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Home Forums Evidence for Biblical miracles Naturalistic vs. spectacular supernatural Reply To: Naturalistic vs. spectacular supernatural

  • Deborah Hurn

    May 31, 2021 at 9:26 pm

    You mean “towards Masada”. They seem to be natural formations; not much happening down there with human activity (see below). If you click “Terrain” in the L “Layers” bar in GEP, and use Ctrl+L-click+touchpad/mouse, you can get 3D and zoom around. You will see they are hillocks and rocky outcrops all around En-gedi. Some propose that En-gedi is the Hazazon-tamar of Gen 14, but I am not sure, I need to look into it more. This is something I need to work out eventually:

    Here is one view:

    Osgood, A. J. M. “The Times of Abraham.” EN Tech 2 (77-87): 1986.

    [81] Gen 14:7 The Amorites who lived in Hazezon-Tamar. Now 2 Chron 20:2 tells us that H-T is En-gedi. Thus there was a civilisation in the days of Abraham at En-Gedi…

    [81] Only 3 major periods of settlement at En-Gedi: 1. Roman, 2. Kingdom of Israel [he may mean IA], 3. Chalcolithic… the largest and most prolific settlement period.

    And then there are the ‘mainstream’ archaeologists, Rothenberg and Aharoni:

    Rothenberg, Beno. “The ’Arabah in Roman and Byzantine Times in the Light of New Research.” edited by M. Gichon, 211–23, 1971.

    [215] We aim to identify the remains at ‘Ain Tamar with Thamara, mentioned by Eusebius as a village on the Hebron-Aila road, one day’s travel from Mampsis [Mamshit], which in his time (4th century CE) had become a military strongpoint. This road is clearly marked on the Tabula Peutingeriana, as a W-E route crossing the ‘Arabah, touching the ‘Arabah only at Thamara.

    Aharoni, Yohanan. “Tamar and the Roads to Elath.” Israel Exploration Journal 13, no. 1 (1963): 30–42.

    [31] ‘Ain Husb… situated 32 km SW of the Dead Sea, it dominates the most important cross-roads in the N Arabah where the road from Kurnub [Mampsis] and Ma’aleh ‘Aqrabbim [the Scorpion Pass] reaches the Arabah road.

    The importance of ‘Ain Husb [Hatzeva] is one of the most abundant springs of the Arabah. Musil and Frank found here the remains of the largest Roman fort ever discovered in the Arabah, and Glueck found a Nabataean caravanserai

    [32] Gen 14 re Hazezon-Tamar. In this archaic document several double names are given: Ashteroth-Karnaim, Shaveh-Kiriathaim, En-Mishpat-Kadesh, and the Valley of Siddim-the Dead Sea. [also El-Paran and Hazezon-Tamar] It appears that in each such case the second name was well-known from the time of the Monarchy and was meant to supplement the more ancient name or to indicate its location. Apparently ancient Hazezon was here identified with Tamar, a locality well known at a later period between K-B and the Dead Sea area.

    [32] Another biblical tradition identifies the archaic Hazezon-Tamar with En-Gedi (2 Chron 20:2), but this identification is impossible in the light of Gen 14. The 4 kings advanced southward in the Trans-Jordan along the King’s Way: they passed the region of Bashan (Ash-Kar), Gilead (Ham), Moab (Shav-Kir), and Mount Seir and reached El-Paran, i.e. El(ath) on the edge of the wilderness of Paran. From there they turned back, ascended to K-B and set out to smite “the Amorites, that dwelt in Hazezon-Tamar”. Later we are told that the kings of the plain put up resistance, and that the fight took place in the Valley of Siddim, area. Hazezon-Tamar was thus situated on the road from Kadesh-Barnea to the southern end of the Dead Sea, and it seems plausible that this was the last important station south of the Dead Sea.13 Although the historical background of this campaign is still shrouded in mystery, Glueck’s archaeological survey proved that the road referred to there actually did exist in Transjordan and in the Negeb, at the beginning of the second millennium BC, c.

    n.13 Without entering into the question of the Amorites in this region we should note that this was their border area (cf. Judges 1:36; Gen 10:19)

    [32] The description of the southern border of the Land of Israel in Ezekiel leads to the very same region. The description begins with the Dead Sea and continues ‘from Tamar unto the waters of strife in Kadesh, toward the great sea’ (Ezek. 47:19; 48:28), i. e. from Tamar to Kadesh-Barnea, and from there with the course of the Brook of Egypt to the [33] Mediterranean. Ezekiel obviously follows the ancient border of the land of Canaan in his description (Num. 34:2-12; cf. also the description of the southern border of Judah, Joshua 15:2-4), adding several settlements of his own time.

    [Deb: In the Ezek quote, the S border goes from Tamar to Kadesh… so a line from the Dead Sea through Wadi Zin to Kadesh definitely indicates a more N site than Ein Hazevah (Ain Husb). The spring at Ain Tamar with its fort Metzad Tamar seems a more suitable location, but it’s not much of a site for an army.]

    [33] Essential information about Thamara can be gained from the Tabula Peutingeriana, the Roman road map, which resembles in contents the data of Ptolemy [34] and which perhaps was based on a source from the second century A.D. (see IEJ 4 [1954], Fig. 1, p. 11). On the map, Thamara is marked south of the Dead Sea (Lacus Asphaltides) on the road from Judah to Trans-Jordan.

    [34] On this section Alt bases one of his main arguments for the location of Thamara adjacent to the Dead Sea, and not somewhat more to the south, as suggested by all other sources.19 But closer examination shows that Ain Husb is the only place that fits the distances of the Peutingeriana map.