Sunday, March 29, 2009

Giants at Jericho?

An interesting hypothesis put forward by Ronald S. Hendel at the Biblical Archaeology website: BAR 35:02, Mar/Apr 2009 Biblical Views: Giants at Jericho By Ronald S. Hendel It's interesting that the Hebrews were still talking about "giants" - evidently attributable to the descendants of Nephilim - thousands of years after the Great Flood that was supposed to have wiped out every living thing except those that survived on Noah's Ark. Can't have it both ways, folks! If there were still descendants of Nephilim a few thousand years after the flood, that means your accounts of universal destruction are wrong (or God lied to Moses when He was dictating the first five books of the Bible). Or that means that Noah's family weren't as pure as driven snow - because everyone AFTER the Great Flood was supposedly descended from those four men and four women who walked off the Ark somewhere in the region of Mount Ararat. Well, that's another subject! I highly recommend reading the comments in the "Talk Back" section after reading the article. I'm not a biblical scholar, nor an archaeologist, just an avid reader, so this is just my personal opinion. Assuming that an exodus occurred (to my knowledge, there is no consensus on this), I'm of the opinion that it occurred sometime during the troubles with the Hyksos (c. 1650-1550 BCE), possibly in conjunction with the aftermath of the eruption of Thera (I do not think a definitive date has been established - there is a wide range of opinion with dates ranging anywhere from 1645 BC to 1500 BC). Those were chaotic times; it's not amazing to me that no definitive records of a mass migration of Hebrews out of the Delta area have been discovered. One of the comments to Hendel's article also suggest TWO exoduses - an intriguing proposition! Here's an interesting article on the destructive power of the eruption of Thera from Live Science. I recently watched a NOVA special on the eruption of Krakatoa in the 1880's, and that was absolutely terrifying. To think that Thera's eruption was four times more powerful than Krakatoa beggars the imagination - I just cannot conceive of it. It's aftermath must have been felt around the entire globe for years - perhaps a decade. Wow!

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