Re: [asa] New Evidence for Two Human Origins

From: gordon brown <gbrown@Colorado.EDU>
Date: Tue Oct 09 2007 - 00:17:58 EDT

On Mon, 8 Oct 2007, philtill@aol.com wrote:

> Hi Gordon,
> Arthur Earle in his book, _The Bible Dates Itself_, goes through the chronology of Joseph's life and shows that he couldn't have been more than 99 years old at this meeting with Pharoah, although he claims to be 130 in our modern translation:
>
> 1. Esau married when he was 40 (Gen. 26:34)
> 2. Jacob was Esau's twin, so he was 40 when he went to Syria to visit Laban and find a wife.
> 3. Jacob stayed with Laban for 20 years (Gen. 31:41), and?Joseph was born before Jacob departed Syria, so Jacob could not have been older than 60 when Joseph was born, and was probably a few years less.
> 4. Joseph was 30 when Pharoah appointed him to a position of authority (Gen. 41:46)
> 5. Then there were 7 good years followed by the famine.
> 6. After 2 years of famine, Jacob went down to Egypt (Gen.45:6)
>
> So Jacob could not have been more than 40+20+30+7+2=99 years old, although he might have been somewhat younger depending on how early Joseph was born during the 20 years with Laban.? It seems to me that the only loophole is to put the extra 130-99=31 years between Esau's marriage and Joseph being sent to find a wife, but this seems a bit of a stretch since the text ties those two events fairly closely.? I don't think you can put nearly that many years into a gap at that point.
>
> Earle later analyzes the time Jacob spent with Laban and the sequence of births?in greater detail and shows that Jacob could not have been older than 54 when Joseph was born, nor older than 93 at the meeting with Pharaoh.? So why did Jacob claim to be 130 when meeting Pharaoh?? Did he lie?? Did he forget?? Is the chronology in error?
>
> Earle claims that the answer is to convert everything to base-7.? Joseph's statement of "130" to Pharaoh converted to base-7 makes him 70 years old.? (Pharaoh's question is seen as just ordinary conversation, not surprise at extreme age.)? If you convert the chronology to base-7, then it agrees that Jacob was not more than 72 years old, depending on when he was born during the second 7 year period?with Laban.? If he was born in the 5th year of that second 7 years, then he would be 70, agreeing with the statement given to Pharaoh.
>
> It's also intersting to note that the time spent with Laban was two 7-year periods, seeming to agree that the Hebrews thought in 7-year intervals, which may have been reflected in their numbering system.
>

Phil,

Earle seems to assume that Genesis 27 takes place immediately after Esau's
marriages. Does he get that from the text?

It also appears to me that Leah didn't bear children until after Jacob
married Rachel, at least if we take the account to be chronological. Then
Leah bore six sons and one daughter. That is a lot for six years.
Furthermore Zilpah bore two sons after Leah had realized that she had
stopped bearing. I am not sure how to fit all of this in unless we assume
that the account is not chronological, and Leah began to bear children
earlier.

Gordon Brown (ASA member)

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Received on Tue Oct 9 00:19:00 2007

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