B. The Bible says Ishmael lived in Paran and Shur
- Gal 4:25 says that Mt. Sinai is in Arabia, where Ishmael lived.
- "Ishmael will be a wild donkey of a man, His hand will be against everyone, And everyone's hand will be against him; And he will live to the east of all his brothers."Genesis 16:12
- "Ishmael lived in the wilderness of Paran, and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt." Genesis 21:21
- "Ishmaelites settled from Havilah to Shur which is east of Egypt as one goes toward Assyria; he settled in defiance of all his relatives." Genesis 25:18
- The Ishmaelites are grouped with other transjordan tribes: "The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites; Gebal and Ammon and Amalek" Psalm 83:6
- "Ishmael settled from Havilah to Shur which is east of Egypt as one goes toward Assyria" Gen 25:18
- "So Saul defeated the Amalekites, from Havilah as you go to Shur, which is east of Egypt. " 1 Samuel 15:7
- "the Amalekites ... were the inhabitants of the land from ancient times, as you come to Shur even as far as the land of Egypt." 1 Samuel 27:8
- Detailed outline on the Amalekites.
|Gen 25:18||Ishmael settled||from Havilah to Shur||which is east of Egypt as one goes toward Assyria|
|1 Samuel 15:7||Amalekites||from Havilah as you go to Shur||which is east of Egypt|
|1 Samuel 27:8||Amalekites from ancient times||as you come to Shur||even as far as the land of Egypt|
- Midianites and Ishmaelites are used interchangeably in the story of selling Joseph to Egypt: Gen 37:25-28,36; 39:1; Judg 8:22-24.
- Midian was Abraham's son through Keturah Gen 25:2; Ishmael was Abraham's son through Hagar. Although originally different sons of Abraham, the Midianites and Ishmaelites melded into a single group of people from the same region.
- "Then they sat down to eat a meal. And as they raised their eyes and looked, behold, a caravan of Ishmaelites was coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing aromatic gum and balm and myrrh, on their way to bring them down to Egypt. Judah said to his brothers, "What profit is it for us to kill our brother and cover up his blood? "Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh." And his brothers listened to him. Then some Midianite traders passed by, so they pulled him up and lifted Joseph out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. Thus they brought Joseph into Egypt. " Genesis 37:25-28
- "Meanwhile, the Midianites sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, Pharaoh's officer, the captain of the bodyguard." Genesis 37:36
- "Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an Egyptian officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the bodyguard, bought him from the Ishmaelites, who had taken him down there. " Genesis 39:1
- The Midianites were also called Ishmaelites who oppressed Israel 7 years and Gideon beat them in battle: "Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, "Rule over us, both you and your son, also your son's son, for you have delivered us from the hand of Midian." But Gideon said to them, "I will not rule over you, nor shall my son rule over you; the Lord shall rule over you." Yet Gideon said to them, "I would request of you, that each of you give me an earring from his spoil." (For they had gold earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.) " Judges 8:22-24
- Kedar was the son of Ishmael, who intermarried with the Midianites and lived south east of the Dead Sea. "These are their genealogies: the firstborn of Ishmael was Nebaioth, then Kedar" 1 Chronicles 1:29
- Ishmael settled in Shur and the wilderness of Paran: Gen 16:12; 21:21; 25:18
F. Ishmaelites lived transjordan, not in the modern Sinai Peninsula:
- Paul not only said that Mt. Sinai is in Arabia, he also equated the location of Mt. Sinai as being in the traditional land of the children of Hagar: The Ishmaelites. The allegory of Galatians 4 draws a geographical parallel between specific nations of known territories. Everybody, Jew and Greek, that read what Paul wrote understood that the land of the Ishmaelites was Transjordan and in North Saudi Arabia AND NOT in the Sinai Peninsula. At the time Joseph was sold into slavery, the Ishmaelites lived in Midan with the Midianites. Everyone knows that the Midianites lived in North Saudi Arabia AND NOT in the Sinai Peninsula.
- In fact, the teaching of Paul is so clear, that we could locate Mt. Sinai by saying: Mount Sinai is located in the land where Ishmael lived: Midian
F. Ishmaelites lived transjordan, not in the modern Sinai Peninsula: Gen 16:12
|"He will be a wild donkey of a man, His hand will be against everyone, And everyone's hand will be against him; And he will live to the east of all his brothers." Gen 16:12|
- The two flights Hagar started from the same basic area and ended up at the same place: Flight one from Hebron and flight two from Gerar in the land of Abimelech, king of the Philistines. The flight path heads towards the same "Beer-lahai-rio" spring of water in the wilderness of Paran east of the southern Arabah valley.
- Twice Hagar fled from Sarah. First in Gen 16 where she ran to a spring of water called "Beer-lahai-rio" that was in the wilderness on the way to Shur between Kadesh and Bered. God told Hagar to return to Sarah and submit to her. The second flight of Hagar is about 13 years later after Isaac was born and Sarah banished Hagar from Gerar in the land of the Philistines.
- We know that at the time of the Exodus, Edomites were transjordan. Only after the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities 722 - 586 BC, Edom moved into Judah's Territory. Since Kadesh was on the border of Edom, this places Kadesh transjordan. This is where everyone before 1881 AD was looking for Kadesh. Josephus said Kadesh Barnea was at Petra.
- The first flight from Hebron: Gen 16: Hagar ran straight towards the way to Shur, which starts a Ezion Geber (modern Elat) and goes south down the east side of the Gulf of Aqaba. We don't know for sure where this spring or Bered are located. However, between Kadesh Barnea and the way to Shur give us the general area. Since both Kadesh Barnea and the Wilderness of Shur are transjordan, we can safely place the "Beer-lahai-rio" spring somewhere within the Wilderness of Paran.
- After Hagar returned to submit to Sarah from Beer-lahai-rio, it seems that Abraham packs up and moves to this very spring of water. "Now Abraham journeyed from there toward the land of the Negev, and settled between Kadesh and Shur; then he sojourned in Gerar. " Genesis 20:1 The text says that Abraham settled between Kadesh Barnea and Shur. This is transjordan and in the same basic area as the Beer-lahai-rio spring. Perhaps Hagar told Abraham about it. Abraham packs up and moves again, this time back to the coast to Gerar where the Philistines where Abimelech was king. Gerar was Abraham's home for "many days".
- The second flight Gerar: Gen 21: Hagar was wandering in the wilderness south of Beersheba when God opened her eyes to a dug well of water. The Bible then says that "He lived in the wilderness of Paran" Genesis 21:21.
- What is amazing is that both times, Hagar ran the same basic direction and in both texts, she ended up in the same place: the wilderness of Paran. Probably at the very spring of water she discovered and brought Abraham back to see. She probably returned to the Beer-lahai-rio and raised Ishmael near by in the wilderness of Paran, south of Kadesh Barnea, north of Shur.
- The Muslims, of course, re-write history and say that the story of Hagar and Ishmael at the well of Gen 21, was not in near Beersheba, but at the Zam Zam well in Mecca. They also re-write history and say that Abraham sacrificed Ishmael on the altar, not Isaac. Of course this is all begging the question on whether what the Bible is saying is true on this point or not. Who wrote the book of Genesis? According to Jewish/Christian scholars, nobody knows. As for Allah-- Allah simply means God in Arabic, as even Arab Christians use this word to describe God. For evidence that the Pre Islamic Arab Jews and Christians used Allah to describe God see the wikipedia article "Allah". As for these similarities between Prophet Muhammad and other religious figures, this is a silly and subjective argument, as these leaders and the Prophet Muhammad were of course different in a lot of ways as well. Also this arguement of similarites between Muhammad and Akhentan actually hurts Judaism and Christinaity, so the author isn't consistent (for example see below for examples of similiarites between Judaism/Christianity and Akhentean.
- Gen 16:2 says, "he will live to the east of all his brothers". This places the territory of Ishmael transjordan and not in the modern Sinai Peninsula. The modern Sinai is west of Israel, not east.
- Other Bible verses tell us that Ishmael lived transjordan between the Gulf of Aqaba and Babylon: Gen 25:18; 16:12; 21:21. Havilah is a land near Babylon connected with the Garden of Eden: "The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold." Genesis 2:11
- Bible maps currently place the Wilderness of Paran, where Ishmael grew up and lived, within the promised land, east of the wadi el-Arish, the border. This is because Ein el-Qudeirat is where they think mistakenly Kadesh Barnea is located. Since Kadesh Barnea is in the wilderness of Paran, and since Kadesh is also 20 km inside the wadi el-Arish within Judean territory, that makes the wilderness of Paran also inside the land belonging to the tribe of Judah. Overlooking how ridiculous it is to place Kadesh Barnea at Ein el-Qudeirat since this means Israel spent 38 years "in the wilderness", inside the promised land, but they didn't know it, we will now deal with the problem of placing the Ishmaelites within the promised land.
- The proof that the Ishmaelites lived entirely transjordan, is the fact that during the conquest, the Hebrews never fought or battled them.
- If the Ishmaelites did live in the territory of Judah, where current maps place the wilderness of Paran, why did Joshua, David or Solomon never run into them? In fact, after entering the promised land, the Ishmaelites are only mentioned four times in the Bible. One of these four times, the Ishmaelites are equated to be the same as Midianites who lived in Modern Saudi Arabia: Judges 8:24.
- This also shows that the Ishmaelites did not live in the north section of the modern Sinai Peninsula, as would be expected for those who place the Wildernesses of Paran and Shur in that area.
- Gal 4:25 says that Mt. Sinai is in Arabia, where Ishmael lived and Ishmael lived in Shur.
- Remember that the Ishmaelites became one tribe with the Midianites who lived in the wilderness of Shur at modern Al Bad.
- Although the Ishmaelites were nomads who roamed wide areas, their home turn has always been associated with a transjordan homeland, east of the Gulf of Aqaba and Dead Sea.
- Although the Ishmaelites traveled extensively between Babylon and Egypt, there is no evidence that the Ishmaelites would ever consider the modern Sinai Peninsula their land.
- The Modern Sinai peninsula was always controlled by Egypt in the Old Testament.
- MIDAN IS IN ARABIA (SEE PICTURE BELOW):
- The traditional location on most Bible maps for the Wilderness of Shur is due east of the modern Suez Canal. Traditional location on most Bible maps for the wilderness of Paran is west of Beersheba and Ein el-Qudeirat. Problem is, these two areas have never been considered home turf for the Ishmaelites. The fact they were nomads doesn't change the fact that their traditional territory has always been transjordan.
- The wilderness of Paran is located beside Ein el-Qudeirat (current choice for Kadesh Barnea), yet both are within the promised land. This means that when Israel thought they spent 38 years in the wilderness, they were actually in the promised land all along. Since the wilderness of Paran is where the Ishmaelites called their homeland, we should find some conflict with them during the conquest, but we don't.
- Of course the entire modern Sinai Peninsula is part of Egypt and under Egyptian control. The eastern border of Egypt is the wadi El-Arish. Ishmaelites would certainly not attempt to claim this as a home land. This same wadi El-Arish (river of Egypt) was also the historic border of the promised land between Egypt and Israel: Gen 15:18.
- We have definitively proven that Mt. Sinai is in modern Saudi Arabia by associating the Wilderness of Shur with the homeland of the Ishmaelites.
- We have the witness of archeology that is in agreement that the Ishmaelite home territory was transjordan. (Travelling through the Egyptian controlled modern Sinai Peninsula, does not constitute home territory any more than when a salesman walks into a store, owns the store. The Ishmaelites traded with the Egyptians within Egyptian territory.)
- We have the witness of the Old Testament that the Ishmaelites lived in the land of the Midianites, in modern Saudi Arabia, since the two tribes are used interchangeably in several different texts.
- The two flights of Hagar (Gen 16; Gen 21) headed towards modern Saudi Arabia. Both times Hagar ran towards the land where she would raise Ishmael. Find the place of Hagar and Ishmael and you have located Mt. Sinai: Gal 4:25.
- The Ishmaelites and Midianites intermarried to become one people when Joseph was traded to the Ishmaelites, 430 years before the Exodus. Everyone knows that the Midianites lived in Midian in modern Saudi Arabia. In fact, Jethro lived in Midian and this is where Moses tended his flocks. A simple reading of the text confirms that Moses was near Midian when he was tending the sheep and saw the burning bush at Mt. Sinai (Jebel Al-Lawz)
- We have the witness of the New Testament in Gal 4:25 flat out stating that Mt. Sinai is in Arabia... where the Ishmaelites lived.
G. Ishmaelites absent during the conquest:
H. Ishmaelites, Shur, Midian and Mt. Sinai: Gal 4:25
Excluded Exodus Routes: Nuweiba Beech, Bitter lakes, Gulf of Suez, Mt. Musa, Mt. Karkom, Ein el-Qudeirat.
Paul said Mt. Sinai was in Saudi Arabia: Gal 4:25
The teaching of Paul is so clear, that we could locate Mt. Sinai by saying: Mount Sinai is located in the land where Ishmael lived: MidianArabia in the Bible is Modern Saudi Arabia:
- Arabia in the Bible is always, without exception, the land of Midian. (Modern Saudi Arabia).
- Arabia is associated with Kedar. Kedar is called "men of the east" Jer 49:28.
- Kedar was the son of Ishmael, who intermarried with the Midianites and lived south east of the Dead Sea. "These are their genealogies: the firstborn of Ishmael was Nebaioth, then Kedar" 1 Chronicles 1:29
- Ishmael settled in Shur and the wilderness of Paran: Gen 16:12; 21:21; 25:18
- Ezek 27:21 clearly shows that Arabia meant Saudi Arabia: "Arabia and all the princes of Kedar". Kedar was
- Isaiah describes Arabia as including Kedar (Ishmael's son): "The oracle about Arabia. In the thickets of Arabia you must spend the night, O caravans of Dedanites. ... all the splendor of Kedar will terminate" Isaiah 21:13, 16
- In describing the swath of land from Babylon (Hazor) to Saudi Arabia (Kedar) Jeremiah 49:28 tells Hazor (Babylon) to invade Kedar (Saudi Arabia) calling them "men of the east". "Concerning Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon defeated. Thus says the Lord, "Arise, go up to Kedar And devastate the men of the east. " Jeremiah 49:28
- Therefore Arabia = Ishmaelites, Midianites, Kedarites, Wildernesses of Shur and Paran, Midian
- The Ishmaelites, Midianites, Kedarites never lived west of the Arabah valley in the Negev.
Commentaries on Gal 4:25: Mt. Sinai in Arabia
- Commentary on Galatians, Joseph Agar Beet, 1885 AD, Gal 4:25, p135
- Galatians, A Continental Commentary, Luhrmann, Dieter, 1992 AD, Gal 4:25
- Galatians, Matera, Frank J., 1992 AD, Gal 4:25
- The People's New Testament, B.W. Johnson, 1891 AD, Gal 4:25
- Galatians, Mike Willis,1994 AD, Gal 4:25
- The Jerome Biblical commentary, Brown, R. E., Fitzmyer, J. A., & Murphy, R. E. 1968 AD, Gal 4:25
- New American Commentary, George, T., 1994 AD, Gal 4:25
- The IVP Bible background commentary, Keener, C. S., 1993 AD, Gal 4:25
- "For Sinai is a mountain in Arabia. It calls attention to the geographical position of Sinai, giving definiteness to our conception of the great mountain and silently reminding us that it was the home of Hagar's children. ... For, that Mount Sinai is in the land of Hagar's children, whether or not the mountain bore her name, reveals in clear light the appropriateness of Paul's allegory." (Commentary on Galatians, Joseph Agar Beet, 1885 AD, Gal 4:25, p135)
- "What is actually new in Paul's argument lies in the first clause. The manuscript tradition of the text shows the problems that early copyists and translators had with this argument. Paul's intention here is to equate Hagar with Mount Sinai in Arabia. How does he arrive at this? The reader is first reminded that Paul himself was in Arabia (cf. 1:17) and will therefore credit him with a certain local familiarity. Arabia is indicated both by the name Hagar as well as by the location of Mount Sinai. Hagar is, to be sure, an Egyptian according to Gen. 16:1, but the region that is later accorded to her son Ishmael and his offspring is to be found in Arabia (cf. Gen. 25:6, 18). There one can also find Hagar as the name of a locality (cf. 1 Chron. 5:10, 19-20; Ps. 83:6), and this name may be preserved today in the place named Chegra. In the vicinity of this modern city of Chegra, however, to which the Hagar/Ishmael traditions seem to be related, is also the possible location (according to the geographic concepts of the Old Testament) of Mount Sinai, on which Moses received the law. Not until around the fourth century C.E. was it located on the peninsula that is known to us as Sinai. The writers of "the five books of Moses" seem to identify the "reed sea" with the Gulf of Aqaba, not with the Red Sea, and to have imagined Mount Sinai in the mountains that one can find in today's atlases south of the city of Tabuk in extreme northwest Saudi Arabia, where the city of Chegra also lies. The only question is whether the mountains actually bore the name Hagar from that city. That, however, is what Paul seems to assert here, for that is where the logic of his argument seems to rest. Paul is apparently referring to information that he acquired during his stay in Arabia (cf. 1:17). After the rationale for equating Hagar with Mount Sinai, the allegorical explanation now goes further, saying that Hagar therefore corresponds to the present Jerusalem because-and here Paul harks back again to 4:1-7-the present Jerusalem is in slavery just as Hagar and her children were." (Galatians, A Continental Commentary, Luhrmann, Dieter, 1992 AD, Gal 4:25)
- "for Hagar is a mountain in Arabia (it); for Mount Sinai is in Arabia (S, C, G). C. K. Barrett ("The Allegory of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar," 163-64) notes that "a decisive consideration in favor of the long text is that the omission of Hagar leaves a bare piece of geographical information of little interest to the readers or relevance to the context." In the Greek text, Hagar is governed by the neuter article to (literally, "the Hagar") which is not translated in English. The article indicates that it is not Hagar the person that Paul has in mind but the word "Hagar" which is in the text; for this reason Hagar is placed in quotation marks. Paul may have associated Hagar with Mount Sinai because Sinai is located in Arabia, the land of Hagar's descendants through Ishmael. See Ps 83:6 which speaks of the "Hagrites." It is less likely that Paul is dependent upon the linguistic similarity between the Arabic word hajar ("rock" or "cliff") and certain place names of the Sinai peninsula. (Galatians, Matera, Frank J., 1992 AD, Gal 4:25)
- "For Agar is Mount Sinai. Represents Sinai. This Mount Sinai is in Arabia, the very home of Ishmael and his race. Some also add that one name of the mountain is Hagar, but this is not certain." (The People's New Testament, B.W. Johnson, 1891 AD, Gal 4:25)
- For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia. The condition of the text at this point is rather uncertain. Some manuscripts have (a) de Hagar Sina, (b) some gar Hagar Sina, (c) some de Sina, and (d) others gar Sina. The points at issue are (a) whether the word Hagar should be included or omitted and (b) whether the clause should be introduced by gar or de. The major uncial texts are divided between the first and third readings and the oldest papyrus text has the second reading. Hence, there is a good bit of uncertainty regarding exactly how this should read. The problem is caused by the meaning of the phrase being dubious; the scribes probably emended the text to make the sense of the passage clearer. Another suggestion is that this phrase is a gloss transferred from the margin of the text, a not very likely possibility because of the uncertainty of its meaning. Two explanations of this verse are worthy of our attention. These two positions are summarized for us as follows: So far as can be determined from the rather uncertain text, the equating of Hagar with Sinai is suggested either by the location of Sinai in Arabia, the land of Ishmael and his progeny, or by the linguistic similarity of an Arabian word hajar (rock or cliff), with which certain place names on the Sinaitic peninsula seem to be related (Theological Dictionary New Testament, 1:56). The two positions then are as follows: (1) Paul is arguing that the word Hagar sounds like an Arabian term used to refer to a mountain in the Sinai peninsula; (2) Paul is arguing that Sinai is located in the land possessed by the descendants of Ishmael. In arguing against the first interpretation, Lightfoot seems correct in charging that it is not likely that Paul would have expected the Greek-speaking Galatians to have understood his meaning if he were arguing that the word Hagar sounds like hagar in Arabian speech. Secondly, the proof that hagar was ever used to refer to Mt. Sinai is rather uncertain. The evidences that have been cited are Chrysostom in the fourth century and a Bohemian traveler of the year 1598 (Lightfoot 195). Neither is evidence of what was current in Paul's day. The weakness of these two arguments is sufficient reason for rejecting this explanation. The other interpretation simply has Paul further identifying who Hagar represents in the allegory. To Hagar (this Hagar) identifies Hagar, not as the woman, but as the Hagar of the allegory. His argument is that Mt. Sinai is located in Arabia, the land inherited by the descendants of Ishmael and outside the limits of Canaan, the land of promise. This ties Mt. Sinai and the giving of the Law to the side of Ishmael rather than to Isaac. And answereth to Jerusalem which now is. The word answereth means "to stand or march in the same row with ... hence to stand over against, be parallel with." The word was used to refer to a file of soldiers. It shows that Mt. Sinai stands on the side of Ishmael and not on the side of Isaac. (Galatians, Mike Willis,1994 AD, Gal 4:25)
- ""one [covenant coming] from Mount Sinai..., that is Hagar; but Mount Sinai lies in Arabia, yet it corresponds to the present Jerusalem": This is the reading of the oldest Pauline manuscript. (P46) and it is supported by several others. Another well attested reading is: "Now Hagar means Mt. Sinai in Arabia." In either case, wishing to emphasize that the slavery the Law introduced was the condition of the rejected son of Abraham, Paul identifies Hagar with the Sinai pact and the "present Jerusalem." Verse 25a is a geographical detail explaining how Hagar, although connected with a holy place outside of the Promised Land, is yet equated with the "present Jerusalem." Geographically, Hagar represents a place in Arabia, but even so she stands for enslavement and so corresponds to Jerusalem. But why does Paul mention Arabia at all? possibly because Mt. Sinai is in Arabia, which is Ishmaelite territory: he thus associates the Sinai pact with the eponymous patriarch of Arabian tribes (see Gn 25:12-18; Ps 82:7). He thus suggests that the Law itself stems from a situation extrinsic to the promised Land and to the real descendants of Abraham. Paul's Jewish colleagues would not have been happy with this allegory. (The Jerome Biblical commentary, Brown, R. E., Fitzmyer, J. A., & Murphy, R. E. 1968 AD, Gal 4:25)
- "In this case the actual meaning of Paul's typology is more evident than the historical referent that lies behind it. On what basis could Paul equate Hagar with Mount Sinai, and why did he make the seemingly gratuitous allusion to Arabia? After all, Paul was not giving a geography lesson or writing a travel guide for visitors to the Holy Land. Some have pointed to the similarity in sound between the name Hagar and a similar Semitic word meaning "rock" or "crag." It is more likely, however, that Paul was here reflecting a certain geographical orientation acquired during his earlier sojourn in Arabia (cf. 1:17). According to Gen 25 (vv. 6, 18), Hagar and Ishmael were expelled to "the land of the East," that is, to the region later known as Arabia. The name Hagar also appears in other Old Testament texts (cf. 1 Cron 5:10, 19-20; Ps 83:6) to describe the geographical locality south of the Dead Sea and north of the Arabian peninsula. The word "Hagar" itself is still preserved in the name of the modern city of Chegra, located in what is today the extreme northwestern section of Saudi Arabia. According to certain ancient traditions, the mountain range near this vicinity was believed to be the site of Mount Sinai, where Moses received the law. Assuming that Paul had a certain local familiarity with this region and was cognizant of the popular traditions linking both the expulsion of Hagar and the giving of the law to this particular region, it is not surprising that he would have found a certain typological congruence in the identification of Hagar and Mount Sinai. By emphasizing that Mount Sinai is in Arabia, the land of the Ishmaelites, Paul was preparing his readers for the dramatic reversal he was about to make in the received interpretation of the Sarah-Hagar analogy." (New American Commentary, George, T., 1994 AD, Gal 4:25)
- For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia (mount Sinai was then called Agar by the Arabians) (Matthew Henry, Gal 4:25)
- "Arabia" included Mount Sinai, south of Judea, as well as the northward area mentioned in 1:17. The Nabataean Arabs were viewed as Ishmaelites, descendants of Hagar, in Paul's day, thus making the connection clearer to ancient readers familiar with eastern Mediterranean geography. (The IVP Bible background commentary, Keener, C. S., 1993 AD, Gal 4:25)
|An Interview with Frank Moore Cross, Israelite Origins, Bible Review, Aug 1992HS: Where is Midian?|
FMC: Midian proper bordered Edom on the south and probably occupied part of the area that became southern Edom in what is now southern Transjordan. It also included the northwestern corner of the Hejaz; it is a land of formidable mountains as well as desert.
HS: In Saudi Arabia?
FMC: Yes. It is in the northwestern border area of what is now Saudi Arabia. I prefer to refer to it by the biblical term "Midian." Incidentally the Saudis will not permit excavation in this area despite efforts that Peter Parr and I conducted some years ago on behalf of the American Schools of Oriental Research and the British School of Archaeology.
HS: Isn't Midian traditionally placed in Sinai?
FMC: I should say rather that Sinai is placed in Midian.
HS: Are you saying that all scholars agree that Midian is south of the Jordanian-Saudi border?
FMC: I cannot say categorically all, but the consensus is that ancient Midian was south of Eilat on the Saudi side. Note too that tradition holds that the Midianites controlled routes north through Edom and Moab very much like the later Nabateans, and that Midian in Israel's earliest poetry is associated with Edom, Mt. Seir and Teman.
The notion that the "mountain of God" called Sinai and Horeb was located in what we now call the Sinai Peninsula has no older tradition supporting it than Byzantine times. It is one of the many holy places created for pilgrims in the Byzantine period.
HS: In the fourth century?
HS: So you would place Sinai in what is today Saudi Arabia?
FMC: You haven't forgotten your skills in cross- (or Cross-) examination. Yes, in the northwestern corner of Saudi Arabia, ancient Midian. There is new evidence favoring this identification. In the late 1960s and 1970s when Israel controlled the Sinai Peninsula, especially in the period shortly before it was returned to Egypt, the peninsula was explored systematically and intensely by archaeologists. What they found for the 13th to 12th centuries B.C.E.,b the era of Moses and Israel's entry into Canaan, was an archaeological blank save for Egyptian mining sites at Serabit el-Khadem and Timna (see photos of artifacts from Serabit el-Khadem and Timna) near Eilat. There was no evidence of settled occupation to be found. This proved true even at the site generally identified with Kadesh-Barnea ('Ein Qudeirat). It was not occupied until the tenth century B.C.E at the earliest, and its fortress was constructed only in the ninth century.c
On the other hand, recent surveys of Midian have produced surprising discoveries of a developed civilization in precisely the period in question, the end of the Late Bronze Age and the beginning of the Iron Age, the 13th to 12th centuries.3 At Qurayyah archaeologists discovered a major fortified citadel, a walled village and extensive irrigation works (see photo of citadel at Qurayyah). Characteristic pottery called Midianite ware—usually called Hejaz ware in Saudi journals—radiates out from the northern Hejaz into southern Transjordan and sites near Eilat, notably Timna. Extraordinarily enough, it is absent from the Sinai. In short we have a blank Sinai and a thriving culture in Midian in this era.
HS: Do you have any guess as to what mountain might be Mt. Sinai?
FMC: I really don't. There are several enormous mountains in what is now northwestern Saudi Arabia. Jebel el-Lawz is the highest of the mountains in Midian—8,465 feet—higher than any mountain in the Sinai Peninsula; but biblical Mt. Sinai need not be the highest of mountains. There is some reason to search for it in southern Edom, which was Midianite terrain before the expansion of the Edomites south. Archaic poetry in the Bible describes Yahweh as coming from Edom. For example, in Judges 5:1-31, the oldest of the biblical narrative songs (late 12th century B.C.E.), we read:
"When Thou Yahweh went forth from Seir, When Thou didst march forth from the highlands of Edom, Earth shook, mountains shuddered; Before Yahweh, Lord of Sinai, Before Yahweh God of Israel" (Judges 4-5).
And in the Blessing of Moses (Deuteronomy 33:2-29), which is also very old, we read:
"Yahweh from Sinai came, He beamed forth from Seir upon us, He shone from Mount Paran" (Deuteronomy 33:2).
The name "Seir" refers of course to a mountainous district of Edom. The following verses are found in Habakkuk 3:3-7 (one of the oldest and most primitive hymns in the Hebrew Bible):12
"Eloah (God) came from Teman,
The Holy One from Mount Paran.
His majesty covered heaven,
His praise filled the earth,
He shone like a destroying fire...
He stood and he shook earth,
He looked and startled nations.
Ancient mountains were shattered,
Eternal hills collapsed,
Eternal orbits were destroyed.
The tents of Kushan shook,
Tent curtains of the land of Midian."
I would argue that these archaic songs that locate Yahweh's movements in the southeast—in Edom/Seir/Teman/Midian/Cushan—are our most reliable evidence for locating Sinai/Horeb, the mountain of God. The search for origins, and reconstruction of history from material that arises in oral tradition, is always a precarious task. The singers of narrative poems—I speak of them as Epic sources—follow certain traditional patterns that include mythological elements. They do not contain what we would call history in the modern sense of that term. We are dealing with epic, which does not fit easily into either the genres of fiction or of history.
How can the historian ferret out valid historical memory in such traditional narrative? Perhaps he cannot. I am inclined to think, however, that when we can isolate old traditions that have no social function in later Israel, or actually flout later orthodoxy, that such traditions may preserve authentic historical memories, memories too fixed in archaic poetry to be revised out or suppressed.
(Israelite Origins, An Interview with Frank Moore Cross, Bible Review, Aug 1992)
"Although the heartland of the Arab nations was what is known today as Saudi Arabia, the Romans gave the name Arabia to a province of their empire which lay south and east of Palestine, in the corner of the Mediterranean world between Syria and Egypt. It comprehended the Negev, southern Syria, all of Jordan, and northwest Saudi Arabia." ... "when Augustus added to his realm the former kingdom of Judaea as a province under equestrian procurators, there remained in the circuit of imperial provinces along the desert's edge only the space extending across the Sinai, from Egypt into and encompassing the Negev, together with the entire territory of Transjordan, from the Syrian Hawran to the Gulf of 'Aqaba. It was this substantial tract that Trajan annexed in A. D. 106 under the name of the province of Arabia. This was Roman Arabia, as distinct from the land of incense and perfume in the south of the [Arabian] peninsula, which was known as the kingdom of Saba, or, to the Romans, Arabia Felix." (G. W. Bowersock, Roman Arabia, 1983, p 1-2)
Josephus in refuting Apion, actually hurts those who attempt to make Paul's statement of Mt. Sinai being in Arabia. (Gal 4:25) Notice that Apion did not believe that the modern Sinai Peninsula was part of Arabia: "Moses went up to a mountain that lay between Egypt and Arabia, which was called Sinai" (Josephus, Against Apion 2-3)Four false arguments. Even if these false arguments were true, Midian, where Mt. Al-Lawz is located, has always been Arabia.
- "Arabia" in Paul's thinking included the "Sinai" peninsula.
- In 50 AD. the general Roman population understood that Arabia included "Sinai" peninsula.
- Writing to many churches in Roman Galatia, Paul used modern (50 AD) Roman definitions of Arabia, not Jewish.
- Moses never used the word Arabia, so Paul had no choice to but use modern Roman definitions of Arabia.
- "besides that from the traders and the wares of the merchants and all the kings of the Arabs and the governors of the country. " 1 Kings 10:15
- "besides that which the traders and merchants brought; and all the kings of Arabia and the governors of the country brought gold and silver to Solomon." 2 Chronicles 9:14
- "The oracle about Arabia. In the thickets of Arabia you must spend the night, O caravans of Dedanites. " Isaiah 21:13
- "Dedan, Tema, Buz and all who cut the corners of their hair, and all the kings of Arabia and all the kings of the foreign people who dwell in the desert" Jeremiah 25:23-24
- "Dedan traded with you in saddlecloths for riding. Arabia and all the princes of Kedar, they were your customers for lambs, rams and goats; for these they were your customers. " Ezekiel 27:21
- "Then the Lord stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines and the Arabs who bordered the Ethiopians; " 2 Chronicles 21:16
The Allegory in fact uses three words Moses never heard of:
- Jerusalem: first used in 1400 BC in Josh 10:1
- Jew: First used in 532 BC in 2 Kings 25:25
- Arabia, Arab: First used in 1000 BC in 2 Chronicles 9:14; 1 Kings 10:15
|Saudi Arabia (Midian)||Sinai Peninsula|
|Arabia had many kings:|
2 Chron. 9:14; Jer. 25:24
|Paid Tax to Solomon:|
2 Chronicles 9:14
|Silver and gold mines:|
2 Chron. 9:14-15
|Yes||No (copper, turquoise)|
|Arabia is where Hagar and Ishmael lived:|
Genesis 16:12; 21:21; 25:18
|Arabia is where Kedar, Tema and Dedan lived:|
Isa 21:13; Jer 25:23-24; Ezek 27:21
|Arabs bordered the Ethiopians:|
2 Chronicles 21:16
Akhenaten's status as a religious revolutionary has led to much speculation, ranging from bona fide scholarly hypotheses to the non-academic fringetheories. Although many believe that he introduced monotheism, others see Akhenaten as a practitioner of an Aten monolatry, as he did not actively deny the existence of other gods; he simply refrained from worshipping any but the Aten while expecting the people to worship not Aten but him.
Akhenaten and Judeo-Christian-Islamic monotheism
The idea of Akhenaten as the pioneer of a monotheistic religion that later became Judaism has been considered by various scholars.One of the first to mention this was Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, in his book Moses and Monotheism. Freud argued that Moses had been an Atenist priest forced to leave Egypt with his followers after Akhenaten's death. Freud argued that Akhenaten was striving to promote monotheism, something that the biblical Moses was able to achieve. Following his book, the concept entered popular consciousness and serious research.
Other scholars and mainstream Egyptologists point out that there are direct connections between early Judaism and other Semitic religious traditions. They also state that two of the three principal Judaic terms for God, Yahweh, Elohim (morphologically plural, lit. "gods"), and Adonai (lit. "my lord" ) have a connection to Aten. Freud commented on the connection between Adonai, the Egyptian Aten and the Syrian divine name of Adonis as a primeval unity of language between the factions; in this he was following the argument of Egyptologist Arthur Weigall. Jan Assmann's opinion is that 'Aten' and 'Adonai' are not linguistically related. Although there are similaries between Akhenaten monotheistic experiment and the biblical story of Moses that have been explored in mainstream culture they include, the idea that Akhenaten is the real character for the mythical Moses, Ahmarna the place as a literary misinterpretation of God raining an unknown fruit called manna while the Jews were wandering in the desert and the concept of a deity directing a group to a promised place which is the main theme in both stories.
Ahmed Osman has claimed that Akhenaten's maternal grandfather Yuya was the same person as the Biblical Joseph. Yuya held the title "Overseer of the Cattle of Min at Akhmin" during his life.
He likely belonged to the local nobility of Akhmim. Egyptologists hold this view because Yuya had strong connections to the city of Akhmim in Upper Egypt. This makes it unlikely that he was a foreigner since most Asiatic settlers tended to cloister around the Nile Delta region of Lower Egypt. Some Egyptologists, however, give him a Mitannian origin. It is widely accepted that there are strong similarities between Akhenaten's Great Hymn to the Aten and the Biblical Psalm 104, though this form is found widespread in ancient Near Eastern hymnology both before and after the period and whether this implies a direct influence or a common literary convention remains in dispute.
Others have likened some aspects of Akhenaten's relationship with the Aten to the relationship, in Christian tradition, of Jesus Christ with God - particularly in interpretations that emphasise a more monotheistic interpretation of Atenism than henotheistic. Donald B. Redford has noted that some have viewed Akhenaten as a harbinger of Jesus. "After all, Akhenaten did call himself the son of the sole god: 'Thine only son that came forth from thy body'." James Henry Breasted likened him to Jesus, Arthur Weigall saw him as a failed precursor of Christ and Thomas Mannsaw him "as right on the way and yet not the right one for the way".
Redford argued that while Akhenaten called himself the son of the Sun-Disc and acted as the chief mediator between god and creation, kings for thousands of years before Akhenaten's time had claimed the same relationship and priestly role. However Akhenaton's case may be different through the emphasis placed on the heavenly father and son relationship. Akhenaten described himself as "thy son who came forth from thy limbs", "thy child", "the eternal son that came forth from the Sun-Disc", and "thine only son that came forth from thy body". The close relationship between father and son is such that only the king truly knows the heart of "his father", and in return his father listens to his son's prayers. He is his father's image on earth and as Akhenaten is king on earth his father is king in heaven. As high priest, prophet, king and divine he claimed the central position in the new religious system. Since only he knew his father's mind and will, Akhenaten alone could interpret that will for all mankind with true teaching coming only from him.
Before much of the archaeological evidence from Thebes and from Tell el-Amarna became available, wishful thinking sometimes turned Akhenaten into a humane teacher of the true God, a mentor of Moses, a Christlike figure, a philosopher before his time. But these imaginary creatures are now fading away one by one as the historical reality gradually emerges. There is little or no evidence to support the notion that Akhenaten was a progenitor of the full-blown monotheism that we find in the Bible. The monotheism of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament had its own separate development—one that began more than half a millennium after the pharaoh's death.
However, Greenberg argues that Judaism shows signs that in its early forms it had Henotheistic characteristics and that it later was refined into a monotheism around the time of King Josiah, relegating that which previously were considered gods, into gods that ought not be worshipped, i.e. angels.
Hagri (1), Hagrite (1), Hagrites (4)
|1 Chron 5:10||...of Saul they made war with the||Hagrites , who fell by their hand, so that ...|
|1 Chron 5:19||They made war against the||Hagrites , Jetur, Naphish and Nodab.|
|1 Chron 5:20||...They were helped against them, and the||Hagrites and all who were with them were ...|
|1 Chron 11:38||...the brother of Nathan, Mibhar the son of||Hagri ,|
|1 Chron 27:31||Jaziz the||Hagrite had charge of the flocks. All these ...|
|Ps 83:6||...the Ishmaelites, Moab and the||Hagrites ;|