From: Iain Strachan <igd.strachan@gmail.com>

Date: Tue Oct 09 2007 - 09:01:54 EDT

Date: Tue Oct 09 2007 - 09:01:54 EDT

Phil,

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,

Iain

On 10/9/07, philtill@aol.com <philtill@aol.com> wrote:

*>
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*>
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*>
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*> Phil,
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*>
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*> Earle seems to assume that Genesis 27 takes place immediately after Esau's
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*> marriages. Does he get that from the text?
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*>
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*> It also appears to me that Leah didn't bear children until after Jacob
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*> married Rachel, at least if we take the account to be chronological. Then
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*> Leah bore six sons and one daughter. That is a lot for six years.
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*> Furthermore Zilpah bore two sons after Leah had realized that she had
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*> stopped bearing. I am not sure how to fit all of this in unless we assume
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*> that the account is not chronological, and Leah began to bear children
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*> earlier.
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*>
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*>
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*>
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*> Hi Gordon,
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*> this is a corrected version of the e-mail I accidentally sent to you a
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*> moment ago.
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*>
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*> I scanned the book again to try to answer this. Regarding the first point
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*> (whether Gen.27 takes place immediately after Gen.26), Earle does not give
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*> a good argument. He just states that Esau and Jacob are the same age at
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*> their marriages. This is why I had said the missing years would have to be
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*> put in here if Jacob is literally 130 (base 10) when he meets Pharaoh.
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*>
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*> Regarding the second point, Genesis 30:25 says that Joseph was born before
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*> Jacob left Laban, and verse 26 indicates that this ends the period of Jacob
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*> "paying" for his wives (14 years) and begins the period of Jacob earning
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*> Laban's flocks (6 years). Genesis 31:41 clearly states that the total time
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*> serving Laban was 14+6 years. So regardless of how fast Leah bore children,
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*> we know the upper limit on when Joseph was born was 20 years, and according
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*> to Genesis 30: 26, most likely 14 years. Leah's births could have taken
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*> place within the 14 years, not just the first 7 years.
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*>
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*> So all the missing years in base 10 would need to go between Genesis 26
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*> and 27, as you point out. So we'd have to put 130-93=37 years between
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*> Genesis 26 and 27. That's not impossible, of course, but I think it does
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*> seem a bit stretched. Why would Jacob wait an additional 37 years after his
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*> twin Esaus' marriage, waiting until he was 77 years old, before getting
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*> married himself? If it is read in base 7, then Esau was married at age 28
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*> (and judging by Esau's character, this is more likely than that he waited to
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*> age 40) and Jacob would have been married about the same time -- say within
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*> a year -- to make the statement to Pharoah be correct. Maybe a year would
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*> be enough to make Rachel tired of Esau's wives? Anyhow, I agree that it is
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*> not impossible that there was a 37 year delay between Genesis 26 and 27.
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*> Biblegateway.com assumes a 17 year delay according to their footnote. I
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*> don't know where they put the other 20 year s.
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*>
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*> Phil
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*>
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*>
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*>
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*>
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-- ----------- After the game, the King and the pawn go back in the same box. - Italian Proverb ----------- To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.Received on Tue Oct 9 09:09:08 2007

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