Does this make any sense “according to the number of the sons of Israel” ?

by I_love_Jeff 6 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • I_love_Jeff

    How does God dividing humankind and fixing the boundaries of the peoples “according to the number of the sons of Israel” make any sense if the nation of Israel did not even exist yet? (Genesis 10)

    "It makes little sense for God, shortly after He dispersed the nations at Babel, to have based the number of geographical regions on the earth on the family size of Israel, especially since there was no Jewish race at the time (Genesis 10 Table of Nations). This problem is compounded when one considers Deuteronomy 32:9. What logical correlation was Moses making when he wrote in verse 8 that God "set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel" and then made the concluding observation in verse 9 that "the LORD'S portion is his people, Jacob his allotted inheritance" (NIV)? Certainly the wording suggests a contrast between verses 8 and 9." -Dr. Heiser (M.A., Ph.D., Hebrew Bible and Semitic Studies)

    *According to these sources (City of Ancient Ugaritic tablets found in 1928), Elyon divided up all the nations into seventy nations, one for each of his sons (Elim).

    Masoretic Text. "Sons of Israel" ca. 10 century

    Septuagint. A Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures. The oldest copies are in Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus ca. 4th century ad. "Sons of God"

    Dead Sea Scrolls. Over 100,000 fragments of text, comprising more than 800 biblical and non-biblical manuscripts ca. 250 BC–AD 70. "Sons of God"

  • Crazyguy

    Is this a double post??

  • I_love_Jeff

    Yep! Not sure how to delete it.

  • careful

    The books that make up the biblical canon were sometimes written long after their dramatic date, and this is especially the case with the Pentateuch. The date of composition does not = the time of the action. There are clues like at Gen 36:31, "these are the kings who reigned in the land of Edom before any king reigned over Israel." The last clause shows that this part of Genesis had to have been written some time after king Saul. You need to jettison the primitive, simplistic thinking of JWs or other religious conservatives, likely including this chap Heisner (since he quotes the NIV, he's a conservative), if you want to understand the Bible historically.

    As for Deut 32:8, the last 5 chapters of Deut are known among scholars as being textually problematic. In fact, it may well be the most textually problematic large section of the Bible. The witnesses are the Masoretic Text (MT), Septuagint (LXX), the Samaritan Pentateuch (SP), and the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS). They do and do not match each other and are all over the place in these final chapters of Deut. Sometimes it's the SP and LXX vs. the MT. Other times it's DSS and LXX vs. the SP and MT. Other times it's MT vs. all the others. All combinations are possible.

    There is a difference between the composition of the works way back when and how they have been transmitted down through time, but the two factors did interplay at times. Try to find some non-Protestant conservative sources on the composition and preservation of the OT text (Eugene Ulrich at Notre Dame is good on preservation), and forget the WTS having anything intelligent to say on the matter. They haven't got a clue here. The facts and principles are way over their heads, and their theology prevents them taking an honest look at these matters.

  • Bobcat


  • I_love_Jeff

    Thank you so much Mr/Mrs careful

  • careful


    You're welcome, and I'm .

    I meant to say get some non-conservative source on this matter. There are non-conservative Protestant, Catholic and Jewish scholars.

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