I hope we got the book thing sorted out. Anyways, since you contested six points, I will respond to them one by one.
Point one. You objected to the idea of an exilic Hebrew writer sitting down with 20 or so cuneiform texts and copy/pasting from them all. I am so glad you raised this, because there is clear evidence that Genesis 1-11 has a primary literary relationship to just one text, the Atrahasis Epic. In fact the number of texts required to account for all the indications of literary intersection in Genesis 1-11 is very small.
(a) Atrahasis Epic
(b) Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta
© Sumerian King List
This substantiates the exilic authorship hypothesis, rather than detracting from it.
Sorry, that’s not quite enough. You’ll also need to throw the 4) Enuma Elish in there, which is certainly influencing the primeval history. Furthermore, you also think that Genesis directly borrowed a phrase from 5) Eridu Genesis, “breath of life”, and so you’d contradict yourself by failing to enter it here. Is that all? Nope. Remember when Adam and Eve eat from the tree? Here’s an inscription dating to the late 3rd millennium BC.
This is a Mesopotamian seal dating to the late 3rd millennium BC, as I explained earlier. It’s in the British Museum right now. It depicts a man and a women sitting on two sides of a sacred tree, reaching for its fruit to eat. There are snakes on either side of the man and women. Sound reminiscent? Here, we have a clear ancient near eastern influence on the primeval story of Adam and Eve that’s not actually known from any single near eastern composition (or, to my mind, any at all). That means this must have been either a less significant story when it came to ancient compositions that is now lost to us, and predominantly was known through oral teaching and culture, and influenced the Hebrews through oral transmission as a story known in the cultural milieu of the ancient near east. That’s 6. The Epic of Gilgamesh probably also has some details that directly influenced the primeval history with elements not found in the aforementioned text, such as the creation of a human from clay or something. So, if we also count the Epic of Gilgamesh (which scholar doesn’t think that this story had a role), at the bare minimum, we have 7 stories already. So, it looks like at the bare minimum, you think some Hebrew around 500 BC was sitting in his chair with seven tablets in front of him (well, probably a lot more than seven since it would quite frankly take more than seven just to contain the Epic of Gilgamesh), cutting and pasting from each one of these as he goes. That’s doesn’t sound convincing for me. A much, much more reasonable explanation is that there is no literary relationship and the author of the primeval history simply knew these stories because everyone in his time knew these stories, and he was transforming them in an allegorical fashion to drive home whatever he believed. We’ve already seen how that tablet I posted a picture of above probably entered into Hebrew knowledge through oral tradition, since you probably can’t name significant near eastern composition predating the primeval history, or one near eastern tradition at all predating the primeval history, containing that entire fruit thing with Adam and Eve (or whoever are the names of those other characters). I can actually demonstrate other oral influences on the Old Testament that have no literary parallels, such as, for example, Daniel (Dan’il) from Ezekiel 14:14, a man from Ugaritic mythology thought to be a man of high antiquity (Friedman mentions this in his book Exodus in fact, pg. 184).
Secondly, this is not how literary influence actually works. You don’t find a single text in all ancient near eastern compositions, find one that provides a good parallel, and say “uh huh! this is the only one at work, and so we only need 7!” In reality, that almost certainly is not the only one at work for any given feature of the primeval history. These near eastern traditions spread through countless tellings and retellings in numerous ancient compositions, retold time and time again. See the Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature, which contains over 400 Sumerian compositions alone (not every one of them is translated from Sumerian to English though, to my frustration). The fact is that ideas like the flood permeated through the ancient near east from numerous sources, as I will show.
Point two. You claim that the following stories “appear in hundreds of different near eastern compositions”.
© creation from primordial chaos
(d) eating fruit from a sacred tree
(e) confusion of languages
Please list five texts for each of these stories. That shouldn’t be difficult given all the hundreds you have to choose from.
Perhaps “hundreds” is an exaggeration, to be honest, but I’m adamant that I’d be able to find tens that mentions at least one of those five elements. And remember, the few hundred works we have today are the ones that survived – no doubt there were hundreds, perhaps thousands more written in the history of the pre-Israelite of Sumer, Akkad, Ugarit, Babylon, Assyria, etc. Strangely, you actually ended up mentioning four flood texts yourself for me in your comment – Eridu Genesis, Atrahasis, Epic of Gilgamesh, Sumerian King List. Throw in the Enuma Elish and that’s five. As for the languages, there is in fact another account of the confusion probably much more closely related to the one in Genesis than the Enermakar story. It’s contained in Assyrian fragments discovered over a century ago, go to pg. 160 on this rather old book documenting the finding and translation to see where the following text comes from (it’s fragmentary but there’s enough):
Translation: … them? the father … of him, his heart was evil, … against the father of all the gods was wicked … of him, his heart was evil … Babylon brought to subjection, [small] and great he confounded their speech. Their strong place (tower) all the day they founded, to their strong place in the night entirely he made an end. In his anger also word thus he poured out: [to] scatter abroad he set his face he gave this? … command, their counsel was confused … the course he broke … fixed the sanctuary …
I won’t post the even more fragmentary fragment 2. Here, however, we have an old Assyrian story talking about a tower at Babylon (to note, the biblical story is the Tower of Babylon, not Tower of “Babel”, since the same word translated into Babel here is translated always to Babylon elsewhere in the OT) where the people of the Earth are scattered and where the deity has “confounded their speech.” According to one source I read as well, there may be an etymological connection between this story and the primeval history, making it more closesly related to Genesis than Enermakar (or however it’s spelled).
But there’s an even BIGGER problem! Even only taking a look at the literary texts we have and ignoring the Adam and Eve seal parallel, with our minimum six sources that influenced the primeval history, we must remember that they aren’t all written in the same language. The Epic of Atrahasis is Akkadian. So is Gilgamesh. Enuma Elish is Babylonian. The others, I think, are Sumerian. So, in your view, apparently we have a scribe living in Israel, perhaps 500 BC with a bunch of tablets on his desk who can read Akkadian (almsot extinct during and after the exile), Babylonian, Sumerian (practically a dead language, so he must have worked particularly hard on that one) and Hebrew itself. That’s out of bounds. This is definitely a product of the ancient near eastern cultural milieu, there couldn’t possibly have been such a scribe anytime in the entire exilic world who knew all these languages (let alone a group of Hebrews each having learned it all together with a bunch of tablets on their desk copying and pasting from this or that one).
Point three. You claimed Eridu Genesis doesn’t use the phrase “breath of life”, while the Bible’s Genesis does. In actual fact the Bible’s Genesis doesn’t have a word for “of” in the phrase translated “breath of life”. It uses two words for “life breath”, just as the Eridu Genesis uses two words for “life breath” (I note the source to which you linked didn’t actually make the argument you’re making). So the correspondence is very strong.
You also claimed this “breath of life” phrase in Genesis, is also found in Job. But when we turn to the two passages you cited (Job 12:10; 33:4), we don’t actually find that either of them use the term “life breath/breath of life”. In Genesis 2:8 the phrase is neshamah chayyim (life breath, breath of life), but in Job 12:10 the phrase is ruah kal besar (life/breath of all humans), and in Job 33:4 the two phrases are ruah el (breath of God), and neshamah shadadai (breath of the Almighty). Neither of these verses uses the distinctive phrase neshamah chayyim (life breath, breath of life), which we find in Genesis 2:7; 7:22. Only one of them even uses one of the Hebrew words in this phrase.
Eridu Genesis never says “breath of life.” My source clearly says “by the life’s breath of heaven, by the life’s breath of earth”. That’s about as similiar to the Genesis phrase, if not less similar, than what we see in Job. In Job, Eridu Genesis, and the primeval history, we’re not seeing a copy and paste of each other in a single instance, we’re seeing a common near eastern motif of the “breath of life” or “breath of earth” or quite frankly “breath of anythnig that has to do with a deity or nature.” For example, the Epic of Gilgamesh uses the phrase “breath of wind.” This is just a common motif at the time, there’s no copying happening whatsoever.
Point four. Now you have finally found raqia in Strong’s (just as I said it was), and you have acknowledged that it is derived from raqa (just as I said it was). But you say “raqa is not a ‘form’ of raqia (or vice versa), raqa is a different word altogether”. This is just a confusion about how words are defined. As I said previously (and as you have now acknowledged), raqia is derived from the older word raqa. The word raqa is a verb, and the word raqia is a noun. Of course they are two different words in the sense that they are spelled differently and you cannot use them as synonyms, but at the same time raqia is the noun form of raqa, just like “speed” is a noun, and “speedily” is the adverbial form of the noun, while at the same time they are different words. It doesn’t really matter if you want to deny that “speedily” is the adverbial form of “speed”, the point remains the same.
At the very least, we’ll agree that raqia derives from raqa. So, what’s the proof that this derivation happened after the exile? Well, “it isn’t mentioned before the exile!” which sounds like an argument from silence. Anyways, do you know any actual scholars who make this claim that raqia derived during this period? There are numerous inscriptions that are pre-exilic in Hebrew, but I’m quite sure neither of us has (or are able to) investigate them and see whether or not they contain the term. For this argument, I see no serious defense of the claim until it’s been vetted by a good scholar and is uncontroversial among academics. Indeed, what would Richard Friedman say, who very much dates the primeval history to the pre-exilic period? Would he agree that the term was only derived during the exile and later? Or would he tell you that the entire primeval history in general is written in archaic Hebrew that didn’t exist anymore during the exile and later periods and so is pre-exilic?
Point five. I did not say that if my first two arguments for the dating of Genesis 1-11 are correct then the others are also. I pointed out the inconsistency of accepting the first two points, while rejecting subsequent points which use the same reasoning and form of evidence. As I have said before, the force of those two points is that they establish a terminus ad quo, which is essential to establishing the case for exilic authorship.
This is simply false, the same evidence establishing the 1000 BC and 930 BC dates fails to substantiate any of the other points. Same reasoning? I’m only seeing similar types of arguments based on entirely different premises. You seriously aren’t saying “because two of my arguments are correct, then all seven are”, are you? If so, you’d not only be guilty of incorrect reasoning, but equivocation.
As for point six, I didn’t ask for a source for exilic dating of Exodus 11 per se, but rather one from Friedman since you said “Friedman dates it after the exile”. I have not seen this produced. You have demonstrated a significant number of scholars consider it exilic/post-exilic, but this is not because they think it’s a later addition, your sources show that’s because they think P in general is exilic/post-exilic. But, by that reasoning, most scholars also think J is pre-exilic, which is the second source for Genesis 1-11. So, following this logic to its conclusion, we’d have the J parts of Genesis 1-11 are pre-exilic and the P parts are exilic/post-exilic. That might work but I’d have to look at it a little more. But that leads to another point.
Let’s say, for a second, raqia is an exilic/post-exilic word. I did a quick check, and every time the word raqia appears in Genesis 1-11, it appears in the P parts. It never appears in J, which scholarship mainly holds as pre-exilic. So … what now? Truly, it looks as if your reasoning only leads to where scholarship has been all this time: J is pre-exilic and P is exilic. I think J is pre-exilic but I also think P might be also pre-exilic, not quite sure. At the very least, this is what the sum of all your arguments leads to. Your response also had nothing to say regarding the Song of Moses, which you originally claimed Friedman thought of as exilic but I demonsrated he clearly thinks of it as pre-exilic. I did a second check, and found that Genesis 11:8-9, the spreading out of the nations that Deuteronomy 32:8 certainly does refer to, is part of J. So this argument proves J is pre-exilic (which was known anyways). This looks almost like a stalemate, I don’t know what else to add on for now. I’ll think and, for the meanwhile, wait for your response for my other points as well.