Answering questions from Johnathan regarding the angel of the Lord.

En Hakkore

Well-known member
It might give the reader and author hope for the future...
Only if it conceivably refers to their future... that is, within their lifetime or at least within that of their children or grandchildren --- and this is precisely my argument concerning the intent of prophetic texts. They are written to engender hope about an end to whatever crisis or suffering the author, their audience and/or their loved ones are currently experiencing. If these prophecies were understood to refer to something centuries from now, it addresses nothing and is pointless. Many humans rarely muster much concern for those outside of their own little bubble, a space that seems to be shrinking to the self as of late, much less for people hundreds of years from now whom they'll never meet...

as well as instruction and comfort for us.
This could take two forms... only one of which I could endorse. The first, which invokes the idea of long-term fulfillment, is typically the appropriation of a prophecy intended for a people in the distant past and assuming it refers to the contemporary historical context. In terms of particularly Christian prophecy, this has generally taken the form of being certain of Jesus' imminent return from the first century to this century and every one in between, sometimes with specific predictions, all of which have failed to materialize. The second form, one I could endorse, is the appropriation of these texts as offering more general instruction and comfort... crises do pass and acute suffering is not usually lifelong (though for some it could be). The biblical texts as inspiring rather than inspired...

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 

GeneZ

Well-known member
Show me one that says it doesn't?
There will be no need to say so in that case. Why should we be told angels are not souls when it tells us enough times that they are spirits.

Spirit + body = angel.

Angels do not need to be born again to know what is going on because they were created spiritual beings. For example... even demons who Jesus cast out of people knew who Jesus was. They are spiritual in nature by default.

Satan understands spiritual truths. Man who is not born again (not having a human spirit) can not understand spiritual things because he is only soul and body.

grace and peace .........
 
Last edited:

GeneZ

Well-known member
Show me one that says it doesn't?
Jesus did not go about casting out evil souls..... Did he?

Nor are angels ever called souls.

Note the contrast between the rebellious angels and the souls of Noah's family.

Angels and men? Differentiated plainly!

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God,
being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, by whom also
He went and
preached to the spirits in prison
,
who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine
long suffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few,
that is,
eight souls, were saved through water."

1 Peter 3:18-20
 
Last edited:

Caroljeen

Well-known member
Only if it conceivably refers to their future... that is, within their lifetime or at least within that of their children or grandchildren --- and this is precisely my argument concerning the intent of prophetic texts. They are written to engender hope about an end to whatever crisis or suffering the author, their audience and/or their loved ones are currently experiencing. If these prophecies were understood to refer to something centuries from now, it addresses nothing and is pointless. Many humans rarely muster much concern for those outside of their own little bubble, a space that seems to be shrinking to the self as of late, much less for people hundreds of years from now whom they'll never meet...
I think you are missing the bigger picture something important about prophecy and faith.

It took over 400 years to fulfill the prophetic promise through Moses and Joshua that God gave to Abraham. The interesting thing is that Abraham believed the promise without seeing it happen. His heart was focused on something more important. He didn't despair. He didn't see the wait as pointless.

Heb 11:10 For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God

Heb 11: 13-16 All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better homeland, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them.

Heb 11: 39 Yet all these, though they were commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better so that they would not, apart from us, be made perfect.

Another interesting thing is that God blessed and showed grace on those who had to wait. The found favor in the eyes the strangers around them. I'm thinking of Daniel and the 3 Hebrew boys that were cast in the fiery furnace while they lived as slaves. God moved upon Cyrus and he gave the Israelite leaders provision to go and build the temple again in Jerusalem. God didn't desert his people while they waited.

Then there are the prophecies of the Messiah. That was a much longer wait but it turned the world upside down.

There are prophecies that are given to specific people that happen in their lifetime. I'm waiting for one currently to happen.
Prophecies aren't pointless. They give people hope. My hope is that Christ will return in my lifetime but I know that death is not the end just as Abraham and all of the other people of faith. Even if I die before Christ come back to the earth, to be with Him is even better. I don't think future prophecies are useless. God is giving us a picture of something better to come. There is an end to this depraved world.


This could take two forms... only one of which I could endorse. The first, which invokes the idea of long-term fulfillment, is typically the appropriation of a prophecy intended for a people in the distant past and assuming it refers to the contemporary historical context. In terms of particularly Christian prophecy, this has generally taken the form of being certain of Jesus' imminent return from the first century to this century and every one in between, sometimes with specific predictions, all of which have failed to materialize. The second form, one I could endorse, is the appropriation of these texts as offering more general instruction and comfort... crises do pass and acute suffering is not usually lifelong (though for some it could be). The biblical texts as inspiring rather than inspired...
Okay, we disagree again.

At least we agree that the angel of the Lord is only an angel. Do you believe angels exist?
 

En Hakkore

Well-known member
I think you are missing the bigger picture something important about prophecy and faith.

It took over 400 years to fulfill the prophetic promise through Moses and Joshua that God gave to Abraham. The interesting thing is that Abraham believed the promise without seeing it happen. His heart was focused on something more important. He didn't despair. He didn't see the wait as pointless.

Heb 11:10 For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God

Heb 11: 13-16 All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better homeland, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them.

Heb 11: 39 Yet all these, though they were commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better so that they would not, apart from us, be made perfect.

Another interesting thing is that God blessed and showed grace on those who had to wait. The found favor in the eyes the strangers around them. I'm thinking of Daniel and the 3 Hebrew boys that were cast in the fiery furnace while they lived as slaves. God moved upon Cyrus and he gave the Israelite leaders provision to go and build the temple again in Jerusalem. God didn't desert his people while they waited.

Then there are the prophecies of the Messiah. That was a much longer wait but it turned the world upside down.

There are prophecies that are given to specific people that happen in their lifetime. I'm waiting for one currently to happen.
Prophecies aren't pointless. They give people hope. My hope is that Christ will return in my lifetime but I know that death is not the end just as Abraham and all of the other people of faith. Even if I die before Christ come back to the earth, to be with Him is even better. I don't think future prophecies are useless. God is giving us a picture of something better to come. There is an end to this depraved world.



Okay, we disagree again.
And we'll have to agree to disagree... I considered a point-by-point response to your post, but decided against it as we're touching on a subject that is, from what you've written above, a personal one --- I'm happy to debate the interpretation of texts and introduce critical approaches to the Bible, even if they might be challenging, but topics specifically revolving around one's dreams and expectations for their life and a hoped-for afterlife are not areas I'm comfortable subjecting to criticism. I appreciate you sharing...

Do you believe angels exist?
No, I don't.

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 

Caroljeen

Well-known member
And we'll have to agree to disagree... I considered a point-by-point response to your post, but decided against it as we're touching on a subject that is, from what you've written above, a personal one --- I'm happy to debate the interpretation of texts and introduce critical approaches to the Bible, even if they might be challenging, but topics specifically revolving around one's dreams and expectations for their life and a hoped-for afterlife are not areas I'm comfortable subjecting to criticism. I appreciate you sharing...

Kind regards,
Jonathan
I don't have a problem with having my beliefs challenged. I respect your thoughtfulness and truly kind regards...the motives for your restraint. When someone has a strong argument (and I'm sure you do) and holds back from presenting it, it speaks volumes about their character. Many Christians (at least on the internet) are not able to behave in such a manner.
May the Lord richly bless you.
 

GeneZ

Well-known member
I don't have a problem with having my beliefs challenged. I respect your thoughtfulness and truly kind regards...the motives for your restraint. When someone has a strong argument (and I'm sure you do) and holds back from presenting it, it speaks volumes about their character. Many Christians (at least on the internet) are not able to behave in such a manner.
May the Lord richly bless you.
What truth have you learned so far?
 

Gary Mac

Well-known member
Your still not getting it. Everything I've been posting is to show that Jesus Christ is "NOT" an angel. The Hebrew word for angel is "malak." Tell me, how is that word defined?

I'm a Trinitarian and have been for 59 years, so don't tell me I'm confused. I've been on carm for almost 23 years and people know me and will vouch for me.

And no, Jesus is "NOT" the person of the Holy Spirit who happens to be the third person of the Godhead. Here is my question for you? Who physically appeard to Abraham and swore the oath that he multiply Abrahm's decendants and never break his covenant? Was it the Father, Son or Holy Spirit?

IN HIM,
james
Angels are only messengers, Jesus was Gods messenger, Abraham was Gods messenger, Moses was Gods messenger, and so Arte all today who God has manifest Himself in for we walk as He walks in His same light with the same message as Jesus and these others had.

And these do not come with wings and a robe LOL. No more than a devil comes in a red suit with horns and a tail.

The kingdom fo God doesnt come with observation, it is within you. Luke 17:20-021.
 

En Hakkore

Well-known member
How can you claim to believe the scriptures if you don't believe angels exist?
I don't recall claiming that I "believe the scriptures" (whatever that's supposed to mean). What I did claim in the post before last is that "[t]he biblical texts [are] inspiring rather than inspired." In other words, I reject divine inspiration and, as a corollary, inerrancy... I view the bible as an anthology of ancient texts written by numerous people stretching from the late second millennium BCE through the early second century CE as they wrestled with their place in the world and the presence of suffering in light of their beliefs in god(s) against the backdrop of successive dominating empires (Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, the Hellenistic kings and finally Rome). These writings have inspired and continue to inspire hope in others experiencing similar circumstances on small or large scales... they culminate in the person of Jesus, whose ethic of love for one's neighbor and care for the poor and oppressed informs my praxis-based form of Christianity.

Who destroyed Sodom?
Nobody did... the destruction of a place called Sodom, along with Gomorrah and other "cities of the plain", narrated in Genesis 19:24-26 and ending with the remark that Lot's wife was transformed into a pillar of salt, is an etiological tale to explain the presence of natural salt formations around the southern shore of the Dead Sea.

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 

Caroljeen

Well-known member
Nobody did... the destruction of a place called Sodom, along with Gomorrah and other "cities of the plain", narrated in Genesis 19:24-26 and ending with the remark that Lot's wife was transformed into a pillar of salt, is an etiological tale to explain the presence of natural salt formations around the southern shore of the Dead Sea.
That's quite a tale!
 

cjab

Well-known member
Nobody did... the destruction of a place called Sodom, along with Gomorrah and other "cities of the plain", narrated in Genesis 19:24-26 and ending with the remark that Lot's wife was transformed into a pillar of salt, is an etiological tale to explain the presence of natural salt formations around the southern shore of the Dead Sea.
I think on this one you need to get up to date on modern research. No one is seriously doubting that there was a thriving civilization on the banks of the Dead sea that was suddenly brought to an end by a catastrophic natural event. Thus I detect a degree of anti-biblical bias - doubting something just because it's written in the bible. This isn't good. I don't know where your prejudice is coming from, but the bible contains an awful lot of accurate historical record: just the names in the bible don't necessarily correspond with contemporary names always.

 

GeneZ

Well-known member
At least we agree that the angel of the Lord is only an angel. Do you believe angels exist?


Even the Pharisees believed in angels. The Sadducees did not.

(The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, and that there are neither angels nor spirits,
but the Pharisees believe all these things.) Acts 23:8​

The Sadducees were rationalists.... Academically they were gifted. They showed interest in "religious matters."
 
Last edited:

Caroljeen

Well-known member
Even the Pharisees believed in angels. The Sadducees did not.

(The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, and that there are neither angels nor spirits, but the Pharisees believe all these things.)
Acts 23:8

The Sadducees were rationalists.... Academically they were gifted
To be academically gifted and knowing what is true are two different things. 1 Cor 1:16-31
 

GeneZ

Well-known member
To be academically gifted and knowing what is true are two different things. 1 Cor 1:16-31
That speaks of secular wisdom vs Divine viewpoint. The Sadducees were not working within the framework of secular

The Sadducees were involved with "religion." Not the secular.

Many of the Sadducees were in the sect of the high priests.


Like we see some who are academically adept with Scripture, but fail to grasp the life the words bring to those who are spiritually adept.
The academically adept will something show an interest in the Bible to get a foot in the door to try to influence others in a manner that runs contrary to the Spirit. Yet, claiming to be of God's power.
 

Caroljeen

Well-known member
That speaks of secular wisdom vs Divine viewpoint. The Sadducees were not working within the framework of secular

The Sadducees were involved with "religion." Not the secular.

Many of the Sadducees were in the sect of the high priests.


Like we see some who are academically adept with Scripture, but fail to grasp the life the words bring to those who are spiritually adept.
The academically adept will something show an interest in the Bible to get a foot in the door to try to influence others in a manner that runs contrary to the Spirit. Yet, claiming to be of God's power.
The Sadducees were trying to have Jesus killed and succeeded. They were also the ones who were against Paul. A weird bunch.
 

GeneZ

Well-known member
The Sadducees were trying to have Jesus killed and succeeded. They were also the ones who were against Paul. A weird bunch.
They also had minds that were adept and using Scripture to counter truth.... that is even weirder.

grace and peace ..........
 
Last edited:

En Hakkore

Well-known member
I think on this one you need to get up to date on modern research. No one is seriously doubting that there was a thriving civilization on the banks of the Dead sea that was suddenly brought to an end by a catastrophic natural event. Thus I detect a degree of anti-biblical bias - doubting something just because it's written in the bible. This isn't good. I don't know where your prejudice is coming from, but the bible contains an awful lot of accurate historical record: just the names in the bible don't necessarily correspond with contemporary names always.
You may wish to read both my post and your own source(s) a little closer, as well as orient yourself better to the geography of the ancient Levant. First, my comments were focused on the etiology of the salt formations on the southern shore of the Dead Sea rather than on the larger question of the region's (however we might define its contours) sustainability for human habitation. Second, the title of the article you linked to in The Times of Israel (hardly a reputable academic source) is predictably sensationalized and misleading to the credulous reader eager for anything that might seem to corroborate biblical stories that are otherwise lacking historical verification: "Evidence of Sodom? Meteor blast cause of biblical destruction, say scientists" --- that sounds impressive, but on closer examination is problematic on several levels.

The paper cited in the article --- Phillip J. Silvia et al., "The 3.7kaBP Middle Ghor Event: Catastrophic Termination of a Bronze Age Civilization" --- was presented at the annual meeting of ASOR in 2018 and suggests no connection whatsoever between the authors' findings and the biblical story of Sodom's destruction. Two of the authors (Silvia and Steven Collins), however, did make this connection in an earlier jointly-written conference paper titled "The Civilization-Ending 3.7KYrBP Event: Archaeological Data, Sample Analyses, and Biblical Implications", which recycles Collins' equation of the biblical Sodom with Tall el-Hammam... an overview of this idea was published in the Biblical Archaeology Review (39.2 [2013] 32-41) and a monograph-length treatment in Discovering the City of Sodom (Howard Books, 2012). This book is not peer-reviewed... indeed, the sensationalized subtitle "The Fascinating, True Account of the Discovery of the Old Testament's Most Infamous City" teases the popular audience for whom Collins is peddling this theory.

As for Silvia, he is co-author of an article that was recently published in a peer-reviewed venue --- Bunch et al., "A Tunguska sized airburst destroyed Tall el‑Hammam, a Middle Bronze Age city in the Jordan Valley near the Dead Sea" Scientific Reports 11 (2021) --- in which the authors speculate this alleged cosmic catastrophe may have given rise to the Genesis account. Refutations are already beginning to appear --- ex. Steven J. Jaret and R. Scott Harris, "No mineralogic or geochemical evidence of impact at Tall el-Hammam, a Middle Bronze Age city in the Jordan Valley near the Dead Sea" Scientific Reports 12 (2022) --- and will no doubt continue in the coming years so I would implore you to keep your resources both current and reputable (ie. academic peer-reviewed).

Now, assuming for the sake of argument that Silvia, Collins and company will emerge unscathed from the mounting criticisms of the scientific aspects of their position (and I doubt they will in light of an embarrassing correction article that Bunch et al. pubhlished this past February where they admitted, concerning several of their photographic figures, to a "level of manipulation [that] was inappropriate"), there remains numerous problems with their equation of Tall el-Hammam with biblical Sodom. For those who may not be familiar with this site, it is in the Middle Ghor, which Silvia et al. define as "the 25 km diameter circular plain immediately north of the Dead Sea with the Jordan River flowing through the middle from north-to-south" (pg. 2) --- Collins points to Gen 13:3, 10-11 and claims that the "plain of the Jordan" is situated directly east of Bethel and Ai, thus only on the northern shore of the Dead Sea, however this ignores explicit reference to Zoar in conjunction with this geographical area:

Lot looked about him and saw how well watered was the whole plain of the Jordan, all of it -- this was before the LORD had destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah -- all the way to Zoar, like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt. (Gen 13:10)

The author claims that the plain (Hebrew: ככר) stretches "all the way to Zoar", which is situated on the southern shores of the Dead Sea... thus the crescent-shaped region spans not simply the northern shore, as required by Collins' theory, but the northern, eastern and southern shores --- and pertinent for present purposes is that Sodom is situated in close proximity to Zoar:

When [the angels] had brought [Lot, his wife and their daughters] outside, one said, "Flee for your life; do not look back or stop anywhere in the Plain; flee to the hills, or else you will be consumed." And Lot said to them, "Oh, no, my lords; your servant has found favor with you, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life; but I cannot flee to the hills, for fear the disaster will overtake me and I die. Look, that city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one. Let me escape there -- is it not a little one? -- and my life will be saved!" He said to him, "Very well, I grant you this favor too, and will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken. Hurry, escape there, for I can do nothing until you arrive there." Therefore the city was called Zoar. The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar. (Gen 19:17-23)

Predictably, Collins evades any explanation for this incongruence in his BAR article... whether he provides one in his monograph is something I'll leave to you (or others) to document if you (or they) happen to have it (a non-academic book such as this is not available at my university and I don't waste money on popular books). Even if one were to ad hoc posit a second town named Zoar in proximity to a northern-shore area Sodom, the narrative is still incompatible with the effects of the blast proposed (underlined emphasis mine):

the high-heat, explosive 3.7kaBP Middle Ghor Event..., in an instant, devastated approximately 500km2 immediately north of the Dead Sea, not only wiping out 100% of the MBA cities and towns, but also stripping agricultural soils from once-fertile fields and covering the eastern Middle Ghor with a super-heated brine of Dead Sea anhydride salts pushed over the landscape by the Event’s frontal shockwaves. (Silvia et al., pg. 1)

That there was a small city in close proximity to Sodom that escaped this total devastation of the surrounding area would be a blatantly self-contradictory assertion... indeed, the authors of the article I cited make no connection while Bunch et al. keep their claims linking this alleged event to the destruction of Sodom vague so they don't have to explore these incongruent aspects; Collins also outright ignores the problem (at least in his BAR article). Instead of making erroneous assumptions about the depth of my research and hurling misplaced allegations of "anti-biblical bias", I recommend you focus on honing your own research skills and reflect on what role bias plays in your embrace of such shoddy claims as I've unpicked above...

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 

cjab

Well-known member
You may wish to read both my post and your own source(s) a little closer, as well as orient yourself better to the geography of the ancient Levant. First, my comments were focused on the etiology of the salt formations on the southern shore of the Dead Sea rather than on the larger question of the region's (however we might define its contours) sustainability for human habitation. Second, the title of the article you linked to in The Times of Israel (hardly a reputable academic source) is predictably sensationalized and misleading to the credulous reader eager for anything that might seem to corroborate biblical stories that are otherwise lacking historical verification: "Evidence of Sodom? Meteor blast cause of biblical destruction, say scientists" --- that sounds impressive, but on closer examination is problematic on several levels.
Sure the meteor variation is speculative. There are other theories especially including volcanic and seismological events contextual to the description of the area as containing tar pits Gen 14:10, and widespread evidence of the event being associated with intense heat. These are addressed by David Rohl in Lost Testament &etc, and by many others.

The point of quoting the article was to show that many scientists accept large scale desctruction and transformation as occuring over a wide area in the vicinity of the Dead Sea circa the period of Abraham, and not to identify any one theory as supervening any other.


The paper cited in the article --- Phillip J. Silvia et al., "The 3.7kaBP Middle Ghor Event: Catastrophic Termination of a Bronze Age Civilization" --- was presented at the annual meeting of ASOR in 2018 and suggests no connection whatsoever between the authors' findings and the biblical story of Sodom's destruction. ....
I don't accept that the biblical Sodom was located north of the Dead Sea. However the events associated with the middle part of the Dead sea may have had ramifications at the northern end also, but to a lesser extent, such that the remains of the buildings survived. However Sodom etc would have been turned into ash. This is reflected in the large quantities of ash and sulphur that permeate the western Dead sea region.

As for Silvia, he is co-author of an article that was recently published in a peer-reviewed venue --- Bunch et al., "A Tunguska sized airburst destroyed Tall el‑Hammam, a Middle Bronze Age city in the Jordan Valley near the Dead Sea" Scientific Reports 11 (2021) --- in which the authors speculate this alleged cosmic catastrophe may have given rise to the Genesis account. Refutations are already beginning to appear --- ex. Steven J. Jaret and R. Scott Harris, "No mineralogic or geochemical evidence of impact at Tall el-Hammam, a Middle Bronze Age city in the Jordan Valley near the Dead Sea" Scientific Reports 12 (2022) --- and will no doubt continue in the coming years so I would implore you to keep your resources both current and reputable (ie. academic peer-reviewed).

Now, assuming for the sake of argument that Silvia, Collins and company will emerge unscathed from the mounting criticisms of the scientific....
I really don't care about these gentlemen.

Lot looked about him and saw how well watered was the whole plain of the Jordan, all of it -- this was before the LORD had destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah -- all the way to Zoar, like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt. (Gen 13:10)

The author claims that the plain (Hebrew: ככר) stretches "all the way to Zoar", which is situated on the southern shores of the Dead Sea... thus the crescent-shaped region spans not simply the northern shore, as required by Collins' theory, but the northern, eastern and southern shores --- and pertinent for present purposes is that Sodom is situated in close proximity to Zoar:

When [the angels] had brought [Lot, his wife and their daughters] outside, one said, "Flee for your life; do not look back or stop anywhere in the Plain; flee to the hills, or else you will be consumed." And Lot said to them, "Oh, no, my lords; your servant has found favor with you, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life; but I cannot flee to the hills, for fear the disaster will overtake me and I die. Look, that city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one. Let me escape there -- is it not a little one? -- and my life will be saved!" He said to him, "Very well, I grant you this favor too, and will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken. Hurry, escape there, for I can do nothing until you arrive there." Therefore the city was called Zoar. The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar. (Gen 19:17-23)

Predictably, Collins evades any explanation for this incongruence in his BAR article... whether he provides one in his monograph is something I'll leave to you (or others) to document if you (or they) happen to have it (a non-academic book such as this is not available at my university and I don't waste money on popular books). Even if one were to ad hoc posit a second town named Zoar in proximity to a northern-shore area Sodom, the narrative is still incompatible with the effects of the blast proposed (underlined emphasis mine):
.
.

As I said above, I wasn't intending to espouse this theory I was already aware of, i.e. of Sodom being located north of the Dead sea. I was just pointing to scientists accepting that cataclysmic events must have occured in that general region, which opposes your theory of biblical events being invented wholesale and for effect. In fact the cataclysm was likely between the mid point and the north of the Dead sea, and so didn't reach Zoar, but conceivably did reach the northern parts of the Dead sea and Jordan valley.

_____________________
The ELBA tablets
"In 1964, Dr. Paolo Matthiae, professor of Near East archaeology at the University of Rome began to excavate Tell Mardikh in north-western Syria. It soon became clear that they were excavating the ruins of the ancient city of Ebla. In 1975, as the dig progressed down to Early Bronze Age levels, a remarkable find was made in the form of nearly 20,000 clay tablets which constituted the royal archives of the city. These tablets date back to the middle of the 3rd millenium BC, almost 4,500 years ago. They are written in Sumerian wedge-shaped cuneiform script which is the world’s oldest known written language. Deciphering these tablets, Professor Pettinato, also of the University of Rome, found the language used to be what he called Old Canaanite’ even though the script was cuneiform Sumerian. This very ancient language is closer in vocabulary and grammar to biblical Hebrew than any other Canaanite dialect’, including Ugaritic; this therefore gives evidence as to the age of the Hebrew language.

This mass of information from Ebla will take years to digest but already it is very exciting. The city was a large one of 260,000 inhabitants; it traded widely over the known world at that time. A flourishing civilisation existed with many skilled craftsmen in metals, textiles, ceramics, and woodwork. It existed 1,000 years before David and Solomon and was destroyed by the Akkadians in around 1600 BC.

To date, only about one third of the Ebla tablets have been translated. Already, however, Eber has been named as one of its kings. Eber was the great-great-great-great-grandfather of Abraham (Genesis 10:21). Could this Eber, King of Ebla, be the same Eber of the Bible? Other names found, later to be used by biblical men, include Abraham, Esau, Saul, Michael, David, Israel and Ishmael. The supreme god of Ebla was called Yah’, a shortened version of Yahweh’; so, some residual knowledge of the one true God was left at this time before Abraham. Another god was called El’, short for Elohim’, used later by the Hebrews as the generic name for God.

Tablet 1860 names the five cities of Genesis 14:2 in the same order, i.e. Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim and Zoar. Up until the discovery of the Ebla tablets, the existence of these biblical cities was questioned; yet, here they are mentioned as trade partners of Ebla. This record predates the great catastrophy involving Lot when Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed.

Also included in the archive are very early Canaanite creation and flood stories which very closely resemble that of the Bible. This is not surprising as these people would have descended from the generation after the flood and so would have had a common history of these events!

These tablets provide much evidence of early life in Syro-Palestine and give a rich background to the lives of Abraham and the Patriarchs. It will be truly amazing once the excavations are completed and the tablets fully deciphered."
 
Last edited:
Top