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More on Camels and Genesis

I have received some interesting responses, both in comments on the blog and privately, about my post yesterday on domesticated camels in the land of Palestine. Some readers are (re-)convinced that you can’t trust the Bible for one blasted thing; others think that it’s just a picayune point since camels are not really much of a big deal in the narratives of Genesis. So maybe I should provide a bit of background and explain what I see to be the significance of this new finding. First, on camels. The word “camel” (Hebrew: GML) occurs twenty-four times in the book of Genesis, always in connection with the Patriarchs, and in contexts involving each of the big names: Abraham (only one time, 12:16 – God blessed him with lots of camels), Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph (again only one time, 37:25; he was taken to Egypt by a group of traders with a caravan of camels). The greatest concentration of references is in the story of Isaac and Rebecca in Genesis 24, but there are several references to [...]

2020-04-03T17:21:15-04:00February 6th, 2014|Hebrew Bible/Old Testament|

Camels and the Book of Genesis

Something different. A long time-member of the blog, Ron Taska, has sent this along to me. Biblical scholars for years have argued that the camels one finds in the patriarchal narratives of Genesis (Gen. 12-50) are anachronistic, since camels were not yet domesticated in the times in which the Patriarchs allegedly lived. (I’m one of those scholars who doubts whether the Patriarchs of Genesis are historical figures at all; but that’s another question.) Here is some recent scientific evidence that appears to support this older scholarly claim. (For reference: Abraham, the “father of the Jews” is usually dated to the 18th century BCE. If he lived.) If it's right, then this is one more piece of evidence (among many) that the narratives of Genesis are not historically accurate and were not composed any time near the dates of the alleged events they discuss, or even in the time of Moses (if he lived: 13th century). **************************************************************** TEL AVIV (Press Release)–Camels are mentioned as pack animals in the biblical stories of Abraham, Joseph, and Jacob. But [...]

2020-04-03T17:21:22-04:00February 6th, 2014|Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Religion in the News|
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