorite”, who is historical Milkilu, the vigorous Amorite princeling ruler of the Ayalon Valley at the beginning of Year 13. (Note that Mamre / Milkilu the Amorite was not the ruler of Kiriath Arbe / Rubutu.)

So far, so good. Please continue.


4. You wrote: “In Joshua, we see the same relationship between Hebron and Qiryat-Arba and Mamre.”

Uh-oh, now you’ve switched gears on me, leaving the historical Late Bronze Age Patriarchal narratives behind, and wandering into the Iron Age fantasyland of Joshua.

David, I’m honestly mystified by your reference to “Mamre” in Joshua. Could you give me a citation for that? Yes, Mamre is featured in the Patriarchal narratives, but I myself do not know of a reference to Mamre in Joshua. Indeed, I myself do not know of a single reference to Mamre in the entire Bible outside of the Patriarchal narratives in Genesis. What am I missing here?

“Mamre” means “vigorous Amorite” in Hebrew, which makes perfect sense as an apt Patriarchal nickname for the vigorous Amorite princeling ruler of the Ayalon Valley at the beginning of Year 13 in the mid-14th century BCE in the Late Bronze Age. But why would later books in the Bible, all of which are Judah-centric Iron Age compositions, be talking about a vigorous Amorite? David, you’ve lost me there.


5. You wrote: “It is not reasonable to believe that there is another place called Hebron which also has the same relationship with the other same names.”

Hello, hello? If later books in the Bible are going to try to re-position the Patriarchs’ Hebron, which in Genesis is located in Israel, not Judah, then of course they must similarly re-position Kiriath Arbe geographically as well. I fail to follow your reasoning here.

What we should be looking at, in my opinion, is what the Patriarchal narratives say about the Patriarchs’ Hebron and Kiriath Arbe. But you’re coming at it from a different angle, which is fine.

Can you cite a single reputable university scholar today who thinks that Joshua is accurate history? Just sayin’.

I myself, contra the scholarly view, see the Patriarchal narratives as indeed being accurate historical commentary, by an early tent-dwelling Hebrew who knew what he was talking about, and whose tribe had his oral composition written down in cuneiform on clay tablets like the Amarna Letters. But as to Joshua, I’m afraid I side with the scholarly community there.


6. You wrote: “More than that, In Joshua and Judges, it talks about the three giants (Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmay) which lived in Hebron.”

Yes, and those are Hurrian names, just as Hebron / ḪBR -WN / חברון / Ḫa-bu-ru -u-ne itself is a Hurrian name. But David, there’s not a single giant in the historically-accurate Patriarchal narratives from the Late Bronze Age. There you go again, talking about Iron Age fiction and mythical giants in later books of the Bible. I thought we were supposed to be talking about the well-attested non-Biblical history of the mid-14th century BCE on this thread, and how it matches with p-i-n-p-o-i-n-t precision to the text of the Patriarchal narratives in Genesis.

But go ahead, we are all enjoying your discussion of mythical Iron Age giants in later books of the Bible, though I for one fail to see the relevance of that to my discussion of the reference to “emeq / עמק Hebron / ḪBR -WN / חברון / Ḫa-bu-ru -u-ne” at Genesis 37: 14.


7. You wrote: “Also, the people who lived in Hebron were the Hittite, as it is said in the Torah (and Abraham bought the grave from them in the region of Hebron).”

Ouch! The KJV translation was done in 1611, before anyone knew anything about either the historical Hurrians from Syria or the historical Hattians from Anatolia. The name “Hittites” is never attested in the non-Biblical ancient world. If you’re talking Anatolia (modern Turkey), the people’s name there in the Late Bronze Age was “Hattians”.

But if you look at the Hebrew text (always a good idea, because you cannot trust KJV transliterations of Hurrian names, since in 1611 no one had ever heard of the Hurrians), we see: ḪT -Y / חתי / Ḫu-ti -ya -Y. This is a Hurrian-based Patriarchal nickname for the Hurrians, literally meaning (in Hurrian): the “Praise Teshup People”.

Ḫu-ti -ya (alternatively transliterated as Ḫu-ti -ia) is one of the most frequently attested Hurrian personal names at Nuzi, being the name of 92 different individuals. Gelb & Purves, “Nuzi Names”, p. 64. The root of this name is the Hurrian common word for “to praise”, ḫu-ti. Ḫu-ti is also an attested Hurrian personal name at Nuzi. -ya (or -ia) is the single most common Hurrian theophoric suffix, usually implying the Hurrians’ chief god, Teshup.

Scholars often correctly note that the Biblical “Hittites” cannot be the historical Ḫattians / Hittites, because the ḪT -Y operate in the heart of Canaan, whereas no people from Anatolia ever did that. Thus at Genesis 23: 10, “Ephron the Hittite” is at Rubutu / Kiriath Arbe, just south of the Ayalon Valley. Similarly, at Genesis 36: 2, the daughter of a “Hittite” who marries Esau is described as being “a daughter of Canaan”, meaning that she had been born in Canaan. All of these factors make perfect sense where ḪT -Y is referencing the historical Hurrians (while making no sense at all if the reference is to the classic “Hittites” from Anatolia), because in the mid-14th century BCE Amarna Age / Patriarchal Age there were many Hurrian princelings throughout Canaan, as we know from the Amarna Letters, but no people from Anatolia.

Edward Lipiński asserts that Ewri [KJV: “Uriah”] at II Samuel 11: 3, rather than being a “Hittite” (i.e., Ḫattian from Ḫatti / Anatolia) as previously supposed (per KJV’s mis-transliteration), is actually a Hurrian. The expected Hebrew spelling of the Hurrian personal name Ḫu-ti -ia consists of the three Hebrew letters we see here in the received text, ḪT -Y / חתי, preceded by h meaning “the” (in Hebrew): “Ewri’s qualification h-Ḫty suggests that the man was regarded as a foreigner, but one might surmise that Ḫty was his proper name, viz. the frequent Hurrian name Ḫutiya.” Edward Lipiński, “Itineraria Phoenicia” (2004), p. 500.

On rare occasion, an analyst has tentatively linked the “Hittites” in Genesis to the historical Hurrians: “Esau's Hittite wife was probably of the Hurri stock”. Allen Howard Godbey, “The Lost Tribes a Myth” (1930), p. 190. Usually, however, the reference to “Hittites” in Genesis has been considered inexplicable. This, despite the fact that Ḫu-ti -ya, which in Hebrew would be ḪT -Y / חתי [KJV: “Hittites”], is one of the most frequently attested Hurrian personal names at Nuzi. As usual, all of these matters make perfect historical sense in the Patriarchal narratives, once “Hittites” is recognized as being a Hurrian-based Patriarchal nickname for the historical Hurrians in mid-14th century BCE Canaan.

* * *

Yes, there were plenty of Hurrian princelings out and about at and near the Patriarchs’ Hebron and Kiriath Arbe in the mid-14th century BCE Amarna Age. “Aner” and “Ephron” are ḪT -Y / חתי / Ḫu-ti -ya -Y / Hurrians [KJV: “Hittites”], with such apt Patriarchal nickname literally meaning (in Hurrian): the “Praise Teshup People”.


8. You wrote: “Just tell me what I see wrong here, what is the mistake that I'm doing. (I didn't write the references to the verses, and if you can't find them, I'll write them.)”

(a) As to “verses”, my only question is where you see “Mamre” being referenced (by that name) outside of the Patriarchal narratives in Genesis.

(b) As to “the mistake that” you may be making, I would say this. I myself would recommend spending less time on mythical Iron Age giants from later books in the Bible, and instead focus on what the Hebrew Masoretic Text of the Patriarchal narratives in Genesis actually says. There are no giants in the Patriarchal narratives! It is my contention, contra the scholarly consensus, that the Patriarchal narratives are accurate historical commentary from the mid-14th century BCE Late Bronze Age, which has come to us in basically the same way as the Amarna Letters, which come from that same time period and, in many cases, the same place (Canaan).

Jim Stinehart
ducky
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Re: Rashi on Hebron

Post by ducky »

Hi Jim,

a few notes before my main comment:
1. You ask me about Mamre. For some reason, I wrote that even though I shouldn't have. I don't know why, but probably it was stuck in my head for some reason, and I just confused about writing this word, and I shouldn't. So of course, just ignore it.
After saying that, there is no change in the principle of my words (even without this word) - the principle is the same.

2. About Hittite. English is not my language and I write the words that I know and I don't know if Hittite means חתי or not.
Anyway, I was referring to the Hebrew word חתי.
And it doesn't matter if we just call it "X".
the principle is the same - X here and X there.

3. Please, please don't write your posts in the length of an article. it is too long, and a lot of stuff doesn't refer to the main point.

*******************************************************
The main question that I asked you is about Hebron in Genesis has "attributes" that are found also in Hebron on Joshua (and other books)

Your answer is that Joshua is just a "fantasy book" that "just" writes stuff.

I want to understand it more (only in the case of Hebron).
Do you claim that the Book of Joshua just took the Hebron in Genesis (with all of its attributes) and put it to another place?
Why?

Do you think that they didn't know where Genesis's Hebron was and just "created" a new Hebron?
Didn't the (so-called) "New Hebron" had its own name already?
Why did they have to change that and not use the real name of the place?

Do you claim that it was intentional? What is the motive?
Do you claim that the people of that time can be fooled about where is Hebron?
Do you claim that all of the other books saw Hebron in the "so-called" new place just because they read Joshua's book?

Is Numbers also a "fantasy book" that didn't know where Hebron's at?

*
Can you write shortly, what happened and why?
Because I can't be convinced by a claim that says "Joshua is just a fantasy book".
David Hunter
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Jason Hare
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Re: Rashi on Hebron

Post by Jason Hare »

@David
As far as I understand it, Jim wants us to reconsider the patriarchal narrative and reinterpret it without considering any other texts. It plays into how he interprets the entire time period. The text cannot be allowed to have the apparent story that it presents to those who simply read it, but it must be dug into to discover where the stories were changed, adapted, and buried within the story to produce a different narrative than what was originally told, from whichever perspective.

I'm not sure why we need to reunderstand everything, but that's what I get from his writing.
Jason Hare
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Nihil est peius iis, qui paulum aliquid ultra primas litteras
progressi falsam sibi scientiæ persusionem induerunt.

— Quintilian
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