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  • Early history of the oldest alphabet

  • Historical Faith Society

    December 18, 2020 at 4:28 am
  • Frank McFee

    December 30, 2020 at 3:29 pm

    A question

    Dr. Petrovich,

    I am a older retired engineer and a serious Bible student..I heard about you book from Tim Mahoney “Moses Controversy”
    I purchased your book and having been studying it…I also brought your did a great job!!!
    I think you are right about the alphabet..
    I am also a “follower” of Dr. Michael Heiser (naked bible podcast)
    He did a study of Exodus back in 2019? the book of Exodus…what I like about scholars is their attention to details..
    When talking about the hugh number of Israelites leaving Egypt…he references an article by David Founts JETS sept 1997 pg 377-387
    “A Defense of the Hyperbolic Interpretation Of Large Numbers in the Old Testament’..I am not sure I agree…I know God does use hyperbole in the Bible
    like Abraham’s descendants “stars in heaven”, “sand of the sea”, etc…
    While I believe God can do anything He wants including providing for millions of people and animals…the logistics would have been enormous!!.I also bought the bonus lectures and heard the various theories about Alef…

    ….I have another idea…….I would like to run it by your book on pg 52 you reference the Lahun Bilingual Ostracon” which has some ME language including numbers
    I notice the ME using “separate hieroglyphs” for large number…10, 100, 1,000, 10,000…etc (I looked these up Wikipedia “Egyptian numerals”)
    Is it possible that Moses used a “type of abbreviation” to record the numbers in the paleo-Hebrew that may have been based on ME?
    Could these “numbers” have been mistranslated by later Hebrew scribes not familiar with these “abbreviated numbers” or maybe an early form of Gematria??

    Have you done any research on paleo-Hebrew where larger numbers are mentioned and seen anything that might indicate this?
    I appreciate your reading this and understand you are very busy and may not be able to reply….so thanks for your time

    Frank McFee

  • Stephen Sample

    February 25, 2021 at 10:08 pm

    Hi Frank,

    You write:

    While I believe God can do anything He wants including providing for millions of people and animals…the logistics would have been enormous!

    I notice that Dr. Petrovich has not answered you yet. I am sure he is a busy man. So, I am posting this short note to encourage others to have a shot at this perennial question regarding the number of people involved in the Exodus. At this time, I will reframe from posting my personal speculation regarding this matter.

    However, I do believe that a literal reading of the text resulting in millions of people wandering around in a desert environment (40+ years) is a bit over the top. Yet, I agree, nothing is impossible for God.

    Non-believers for centuries have used this example (and of course many others) to scoff at those who believe in the accuracy of Scripture. My question is simply: “As believers, are we constrained to accept such large numbers, or is there another option as you seem to be alluding too?”

    Steve Sample

    • Frank McFee

      February 27, 2021 at 1:51 pm

      Dr. Petrovich did reply to me…..see below

      Douglas Petrovich <time datetime=”2021-01-26 01:59:21″ data-bp-timestamp=”1611626361″>1 month ago</time>

      Hello, Frank.

      Thanks for your kind words about my book. I’m glad to hear that you have enjoyed studying it. I wouldn’t have a problem with the Numbers number meaning either option. It’s such a difficult issue that I don’t even have a firm position on it, to be honest, although I never sat down for an extended period to go as deeply into the issue… Read more



      Frank McFee <time datetime=”2021-01-26 15:56:54″ data-bp-timestamp=”1611676614″>1 month ago</time>

      Dr. Petrovich .
      Thanks for your reply…I appreciate it since I know you are so busy…it was just a idea after “learning” about how ME
      used numbers…I got the idea from taking a Great course (Teaching Co.) by Dr. Bob Brier “Decoding the secrets of Egyptian Hieroglyphs” in which he devoted a lecture to “numbers” and Gardiner “Egyptian Grammar” PDF downloaded from the internet pages 191-192…..because ME had glyphs for counting……since you have never seen any evidence in PCH and since we have no Hebrew manuscripts dating earlier than the DSS…I agree with you that “no physical evidence to support” my idea
      Thanks again for your time and help



      • Thomas Donlon

        March 6, 2021 at 10:09 pm

        Hi Frank,

        Your conversation with Dr. Petrovich was interesting. A few acronyms went over my head though. Namely ME as well as PCH and DSS. And there was another specialized word starting with G but it is hidden behind my comment. It might have something to do with numbers. If there are any other acronyms I’m likely missed the meaning of them too.

        • Frank McFee

          March 7, 2021 at 12:20 pm


          Sorry for the confusion about be honest I get lazy..

          so ME is the Middles Egyptian Period which I am sure almost all scholars have some variations on this period..I am going to use Dr. Brier (Great Courses teaching) “The Middle Kingdom lasted from 2040 to 1782 B.C”..I think Petrovich uses 2025-1674 BC

          PCH is Proto Canaanite Hebrew or Proto-Consonantal Hebrew is prior to developing the Paleo Hebrew or “projected Proto-Hebrew Original Letters” …”fixed alphabet which I have no firm date for this”..I am assuming from Petrovich using the Middle Kingdom 1842-1760 BC…I would suggest you get a copy of Dr. Petrovich “Alphabetic Chart of Proto-Consonsntal Hebrew”…

          Gamatria is used in Greek and Hebrew (probably other languages not sure which) which assigns numbers to each letter….

          Gematriafrom Tyndale Bible Dictionary

          GEMATRIA* One of the rabbinic hermeneutic rules for interpreting the OT. It consisted of explaining a word or group of words according to the numerical value of the letters or by substituting and rearranging certain letters according to a set system. By that rule of interpretation, for example, some rabbis have argued that Eliezer (Gn 15:2) was worth all the servants of Abraham put together, for Abraham had 318 servants and Eliezer’s name equaled 318 (Gn 14:14). The name Babylon is arrived at in Jeremiah 25:26 and 51:41 by substituting the last letter of the Hebrew word for the first letter of the same word.

          The pseudepigraphal Epistle of Barnabas interprets the 318 servants of Abraham (Gn 14:14) as pointing to Jesus’ death on the cross, because 300 is the numerical value of the Greek letter “t,” which is cross-shaped, and 18 the value of the first two letters of the Greek word for Jesus. In the book of Revelation the number of the beast is 666 (Rv 13:18). If the number seven is considered to be the perfect number in the Bible, and if three sevens represent complete perfection, then the number 666 falls completely short of perfection.

          DSS is the Dead sea scrolls…

          I just checked my email and see you got your questions answered…hopes this helps


  • Thomas Donlon

    July 17, 2021 at 4:17 pm

    A jar said to be from the Judges era was found with the name Jerub-Baal on it.

    Here is a link but most of the article is behind a paywall at Does anyone else have any other information about this … such as a picture of the words? How does it fit within the context laid out by different scholars for the evolution of Hebrew? While we Christians in the 21st century are quick to see the connection with the Biblical character Gideon, scholarly context also is needed. By that I mean multiple people tend to have the same names. Gideon may not have been the first person called Jerub-Baal. Indeed if he became a hero maybe other babies were named after him and the name became popular.

    This name is just a piece of the puzzle. Yet it is an exciting piece. It may end up supporting the scriptural account if it refers to the same person. It may support the Biblical account in a more general way, showing the name was existence at the time the scripture places him. Maybe there is a historical context that will help support that the Biblical events took place earlier/later or just when scholars tend to assume it happened.

    People like us who believe the Bible can be cautiously optimistic, a bit excited but we also want to get a better grasp of the historical context than what can be gleaned from just having read a few lines from a Haaretz article.

    I’m also interested in how developed or morphed Hebrew was in the time of the Judges (if that is what this is turning out to be).

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