Re: [asa] New Evidence for Two Human Origins

From: Iain Strachan <>
Date: Tue Oct 09 2007 - 09:01:54 EDT


All these speculations about base-7 arithmetic are fascinating, but is there
really any evidence that any past civilisations used base-7 (apart from it
making the patriarchal ages work). A quick perusal of Wikipedia (not the
found of all knowledge, I admit) shows that the commonly used bases are
2,5,8,10,12,16, 20 and 60. There is an entry on "septenary" arithmetic that
gives no historical connections (apart from use in a computer game!). The
big problem with it is that few fractions in "decimal" ("septimal") notation
can be expressed other than by infinitely recurring digits (e.g. 1/2 has a
problem). Only when the demoninator is a power of seven is this possible.

Generally, number bases with lots of factors are preferable (which is why 60
was used by the ancient Babylonians).

Best wishes,

On 10/9/07, <> wrote:
> 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.
> Hi Gordon,
> this is a corrected version of the e-mail I accidentally sent to you a
> moment ago.
> I scanned the book again to try to answer this. Regarding the first point
> (whether Gen.27 takes place immediately after Gen.26), Earle does not give
> a good argument. He just states that Esau and Jacob are the same age at
> their marriages. This is why I had said the missing years would have to be
> put in here if Jacob is literally 130 (base 10) when he meets Pharaoh.
> Regarding the second point, Genesis 30:25 says that Joseph was born before
> Jacob left Laban, and verse 26 indicates that this ends the period of Jacob
> "paying" for his wives (14 years) and begins the period of Jacob earning
> Laban's flocks (6 years). Genesis 31:41 clearly states that the total time
> serving Laban was 14+6 years. So regardless of how fast Leah bore children,
> we know the upper limit on when Joseph was born was 20 years, and according
> to Genesis 30: 26, most likely 14 years. Leah's births could have taken
> place within the 14 years, not just the first 7 years.
> So all the missing years in base 10 would need to go between Genesis 26
> and 27, as you point out. So we'd have to put 130-93=37 years between
> Genesis 26 and 27. That's not impossible, of course, but I think it does
> seem a bit stretched. Why would Jacob wait an additional 37 years after his
> twin Esaus' marriage, waiting until he was 77 years old, before getting
> married himself? If it is read in base 7, then Esau was married at age 28
> (and judging by Esau's character, this is more likely than that he waited to
> age 40) and Jacob would have been married about the same time -- say within
> a year -- to make the statement to Pharoah be correct. Maybe a year would
> be enough to make Rachel tired of Esau's wives? Anyhow, I agree that it is
> not impossible that there was a 37 year delay between Genesis 26 and 27.
> assumes a 17 year delay according to their footnote. I
> don't know where they put the other 20 year s.
> Phil

After the game, the King and the pawn go back in the same box.
- Italian Proverb
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Received on Tue Oct 9 09:09:08 2007

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