Friday, April 8, 2022

Three QQ from Issah Mohammed, on Babel

John Hunt Thinks Nimrod is a Myth, dito for Babel · Three QQ from Issah Mohammed, on Babel · Twelve Questions on Genesis I to XI

Answer requested by
Issah Mohammed (QQ I - III, not explicitly the extra Q IV)

Is there historical evidence of the Tower of Babel?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
none/ apprx Masters Latin & Greek, Lund University
Answered just now
Given the historic evidence for the Flood, there is a definite need for an event that explains why there are so very different languages after the Flood.

Then there is the fact that Göbekli Tepe does fit the the geographic bill (West of Mountains of Armenia), the temporal bill (Babel being between Flood and Abraham, and Flood having a carbon 14 level of c. 1.4 pmC, Abraham up in 80–90 pmC, and Babel, if identified with GT, has 43 - 49 pmC which is between the other values).

It also fits the linguistic bill, no written language differences are documented before Göbekli Tepe. And if you say “that is because there were no writings at all” - no, there was after all the 32 symbols studied by Genevieve von Petzinger in palaeolithic caves (from Noah’s post-Flood lifespan).

It also fits the cultural bill : “And so the Lord scattered them from that place into all lands, and they ceased to build the city.” - and it so happens, symbols found at Göbekli Tepe have been found in use among Polynesians and Australian aborigines - birdman for the first, lying down “figure eight” (or actually lying down oval cut in half from top to bottom) for the latter.

And obviously, stories from the past are the main historic evidence for any event. Not just in a particular religion, but in general. See thereon my debate with Kevin R. Henke: The Real Reason Why we Can and Could All the Time Say we Know Alexander's Carreer (linking to last part of more than one).

There are no other ones from the Old World, and this confirms (to some degree) that non-Hebrew people setting out from Babel were venerating Nimrod and the world project, and therefore ashamed to state how it worked out in Nimrod’s time.

Was the Tower of Babel before or after Noah?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
none/ apprx Masters Latin & Greek, Lund University
Answered 12m ago
Babel ended - as to the city - when Peleg was born.

Noah died 350 years after the Flood.

Peleg was born according to different chronologies for the Genesis 11 genealogies in one of three years : 101 after Flood (Ussher, Masoretic, Vulgate, King James versions), 401 after Flood (Samaritan or LXX without second Cainan), 529 after Flood (LXX with second Cainan).

If you ask me, Noah died, Babel project took off, and then ended when Peleg was born 401 after the Flood.

Was the Tower of Babel in Eridu?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
none/ apprx Masters Latin & Greek, Lund University
Answered 15m ago
If you ask me, no.

  • I identify Genesis 11 Babel with Göbekli Tepe;
  • “And when they removed from the east, they found a plain in the land of Sennaar,” - while both Göbekli Tepe and Eridu are in Mesopotamia (what Shinar / Sennaar arguably means in context), only GT is West of reasonable candidates for the landing place;
  • Given Biblical chronologies - all three ones - of the Genesis 11 chronogenealogy - Babel comes fairly early and this makes for a less credible rise of carbon 14 in the atmosphere if you take Eridu (carbon date c. 5000 BC) rather than GT (carbon dates 9600 - 8600 BC).

added later
What were men trying to do at the Tower of Babel?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
none/ apprx Masters Latin & Greek, Lund University
Answered 22h ago
The Bible text, Genesis 11:1–9, doesn’t seem to give a concrete answer as to the goal.

Some have from the words “and let us make our name famous before we be scattered abroad into all lands” following after the decision to make the tower concluded the tower was meant to make their name famour or prevent them being scattered into all lands.

I disagree, I think - I do not pretend to know - that Josephus was right. In the passage I will here quote:

2. Now it was Nimrod who excited them to such an affront and contempt of God. He was the grandson of Ham, the son of Noah, a bold man, and of great strength of hand. He persuaded them not to ascribe it to God, as if it was through his means they were happy, but to believe that it was their own courage which procured that happiness. He also gradually changed the government into tyranny, seeing no other way of turning men from the fear of God, but to bring them into a constant dependence on his power. He also said he would be revenged on God, if he should have a mind to drown the world again; for that he would build a tower too high for the waters to be able to reach! And that he would avenge himself on God for destroying their forefathers! 3. Now the multitude were very ready to follow the determination of Nimrod, and to esteem it a piece of cowardice to submit to God; and they built a tower, neither sparing any pains, nor being in any degree negligent about the work:

So far, right : they imagined God as their enemy, and reaching up hgh enough as a good stratagem against the next Flood (either not hearing about or not believing God’s promise to Noah).

Next is where I think he goes wrong and where I think the Bible is - unlike him - not too specific:

and, by reason of the multitude of hands employed in it, it grew very high, sooner than anyone could expect; but the thickness of it was so great, and it was so strongly built, that thereby its great height seemed, upon the view, to be less than it really was. It was built of burnt brick, cemented together with mortar, made of bitumen, that it might not be liable to admit water.

Josephus Antiquities Book I, chapter 4, from §2 quoted on this site: Josephus – Antiquities of the Jews – Book 1

First, very likely the “tower, the top of which shall reach into heaven” encapsules the general idea of a three step rocket of which only the capsule (!) on the top actually reaches into space. Nimrod and his pals had no material means to actually pull it off, so God put it on hold for 4500 years.

Second, if not, second likeliest possibility, Nimrod tried to figure out the height beforehand, he built small towers of equal height, the first three at 63 feet equilateral triangle between the centres, so if the rise of heavenly bodies occurred at different times seen from them, that would give a possibility to triangulate the height of heaven. As any body, Sun, Moon or any given star, rose at the same time seen from each tower, they expanded. And expanded some more, and some more. Göbekli Tepe finally covered 20 acres, before God said “stop, you’ll speak Coptic and you’ll speak Sumerian, and you over there will speak Elamite and …” so Nimrod had to quit.

Either one or two would explain why we have found no big skyscraper like thing in Göbekli Tepe.

Third Josephus says burnt brick and a mortar made of bitumen would not have been in the actual building materials. Here again, I have two possibilities:

  • 1. the Hebrew words mean sth else, the burning was not actually in ovens but by some chemical fire, like for burnt chalk - there is a Swedish style of farm house architecture where stamped earth and burnt chalk combine;
  • 2. sth closely like this (not the burnt chalk, but the Biblical description as usually translated) has been found in Jericho (West of Mesopotamia, but starting out at the time of Göbekli Tepe = Babel) and it isn’t used for walls, but on the floor, as a kind of streets.

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