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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The antiquity of the Chaldean Factor

The Bible is an outline...and in the end, "Biblical" archaeology will be properly layed out when it conforms to a sure historical and "Biblical" testimony of the near region of Israel, and that nation's historical / factual testimony.

The History of both the patriarch Abraham and that of the Greeks are clear happenings, and recorded more than 2,000 years ago as fact, accompanied by archaeological evidence extending hundreds years more.

The Chaldean Factor

Kaf-Shin-Dalet-Yod ... Kasday, refers to the Chaldeans. It seems that the first of the "Chaldeans" in the Early and Middle Bronze Ages were merchants and millers who had a successful trade with ports along the shorelines of the Indian Ocean, and with the Levant. A simple alteration of yod to vav, as what may have happened once in Psalm 100, for example, can indeed easily clear up the mystery. Hence...Kasdu instead of kasday.

As Kasa with da-mu, or kasadim, we may have a phoenetic connection that was presented as "captive" / kasa - "blood" / da-mu.

In the Akkadian, there appears to be a simple designation of kasdu or kasadu...successful or conquering. The term applied to the entire area of Babylonia, but especially the southern sector. That southern sector having Ur, compared to a proto-Syriac Ur / Ura (etc.), is what the geographical debate about Abraham's origin is about. Had a city, any city near Haran of Syria been designated, either Syria or some name like unto "Uz" (Damascus and its territories), or some other pro-Syriac designation would have been used, and noted scholars like Cyrus Gordon would have thence been correct to geographically designate a northern Ur of the Chaldees near Haran. But that just isn't the case.

In regards to the Greeks, just because some of them began as Syriac Hyksos, moving through Egypt to the peninsula of Greece, and became part of what makes up Greek blood, doesn't mean that there is no such thing as designating a place and a people with a name, who were grafted into the same peoples that intermarried and replaced their original culture.

So, for some modern scholars to deny Abraham an existence because someone hasn't the gift of reason with intelligence, nor wishes to use source endnotes rather than 4th or 9th removed from the data commentary quotes ...whoever they may be, regardless of having or not having "credentials"... should face at least an admonishment for the error.

Chaldea / kaldu ...or Kasday for what was most likely previously
" Kasdu" in the Hebrew... appears to refer firstly to a more prosperous province of Old Babylonia from the Tigris and Euphrates outlet to an unknown distance within that stops short of Babylon.

In the Assyrian "mat Kaldi" is translated as "land of Chaldea". Seizing upon this, archaeologists over a century ago saw synonymous use with "mat Bit Yakin", as if this were the capitol city of that province. The Persian Gulf was at that time referred to as the Bit Yalkin Sea, and there is some kind of relationship that existed between the rulers of this prosperous region, once covered with trees in the Bronze Age (according to some geologists) and the ruler of Babylon.

That is hard for most modern people to fathom, that the deserts of Iraq were forrested no differently than as if they were wooded in Europe or North America. In fact, in this era, the Jordan was sided by swamps much like in Florida or Louisiana, and traversed by crocodiles and hippopotami.

In fact, it is quite possible that Abraham was of royal blood in this region, and left in spite of being near to the throne…but this is only one possibility. But if so, Abraham would have a special identification with both Joseph and Moses, his descendants, in that regard of royalty. We see such “nasi” or princely recognition of Abraham in the historical Genesis accounts, and in the apocryphal book of Jubilees, we have a 2nd century B.C. Akkadian flavor through the names of the wives who are relations in Abraham’s ancestry: Melka the daughter of Kabor, and 'Ijaska, the daughter of Nestag.

Between the ninth and eighth centuries B.C., there was a distinction made within the Akkadian and Chaldean rulership of the region, 14 rulers effectively listed as not or other than Chaldean Babylonian, and 18 designated as Chaldean.

The Chaldeans were a Semitic people that the differed from Arameans and the Sutu; and there is a sort of distinction that receives mention by the inscriptions of Sennacherib. This distinction supports that of Abraham and the Hebrew transliteration what was probably an Old Babylonian designation, hence Bronze Age designation, passed down to us. It is possible that Hilkiah the priest could have added the word, but that is NOT likely. Instead, if anything, Kaldu may have simply been an updated word of Old Babylonian, even as some would like to update an Old English "faeder" to "father", or an Old French archaism that means the exact same thing.

In regard to the Exodus Era, we see that the Chaldeans were of such an influence - that Egypt oft used Old Babylonian as their second language as testified in Tell El_Amarna correspondence, (cf. Gleason Archer, Jr.‘s A Survey of the Old Testament Introduction, (revised) Chicago:Moody, 1994, paperback, pp. 288-289) ...probably because Old Babylonian was THE language of Trade in those times.

Star gazing was the business of mariners as well as astrologers, so the application of Daniel 1:4 and 2: 2, etc., really belongs to an entirely different period of the region…when the trees had long since been destroyed, and mariner shipping appears to have greatly waned in the Bit Yalkin Sea.

Some have stated that Bit Yakin is simply that which refers to a Kashshite living in Bit Yakin, not necessarily making him a Chaldean. But those who argue this, generally limit themselves to the reign of Esarhaddon…citing that his astrologers/wise men informed: “mat-Kaldu is simply another name for the area incorporating Mat-Amurru and Mat-Hatti“, or words to this effect.

Again, pointing us to a point in GREATER antiquity than the claim of the origin of “kaldu“ / “Chaldean“ in the ninth century B.C.

Egyptian Clues
We can precede a date of Tell el-Amarna and Egypt of the 18th dynasty for Abraham by clear requirement and enter into the era of Elamite "Rim-Sin of Larsa", and Hammurabi, -- both dated to at least the 1700s B.C. -- whose antiquity most will readily acknowledge as far greater than the 870s B.C.

The earliest evidence for Asiatics is claimed in Egyptology to be at Rowaty / Rameses, late 12th Dynasty or mid 1800s B.C. The structure is mainly mud-brick with animal compartment enclosures...suggesting merchant traders being housed at this location, as Joseph's brothers might have later done.

The wadi tumilat region was unhoused by Egyptians in terms of villas, etc., prior to the 19th dynasty...following the Hyksos expulsion in 1551 B.C. (others say 1560 B.C.).

Irregardless, 430 years earlier Abraham set foot in Egypt prior to the Exodus. 430 added to 1560 is 1990 B.C., when Abraham first set foot there...though de facto, it was in 1981 B.C.

The wadi tumilat discards the notion of a 1445 B.C. or later Exodus, and forces us, through archaeological data, to reconsider an older Exodus in line with the statement of Isaiah 52:4 definition as to what kind of Egyptian oppressed the Hebrews there. It was a Semitic or Assyriac peoples...i.e., it could only have been the Hyksos.

Hence, we are driven back in time and chronology by the facts, to the era of the Hyksos...and 1551 B.C. for the Exodus out, and 1511 B.C., for the entry of Israel under Jesus / Joshua into the Promised Land.

All other chronologies of the period following and previous, such as the Judges following and the Sodomic epic previous, must therefore hang from the sure pegs of these dates in the 1500s B.C. As demonstrated in both the extra-biblical (believing - Josephus, Clement; unbelieving - the Greek Chronologies and historians)
and in the Biblical (i.e., the books of the Bible); we can be quite sure of the Biblical dates to at least the lifetime of Abraham, or to at least 2000 B.C., with authority and confidence.

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