Who is the Satan?


#21

The snake in Genesis? Genesis was written centuries before Gnosticism was born in the 2nd century.


(George Brooks) #22

Naw. @Korvexius.

Genesis was probably written after the Exile. It certainly wasn’t written in the Bronze Age. We know that the chronology of Abraham is quite compromised. He cavorts with the Philistines, supposedly in the Bronze Age, but the Philistines don’t even arrive until sometime before 1200 BCE (the time of the Sea People). It’s very hard to have a conversation with a people who haven’t even arrived yet. This “chronological corruption” is a loss of 800 years!

The global flood couldn’t have happened when Genesis says it happened because this would have been after the 3 major pyramids of Giza were already complete. And the one thing Archaeologists would have noticed… not to mention Egyptians… is having their temples, schools and total economy wrecked in a global flood. It either didn’t happen at all, or it was a completely different flood.

And then there is the archaeological results for Beersheba and for Edom’s Bozrah. The texts below are easy to find in Google; but they come with citations for the actual assertions. Beersheba’s well couldn’t have been a bone of contention between Abraham and the Philistines, because Beersheba didn’t exist in the Bronze Age.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Beersheba, identified by most scholars with Tell es-Seba, was founded in Iron I (the 12th century BCE)… Archaeology has revealed that the place was unoccupied in Abraham’s days (the 21st century BCE)… Of interest was the presence of distinctive Philistine pottery shards amongst the proto-Israelite pottery assemblages in the earliest Iron Age I levels of the tell.

It is probably this presence of Philistine wares at Beersheba -when it was founded- that is being remembered in the Abrahamic narratives recounting his struggle with Philistines over the well he had created (Ge 21:22-32). [“Beersheba’s well was believed to have been dug at some time after the city’s founding in the 12th century BCE.”]

@gbrooks9’s Summary on Philistines
In fact, if the Pelest/Philistines don’t arrive in Canaan until 1175 or so, during the time of the Sea People, and do not consolidate well enough to deny Egypt access to their traditional territories up along the coast of Canaan, Phoenicia and to their frontier in northern Syria, then Abraham’s interactions with the Philistines could not have happened until well after 1130 BCE. You cannot have banter with people that don’t even exist yet.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Genesis mentions Bozrah in Edom (Ge 36:33) which has been identified with the modern village of Buseirah… Bennett, who excavated Bozrah, writes (pp. 16-17. Crystal M. Bennett. “Excavations at Buseirah (Biblical Bozrah)”):

“There is no archaeological evidence to support the story of the king of Edom refusing passage to Moses, or for a powerful kingdom of Edom in the time of David and his son Solomon. Biblical traditions such as Genesis 36:31 ff. and Numbers 20:14 ff. probably reflect 8th-6th century BC conditions. The evidence for a very impressive occupation and a city with all the appurtences of prosperity is overwhelming during the Neo-Assyrian period and is supported by the records in the Assyrian annals, and 8th century BC biblical references to Bozrah (especially Amos 1:12).” John F. A. Sawyer & David J. A. Clines, editors: “Midian, Moab and Edom; The History and Archaeology of the Late Bronze and Iron Age Jordan and North-west Arabia”. 1983. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament. Supplement 24. Sheffield, England)

If Bozrah is no earlier than the 8th century and principally the 7-6th centuries BC, then this archaeological anomaly reveals that the Genesis text could not have been composed before this period of time. Genesis suggests that Bozrah is a city inhabited by one of Esau’s descendants, who are described as Kings of Edom before any King reigned in Israel (Ge 36:31). Saul, Israel’s first King is dated by some scholars as ruling ca. 1020-1000 BCE (cf. p.1548. Bruce Metzger and Herbert G. May, editors. The New Oxford Annotated Bible With Apocrypha. 1977). Archaeology has revealed that no Edomite King reigned at Bozrah before Israel had a King, because the city didn’t come into existence until the 7th-6th centuries BCE.

This archaeological anomaly suggests that Genesis could not have been composed in the 7th century BCE because within “living memory” there would be a realization that the city was a recent creation. A couple of hundred years would need to pass for the national memory to fade and forget when Bozrah came into existence, such that this tale of it being a city before there were Kings in Israel would not have been objected to by the audience. A 7th-6th century Bozrah (the principal building remains are 7th-6th centuries, not 8th) suggests Genesis was composed either in the 6th or 5th century BCE.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
A nice side-note on Edom’s territory - Bronze Age or Late Iron Age

MacDonald was of the conclusion that the Exodus narratives reflected a Late Iron II sitz im leben, and suspected that they were composed between the 7th-6th centuries B.C.

MacDonald, speaking of Kadesh-Barnea being portrayed as a town in Edom’s border (Nu 20:16), it being identified with either Ain el Qudeirat or Ain Qadeis in the Negev:

“The text probably reflects the situation at the end of the seventh or beginning of the sixth century when Edom moved, at a time when Judah was weak, into the eastern Negeb. This would have led to hostility, or perhaps increased hostility, between Judah and Edom at the end of the monarchial period (Briend 1987:42).Thus the text describes a particular geographical and cultural situation, rather than an historical condition at the end of the Late Bronze or beginning of the Iron Age.”

(p. 68, “Exodus Itineraries.” Burton MacDonald. East of the Jordan, Territories and Sites of the Hebrew Scriptures. Boston, Massachusetts. American Schools of Oriental Research. 2000. ISBN 0-89757-031-6)

In speaking of Mt. Hor’s location, MacDonald again stresses that the text is probably of the 7th or 6th century B.C.:

“The difficulty in accepting a mountain in the neighborhood of Petra as the location of Mount Hor is that Petra is not on the ‘edge/border’ of Edom but in Edom. Petra and vicinity would have been at the western edge of Edomite territory only in the city’s formative years. The text, however, appears to be late and dated to a time, possibly the seventh or sixth century, when the Edomites had expanded westward into the central Negeb.”

(p.70, “Exodus Itineraries.” Burton MacDonald. East of the Jordan, Territories and Sites of the Hebrew Scriptures. Boston, Massachusetts. American Schools of Oriental Research. 2000. ISBN 0-89757-031-6)

In his conclusions on the Exodus Itineraries, MacDonald notes that most of the sites that can be identified, appear in Late Iron II, suggesting the narratives are very late:

“On the basis of textual and literary study of these texts plus archaeological evidence from biblical sites identified with confidence, we may conclude that the passages in question probably date to the end of the Iron II period. Only then were most of the identified sites occupied; there is little or no evidence of their occupation during either the Iron I or early Iron II Age.”

(p. 98, “Exodus Itineraries.” Burton MacDonald. East of the Jordan, Territories and Sites of the Hebrew Scriptures. Boston, Massachusetts. American Schools of Oriental Research. 2000. ISBN 0-89757-031-6)

www.bibleorigins.net/PrimaryHistory562BCE.html


#23

Genesis was probably written after the Exile. It certainly wasn’t written in the Bronze Age. We know that the chronology of Abraham is quite compromised. He cavorts with the Philistines, supposedly in the Bronze Age, but the Philistines don’t even arrive until sometime before 1200 BCE (the time of the Sea People). It’s very hard to have a conversation with a people who haven’t even arrived yet. This “chronological corruption” is a loss of 800 years!

I don’t agree Genesis is a post-exilic composition, some of the authors were probably pre-exilic, but all of this has nothing to do with the point you were responding to there. You seem to agree with me that Genesis was written centuries before the 2nd century Gnostic text, which is what I said. Genesis could simply have been referring to the people living in Philistia as “Philistines”, that is to say, it does not necessarily rely on the claim that the actual Philistines themselves were around at this time, it may simply be referring to the people before 1200 BC who lived in this land.

The global flood couldn’t have happened when Genesis says it happened because this would have been after the 3 major pyramids of Giza were already complete.

No clue what you’re talking about. The entirety of Genesis 1-11 is an archetypal allegory.


(George Brooks) #24

No, @Korvexius, it couldn’t.

The whole time Abraham is in Canaan, and his kin folk, there isn’t a single mention of the Egyptians at all. And other than the 200 year (or 400 year) sojourn in Egypt itself, nobody in Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy or Joshua meet any Egyptians either. And not in Judges, and not in Samuel.

And yet the one thing we know, even from the Amarna texts, is that after the Hyksos have been thrown back into the Levant, the Egyptians sustain about 250 years of continuous hegemony over Canaan, all the way to northern Syria, where Egypt sustained its frontier against the Hittites. This hegemony extends up into the hillside communities - - past Ur-SLM (Jerusalem) and all the way to Bethshean.

During this extended time frame, Egyptians make routine visits to take tribute, taxes, hostages, supplies and so forth… off and on, almost without any let-up until the arrival of the Sea People: just after 1200 BCE. Once the Philistines consolidate their footing sufficiently (around 1130 BCE) they are able to deny Egypt’s access to their Frontier and even the Sinai for at least 2 centuries.

The only time the Bible presents the reality of Egypt in Canaan is the time of Solomon… when he marries a daughter of Pharaoh and Pharaoh is said to have taken a city and given it to Solomon as a gift.

The Philistine episode pretty much single-handedly defines what really happened historically - - in complete contrast to what the Bible says happened.


#25

No, @Korvexius, it couldn’t.

The whole time Abraham is in Canaan, and his kin folk, there isn’t a single mention of the Egyptians at all. And other than the 200 year (or 400 year) sojourn in Egypt itself, nobody in Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy or Joshua meet any Egyptians either. And not in Judges, and not in Samuel.

I don’t know how you went from Philistines to Egyptians. I’ll repeat my point, since none of this addresses it. Whereas the Philistines themselves came around at 1200 BC, there were obviously people inhabitating the land known as ‘Philistia’ before this. Those, I’m saying, could be the ones referred to later biblical authors as ‘Philistines’ for inhabiting the same land.


(George Brooks) #26

@Korvexius,

The Egyptians placed the Philistines there (or allowed them to move there) because there were no people already there. [Edit: See coy of Susanne Richard’s book, pages 368 to 369 for better (grim) details!]

I brought in the Egyptians because they are the validation of my assertions: Abraham having a conversation with the Philistines in the Bronze Age is just as bizarre as never once seeing a Biblical reference to Egyptian troops and messengers streaming up and down through Pre-Palestine Palestine… or as strange as the Exodus camp lingering at Kadesh Barnea for 40 years, in the middle of completely undefensible terrain, during which time the Egyptians would have totally clobbered them – up until the time of the Philistines.

The Philistines are the “spoilers” of the Old Testament’s entire timeline: From Genesis to Samuel, there are 800 years too much packed into those chapters.


#27

The Egyptians placed the Egyptians there (or allowed them to move there) because there were no people already there.

No people in Philistia before the arrival of the Philistines? I’d need a citation for that claim, since I remember reading statements that specifically say the contrary to this.


(George Brooks) #28

@Korvexius

Yep… you are right. The Philistines settled in force, destroying and occupying several Canaanite settlements.

I hope to provide some interesting details about this before the night is out.

But let’s return to this idea of yours: that the scribes (who write about the arrival of the Philistines) mistakenly refer to the predecessors of the Philistines - - who are Canaanites - - as Philistines?

If it weren’t for the Egyptian hegemony (which is also completely ignored by the Egyptian scribes), I would say you need to pick your most acceptable error in the Old Testament… if it weren’t for the fact there are TWO unavoidable ones:

the scribe gets the Pre-Philistines wrong; and
the scribe totally misses the Egyptians for hundreds of years.


(George Brooks) #29

I have never this level of detail before… I’m spellbound by the masterful Egyptian counter-measures against the Philistine beachhead for their “Sphere of Influence” on the Levantine coast!

           **[ Be sure you click the image to get maximum zoom on the text! ]**


#30

I’m not saying anything definite. I suggested a possibility I’ve read in the literature once. The people living in pre-Philistine Philistia could have been referred to as ‘Philistines’ by virtue of their inhabiting Philistia. That’s just a possibility. As for Egypt, Egypt is mentioned as early as Genesis 12, which is right when the allegorical primeval history ends (in ch. 11). Where exactly is Egypt not mentioned? Is it relevant in the slightest that Egyptian troops don’t play a role until later?


(George Brooks) #31

@Korvexius

  1. Can you imagine what a mess the Bible would be if latter scribes changed the names of the Amalekites to the Edomites, because the Edomites were living where the Amalekites used to live?
    Or if the Assyrians were re-named Babylonians, because the new Babylonian empire took over all the Assyrian territories? In the case of the Philistines, where O.T. even thinks it knows from whence the Philistines came … does it make any sense that they would refer to the Canaanites before the Philistines arrived and re-named them Philistines?

  2. Egypt is mentioned in all sorts of way. But only within the conventional borders of Egypt. How’s this for an irony?: the Pharaoh couldn’t even get out of Egypt before being wiped out by the Red Sea. In fact, the Egyptians couldn’t get out past their borders once the Philistines arrived, entrenched and then wiped out the nearby Egyptian garrisons.

  3. The first mention of any Egyptian beyond the borders of Egypt, comes here:

Gen 16:1 Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. This was around 2000 BCE (long before the Hyksos invaded Egypt), but 800 years before the arrival of the Philistines. The 11th dynasty was just coming to an end. Egypt, up river, controlled Nubia.

Around 1700 BCE, the Hyksos invade Egypt. Some timelines suggest Jacob arrived in Egypt during the Hyksos occupation. The Hyksos are expelled by the 1400’s.

2Sa 23:21 And he slew an Egyptian, a goodly man: and the Egyptian had a spear in his hand; but he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and slew him with his own spear.

[ Ooops… that’s THREE Egyptians, rather than two… I’ll have to remember this one from 2 Samuel! ]

And finally, some unknown Pharaoh, bringing his daughter to Solomon, conquers Gezer and gives it to Solomon’s wife. But Joshua 16:10 says the Ephraimites made the Canaanites of Gezer pay tribute (“unto this day”, whenever that is). Joshua 21:21 goes so far as to say Gezer becomes a City of Refuge. Judges 1:29 once again reminds us that Ephraim lived amongst the Canaanites of Gezer (or vice versa).

1Ki 9:16 For Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up, and taken Gezer, and burnt it with fire, and slain the Canaanites that dwelt in the city, and given it for a present unto his daughter, Solomon’s wife. And then the Pharaoh disappears again for another century or more.

Then, we have
1Sa 30:11 And they found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David, and gave him bread, and he did eat; and they made him drink water


#32
  1. So, if the people living in Philistia before the 13th century BC were not going to be called Philistines by the biblical authors, what would the biblical authors have called them in order to distinguish them from other Canaanites, Hittites, etc? If they were not going to be called Philistines, what were they going to be called?

  2. and 3. I don’t really see the point. Egyptians are mentioned outside of Egypt as early as Genesis 16. Therefore the authors of the OT didn’t know 15th cent. BC Egyptian geography. Huh?


(Scott koshland) #33

Well, I think that some Gnostics believed that the snake in Eden was actually good in the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil while believing that Yahweh or their Demiurge is evil in their dualistic view of the world and heaven. Sophia and archons anyone?


#34

Maybe they did think such about the snake, though im not familiar with that gnostic belief in particular.


(George Brooks) #35

@Korvexius,

Well, certainly they would have been called Canaanites at the very least. Canaanites occupied more than once city.

The point I make is that between the expulsion of the Hyksos, and some imagniary capture of Gezer by the Egptians as a wedding gift for the Pharaoh’s daughter who marries Solomon, we have the following books:

Exodus
Deuteronomy
Leviticus
Joshua
Judges
Samuel or 1st Kings

And nowhere in any of these materials is the Egyptian rule of Canaan acknolwedged, nor the use of this territory to project and protect the northern frontier in Syria (vis a vis the Hittites).

These books “assume” a post-Philistine historical reality … and so does Genesis.


#36

But wouldn’t they be distinguished from the other Canaanite’s? Don’t you see a practicality in defining people living in Philistine, regardless of time period, as Philistines?

And nowhere in any of these materials is the Egyptian rule of Canaan acknolwedged, nor the use of this territory to project and protect the northern frontier in Syria (vis a vis the Hittites).

Well the Bible can’t mention everything.


(George Brooks) #37

Whatever the cities were called before the Philistines took them over … “the Canaanites of blah-blah”.
This is the usual approach in Joshua, right?

@Korvexius, I would assert that if the Old Testament can completely miss the fact that the Levant, and all points north to the very boundary of Hittites was literally in Egyptian control more than it wasn’t , then the Old Testament can miss all sorts of other facts.


#38

Whatever the cities were called before the Philistines took them over … “the Canaanites of blah-blah”.
This is the usual approach in Joshua, right?

Is it?

I would assert that if the Old Testament can completely miss the fact that the Levant, and all points north to the very boundary of Hittites was literally in Egyptian control more than it wasn’t , then the Old Testament can miss all sorts of other facts.

But did it miss that fact? Or are we just dealing with an argument from silence?


(George Brooks) #39

@Korvexius,

First, let’s tackle the Canaanite terminology issue:

As a baseline, we have Numbers 13:29 and Deuteronomy 7:1, commenting on all the different types of people in Canaan:

Num 13:29 - “The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan.”

Deu 7:1 “When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou…”

Then there is Numbers 21:1, where a King Arad is mentioned… and they don’t even bother to say what “place” it is! We have to go to other texts to “assume” that King Arad was king of Arad (which is a lot like saying King Ur-SLM [Solomon] must have been King of Ur-SLM (Jerusalem).: Numbers 21:1 - “And when king Arad the Canaanite, which dwelt in the south, heard tell that Israel came by the way of the spies; then he fought against Israel, and took some of them prisoners.”

Ironically, @Korvexius, it would seem you picked the very worst “hypothetical” - - for the Canaanites seem to abound everywhere (“by the sea”)… and yet they have no defined location at all! The most prominent settlement identified specifically with the Canaanites is Gezer ! … which is not just around the block from “Arad” in the South. If there was a King Arad, there must certainly have been a King Gezer “proxy”, and yet we hear nothing of any king of Gezer!

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Let’s now proceed to this question of Egyptian hegemony in Palestine, etc.

“An argument from silence” is a category usually reserved for human literary writings. Now, of course, if you are prone to interpreting the Bible in various figurative ways (like I am so prone), then I can accommodate your inclination to explain the silence.

However, this same inclination should also include an inclination to put Exodus in the logical time period - - which would be after some armed people were able to deny Egypt from entry into the Sinai and the rest of the Levant.

The idea that an Exodus party could spend 40 years in the middle of an undefendable desert, without any Egyptian reprisals, is unsustainable. It could only have happened after the Philistines entrenched themselves
sometime after 1130 BCE - - we could even say well after since the writers appear to have no awareness that the Egyptians ever filled such a role.

So, let’s put Exodus at about 1100 BCE… giving us about 200 years for all the events of Joshua, Judges and Samuel to occur before the [legendary] emergence of King Shlomo (aka, Solomon) and his Egyptian bride.

But this isn’t as challenging as it may seem. We have the usually over-looked Judges 1:8, which says:
“Now the children of Judah had fought against Jerusalem, and had taken it, and smitten it with the edge of the sword, and set the city on fire.”

Judges 1:21 tells us a bit more!: “And the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem unto this day.”

This is a real poser, no?

Jos 15:63 tell us: “As for the Jebusites the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out: but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem unto this day.” So, in the days of Joshua, the Jebusites are so much in control of Jerusalem, they cannot even be driven out.

But then, shortly after Joshua’s death, Judges describes Jerusalem as destroyed by fire, and even taken by Judah!

But, wait, there’s more:

2Sa 5:6-7 tells us: “And … King [David] and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites… [a city alread devastated and occupied by Judah?!] … who spake unto David, saying, Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither. . . Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David.”

The resolution of this mystery is obvious: Judges 1 is an abstract of David’s very conquest of Jerusalem - - chronologically misplaced in the narrative ! The rest of Judges is a grab-bag of local stories… assembled to look like a chronological narrative. But even with this, there is general failure.

As exemplified in Judges 21 which compounds things even further: Judges 20 and 21 describes a great internecine slaughter: 11 tribes all against Benjamin. And the tribe of Benjamin (aka: the Jebusites?!) is so reduced, Israel procures wives for them, so that they can put the conflict behind them, and restore their heritage. Again, this sounds like yet another version of the conquest of Jerusalem, where the Jebusites and Benjaminites become inextricably fused into a single people. Which is just in time - - because 5 chapters after this final chapter of Judges, Jerusalem has to get captured yet again - - but this time led by David, not just Judah as a tribe.


#40

Are you sure? It seems these two verses don’t ever distinguish between any types of Canaanite’s, rather than simply distinguishes Canaanite’s from other groups in general. And I don’t know if the pre-Philistine people living in Philistia are classified by historians as Canaanite anyways.

The idea that an Exodus party could spend 40 years in the middle of an undefendable desert, without any Egyptian reprisals, is unsustainable. It could only have happened after the Philistines entrenched themselves
sometime after 1130 BCE - - we could even say well after since the writers appear to have no awareness that the Egyptians ever filled such a role.

But why is it unsustainable? The story, if it is correct, says pharaohs army got crushed at the split sea. So why would pharaohs waste any more resources chasing away a hopelessly problematic group of slaves when their economy was doing fine anyways? There seems to be nothing unsustainable here.