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The Enemy Never Sleeps

The legend of the birth of Amalek

To the east of the land of the Philistines, where Jacob lived, there are mountains red in color. Why they are red, see the article “Who are you, Pharaoh?”. The Hebrew for “red” is אדום [adom], hence the name the Edom mountains.

Amalek 01 En

תורה, ספר בראשית

לו,ו וַיִּקַּח עֵשָׂו אֶת נָשָׁיו וְאֶת בָּנָיו וְאֶת בְּנֹתָיו וְאֶת כָּל נַפְשׁוֹת בֵּיתוֹ וְאֶת מִקְנֵהוּ וְאֶת כָּל בְּהֶמְתּוֹ וְאֵת כָּל קִנְיָנוֹ אֲשֶׁר רָכַשׁ בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן וַיֵּלֶךְ אֶל אֶרֶץ מִפְּנֵי יַעֲקֹב אָחִיו  לו,ז כִּי הָיָה רְכוּשָׁם רָב מִשֶּׁבֶת יַחְדָּו וְלֹא יָכְלָה אֶרֶץ מְגוּרֵיהֶם לָשֵׂאת אֹתָם מִפְּנֵי מִקְנֵיהֶם  לו,ח וַיֵּשֶׁב עֵשָׂו בְּהַר שֵׂעִיר עֵשָׂו הוּא אֱדוֹם

 Torah, book 1 Genesis

36,6 And Esau took his wives, and his sons, and his daughters, and all the souls of his house, and his cattle, and all his beasts, and all his possessions, which he had gathered in the land of Canaan; and went into a land away from his brother Jacob. 36,7 For their substance was too great for them to dwell together; and the land of their sojournings could not bear them because of their cattle. 36,8 And Esau dwelt in the mountain-land of Seir, Esau is Edom.

The firstborn son of Esau, (Hebrew) אליפז [Elipaz], took after his father –  he was peculiar and did not delve into moral issues. The married Hurrian woman who lived next door got pregnant by Elipaz and gave birth to a girl named (Hebrew) תמנע [Timna].

Timna grew up into a beautiful girl. The time had come and she wanted to get married. The most powerful clan in the area was the Jacob’s clan. And Timna came to Jacob and said: “Look at me. I am so beautiful. Marry me to one of your sons”. But Jacob was reputedly the guardian of morality and proudly replied that his sons would not marry girls born from an extramarital affair.

Then Timna came with the same offer to Esau. He did not dig into details and gave her to Eliphaz (take it or leave it, to her father!). Elipaz and Timna had a son (Hebrew) עמלק [Amalek].

There is no reason to envy Amalek. Even in the very distant past, a child born by an illegitimate mother, and, moreover, as a result of incest, was not well regarded by people around him. Amalek grew up in an atmosphere of contempt and hatred. He became an adult that way – hateful and aggressive.

Esau never forgave Jacob the stolen birthright. Having aged and sensing the approach of the end, Esau called his grandson Amalek and told him: “If it were not for the meanness of Jacob, you would be the favorite of the Lord, and the heir of the Promised Land. You will revenge Jacob’s descendants for his treachery in stead and stall.”

Be on alert Israel – Amalek never sleeps!

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They Are Us

Arameans and Hebrews are one and the same people

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ETYMOLOGY

The English term Jew originates from the Biblical Hebrew word Yehudi, meaning “from the Kingdom of Judah“. It passed into Greek as Ioudaios and Latin as Iudaeus, which evolved into the Old French giu after the letter “d” was dropped. A variety of related forms are found in early English from about the year 1000, including Iudea, Gyu, Giu, Iuu, Iuw, and Iew, which eventually developed into the modern word Jew.

The modern word “Jewish” and the Biblical word “Hebrew” are synonyms. The events described in this article took place in biblical times, that is why we will use the word “Hebrew” for their description.

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ARAM-NAHARAIM

Here is the first reference to a place named Aram in the Torah.

בראשית

כד,י   וַיִּקַּח הָעֶבֶד עֲשָׂרָה גְמַלִּים מִגְּמַלֵּי אֲדֹנָיו וַיֵּלֶךְ וְכָל טוּב אֲדֹנָיו בְּיָדוֹ וַיָּקָם וַיֵּלֶךְ אֶל אֲרַם נַהֲרַיִם אֶל עִיר נָחוֹר

 Torah, book 1 Genesis

24,10 And the servant took ten camels, of the camels of his master, and departed; having all goodly things of his master’s in his hand; and he arose, and went to Aram-naharaim, unto the city of Nahor.

Figure 01

They are We 01 En

These events happened around 1775 BC. In those days, the northern part of Mesopotamia was called by the name of Aram. For more accurate identification, this area is called Aram-Naharaim due to the following reasons:

*   the Hebrew word for “river” is נהר [nahar]

*   the equivalent for the word combination “two rivers” in Hebrew is נַהֲרַיִם [naharaim]. The region Aram is situated between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, so it got the name אֲרַם נַהֲרַיִם [aram naharaim], i.e. “Aram-Naharaim”.

*   the word Mesopotamia originated from Greek. The Greek word μέσος [mesos] means “between”, and another Greek word ποταμία [potamia] denotes “rivers”. Hence, Μεσοποταμία [mesopotamia] = Mesopotamia. Geographically, Aram-Naharaim is Upper Mesopotamia.

Mesopotamia is surrounded by water on all sides (the Tigris and Euphrates rivers), that is why this area is called الجزيرة [aljazeera] = (Eng) The Island in the Arab countries.

A state referred to as Aram has never existed in this area.

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WHO ARE YOU, HEBREWS?

We know where the Biblical Aram was. Now we will investigate who the Arameans are.

The forefather Abraham and his wife, the foremother Sarah came to Canaan from the city of Haran, which was located in Aram.

Foremother Rebekah, the wife of the forefather Isaac, is from Aram. The Torah reports that her father Bethuel and her brother Laban are Arameans.

בראשית

כה,כ   וַיְהִי יִצְחָק בֶּן אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה בְּקַחְתּוֹ אֶת רִבְקָה בַּת בְּתוּאֵל הָאֲרַמִּי מִפַּדַּן אֲרָם אֲחוֹת לָבָן הָאֲרַמִּי לוֹ לְאִשָּׁה

 Torah, book 1 Genesis

25,20 And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean, of Paddan Aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean, to be his wife.

All four wives of the forefather Jacob are also from Aram, two of whom, Leah and Rachel, are the daughters of Laban the Aramean.

Conclusion No. 1: the forefather Abraham and all the foremothers are Arameans.

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HEBREWS, YOU ARE ARAMEANS!

The word “Hebrew” is first used in the Torah in the following verse:

בראשית

יד,יג   וַיָּבֹא הַפָּלִיט וַיַּגֵּד לְאַבְרָם הָעִבְרִי וְהוּא שֹׁכֵן בְּאֵלֹנֵי מַמְרֵא הָאֱמֹרִי אֲחִי אֶשְׁכֹּל וַאֲחִי עָנֵר וְהֵם בַּעֲלֵי בְרִית אַבְרָם

 Torah, book 1 Genesis

14,13 And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew – now he dwelt by the terebinths of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner; and these were confederate with Abram.

 

The English word “Hebrew” originates from the hebrew word העִבְרִי [haebri], denoting “passed to” – the forefather Abraham and all the foremothers were the first who moved from Aram to Canaan, therefore their descendants were later called “Hebrews”. In biblical times, the word “Hebrew” did not denote a nationality – it was a symbol of a person’s belonging to a group of people who are descendants of six foremothers. As for their belonging to the people, all Hebrews considered themselves Arameans and spoke Aramaic.

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RISE OF THE ARAM KINGDOM

In 1624 BC the family of the forefather Jacob descended to Egypt. After about 80 years the power structure in Egypt was changed. The hostile attitude of the new government forces a considerate share of Hebrews to leave Egypt and settle on the shores of the Mediterranean and Black Seas. At this stage (15th-13th centuries BC) they continue to consider themselves Arameans and speak Aramaic, just like those Hebrews who remained in Egypt.

Figure 02

They are We 02 En

In 1274 BC the Arameans gave battle to Pharaoh Raamses II at the city of Kadesh.

Figure 03

They are We 03 En

As a result of the victory in this battle, the Arameans advanced south-east and in the middle of the 13th century BC created the Kingdom of Aram with its capital in the city of Damascus. By this time, the area of Aram-Naharaim became part of the Kingdom of Assyria.

 Figure 04

They are We 04 En

Conclusion No. 2:

*   the forefather Abraham and all the foremothers were Arameans, as they were from Aram-Naharaim;

* when being in Egyptian bondage, the Hebrews considered themselves Arameans, because they were descendants of the foremothers;

*   the Hebrews who fled from Egypt and settled on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea considered themselves Arameans, as well as the Hebrews who remained in Egypt;

*   the Hebrews in the Mediterranean basin founded the kingdom and named it Aram, since they considered themselves Arameans.

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THREE COUNTRIES – ONE PEOPLE

The historical literature refers to the descendants of the forefather Jacob who came from Sinai to Canaan as Hebrews.

 Figure 05

They are We 05 En

 For 40 years in the Sinai desert the Hebrews:

*   joined the faith in One God.

*   created an improved dialect of the Aramaic language, which we call the Hebrew language (the Torah is written in it).

*   brought the Hebrew alphabet to the state which we still use now. Since then, only the form of letters has changed. The number of letters, their sound and meaning remained unchanged.

In 1154 BC the Hebrews entered Canaan and settled there.

Around 1000 BC the Hebrew state arose in the territory of Canaan, which was split into 2 kingdoms: Israel and Judea about 930 BC.

Figure 06

They are We 06 En

Ethnically, the population of the kingdoms of Aram-Damascus, Israel and Judea are homogeneous – they are all descendants of the foremothers. However, historical literature artificially divided them into two nations and called the inhabitants of Aram-Damascus Arameans, and the inhabitants of Israel and Judea – the Hebrews.

Conclusion No. 3: the Hebrews and the Arameans are two names of the same ethnos.

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THE WAY TO GLORY MAY BE PECULIAR

The attitude towards faith in One God differentiated the Hebrews from the Arameans:

*   the inhabitants of Judea had the 40-year experience in Sinai and were united by faith in One God;

*   the inhabitants of Aram were pagans;

*   the inhabitants of Israel, who were believers in the beginning, left the faith and connected with the pagan cults under the pressure of the Aramaic queen Jezebel.

The spread of paganism in the territory of the Kingdom of Israel led to a breakdown in the bonds between people and to the degradation of a person’s sense of belonging to a people.

Around 840 BC, a prophet Elijah received from the Almighty the task of bringing the people of Aram and Israel back to the path of righteousness:

מלכים

א יט,טו וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֵלָיו לֵךְ שׁוּב לְדַרְכְּךָ מִדְבַּרָה דַמָּשֶׂק וּבָאתָ וּמָשַׁחְתָּ אֶת חֲזָאֵל לְמֶלֶךְ עַל אֲרָם  א יט,טז וְאֵת יֵהוּא בֶן נִמְשִׁי תִּמְשַׁח לְמֶלֶךְ עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאֶת אֱלִישָׁע בֶּן שָׁפָט מֵאָבֵל מְחוֹלָה תִּמְשַׁח לְנָבִיא תַּחְתֶּיךָ  א יט,יז וְהָיָה הַנִּמְלָט מֵחֶרֶב חֲזָאֵל יָמִית יֵהוּא וְהַנִּמְלָט מֵחֶרֶב יֵהוּא יָמִית אֱלִישָׁע  א יט,יח וְהִשְׁאַרְתִּי בְיִשְׂרָאֵל שִׁבְעַת אֲלָפִים כָּל הַבִּרְכַּיִם אֲשֶׁר לֹא כָרְעוּ לַבַּעַל וְכָל הַפֶּה אֲשֶׁר לֹא נָשַׁק לוֹ 

 Book of 1 Kings

19,15 The LORD said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 19,16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 19,17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. 19,18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”

The efforts of the prophets did not help – the Kingdom of Aram and the Kingdom of Israel were defeated by the Assyrian Kingdom in the war of 731 – 701 BC, and their Hebrew pagan population was scattered throughout the world (Ten Lost Tribes).

By a strange coincidence, it was at that time that civilizations arose, which are mentioned as Ancient Greek and Etruscan in the historical literature.

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The Fear of Isaac

Why didn’t the forefather Abraham stab Isaac to death?

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WHO ARE THEY, THE FIRST HEBREWS?

 Here is a quote from the Torah, in which the word “Hebrew” is written for the first time in human history:

בראשית

יד,יג וַיָּבֹא הַפָּלִיט וַיַּגֵּד לְאַבְרָם הָעִבְרִי וְהוּא שֹׁכֵן בְּאֵלֹנֵי מַמְרֵא הָאֱמֹרִי אֲחִי אֶשְׁכֹּל וַאֲחִי עָנֵר וְהֵם בַּעֲלֵי בְרִית אַבְרָם

 Torah, book 1 Genesis

14,13 And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew – now he dwelt by the terebinths of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner; and these were confederate with Abram.

The English word “Hebrew” originated from the Hebrew word העִבְרִי [haebri] in the meaning “passed to”, “crossed over”.

The Haran (Harran) district in the land of Aram is the birthplace of the Jewish people. Forefather Abraham and foremother Sarah were the first to move from Haran to Canaan, so they are the first Hebrews. The reasons for this transition are mentioned in the article “Who are you, Pharaoh?

Figure 01 – transition from Haran to Canaan

 Fear of Isaac 01 En

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ETYMOLOGY OF THE VERY FIRST HEBREWS’ NAMES

Hebrew man No. 1 got the given name אַבְרָם [avram] = אַבְ + רָם = the great father. After concluding an alliance with God (Torah, book 1 Genesis, chapter 17, verse 5), the Hebrew letter ה [hey] was added to this name, so it slightly changed the sounding – אַבְרָהָם [avraham].

Hebrew woman No. 1 got the given name (Heb.) שָׂרָי [sarai], the root of which is the (Heb.) word שר [sar] = governor, minister. The English word “Sir” originated from this word. Upon concluding an alliance with God (Torah, Book 1 Genesis, chapter 17, verse 15), the Hebrew letter  י [yud] in this name was substituted by the Hebrew letter ה [hey], so the name also slightly changed the sounding – שָׂרָה [sara].

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PHILISTIMLIAN WELCOME RECEPTION

Citation from the Torah:

בראשית

כ,ב וַיֹּאמֶר אַבְרָהָם אֶל שָׂרָה אִשְׁתּוֹ, אֲחֹתִי הִוא; וַיִּשְׁלַח אֲבִימֶלֶךְ מֶלֶךְ גְּרָר וַיִּקַּח אֶת שָׂרָה  כ,ג וַיָּבֹא אֱלֹהִים אֶל אֲבִימֶלֶךְ בַּחֲלוֹם הַלָּיְלָה וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ . . .  כ,יד וַיִּקַּח אֲבִימֶלֶךְ צֹאן וּבָקָר וַעֲבָדִים וּשְׁפָחֹת וַיִּתֵּן לְאַבְרָהָם; וַיָּשֶׁב לוֹ אֵת שָׂרָה אִשְׁתּוֹ  כ,טו וַיֹּאמֶר אֲבִימֶלֶךְ הִנֵּה אַרְצִי לְפָנֶיךָ  בַּטּוֹב בְּעֵינֶיךָ שֵׁב  כ,טז וּלְשָׂרָה אָמַר הִנֵּה נָתַתִּי אֶלֶף כֶּסֶף לְאָחִיךְ הִנֵּה הוּא לָךְ כְּסוּת עֵינַיִם לְכֹל אֲשֶׁר אִתָּךְ וְאֵת כֹּל וְנֹכָחַת.  . . . כא,א וַיהוָה פָּקַד אֶת שָׂרָה כַּאֲשֶׁר אָמָר וַיַּעַשׂ יְהוָה לְשָׂרָה כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֵּר  כא,ב וַתַּהַר וַתֵּלֶד שָׂרָה לְאַבְרָהָם בֵּן לִזְקֻנָיו לַמּוֹעֵד אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר אֹתוֹ אֱלֹהִים  כא,ג וַיִּקְרָא אַבְרָהָם אֶת שֶׁם בְּנוֹ הַנּוֹלַד לוֹ אֲשֶׁר יָלְדָה לּוֹ שָׂרָה יִצְחָק  כא,ד וַיָּמָל אַבְרָהָם אֶת יִצְחָק בְּנוֹ בֶּן שְׁמֹנַת יָמִים כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה אֹתוֹ אֱלֹהִים  כא,ה וְאַבְרָהָם, בֶּן מְאַת שָׁנָה בְּהִוָּלֶד לוֹ אֵת יִצְחָק בְּנוֹ

Torah, Book 1 Genesis

20,2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife: ‘She is my sister.’ And Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah. 20,3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream of the night, and said to him . . .  20,14 And Abimelech took sheep and oxen, and men-servants and women-servants, and gave them unto Abraham, and restored him Sarah his wife. 20,15 And Abimelech said: ‘Behold, my land is before thee: dwell where it pleaseth thee.’ 20,16 And unto Sarah he said: ‘Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver; behold, it is for thee a covering of the eyes to all that are with thee; and before all men thou art righted.’ . . .  21,1 And the LORD remembered Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as He had spoken. 21,2 And Sarah conceived, and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. 21,3 And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac. 21,4 And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. 21,5 And Abraham was a hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.

This citation results at least in two conclusions:

  • Sarah spent no less than one night in Abimelech’s house;
  • Sarah conceived and gave birth to Isaac.

There seem to be some questions:

  • why did Abimelech give Abraham “sheep and oxen and men-servants and women-servants” and a thousand pieces of silver?
  • what really happened between Abimelech and Sarah that night?

In the Torah we read about Sarah’s pregnancy immediately after she spent one night in Abimelech’s house – a rather transparent hint that Abimelech is Isaac’s biological father. Hint, but not proof! Only Sarah knew the truth. Isaac, out of childish naivety, was sure that he was the son of Abraham, and Abraham lived in the hope that Isaac was his son.

But people around them were not sure of it. It was this doubt floating around that gave Ishmael, Abraham’s eldest son, a sense of superiority and the right to scoff at Isaac.

 בראשית

כא,ט וַתֵּרֶא שָׂרָה אֶת בֶּן הָגָר הַמִּצְרִית אֲשֶׁר יָלְדָה לְאַבְרָהָם מְצַחֵק  כא,י וַתֹּאמֶר לְאַבְרָהָם גָּרֵשׁ הָאָמָה הַזֹּאת וְאֶת בְּנָהּ כִּי לֹא יִירַשׁ בֶּן הָאָמָה הַזֹּאת עִם בְּנִי עִם יִצְחָק  כא,יא וַיֵּרַע הַדָּבָר מְאֹד בְּעֵינֵי אַבְרָהָם עַל אוֹדֹת בְּנוֹ

 Torah, Book 1 Genesis

21,9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne unto Abraham, making sport. 21,10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham: ‘Cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.’ 21,11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight on account of his son.

Ishmael, the son of Abraham, mocked Isaac, an illegitimate child. Sarah, upholding her honor and that of Isaac, demanded from Abraham to cast out Hagar and Ishmael – an extremely cruel requirement. In those days, exile was tantamount to death from hunger or thirst. Abraham’s disagreement could be perceived by others as mistrust of his lawful wife Sarah. Abraham expelled the concubine Hagar and his son Ishmael, and thereby showed everyone his full confidence in Sarah.

Nevertheless, the demonstration of confidence and confidence are two totally different things.

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WHO IS A MAN HERE?

 Abraham was the head of a rather large tribe:

בראשית

יד,יד וַיִּשְׁמַע אַבְרָם כִּי נִשְׁבָּה אָחִיו וַיָּרֶק אֶת חֲנִיכָיו יְלִידֵי בֵיתוֹ שְׁמֹנָה עָשָׂר וּשְׁלֹשׁ מֵאוֹת וַיִּרְדֹּף עַד דָּן

 Torah, Book 1 Genesis

14,14 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued as far as Dan.

As it follows from the quotation, Abraham had 318 combat-ready men. From this we can conclude that the whole tribe totaled up to 2,000 people. Everyone in the tribe knew that Abraham cast out his son Ishmael upon Sarah’s request, who was defending her apparently illegitimate son, Isaac. That was not a manly conduct, to put it mildly.

For several years, Abraham suffered from humiliated dignity, and in the end it was these sorrows that forced him to seek a solution to the problem with a knife blow.

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BINDING OF ISAAC

 According to Torah, at the time of the sacrifice Isaac was aged 6 – 13 years. Most likely 6 years old – Abraham would not have been able to bind an older boy.

 בראשית

כב,ט וַיָּבֹאוּ אֶל הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר אָמַר לוֹ הָאֱלֹהִים וַיִּבֶן שָׁם אַבְרָהָם אֶת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וַיַּעֲרֹךְ אֶת הָעֵצִים וַיַּעֲקֹד אֶת יִצְחָק בְּנוֹ וַיָּשֶׂם אֹתוֹ עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ מִמַּעַל לָעֵצִיםכב,י וַיִּשְׁלַח אַבְרָהָם אֶת יָדוֹ וַיִּקַּח אֶת הַמַּאֲכֶלֶת לִשְׁחֹט אֶת בְּנוֹ

Torah, Book 1 Genesis

22,9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built the altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. 22,10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.

How did Isaac feel when his father, having bound him, laid him upon the wood and stretched forth a knife over him? What did he see in his father’s eyes at that moment? What did he feel for his father when this nightmare was over? Probably for the rest of his life distrust and fear of the unpredictability of the madman settled in his heart.

And the key question is: why didn’t Abraham slay Isaac?

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THE BIRTH OF MORALITY

 Abraham lived in a cruel time, when death caused by starvation and death in the battle for food happened every day in front of everyone –  see the article “Who are you, Pharaoh?” Cruelty and mercilessness were part of the routine.

Humiliating rumors and gossip piled up around the circumstances of Isaac’s birth. Abraham’s status as leader of the tribe was shaken. To defend his honor, he decides to get rid of the reason for these gossip – Isaac. At that time, the killing of an illegitimate child would be perceived by others as a common behavior of a real man.

Why didn’t Abraham stab Isaac?

 Because he decided not to kill Isaac, even if he had to pay for it with the loss of power and humiliation.

The scene of Isaac’s sacrifice described in the Torah is the first documented episode in the history of mankind in which humanity defeated pragmatism.

Abraham is a special person. He is the first one who, regardless of the logic of survival, implemented the commandment “do not kill”. Abraham was the one who sowed humanity among humankind.

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RECONCILIATION

Isaac and Abraham didn’t get along well, but Sarah maintained the family balance.

About 30 years passed. Sarah departed. Abraham buried her in the cave of Machpelah.

Isaac, who was 37 years old, couldn’t live at  Abraham ‘s place. He left his father’s house and settled near the spring Beer-lahai-roi (the Well of the Vision of Life), just steps from the desert of Paran, where Ishmael dwelt.

בראשית

כד,סב וְיִצְחָק בָּא מִבּוֹא בְּאֵר לַחַי רֹאִי וְהוּא יוֹשֵׁב בְּאֶרֶץ הַנֶּגֶב

Torah, Book 1 Genesis

24,62 And Isaac came from the way of Beer-lahai-roi; for he dwelt in the land of the South.

Figure 02

 Fear of Isaac 02 En

Abraham sent a servant to relatives in Haran to bring Isaac a wife. Rivka (Rebekah) moved from Haran to Canaan, so she is Hebrew woman No. 2 (after Sarah).

בראשית

כד,סו וַיְסַפֵּר הָעֶבֶד לְיִצְחָק אֵת כָּל הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂהסז וַיְבִאֶהָ יִצְחָק הָאֹהֱלָה שָׂרָה אִמּוֹ וַיִּקַּח אֶת רִבְקָה וַתְּהִי לוֹ לְאִשָּׁה וַיֶּאֱהָבֶהָ וַיִּנָּחֵם יִצְחָק אַחֲרֵי אִמּוֹ

Torah, Book 1 Genesis

24,66 And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. 24,67 And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her. And Isaac was comforted for his mother.

Filled with gratitude to Abraham for his care, Isaac returns to Sarah’s tent to continue his life near Abraham.

Only after relations with Isaac warmed up, Abraham afforded to take a new wife named Ktura, who bore him six sons.

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WHAT COUNTS MOST

 At the end of life, Abraham decided to appoint an heir.

 בראשית

כה,ה וַיִּתֵּן אַבְרָהָם אֶת כָּל אֲשֶׁר לוֹ לְיִצְחָק  כה,ו וְלִבְנֵי הַפִּילַגְשִׁים אֲשֶׁר לְאַבְרָהָם נָתַן אַבְרָהָם מַתָּנֹת וַיְשַׁלְּחֵם מֵעַל יִצְחָק בְּנוֹ בְּעוֹדֶנּוּ חַי קֵדְמָה אֶל אֶרֶץ קֶדֶם

Torah, Book 1 Genesis

25,5 And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac. 25,6 But unto the sons of the concubines, that Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts; and he sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country.

Abraham had 8 sons. Ishmael, the son of Hagar, and 6 sons of Keturah were without a doubt his flesh and blood, and he doubted only in Isaac. Why did he choose Isaac as an heir?

The answer is simple: Isaac is the only one of eight whose mother is a Hebrew woman. Was this really the most crucial thing for Abraham? Undoubtedly, yes:

  • that was why Abraham sent a servant to Haran to look for the wife to Isaac;
  • that was why, later, Rebekah sent Jacob to Haran to search wife to himself.

 .

FRIENDSHIP

 Isaac and Ishmael became friends.

בראשית

כה,ז וְאֵלֶּה יְמֵי שְׁנֵי חַיֵּי אַבְרָהָם  אֲשֶׁר חָי מְאַת שָׁנָה וְשִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְחָמֵשׁ שָׁנִים  כה,ח וַיִּגְוַע וַיָּמָת אַבְרָהָם בְּשֵׂיבָה טוֹבָה זָקֵן וְשָׂבֵעַ וַיֵּאָסֶף אֶל עַמָּיו  כה,ט וַיִּקְבְּרוּ אֹתוֹ יִצְחָק וְיִשְׁמָעֵאל בָּנָיו אֶל מְעָרַת הַמַּכְפֵּלָה אֶל שְׂדֵה עֶפְרֹן בֶּן צֹחַר הַחִתִּי אֲשֶׁר עַל פְּנֵי מַמְרֵא  כה,י הַשָּׂדֶה אֲשֶׁר קָנָה אַבְרָהָם מֵאֵת בְּנֵי חֵת שָׁמָּה קֻבַּר אַבְרָהָם וְשָׂרָה אִשְׁתּוֹ

 Torah, Book 1 Genesis

25,7 And these are the days of the years of Abraham’s life which he lived, a hundred threescore and fifteen years. 25,8 And Abraham expired, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people. 25,9 And Isaac and Ishmael his sons buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre; 25,10 the field which Abraham purchased of the children of Heth; there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife.

 After Abraham’s death Isaac returned to Beer-lahai-roi to live not far from Ishmael.

Abraham died in 1739 BC. About 38 centuries have passed since then, however, to this day Arabs and Hebrews pray side by side in the Cave of Machpelah.

Figure 03 – a building for worship built over the Cave of Machpelah in Hebron

 Fear of Isaac 03

It is no coincidence that the Arabs pray in the Cave of Machpel, particularly, in the Hall of Isaac.

 .

COUSINS

בראשית

כ,יב וְגַם אָמְנָה אֲחֹתִי בַת אָבִי הִוא אַךְ לֹא בַת אִמִּי וַתְּהִי לִי לְאִשָּׁה

 Torah, Book 1 Genesis

20,12 And moreover she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and so she became my wife.

The quote reveals that Sarah was not only a wife, but also Abraham’s sister on her father’s side and, as a result, Ishmael’s aunt.

According to Ishmael, Isaac was not Abraham’s son and, therefore, was not Ishmael’s brother. For this reason, even today, Arabs call Hebrews

“ولاد عمنا” = our cousins, the sons of an aunt on our father’s side.

In memory of those events, the Arabs still have a proverb:

بدك الحق ولا ابن عمٓة؟  =  Do you want the truth, or the son of an aunt on your father’s side?

The relationship between the descendants of Ishmael and those of Isaac are described in the article “Paved with Incense is the Road to…”.

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UNDERLYING REASON

Jacob’s son Isaac had 13 children. Twelve of them were born in Haran and moved to Canaan, so they are Hebrews. And only Benjamin was born in Canaan. Perhaps this is the reason that the Benjamin tribe was subsequently destroyed by the Hebrews (Book of Judges, Chapter 20).

It can be argued that the tribe of Benjamin was not fully wiped out. This is true, but it must be noted that all those 600 warriors, who survived, got Hebrew women from other Israelite tribes, and thanks to these women, the renewed tribe of Benjamin became a full-fledged Jewish tribe.

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There are other articles on this site. A list of them here

The Very First World War

On the world population in times of forefathers

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The war among 9 kings is spoken about in Chapter 11, the Book of Genesis:

 תורה, ספר בראשית

יד,א וַיְהִי בִּימֵי אַמְרָפֶל מֶלֶךְ שִׁנְעָר אַרְיוֹךְ מֶלֶךְ אֶלָּסָר כְּדָרְלָעֹמֶר מֶלֶךְ עֵילָם וְתִדְעָל מֶלֶךְ גּוֹיִם  יד,ב עָשׂוּ מִלְחָמָה אֶת בֶּרַע מֶלֶךְ סְדֹם וְאֶת בִּרְשַׁע מֶלֶךְ עֲמֹרָה שִׁנְאָב מֶלֶךְ אַדְמָה וְשֶׁמְאֵבֶר מֶלֶךְ צְבֹיִים וּמֶלֶךְ בֶּלַע הִיא צֹעַר  יד,ג כָּל אֵלֶּה חָבְרוּ אֶל עֵמֶק הַשִּׂדִּים הוּא יָם הַמֶּלַח  יד,ד שְׁתֵּים עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה עָבְדוּ אֶת כְּדָרְלָעֹמֶר וּשְׁלֹשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה מָרָדוּ  יד,ה וּבְאַרְבַּע עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה בָּא כְדָרְלָעֹמֶר וְהַמְּלָכִים אֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ וַיַּכּוּ אֶת רְפָאִים בְּעַשְׁתְּרֹת קַרְנַיִם וְאֶת הַזּוּזִים בְּהָם וְאֵת הָאֵימִים בְּשָׁוֵה קִרְיָתָיִם  יד,ו וְאֶת הַחֹרִי בְּהַרְרָם שֵׂעִיר עַד אֵיל פָּארָן אֲשֶׁר עַל הַמִּדְבָּר  יד,ז וַיָּשֻׁבוּ וַיָּבֹאוּ אֶל עֵין מִשְׁפָּט הִוא קָדֵשׁ וַיַּכּוּ אֶת כָּל שְׂדֵה הָעֲמָלֵקִי וְגַם אֶת הָאֱמֹרִי הַיֹּשֵׁב בְּחַצְצֹן תָּמָר  יד,ח וַיֵּצֵא מֶלֶךְ סְדֹם וּמֶלֶךְ עֲמֹרָה וּמֶלֶךְ אַדְמָה וּמֶלֶךְ צְבֹיִים וּמֶלֶךְ בֶּלַע הִוא צֹעַר וַיַּעַרְכוּ אִתָּם מִלְחָמָה בְּעֵמֶק הַשִּׂדִּים  יד,ט אֵת כְּדָרְלָעֹמֶר מֶלֶךְ עֵילָם וְתִדְעָל מֶלֶךְ גּוֹיִם וְאַמְרָפֶל מֶלֶךְ שִׁנְעָר וְאַרְיוֹךְ מֶלֶךְ אֶלָּסָר אַרְבָּעָה מְלָכִים אֶת הַחֲמִשָּׁה  יד,י וְעֵמֶק הַשִּׂדִּים בֶּאֱרֹת בֶּאֱרֹת חֵמָר וַיָּנֻסוּ מֶלֶךְ סְדֹם וַעֲמֹרָה וַיִּפְּלוּ שָׁמָּה וְהַנִּשְׁאָרִים הֶרָה נָּסוּ  יד,יא וַיִּקְחוּ אֶת כָּל רְכֻשׁ סְדֹם וַעֲמֹרָה וְאֶת כָּל אָכְלָם וַיֵּלֵכוּ  יד,יב וַיִּקְחוּ אֶת לוֹט וְאֶת רְכֻשׁוֹ בֶּן אֲחִי אַבְרָם וַיֵּלֵכוּ וְהוּא יֹשֵׁב בִּסְדֹם  יד,יג וַיָּבֹא הַפָּלִיט וַיַּגֵּד לְאַבְרָם הָעִבְרִי וְהוּא שֹׁכֵן בְּאֵלֹנֵי מַמְרֵא הָאֱמֹרִי אֲחִי אֶשְׁכֹּל וַאֲחִי עָנֵר וְהֵם בַּעֲלֵי בְרִית אַבְרָם  יד,יד וַיִּשְׁמַע אַבְרָם כִּי נִשְׁבָּה אָחִיו וַיָּרֶק אֶת חֲנִיכָיו יְלִידֵי בֵיתוֹ שְׁמֹנָה עָשָׂר וּשְׁלֹשׁ מֵאוֹת וַיִּרְדֹּף עַד דָּן  יד,טו וַיֵּחָלֵק עֲלֵיהֶם לַיְלָה הוּא וַעֲבָדָיו וַיַּכֵּם וַיִּרְדְּפֵם עַד חוֹבָה אֲשֶׁר מִשְּׂמֹאל לְדַמָּשֶׂק  יד,טז וַיָּשֶׁב אֵת כָּל הָרְכֻשׁ וְגַם אֶת לוֹט אָחִיו וּרְכֻשׁוֹ הֵשִׁיב וְגַם אֶת הַנָּשִׁים וְאֶת הָעָם  יד,יז וַיֵּצֵא מֶלֶךְ סְדֹם לִקְרָאתוֹ אַחֲרֵי שׁוּבוֹ מֵהַכּוֹת אֶת כְּדָרְלָעֹמֶר וְאֶת הַמְּלָכִים אֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ אֶל עֵמֶק שָׁוֵה הוּא עֵמֶק הַמֶּלֶךְ  יד,יח וּמַלְכִּי צֶדֶק מֶלֶךְ שָׁלֵם הוֹצִיא לֶחֶם וָיָיִן וְהוּא כֹהֵן לְאֵל עֶלְיוֹן  יד,יט וַיְבָרְכֵהוּ וַיֹּאמַר בָּרוּךְ אַבְרָם לְאֵל עֶלְיוֹן קֹנֵה שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ  יד,כ וּבָרוּךְ אֵל עֶלְיוֹן אֲשֶׁר מִגֵּן צָרֶיךָ בְּיָדֶךָ וַיִּתֶּן לוֹ מַעֲשֵׂר מִכֹּל  יד,כא וַיֹּאמֶר מֶלֶךְ סְדֹם אֶל אַבְרָם  תֶּן לִי הַנֶּפֶשׁ וְהָרְכֻשׁ קַח לָךְ  יד,כב וַיֹּאמֶר אַבְרָם אֶל מֶלֶךְ סְדֹם  הֲרִמֹתִי יָדִי אֶל יְהוָה אֵל עֶלְיוֹן קֹנֵה שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ  יד,כג אִם מִחוּט וְעַד שְׂרוֹךְ נַעַל וְאִם אֶקַּח מִכָּל אֲשֶׁר לָךְ וְלֹא תֹאמַר אֲנִי הֶעֱשַׁרְתִּי אֶת אַבְרָם  יד,כד בִּלְעָדַי רַק אֲשֶׁר אָכְלוּ הַנְּעָרִים וְחֵלֶק הָאֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר הָלְכוּ אִתִּי עָנֵר אֶשְׁכֹּל וּמַמְרֵא הֵם יִקְחוּ חֶלְקָם

 Torah, Book 1 Genesis

14,1 And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim, 14,2 that they made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela the same is Zoar. 14,3 All these came as allies unto the vale of Siddim the same is the Salt Sea. 14,4 Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled. 14,5 And in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer and the kings that were with him, and smote the Rephaim in Ashteroth-karnaim, and the Zuzim in Ham, and the Emim in Shaveh-kiriathaim, 14,6 and the Horites in their mount Seir, unto Eyal Paran, which is by the wilderness. 14,7 And they turned back, and came to Ein Mishpat the same is Kadesh and smote all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites, that dwelt in Hazazon Tamar. 14,8 And there went out the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela the same is Zoar; and they set the battle in array against them in the vale of Siddim; 14,9 against Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings against the five. 14,10 Now the vale of Siddim was full of slime pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and they fell there, and they that remained fled to the mountain. 14,11 And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way. 14,12 And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed. 14,13 And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew now he dwelt by the terebinths of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner; and these were confederate with Abram. 14,14 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued as far as Dan. 14,15 And he divided himself against them by night, he and his servants, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the north of Damascus. 14,16 And he brought back all the goods, and also brought back his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people. 14,17 And the king of Sodom went out to meet him, after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer and the kings that were with him, at the vale of Shaveh the same is the King’s Vale. 14,18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine; and he was priest of God the Most High. 14,19 And he blessed him, and said: ‘Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Maker of heaven and earth; 14,20 and blessed be God the Most High, who hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand.’ And he gave him a tenth of all. 14,21 And the king of Sodom said unto Abram: ‘Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself.’ 14,22 And Abram said to the king of Sodom: ‘I have lifted up my hand unto the LORD, God Most High, Maker of heaven and earth, 14,23 that I will not take a thread nor a shoe-latchet nor aught that is thine, lest thou shouldest say: I have made Abram rich; 14,24 save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre, let them take their portion.’

This chapter of Torah is the real mine of geographic names of that time: Shinar, Ellasar, Elam, Goiim, Sodom, Amora (Gomorrah), Admah, Zeboiim, Bela (which is the same as Zoar), the vale of Siddim (which is the same as the Salt Sea, i.e. the Dead Sea), Ashteroth-karnaim, Ham [ham], Shaveh-kiriathaim, mount Seir, Eyal Paran, Ein Mishpat (which is the same as Kadesh), Hazazon Tamar, Dan, Hobah, Damascus, the vale of Shaveh (which is the same as the King’s Vale), Salem – altogether 22 names.

The exact information about the location of the land of Shinar is presented in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 11. The city of Babylon is in the land of Shinar:

 תורה, ספר בראשית

יא,א וַיְהִי כָל הָאָרֶץ שָׂפָה אֶחָת וּדְבָרִים אֲחָדִים  יא,ב וַיְהִי בְּנָסְעָם מִקֶּדֶם וַיִּמְצְאוּ בִקְעָה בְּאֶרֶץ שִׁנְעָר וַיֵּשְׁבוּ שָׁם  יא,ג וַיֹּאמְרוּ אִישׁ אֶל רֵעֵהוּ הָבָה נִלְבְּנָה לְבֵנִים וְנִשְׂרְפָה לִשְׂרֵפָה וַתְּהִי לָהֶם הַלְּבֵנָה לְאָבֶן וְהַחֵמָר הָיָה לָהֶם לַחֹמֶר  יא,ד וַיֹּאמְרוּ הָבָה נִבְנֶה לָּנוּ עִיר וּמִגְדָּל וְרֹאשׁוֹ בַשָּׁמַיִם וְנַעֲשֶׂה לָּנוּ שֵׁם פֶּן נָפוּץ עַל פְּנֵי כָל הָאָרֶץ  יא,ה וַיֵּרֶד יְהוָה לִרְאֹת אֶת הָעִיר וְאֶת הַמִּגְדָּל אֲשֶׁר בָּנוּ בְּנֵי הָאָדָם  יא,ו וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה הֵן עַם אֶחָד וְשָׂפָה אַחַת לְכֻלָּם וְזֶה הַחִלָּם לַעֲשׂוֹת וְעַתָּה לֹא יִבָּצֵר מֵהֶם כֹּל אֲשֶׁר יָזְמוּ לַעֲשׂוֹת  יא,ז הָבָה נֵרְדָה וְנָבְלָה שָׁם שְׂפָתָם אֲשֶׁר לֹא יִשְׁמְעוּ אִישׁ שְׂפַת רֵעֵהוּ  יא,ח וַיָּפֶץ יְהוָה אֹתָם מִשָּׁם עַל פְּנֵי כָל הָאָרֶץ וַיַּחְדְּלוּ לִבְנֹת הָעִיר  יא,ט עַל כֵּן קָרָא שְׁמָהּ בָּבֶל כִּי שָׁם בָּלַל יְהוָה שְׂפַת כָּל הָאָרֶץ וּמִשָּׁם הֱפִיצָם יְהוָה עַל פְּנֵי כָּל הָאָרֶץ 

 Torah, Book 1 Genesis

11,1 And the whole earth was of one language and of one speech. 11,2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. 11,3 And they said one to another: ‘Come, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly.’ And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. 11,4 And they said: ‘Come, let us build us a city, and a tower, with its top in heaven, and let us make us a name; lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.’ 11,5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. 11,6 And the LORD said: ‘Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is what they begin to do; and now nothing will be withholden from them, which they purpose to do. 11,7 Come, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.’ 11,8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth; and they left off to build the city. 11,9 Therefore was the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth; and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

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About the etymology of the word “Babylon”:

The word Babylon came to English from Greek Βαβυλών [babilon] and originated from the Hebrew word בבל [bavel].

The word בבל [bavel] was derived from the root בלבל [bilbel] = mixed, confused, confounded, bewildered.

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This is the list of 6 places from the above-mentioned list, the location of which we know for sure at present: the city of Babylon, the Dead Sea, Mount Seir a.k.a. Edom, Desert of Paran, the city of Dan, the city of Damascus.

 The Very First World War 01 En

The distance from Babylon to Paran via Damascus is about 1,200 km. Even nowadays it is not a short distance. The armed conflict described in Chapter 14 of the Book of Genesis embraced almost the whole territory of the Fertile Crescent, for this reason it can be truly considered The Very First World War. As is clear from the above quotation, 9 kings participated in the conflict: 4 kings against the 5. Afterwards, Abram and his 318 trained men joined the combat and won. The suggestion here is that the total number of fighters participating in a conflict was about 1,000.

Aner, Eshkol and Mamre were involved in the event organized by Abram. They were said to be Abram’s allies, which means their forces could have been commensurate with those of Abram. Therefore, even if we suppose that the total number of fighters available to Abram amounted, for instance, to 1,000, then, the overall number of combatants taking part in the conflict could come up to 3,000.

So few people lived then in the world!

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Abraham appeared stronger than all the kings, who took part in the Very First World War. But the episode of his meeting with Abimelech made clear that Abraham was afraid of Abimelech.

The Conclusion: Abimelech was the dominant military power of that period of time – see the article “Who are you, Pharaoh?

P.S. Abraham was afraid of Abimelech and this eventually led to the Binding of Isaac – see the article “The Fear of Isaac”.


There are other articles on this site. A list of them here

Nonexistent History Creators

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THE DORIANS DID NOT EXIST

The article “Exodus: Behind the Scenes” tells us about the role of the Denyens in the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt and the side effect of the Exodus – the disappearance of the Mycenaean civilization.

Here and there it is claimed in publications that the Mycenaean civilization fell as a result of the Dorian tribes’ invasion who came to the Peloponnese from somewhere in the north. This statement cannot cope even with the briefest check:

- the Mycenaean civilization ceased to exist in the mid-12th century BC. At that time, the population of Europe was presented by primitive individuals, wandering alone or in pairs in search of food. Natural food was typically rare that did not allow people to group together (read the article “Who are you, Pharaoh?”). Therefore, the existence of the Dorian TRIBE in Europe at that time is highly doubtful.

- the Mycenaean civilization left us undeniable signs of its highest technological level: the cultivation of plants and animals for food, advanced construction technologies, iron tools and weapons, chariots and ships. Let us try to assume that a Dorian tribe existed. In order to defeat the Mycenaeans, they had to have military technologies that were not inferior to those of the Mycenaeans, and therefore, at the places of their exodus, they had to leave signs of existence of the advanced civilization. No such thing was discovered by archaeologists.

- following the disappearance of the Mycenaean civilization in Greece, the so-called “Dark Ages” came – archeologists claim that no traces of human activity were found on this territory during about 420 years. Where did the highly developed Dorian tribe who defeated Mycenae disappear? There is no answer to this question in publications!

The answer is simple: the Dorians have no relation to the disappearance of Mycenaean civilization in the 12th century BC.

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THE DORIANS EXISTED

According to Ancient Greek mythology the Dorians descended from Doros (Δῶρος), great-grandson of Prometheus (Προμηθεύς), Scythians’ king. It is known that Prometheus, chained to the rock, was rescued by Hercules, who killed an eagle that pecked at Prometheus’ liver.

Hercules lived at the end of the 11th century BC (see the article “Where is Hercules buried?”). Consequently, Prometheus’ great-grandson Doros lived, probably, at the end of the 10th century BC. For more than 200 years, from Doros to the beginning of the creation of Greek mythology in the late 8th century BC (read the article “Full Circle”), the number of Doros’ descendants could become significant enough to influence the political processes in Ancient Greece. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Dorians are mentioned in Ancient Greek myths as a significant factor. However, it can be stated with certainty that during the period the Mycenaean civilization decline in the mid-12th century BC, either Doros or the Dorians did not exist yet.

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PTOLEMY AND PROMETHEUS

We know two Greek names with a similar structure: Ptolemy and Prometheus.

(Greek) Πτολεμαῖος [ptolemayos] → (Russian) Ptolemy is the name of one of the companions of Alexander the Great (read the article “Alexander the Great – him too?”). In Hebrew, there is a root t-l-m → (Hebrew) תלם (telem) = furrow. The Greek name Πτολεμαῖος, the meaning of which – ‘paving the way, straight, purposeful’, originated from the Hebrew name תלמי [talmai].

Let us give an example of the use of the name Talmai in the Torah:

תורה, ספר ד’ במדבר

יג,כב וַיַּעֲלוּ בַנֶּגֶב וַיָּבֹא עַד-חֶבְרוֹן וְשָׁם אֲחִימַן שֵׁשַׁי וְתַלְמַי, יְלִידֵי הָעֲנָק; וְחֶבְרוֹן שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים נִבְנְתָה לִפְנֵי צֹעַן מִצְרָיִם

Torah, Book 4 Numbers, Chapter 12

22 And they went up into the South, and came unto Hebron; and Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the children of Anak, were there. Now Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.

(Greek) Προμηθεύς [promiteus] → Prometheus is the name of a Scythian king which was brought to Greece by the Denyens’ descendants after their escape from the Assyrians through Scythia (read the article “Full Circle”). Probably, that does not refer to the Scythian king, but a leader of a Denyens group who passed through Scythia during the migration process.

The word Προμηθεύς [promiteus] as well as Πτολεμαῖος [ptolemayos], came to the Greek language from the Hebrew language. The root r-m-t is the result of the distortion of the root r-m-s = (Hebrew) רמס [remes].

The meaning of the root רמס is ‘to trample down, crush, crumple, conquer’. This root is repeatedly used in the Tanakh, for example:

דברי הימים

ב כה,יח וַיִּשְׁלַח יוֹאָשׁ מֶלֶךְ-יִשְׂרָאֵל, אֶל-אֲמַצְיָהוּ מֶלֶךְ-יְהוּדָה לֵאמֹר, הַחוֹחַ אֲשֶׁר בַּלְּבָנוֹן שָׁלַח אֶל-הָאֶרֶז אֲשֶׁר בַּלְּבָנוֹן לֵאמֹר, תְּנָה-אֶת-בִּתְּךָ לִבְנִי לְאִשָּׁה; וַתַּעֲבֹר חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה, אֲשֶׁר בַּלְּבָנוֹן, וַתִּרְמֹס, אֶת-הַחוֹחַ

Bible 2 Chronicles

18 Joash king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, “The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, “Give your daughter to my son as his wife; then a wild animal that was in Lebanon passed by, and trampled down the thistle.”

The name Prometheus meant “‘trampling down, conquering”. In the 7th century BC. this word has adapted to the emerging Greek language and has become a “prophet”, probably as a sign of the Greeks’ respect for the person of Prometheus

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DOROS

The Greek name Δῶρος [Doros] originated from the Aramaic word דור [dor] = generation, kindred, tribe, messenger.

According to the witnesses of Pharaoh Ramesses II’ contemporaries, a settlement named Dor existed in Canaan as far back as the 13th century BC. It still exists nowadays.

In 1154 BC the Denyens landed on the coast of Gush Dan in the vicinity of the modern city of Tel Aviv, and after a while they migrated north to the area of Mount Hermon (read the article “Full Circle”). A group of the Denyens split off in the process of migration and settled in Dor.

Dor 01 En

By the end of the 10th c. BC the city of Dor had become an important port city. It is possible that there is a connection between the name of this city and the name of the great-grandson of Prometheus, from whom the Dorians subsequently originated.


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Chronology of the Fathers

 

About the exact dates for events happened between the birth of the forefather Abraham and the end of the Exodus from Egypt.

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The Torah gives us precise information about time intervals between the described events. In order to find the exact dates for these events, it is necessary to determine a reference date. This date is the date when the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt was over, i.e. it is the date of the end of the events described in the Torah.

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Calculating the End Date of the Exodus

Here is the list of the pharaohs reign periods relevant to determine this date:

  • Ramesses 2:  1279 – 1212 years BC. (XIX dynasty)
  • Merneptah:   1212 – 1202 years BC. (XIX dynasty)
  • Amenmesse: 1202 – 1200 years BC. (XIX dynasty)
  • Seti 2:             1200 – 1194 years BC. (XIX dynasty)
  • Siptah:            1194 – 1188 years BC. (XIX dynasty)
  • Twosret:         1188 – 1186 years BC. (XIX dynasty)
  • Setnakhte:     1186 – 1184 years BC. (XX dynasty)
  • Ramesses 3:  1184 – 1153 years BC. (XX dynasty)
  • Ramesses 4:  1153 – 1147 years BC. (XX dynasty)

Here is the list of the key events relevant to determine this date:

1.  The Battle of Kadesh 1274 B.C. → the beginning of the Egyptian slavery period (Read the article “And They Made Their Lives Bitter“) → the decree of Pharaoh Ramesses 2 of killing all newborn Jewish boys → Moses had been born not earlier than 1274 B.C.

2.  In the end of the Exodus, Moses was 120 years old. Therefore, the Exodus ended not earlier than 1154 B.C.

3.  “The War of the Sea Peoples” ended with the end of the Exodus (Read the articles “Exodus: Behind the Scenes” and “Full Circle“).

4.  The Great Harris Papyrus indicates that “the War of the Sea Peoples” ended in the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses 3, i.e. in the period 1184 – 1153 B.C. In the last year of his life, Pharaoh Ramesses 3 was sick. This coincides with the assumption that Exodus ended not later than 1154 B.C.

Picture 01

Chronology 01 2017-09-24

5.  If Moses had been born after 1274 B.C., then “the War of the Sea Peoples” would have ended after 1154 B.C., which contradicts the text of the Great Harris Papyrus.

6.  If “the War of the Sea Peoples” had ended before 1154 B.C., then Moses would have been born before 1274 B.C., i.e. before the Battle of Kadesh, i.e. before the beginning of the Egyptian slavery period, which contradicts the Torah.

The Conclusion:

Moses was born in 1274 B.C.

-  The Exodus ended in 1154 B.C.

-  The Exodus lasted for 40 years, hence it began in 1194 B.C.

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Dates of Life of the Forefathers

The next table provides references to the Torah verses, which contain information about time intervals between events that constitute a continuous-time chain.

Table 02

Chronology 02 En 2018-02-24

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Who are you, Pharaoh?

This article is about why the forefather Abraham longed namely for Canaan and about the origin of the Pharaoh who sheltered Joseph in Egypt.

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REVOLUTION No. 1

Many thousands of years ago EVERY person EVERY MINUTE thought only of one thing – where to find food. Those who did not find it died of hunger. People wandered over the Earth’s surface and searched for food, which was given to them by wild nature.

But the nature wasn’t generous. The food found at some place, as a rule, was sufficient only for one person. This did not allow people to unite in groups. Therefore, people were ALONE and were not able to interact in groups.

In the 3rd millennium BC the greatest of revolutions – agricultural – took place. The most talented people learned to CREATE, i.e. to grow food.

By the beginning of the 20th century BC, technologies for growing food spread throughout the territory of the “fertile crescent”. Therefore, it is called fertile.

Figure 01

Who are you, Pharaoh 01 En

The population of the fertile crescent was divided into two categories by the way of how they get food:

- creators of food,

- robbers of food, engaged in robbing food from nature and from creators.

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REVOLUTION No. 2

The agricultural revolution gave birth to a settled way of life. A settled way of life cause the demand to build permanent dwellings. At first, creators built houses of stones that were collected in the neighborhood:

Figure 02

Who are you, Pharaoh 02

The most industrious of the creators used to chisel stones giving them a more or less correct form to improve the stability of the walls:

Figure 03

Who are you, Pharaoh 03

In the 20th century BC there was a revolution in the field of construction technologies. Creators learned to MANUFACTURE bricks – artificial building blocks of the same size and regular rectangular shape, allowing them to erect stable high walls.

תורה, ספר בראשית

יא,ג וַיֹּאמְרוּ אִישׁ אֶל-רֵעֵהוּ, הָבָה נִלְבְּנָה לְבֵנִים, וְנִשְׂרְפָה, לִשְׂרֵפָה; וַתְּהִי לָהֶם הַלְּבֵנָה, לְאָבֶן, וְהַחֵמָר, הָיָה לָהֶם לַחֹמֶריא,ד וַיֹּאמְרוּ הָבָה נִבְנֶה-לָּנוּ עִיר, וּמִגְדָּל וְרֹאשׁוֹ בַשָּׁמַיִם, וְנַעֲשֶׂה-לָּנוּ, שֵׁםפֶּן-נָפוּץ, עַל-פְּנֵי כָל-הָאָרֶץיא,ה וַיֵּרֶד יְהוָה, לִרְאֹת אֶת-הָעִיר וְאֶת-הַמִּגְדָּל, אֲשֶׁר בָּנוּ, בְּנֵי הָאָדָםיא,ו וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה, הֵן עַם אֶחָד וְשָׂפָה אַחַת לְכֻלָּם, וְזֶה, הַחִלָּם לַעֲשׂוֹת; וְעַתָּה לֹא-יִבָּצֵר מֵהֶם, כֹּל אֲשֶׁר יָזְמוּ לַעֲשׂוֹתיא,ז הָבָה, נֵרְדָה, וְנָבְלָה שָׁם, שְׂפָתָםאֲשֶׁר לֹא יִשְׁמְעוּ, אִישׁ שְׂפַת רֵעֵהוּיא,ח וַיָּפֶץ יְהוָה אֹתָם מִשָּׁם, עַל-פְּנֵי כָל-הָאָרֶץ; וַיַּחְדְּלוּ, לִבְנֹת הָעִיריא,ט עַל-כֵּן קָרָא שְׁמָהּ, בָּבֶל, כִּי-שָׁם בָּלַל יְהוָה, שְׂפַת כָּל-הָאָרֶץ; וּמִשָּׁם הֱפִיצָם יְהוָה, עַל-פְּנֵי כָּל-הָאָרֶץ

Torah, Book 1 Genesis, Chapter 11

3 And they said one to another: ‘Come, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly.’ And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. 4 And they said: ‘Come, let us build us a city, and a tower, with its top in heaven, and let us make us a name; lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.’ 5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. 6 And the LORD said: ‘Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is what they begin to do; and now nothing will be withholden from them, which they purpose to do. 7 Come, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.’ 8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth; and they left off to build the city. 9 Therefore was the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth; and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

It seems that this episode in the Torah describes the first attempt in human history to build a tall brick building. The attempt failed – people did not find a common language, because they had not yet learned how to interact in the group, and drew apart.

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REVOLUTION No. 3

Robbers continued to roam along the expanses of the fertile crescent in search of food. But now they knew that if they did not find it, they could steal it or rob it from the creators.

Creators began to cooperate among themselves in order to jointly defend themselves against robbers and settle in groups. A leap in the mental evolution of a man took place – the ability to coordinate the actions of people united in a group was developed.

In response, robbers began to organize gangs to attack creators.

The cleverest of robbers began to offer creators a protection for defense from other robbers. Of course, they charged a fee for the protection. Obviously, they used this fee to strengthen their gang and expand the territory of influence. In this way rulers, taxes and armies appeared. At this stage of development, a man acquired one of his main qualities – the ability to group logistics.

Here it should be noted that outside the fertile crescent, people continued to wander alone around the vast expanse, picking food in the wild.

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THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE

Fertile crescent was split into many small areas, each of which was governed by the local ruler. A continuous struggle took place among the rulers to expand the spheres of influence. It was a time of great concern to the creators.

Fleeing from incessant internecine wars, Terah and his family left Ur of the Chaldees for distant places – to the north of Mesopotamia to Harran. Probably at that moment the wave of violence had not yet reached Harran.

תורה, ספר בראשית

יא,לא וַיִּקַּח תֶּרַח אֶת-אַבְרָם בְּנוֹ, וְאֶת-לוֹט בֶּן-הָרָן בֶּן-בְּנוֹ, וְאֵת שָׂרַי כַּלָּתוֹ, אֵשֶׁת אַבְרָם בְּנוֹ; וַיֵּצְאוּ אִתָּם מֵאוּר כַּשְׂדִּים, לָלֶכֶת אַרְצָה כְּנַעַן, וַיָּבֹאוּ עַד-חָרָן, וַיֵּשְׁבוּ שָׁם 

Torah, Book 1 Genesis, Chapter 11

31 And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.

Figure 04

Who are you, Pharaoh 04 En

In 1839 BC (refer to the article “Chronology of the Fathers”), the forefather Abram (at that time he had not changed his name to Abraham yet) decided to become separated from Terah and to move from Harran to Canaan.

תורה, ספר בראשית

יב,ה וַיִּקַּח אַבְרָם אֶת-שָׂרַי אִשְׁתּוֹ וְאֶת-לוֹט בֶּן-אָחִיו, וְאֶת-כָּל-רְכוּשָׁם אֲשֶׁר רָכָשׁוּ, וְאֶת-הַנֶּפֶשׁ, אֲשֶׁר-עָשׂוּ בְחָרָן; וַיֵּצְאוּ, לָלֶכֶת אַרְצָה כְּנַעַן, וַיָּבֹאוּ, אַרְצָה כְּנָעַן

 Torah, Book 1 Genesis, Chapter 11

5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.

Figure 05

Who are you, Pharaoh 05 En

Abram’s decision was caused by purely pragmatic considerations:

- firstly, a wave of internecine wars reached Harran and life there became as unbearable as it was in Ur of the Chaldees.

- secondly, there were rumors that somewhere in Canaan, life was calm and there were no wars.

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ALL AGAINST ALL

Having reached Canaan, Abram found there the same situation of enmity, as in other regions of the fertile crescent.

In the Torah, in the Book of Genesis, in Chapter 14, the story of the armed conflict is described, in which nine local kings participated – five against four. The army which won in this battle was eventually defeated by the forefather Abram and his 318 slaves. Probably, the total number of people who took part in this conflict did not exceed a thousand people. This allows us to make an assumption about the small population in Canaan at that time.

Moving to the south, Abram reached the goal of his journey – the land of the Philistines.

Figure 06

Who are you, Pharaoh 06 En

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ABIMELECH AND PHICOL

In the Philistine country, Abimelech, mentioned in three episodes in the Torah, ruled.

Episode No.1: even before Sarah’s pregnancy Abimelech was tempted by her, however, then repented and gave her back to Abraham.

Episode No.2: a few years after the birth of Yitzhak Abimelech and Abraham concluded the friendship treaty:

תורה, ספר בראשית

כא,לא עַל-כֵּן, קָרָא לַמָּקוֹם הַהוּאבְּאֵר שָׁבַעכִּי שָׁם נִשְׁבְּעוּ, שְׁנֵיהֶםכא,לב וַיִּכְרְתוּ בְרִית, בִּבְאֵר שָׁבַע; וַיָּקָם אֲבִימֶלֶךְ, וּפִיכֹל שַׂר-צְבָאוֹ, וַיָּשֻׁבוּ, אֶל-אֶרֶץ פְּלִשְׁתִּיםכא,לג וַיִּטַּע אֶשֶׁל, בִּבְאֵר שָׁבַע; וַיִּקְרָא-שָׁםבְּשֵׁם יְהוָה, אֵל עוֹלָםכא,לד וַיָּגָר אַבְרָהָם בְּאֶרֶץ פְּלִשְׁתִּים, יָמִים רַבִּים

Torah, Book 1 Genesis, Chapter 21

31 Wherefore that place was called Beer-sheba; because there they swore both of them. 32 So they made a covenant at Beer-sheba; and Avimelech rose up, and Phicol the captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines. 33 And Abraham planted a tamarisk-tree in Beer-sheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the Everlasting God. 34 And Abraham sojourned in the land of the Philistines many days.

Episode No.3: conclusion of the friendship treaty between Abimelech and Isaac, the son of Abraham.

תורה, ספר בראשית

כו,כו וַאֲבִימֶלֶךְ, הָלַךְ אֵלָיו מִגְּרָר; וַאֲחֻזַּת, מֵרֵעֵהוּ, וּפִיכֹל, שַׂר-צְבָאוֹכו,כז וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם יִצְחָק, מַדּוּעַ בָּאתֶם אֵלָי; וְאַתֶּם שְׂנֵאתֶם אֹתִי, וַתְּשַׁלְּחוּנִי מֵאִתְּכֶםכו,כח וַיֹּאמְרוּ, רָאוֹ רָאִינוּ כִּי-הָיָה יְהוָה עִמָּךְ, וַנֹּאמֶר תְּהִי נָא אָלָה בֵּינוֹתֵינוּ, בֵּינֵינוּ וּבֵינֶךָ; וְנִכְרְתָה בְרִית, עִמָּךְכו,כט אִם-תַּעֲשֵׂה עִמָּנוּ רָעָה, כַּאֲשֶׁר לֹא נְגַעֲנוּךָ, וְכַאֲשֶׁר עָשִׂינוּ עִמְּךָ רַק-טוֹב, וַנְּשַׁלֵּחֲךָ בְּשָׁלוֹם; אַתָּה עַתָּה, בְּרוּךְ יְהוָה

Torah, Book 1 Genesis, Chapter 26

26 Then Avimelech went to him from Gerar, and Ahuzzath his friend, and Phicol the captain of his host. 27 And Isaac said unto them: ‘Wherefore are ye come unto me, seeing ye hate me, and have sent me away from you?’ 28 And they said: ‘We saw plainly that the LORD was with thee; and we said: Let there now be an oath betwixt us, even betwixt us and thee, and let us make a covenant with thee; 29 that thou wilt do us no hurt, as we have not touched thee, and as we have done unto thee nothing but good, and have sent thee away in peace; thou art now the blessed of the LORD.’

 In episode No. 3, Abimelech behaves as if he is not familiar with Isaac and never heard of him, and this is despite the unforgettable events described in episodes No. 1 and No. 2 which took place more than 100 years ago.

Explanation:

- Avimelech and Phichol in episode No. 2 and Avimelech and Phichol in episode No. 3 are different people.

- Avimelech and Phichol are not names, they are forms of especially respectful address, like addressing the king – Your Majesty. In other words, the phrase “And Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the captain of his host, and returned into the land of the Philistines” would now sound like this: “And His Majesty rose up, and His Excellency the captain of His Majesty’s host, and returned to the land of the Philistines”.

The word  אֲבִימֶלֶךְ in Hebrew consists of two words: אֲבִ + מֶלֶךְ. In translation it means “Father-King”. Not just “King”, but “Father-King”!

Why did this man earn the right to be addressed by the title of Father-King?

In those troubled times, when all were at war with all, this man managed to curb the surrounding kings, extend his influence over a vast territory, and create an atmosphere of peaceful coexistence and feeling of unanimity for the population at this territory. As a token of gratitude and respect, he received the honorable nickname of father of kings = Father-King from people.

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THE PHILISTINES

As stated above, Abimelech captured a vast territory.

Capture of territory → (Hebrew) פלישה [plisha].

The captured territory → (Hebrew) פלשת [peleshet].

People living in the captured territory → (Hebrew) פלישתים [plishtim].

The word “Philistines” came in English from Hebrew through Greek:

(Hebrew) פלשתים [plishtim] → (Greek) Φιλισταίοι [philistei] → (English) Philistines.

 תורה, ספר בראשית

כא,לג וַיִּטַּע אֶשֶׁל, בִּבְאֵר שָׁבַע; וַיִּקְרָא-שָׁםבְּשֵׁם יְהוָה, אֵל עוֹלָםכא,לד וַיָּגָר אַבְרָהָם בְּאֶרֶץ פְּלִשְׁתִּים, יָמִים רַבִּים

Torah, Book 1 Genesis, Chapter 21

33 And he planted a tamarisk-tree in Beer-sheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the Everlasting God. 34 And Abraham sojourned in the land of the Philistines many days.

 This verse of the Torah tells us that Abraham reached the goal of his journey from Harran to Canaan and settled in the land of the Philistines, the only place where the peace reigned in those days.

Figure 07

Who are you, Pharaoh 07 En

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THE BEGINNING OF THE IRON AGE

There were no wars in the land of the Philistines. Previously disunited groups of the population felt like a united people. Residents were able to develop the peaceful technologies of agriculture, irrigation systems and construction. Here, for the first time in the history of mankind, the production of iron tools from ore was mastered. Ore was mined nearby – in the mountains of Edom. Owing to the high content of ore, the Edom mountains had (and have) a reddish tint, due to which they received their name: (Hebrew) אדום [adom] = red.

The Iron Age of mankind began in the mountains of Edom in the 19th century BC.

Figure 08

Who are you, Pharaoh 08

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THE HYKSOS

The following is known about the Hyksos:

- the word “Hyksos” is Greek which originated in the 6th – 5th centuries BC, archeology does not mention the way they called themselves;

- the Hyksos came to Egypt around 1750 BC;

- the Hyksos arrived in Egypt on two-wheeled chariots, armed with iron swords, daggers, helmets and shields;

- the Hyksos brought the technology of producing iron objects from ore to Egypt;

- the Torah provides details on the events that took place in Canaan in the mid-18th century BC, but there is no evidence of the movement of any military formations through Canaan towards Egypt;

-in the records of Pharaoh Ahmose I it is mentioned that the Hyksos, ousted from Egypt in 1550 BC, fled to the town of Sharuhen, which was about 20 km away to the south of the city of Gaza. Why did they escape to Sharuhen? The answer is simple: they fled to their home.

Conclusion:

- the Hyksos are the Philistines who brought the technology of iron producing to Egypt;

- the Hyksos are the Philistines from Sharuhen, so on the way to Egypt they did not need to cross Canaan.

Figure 09

Who are you, Pharaoh 09 En

The information that the people of Sharuhen were Egyptian pharaohs is also confirmed by the fact that local Arab residents even today call Sharuhen by the name تل الفارعة [Tel el-Far’a] = Pharaoh’s Hill. But no one told them about Hyksos!

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JOSEPH IN EGYPT

One more important sign that the Hyksos were the Philistines is the story of Joseph’s relationship with Pharaoh.

Since acquaintance between Abraham and Abimelech in 1815 BC (see the article “Chronology of the Fathers”) and before the meeting of Joseph with Pharaoh in 1631 BC, almost 200 years of successful coexistence of Abraham’s family and his descendants with the Philistines passed. This explains the warm attitude of Pharaoh who was the Philistine towards Joseph and his family.

תורה, ספר בראשית

מז,ה וַיֹּאמֶר פַּרְעֹה, אֶל-יוֹסֵף לֵאמֹראָבִיךָ וְאַחֶיךָ, בָּאוּ אֵלֶיךָמז,ו אֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם, לְפָנֶיךָ הִואבְּמֵיטַב הָאָרֶץ, הוֹשֵׁב אֶת-אָבִיךָ וְאֶת-אַחֶיךָיֵשְׁבוּ, בְּאֶרֶץ גֹּשֶׁן

Torah, book Genesis, Chapter 47

5 And Pharaoh spoke unto Joseph, saying: ‘Thy father and thy brethren are come unto thee; 6 the land of Egypt is before thee; in the best of the land make thy father and thy brethren to dwell; in the land of Goshen let them dwell.

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THE PHILISTINES AMONG THE PEOPLES OF THE SEA

After 430 years after the events described above, the people of Israel left Egypt. Peoples of the Sea rendered him military assistance in this action (see the article “Exodus: Behind the Scenes”). In the records of Pharaoh Ramesses IV (see the Great Harris Papyrus), five names of Peoples of the Sea are mentioned. Among them is the name P-L-SH-T = (Hebrew) פלשת [peleshet], i.e. the Philistines.

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THE PHILISTINES AND THE JEWS

The friendship of the Jews and the Philistines from the moment of the acquaintance of the forefather of Abraham with Abimelech nearly in 1815 BC and by the time of the invasion of the Jews into the Promised Land in 1154 BC (see the article “Chronology of the Fathers”) totaled around 660 years.

After the Jews’ invasion into the Promised Land, these relations developed in different ways – there were periods of friendship and tension. The main reason for the contradictions was that the Jews became monotheists for 40 years in Sinai, and the Philistines, having mixed with the Achaeans, remained pagans (see the article “Where is Hercules buried?” and “Full Circle”).

 


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Where Is Hercules Buried?

It was in the 11th century B.C. The Philistines, friends and enemies at the same time, were living next to the Israelites (See the articles “Exodus: Behind the Scenes” and “Full Circle“). The Philistines took the Ark of the Covenant from the Israelites during the battle, but after a while, they gave it back (Prophets, 1 Samuel 5:1- 6:18). The relationships between the Israelites and the Philistines, from time to time, were full of tension, but without those hatred and intolerance, as, for example, between the Israel and Amalek.

The ambiguity of these relationships is clearly seen in the history of life of a national hero named (Heb) שמשון [Shimshon] = (Eng) Samson. Book of Judges, Chapters 13, 14, 15, 16 – here in 5 – 10 minutes we can get acquainted with the biography of Samson the Hero.

Samson lived in the second half of the 11th century B.C., i.e. several years before King David appeared on the historical scene.

The story tells us that Samson was born in the village of (Heb) צרעה [tsor’a], that he loved Philistine women, had friendly relationships with Philistine men, and felt himself comfortable in the Philistine cities. The story explicitly mentions such Philistine cities as תמנה [timna], עזה [gaza], and אשקלון [ashkelon], as well as the Jewish cities, such as חברון [hebron], צרעה [tsor’a], and אשתאול [eshtaol].

Timna was located on the bank of the Soreq stream. They lived first Samson’s love. Today this archaeological site called Tel Batash.

Samson 00 En

Gaza, Ashkelon, Hebron, Tsor’a, and Eshtaol can be nowadays found in the same places where they were located that time. From other sources we know about such big Philistine cities as אשדוד [ashdod], עקרון [ekron], and גת [gath].

The border between the regions settled by the Philistines and the Jews was quite clearly defined (see the map). But this border was of no importance to Samson, and he traveled freely throughout the whole territory.

 samson-01-en

The story tells that דלילה [Delilah] betrayed Samson by depriving him of his power and by delivering him into the hands of the Philistines princes. They blinded Samson and brought him to Gaza – far inside the Philistine territory and away from the places where Samson’s relatives could have appeared to rescue him. We can assume that this tragedy of betrayal occurred in one of the Philistine cities, located not far from the Jewish settlements, for example, in Gath.

Below we will tell you why it is important.

ABOUT THE CITY OF RACAL

Among the cities of that time, there was the city of רכל [Rahal or Rakal], mentioned in Prophets, 1 Samuel, Chapter 30:

נביאים, ספר שמואל

א ל,כו וַיָּבֹא דָוִד אֶל-צִקְלַג, וַיְשַׁלַּח מֵהַשָּׁלָל לְזִקְנֵי יְהוּדָה לְרֵעֵהוּ לֵאמֹר:  הִנֵּה לָכֶם  {ר} בְּרָכָה, מִשְּׁלַל אֹיְבֵי יְהוָה.  {ס}  א ל,כז לַאֲשֶׁר בְּבֵית-אֵל  {ס}  וְלַאֲשֶׁר  {ר} בְּרָמוֹת-נֶגֶב,  {ס}  וְלַאֲשֶׁר בְּיַתִּר.  {ס}  א ל,כח וְלַאֲשֶׁר  {ר} בַּעֲרֹעֵר  {ס}  וְלַאֲשֶׁר בְּשִׂפְמוֹת,  {ס}  וְלַאֲשֶׁר  {ר} בְּאֶשְׁתְּמֹעַ.  {ס}  א ל,כט וְלַאֲשֶׁר בְּרָכָל,  {ס}  וְלַאֲשֶׁר  {ר} בְּעָרֵי הַיְּרַחְמְאֵלִי,  {ס}  וְלַאֲשֶׁר, בְּעָרֵי הַקֵּינִי.  {ס}  א ל,ל וְלַאֲשֶׁר  {ר} בְּחָרְמָה  {ס}  וְלַאֲשֶׁר בְּבוֹר-עָשָׁן,  {ס}  וְלַאֲשֶׁר  {ר} בַּעֲתָךְ.  {ס}  א ל,לא וְלַאֲשֶׁר, בְּחֶבְרוֹן; וּלְכָל-הַמְּקֹמוֹת אֲשֶׁר-  {ר} הִתְהַלֶּךְ-שָׁם דָּוִד, הוּא וַאֲנָשָׁיו.  {פ}

 

Prophets, 1 Samuel, Chapter 30

26 When David came to Ziklag, he sent of the spoil to the elders of Judah, even to his friends, saying, “Behold, a present for you of the spoil of the enemies of Yahweh.” 27 He sent it to those who were in Bethel, and to those who were in Ramoth of the South, and to those who were in Jattir, 28 and to those who were in Aroer, and to those who were in Siphmoth, and to those who were in Eshtemoa, 29 and to those who were in Racal, and to those who were in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, and to those who were in the cities of the Kenites, 30 and to those who were in Hormah, and to those who were in Borashan, and to those who were in Athach, 31 and to those who were in Hebron, and to all the places where David himself and his men used to stay.

 

Unfortunately, this city is not mentioned again anywhere else in the Jewish Scriptures. But if you look in the Septuaginta Seniorum (The Translation of the Seventy Elders), you will find the city of Racal there, but under another name:

samson-02-gr-en

 

This fact allows us to assume that גת [gath] and רכל [racal] are two names of the same city.

Anyway, in memory of the place associated with the outrageous treachery of Delilah, or perhaps for other reasons, the Jews gave Samson the nickname of הרכלי שמשון [shimshon herakli] = (Eng) Samson of Racal. The story of Samson passed down from generation to generation, and in the end of the 8th century B.C., the Jews escaping from the invasion of the Assyrian king Tiglath-Pileser III (See the article “Full Circle“), brought it with them to Greece. In Greece, the legends of Samson acquired new details, and his nickname got the ending “-s”, typical for the Greek adjectives:

(Heb) הרכלי [herakli] → (Greek) Ἡρακλῆς [heraklis] → (Lat) Herculēs → (Eng) Hercules or Heracles.

Some researchers of the ancient literature note that the legends about the Labors of Hercules repeat in many respects the bible parable of the Deeds of Samson. And what is so surprising here? They are the stories about the same person.

The events occurred in the city of Racal have remained in memory of the Jewish people. In modern Hebrew, there is a verb originated from this root, i.e. לרכל [lerahel] = to gossip, to slander, to libel.

The root רכל [rakal], with the help of the Greek language, entered other languages, for example:

– (Eng) racaille = villain, scum, riffraff, underworld.

– (Rus) ракалья [rakalya] – (the meaning of these words is the same as in English)
The biblical story of Samson ends with the following words:

נביאים, ספר שופטים

טז,ל וַיֹּאמֶר שִׁמְשׁוֹן, תָּמוֹת נַפְשִׁי עִם-פְּלִשְׁתִּים, וַיֵּט בְּכֹחַ, וַיִּפֹּל הַבַּיִת עַל-הַסְּרָנִים וְעַל-כָּל-הָעָם אֲשֶׁר-בּוֹ; וַיִּהְיוּ הַמֵּתִים, אֲשֶׁר הֵמִית בְּמוֹתוֹ, רַבִּים, מֵאֲשֶׁר הֵמִית בְּחַיָּיו.  טז,לא וַיֵּרְדוּ אֶחָיו וְכָל-בֵּית אָבִיהוּ, וַיִּשְׂאוּ אֹתוֹ, וַיַּעֲלוּ וַיִּקְבְּרוּ אוֹתוֹ בֵּין צָרְעָה וּבֵין אֶשְׁתָּאֹל, בְּקֶבֶר מָנוֹחַ אָבִיו; וְהוּא שָׁפַט אֶת-יִשְׂרָאֵל, עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה.  {פ}

 

Prophets, Judges, Chapters 13 – 16

30 Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” He bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell on the lords, and on all the people who were therein. So the dead that he killed at his death were more than those who he killed in his life. 31 Then his brothers and all the house of his father came down, and took him, and brought him up, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the burial site of Manoah his father. He judged Israel twenty years.

 

The tomb of Samson and of his father Manoah is located on that very place specified in the Book of Judges, i.e. between Tsor’a and Eshtaol, and everyone can visit it.

 samson-03-en

ALONG THE WAY OF GOLIATH

The activity of Samson caused some tension in relationships between the Israelites and the Philistines, which, after a while, led to the battle between David and Goliath.

Goliath came from Gath. Here are two quotations from the 1 Samuel:

 

נביאים, ספר שמואל

א יז,ד וַיֵּצֵא אִישׁ-הַבֵּנַיִם מִמַּחֲנוֹת פְּלִשְׁתִּים, גָּלְיָת שְׁמוֹ מִגַּת:  גָּבְהוֹ, שֵׁשׁ אַמּוֹת וָזָרֶת. 

. . .

א יז,כג וְהוּא מְדַבֵּר עִמָּם, וְהִנֵּה אִישׁ הַבֵּנַיִם עוֹלֶה גָּלְיָת הַפְּלִשְׁתִּי שְׁמוֹ מִגַּת ממערות (מִמַּעַרְכוֹת) פְּלִשְׁתִּים, וַיְדַבֵּר, כַּדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה; וַיִּשְׁמַע, דָּוִד.

 

Prophets, 1 Samuel, Chapter 30

4 There went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.

. . .

23 As he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the ranks of the Philistines, and spoke according to the same words: and David heard them.

 

The city of Gath was located a few hundred meters from the stream of האלה [ha’ela]. Nowadays this place is called as צופית תל [tel tsofit] = sunbird hill. Everyone, who is not lazy, can go up from the ruins of the city of Gath about 10 km upstream to the east and visit the place of the historical duel – ha-Ela valley. And it is very possible that he will be going along the same way as Goliath was walking to meet his death.

samson-04-en


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