What Was the House of Joseph?

I’ve just published a new video on my YouTube channel — this time about the story of Joseph. It’s based on this article I wrote a while ago, but as usual, it has some new material and a new approach to some issues.

Although a small minority of scholars still argue that the story of Joseph was written in the monarchic period, the modern consensus seems to be that it dates to post-exilic times and is linked somehow to the Jewish diaspora in Egypt. The canonical narrative begins and ends with a focus on the twelve sons of Jacob who are to become the twelve tribes of Israel; but as we know, the twelve-tribe motif is a fictional reinvention of Israel’s history that emerged quite late, and you don’t find individuals with those names in ancient inscriptions, ostraca, et cetera. At the very least, any part of the story involving the twelve sons of Jacob/Israel cannot be so ancient.

However, the name “Joseph” does seem to be older than most of the other names. Even in the Bible, there are places where Joseph is listed as a tribe or house that is distinct from other Israelite tribes, including Manasseh and Ephraim—oblivious to the verses in Genesis and Numbers that “replace” Joseph with Manasseh and Ephraim in the twelve-tribe framework.

Two questions I pondered while I was revisiting the Joseph story were (1) could there be an older core of the story that concerns only the Joseph character, and if so, (2) what, in historical terms, did Joseph originally refer to? Was it just another name for the kingdom of Israel, or did it represent something else?

Reconsidering the unity of the Joseph story

Even a surface reading of the Joseph story reveals rough patches that are best explained by insertions of later material. These are addressed in detail by the books and articles of Redford, Römer, and others cited in my earlier article.

Can we go deeper than that? Can we separate the tale of a young Hebrew rising to power in the Egyptian court from the frame story of fraternal conflict and reunion? The core plot seems to draw from elements of a local Egyptian myth that appears in various forms on the famous Famine Stele, in the Book of the Temple, and elsewhere. They all share in common a seven-year famine connected with the Nile, a divine dream dreamt by the Pharaoh, and the intervention of a wise vizier. The parts of the Joseph story about his brothers, his special robe, and so on, seem disconnected from this myth, though they are important for connecting Joseph to the patriarchs and the biblical narrative of Israel’s origins.

The use of dreams, though seemingly a unifying element throughout the narrative, also hints at an incongruity between the setup of chapter 37 and the events that take place in Egypt. In Egypt, Joseph is a wise interpreter of dreams. But back in Canaan, he is the dreamer rather than the interpreter. These are opposing roles! The reader is lulled into accepting Joseph-in-Egypt as an expert in dreams without noticing the switcheroo.¹

And then there are Pharaoh’s two dreams. The first makes perfect sense, connecting the bountiful and lean harvests to the Nile River, which flooded every year to irrigate Egypt’s crops. The majority of chapter 41 is concerned only with famine in Egypt. After all, the conditions of the Nile River would not affect crops in Canaan or other nations.

There will come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt. After them there will arise seven years of famine, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt. (Gen 41:39-30a)
Let Pharaoh proceed to appoint overseers over the land, and take one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt during the seven plenteous years. … That food shall be a reserve for the land against the seven years of famine that are to befall the land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish through the famine. (Gen 41:34, 36)
The seven years of plenty that prevailed in the land of Egypt came to an end. And the seven years of famine came, just as Joseph had said. (Gen 41:53–54a)
When all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph; what he says to you, do.” (Gen 41:55)

The statements in verses 54b and 57, clarifying that the whole world was also experiencing famine, feel secondary.

Pharaoh’s second dream concerns ears of grain withered by an “east wind” — which is part of the seasonal cycle in Palestine but not really relevant to Egypt. There are other inconsistencies with Pharaoh’s second dream as well, prompting some scholars (as outlined by Redford, p. 80) to suggest that it was a later addition:

  1. The dreams are recounted twice for narrative impact. The first (original) dream is embellished by Pharaoh in the second telling, but the second dream is retold nearly word-for-word without embellishment.
  2. The seam between the first and second dream in Gen. 41:22 is abrupt, with no mention of Pharaoh going back to sleep. 

Without the second dream and its east wind, there is no reason for Joseph to interpret the famine as being worldwide. Without that dream, we would have only an Egyptian famine.² But once Joseph’s brothers became part of the story, some mechanism was needed for getting them from Canaan to Egypt.

I’m also bothered by the idea that ears of grain can gobble each other up. I get the sense that the ears of grain are simply patterned after the cattle that eat each other in the first dream, without concern for the details about how such a thing would work.

L. Alma-Tadema, Joseph, Aufseher der Kornkammern’ des Pharao, 1874. New York, Dahesh Museum of Art.

Joseph the Hebrew and the House of Joseph

While doing research for the video, I was pleased to discover an article by Lauren Monroe (Cornell University) that addressed many of my questions. (See the bibliography below for the full citation.) Monroe has done some research that could be groundbreaking if her conclusions are correct.

For starters, Monroe identifies Genesis 39–41 and parts of 47 as containing the core story of “Joseph the Hebrew” who becomes vizier of Egypt. In this story, the famine is confined to Egypt.

Monroe’s primary interest, however, is the origin of Israel and its relation to an entity in the Old Testament known as the House of Joseph (bet-josef). Sometimes it is named as a counterpart to Judah:

I will give victory to the House of Judah and triumph to the House of Joseph. (Zech. 10:6)

According to Monroe, scholars tend to make the mistake of interpreting House of Joseph in light of the Genesis story, equating it with the territories of Ephraim and Manasseh—and, by extension, the entire northern kingdom. However, the House of Joseph is not identified with Ephraim and Manasseh by the Bible itself,³ and it seems to exist as an entity distinct from the House of Jacob. Monroe says we should be looking at it the other way around: the House of Joseph was something separate from the kingdom of Israel, and the core Joseph story preserves an ancestor tradition about the House of Joseph. Only later did the myth of a Greater Israel with Jacob as its patriarch come into being.

A key passage for Monroe is 2 Samuel 19, in which Shimei ben Gera offers his allegiance to David on behalf of the House of Joseph:

See? I have come today, the first of the entire House of Joseph to come down to meet my lord the King. (2 Sam. 19:21)

Shimei is described as being “of the Yemini [Benjaminites] from Bahurim⁴”. He is not from Ephraim or Manasseh, and the northern kingdom of Israel does not exist yet at this point in the biblical narrative, so “House of Joseph” cannot refer to those entities. Monroe states:

Taking the text at face value, the name bet-yosef here seems to connote a substantial, recognized collective … to which Shimei of the Yemini belongs. The bet-yosef is at once distinct from and essential to the establishment of the “Israel” that David comes to rule. (p. 62)

Another important passage is 1 Kings 11:28, in which Jeroboam is appointed by Solomon “over all the forced labor of the House of Joseph”. Properly understood, the wording implies that the House of Joseph is a dominant entity with corvée (slave) workers at its disposal.

The third key passage is Judges 1:34–35, in which the House of Joseph enslaves the Amorites that were encroaching on Dan’s territory. Again, in this pre-monarchic context, it cannot be interpreted as signifying the kingdom of Israel.

Okay, so let’s grant that the House of Joseph wasn’t the kingdom of Israel. What was it?

Asiatic tribute-bearers. Probably from the tomb of Sobekhotep (Thebes), c. 1400 BCE, Thutmose IV

The Bronze-Age political landscape

During the Late Bronze Age, before the kingdom of Israel existed, Canaan was largely under Egyptian hegemony. From analyzing the correspondence between Egypt and Canaanite leaders preserved in the Amarna archive, historian Brendon C. Benz has identified three different socio-political structures that existed in the Levant: city-states, lands with one centralized authority, and “multi-polity” coalitions of decentralized lands. These structures probably persisted for some time even after Egyptian power waned. The multi-polity organizations in particular were capable of organizing large-scale agricultural production and corvée workers without threatening the independence of their members.

Monroe proposes that the House of Joseph was one of these decentralized multi-polity groups — one that had close ties with Egypt. This would explain, for example, why Jeroboam took refuge in Egypt under pharaoh Shishak in 1 Kings 11. The House of Joseph by its nature would have included numerous local cities and tribes under its authority, including the Yemini, and it would have played a key role in the formation of the Iron Age Israelite kingdom. The Shimei incident retains some memory of this fact.

The original story of Joseph the Hebrew who ruled in Egypt might have served as a “myth of legitimation” for the authority that the House of Joseph enjoyed in Canaan (Monroe, p. 73). But in later literary developments, Israel was re-envisioned as a tribal federation, and Jacob replaced Joseph as the eponymous patriarch of Israel.

Monroe has a forthcoming book that explores the House of Joseph in much more detail. Hopefully, it will shed more light on this dimly understood period in Israel’s history.

Footnotes

  1. And if the reader has also read Daniel 2, the idea that a Hebrew boy in a royal court should be skilled at interpreting dreams is already familiar and taken for granted.
  2. The explanation offered by Redford for the addition of Pharaoh’s second dream is that it was “fabricated under the influence of the dictum that double dreams are an indication of the speed and certainty of fulfilment” (p. 80). He further suggests that the second dream is inspired by the dream of the sheaves in chapter 37.
  3. There is one exception, Joshua 17:17, that Monroe says is a harmonizing gloss in the Masoretic text.
  4. Bahurim was apparently a town in the vicinity of Jerusalem.

Bibliography

33 thoughts on “What Was the House of Joseph?

  1. Some obvious comments. The story of the spurned seductress who makes a false accusation of rape occurs elsewhere, for example in the story of Phaedra and Hippolytus. Relatedly, we are told that Joseph married Potiphera, a name remarkably similar to that of Potiphar (there is even an midrash that says that they were the same person, with an intervening sex change). Finally, the two mutually inconsistent accounts of how Joseph was treated by his brothers and ended up in Egypt was one of the examples in the original Documentary Hypothesis. This you regard as obsolete. How would you then date the two versions, and is this relevant to the main Joseph-as-vizier narrative?

    And this of course invites the further question; are there versions of the theme of storing up surplus against the contingency of famine elsewhere in the ANE literature?

    Finally, if I recall correctly, I have seen it argued (by you?) that Chronicles suggests that Ephraim and Manasseh did not take part in the descent into Egypt. If I’ve got that right, what else does that tell us?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the thoughtful questions, Paul.

      1. Regarding Hippolytus, Römer briefly addresses this in a 2019 paper, “Joseph and the Egyptian Wife”:

      There can be little doubt that the author of Gen 39 found his inspiration in the Egyptian tale of the two brothers…. Of course the motif of the spurned wife is quite com­mon and occurs in the legends of Bellerophon, Hippolytus, and others, but the parallels between Gen 39 and the Egyptian tale…are much closer. Both contain the motif of the clothes (although used differently). In the Egyptian tale, the woman speaks to Bata, the younger brother, in a manner quite similar to that of the wife in Gen 39 and also tries to take hold of him: She got up, took hold of him, and said to him: “Come let us …sleep together.” Bata delivers a speech similar to that of Joseph, characterizing the woman’s proposal as “this great wrong that you said to me,” and, as in Gen 39, the woman misrepresents the events in the presence of her husband by taking up Bata’s speech as if not he, but she, would have protested.

      2. Potiphar/Potiphera: Yeah, Tractate Sotah 13b says that Potiphar bought Joseph in order to use him sexually, so Gabriel castrated Potiphar, making him a eunuch, and he was known as Potiphera afterward. Many other Jewish texts, including Jubilees, regarded them as the same character, and I believe the two names are the same in the Septuagint.

      Monroe says that Potiphera is the more correct form of a common Egyptian name. I think the general consensus is that the name “Potiphar” is a later insertion influenced by the name Potiphera. According to Redford, the core story is more of a fairy-tale in which all the secondary characters are defined by their titles (cupbearer, pharaoh, captain of the guard, etc.).

      3. The story is remarkably complex with all its insertions and edits, but it might have been something like this:

      Joseph the vizier story (possibly very old) → spurned wife story added → frame story about Joseph’s brothers (Reuben/Midianite version) added → story incorporated into Genesis → Judah/Ishmaelite version added → other edits and insertions

      The last few stages would have taken place in the Ptolemaic/Hellenistic period.

      4. The main non-Egyptian myths that might qualify are the Bull of Heaven story in Gilgamesh (Ishtar stores up grain to prepare for a seven-year famine that will occur if the bull is released) and the Ugaritic Aqhat legend. Whether these are relevant is hard to say, since the stories don’t really have anything else in common with Joseph.

      5. It seems that historically, the territories/tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh formed the heart of the kingdom of Israel, and the House of Joseph was a separate political entity of some kind. The Chronicler preserves a founder myth in which the patriarchs Ephraim and Manasseh settled in their respective territories. When the twelve-tribe myth was established, something had to be done about Joseph, so he was turned into the father of Ephraim and Manasseh and a new story about their birth in Egypt was created. So in Genesis and Exodus, they and the next several generations of their descendants live in Egypt, but in Chronicles, they settled in Israel.

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      • What do we know about Trans-Jordan Manasseh and its relationship to the Western entity? (Other than the story in Numbers) There were 2 judges from the Gilead, whether the territory or the ethnicity, and Jebesh Gilead was important in the Saul story cycle as both the place of his first battle and the site of his burial. I think Finkelstein considers a very small part of the Trans-Jordan to have been part of the core territory of Israel.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Your comment sent me down a rabbit-trail of Levantine history and Finkelstein’s articles. Yeah, it seems that Gilead and most of the Trans-Jordan were peripheral territory that tended to switch often between Aram-Damascus and Samaria. It really only becomes part of a recognizably Israelite kingdom under the Omrides in the early 9th century BCE, and then king Hazael (Aram) takes it back in the late 9th.

          I’m working on a bird’s eye view of the entire sweep of Bronze Age and Iron Age Palestine that will take a few months to complete (hopefully).

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      • Another question: How is it that Chronicles is at the same time a late book, yet preserves some older traditions?

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  2. Great video and article, Paul. Lots of good insights as usual.
    My thoughts:
    1) The nit-pics: In the video, there is a one-second unrelated video that appears at the 19:53 mark, and at 10:51, you narrate “Joseph’s sons” instead of “Jacob’s sons.” (Hey, at least you know I was paying attention.)

    2) Fess up, Paul. You were rubbing your hands with glee that you finally had the chance to use “Elephantine in the room.” Weren’t you? 😉

    3) Regarding Pharaoh’s consecutive dreams in Genesis 41, I agree that the ears-of-grain dream seems awkward and you suggestion that it was added for the benefit of those familiar with the agriculture of Palestine rather than Egypt, but I don’t think that the failure to mention Pharaoh’s falling asleep a second time in v:22 is problematic since that detail is mentioned in v:5 in the original mention of the dreams. But maybe you can convince me otherwise.

    4) You mentioned that Ishmaelites are not mentioned until later books like Chronicles, which is a good point. I think it’s also worth noting that both Ishmael and Midian are sons of Abraham (Genesis 16:16, 25:2) by Hagar and Keturah, respectively. After Abraham married Midian’s mother, he died at age 175 (Gen. 25:7). We aren’t told how old he was when he married Keturah, but Genesis 24:1 says that even before his marriage, Abraham was “old, well-advanced in years,” and Genesis 24:67 says that Jacob’s father Isaac married before Abraham died. The point is that it’s hard to see how there could be a separate group called the “Midianites” (or Ishmaelites, either), or that at the very least that Midian’s descendants wouldn’t have at least recognized Joseph and the other sons of Jacob as kinsmen.

    5) You date the Joseph novella to Hellenistic times. Why do you think that Joseph’s dying words in Gen. 50:24-25 make no mention of Genesis 15:13-16, which “predicts” enslavement in Egypt? Does this mean that the inserted verses in Genesis 15 postdate the Joseph Novella?

    6) The insertion of Genesis 38 not only paints Judah in a different light from that of the material before and after it, as you mention in the video, but it creates a big chronological discrepancy too. I wrote about it on Reddit three years ago: http://tinyurl.com/hezronhamul

    Liked by 2 people

    • 1) The one-second video is my attempt at humor by including a shot of the crowd in one of my favourite movies chanting “Imhotep” after I use the name in my narration. Perhaps what they say about comedy being all about timing is true. As for my misreading at 10:51, I have learned that the only way to make a video without mistakes is not to make it in the first place. (And I knew it would be you who found it.)

      2) Guilty as charged.

      3) It’s certainly not definitive, but it’s the kind of mistake a tired editor might make if he was splicing in a second dream in two locations. Incidentally, the Septuagint translator supplies the missing phrase. The bigger tell to me is how much of an afterthought the text regards the fact that the entire world outside Egypt is also going to experience this famine.

      (Question to biblical literalists: Is the famine also supposed to have affected, say, the British Isles and China?)

      4) Indeed, if you go by the patriarchal timeline, the life of Ishmael is so recent there’s no way a tribe of people called Ishmaelites could have already become established (not to mention the fact that they don’t know who the family of Jacob is).

      5) I’ll have to get back to you on this.

      6) Agree 100%. In fact, I saved that comment of yours for future use someday.

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  3. You needn’t print this although I am perfectly okay with it and not ashamed of my own attempts and conclusions related to your writings. You seem to be from a similar Canadian religious tradition to me but perhaps originally different in “class” because we were upper middle class and all college educated and my mother left the Catholic church after I was baptized because she started watching a silly afternoon show with puppets on local television in Charlotte. It’s hard to understand class notions when you are young but even though I liked the people and music and found zero racism or anti-semitism ever, I knew it wasn’t the place for me.

    If I decide to get a facelift essentially, I will no longer be able to project even as formerly XY whereas three years ago, I was a short bald hairy dude wearing dresses in public because hormones often make you bald and then they grow back all or most of your scalp hair and you lose most body hair except for the beard which has taken me a long time to remove. Because I have the intelligent and the creativity to use hormones to alter both my looks and my personality and moods, my personal experience is still awesome in the old sense and thrilling. I lost my children permanently via a rural elected Republican judge but I still would do this even though it has made me asexual. All of this is reversible for males without breast or genital surgery but virtually none of it is reversible to female to male transgender people and although attractiveness is somewhat variable in concept, many, many XX females destroy their good looks permanently without resembling XY men above say 16. If they go bald that is permanent unless they go on hormones as is all clitoral growth and things like head growth after puberty and facial growth after puberty. MtF’s become a tiny bit shorter but not more petite but fat distribution completely changes. Bone struggle changes minimally if ever while cartilage, tendons, ligaments and other connective tissue become much more flexible but only a bit less strong. You lose all aggressiveness if at typical say 25 year old levels of Estrogen but few of “us” ever do that nor do endos even study “us” related to risk and breast and prostate cancer but you live longer and prostate cancer which is generally incipient reverses over time. Prostate cancer medications are exactly the same medications that I have and continue to use but nobody but me has connected the dots apparently.

    I have years and years of progress photos both hair and body-wise and I tell people non-surgical tips to try to pass but it is useless for people who used to be or are working class or flamboyantly queer which is our word which I refuse to reclaim but if they want me to call them queer, fine. I love being a tranny and I love seeing other humans achieve what I have achieved but it’s simply impossible for most gay/transgender bottoms. We are boy-like intersex eunuchs but with estrogen, all races are two shades light for chemical females and the skin is smooth and blemish free and no rosacea or dermatitis all link to testosterone. It’s like Eureka for me and all non-LGBTQ folks seem to get that I have far, far more potential partners now both sexually and relationship-wise than I have since my teens as a beautiful boy in a family without baldness who went from prom king to shut in at 23 but I really only lost my looks and my battle near 50 and many, many males suffer from an all but instantaneous loss of looks and finally hair shed right when T is going down for males and Estrogen down for females. It’s alway DHT, the useless hormone that differentiates the sexes at conception and then causes all post pubertal hair growth, acne and so forth.

    Modern people do not understand the Eunuch concept and how prized they often were but also how unusual and “Other” some of them looked which. is very much like Genies with long body extensions and much height without beards or hair loss or masculinity. It is however deficient as a hormonal state without estrogen ingestion of some kind because estrogen and testosterone are stereotypical in my experience related to aggression, susceptibility to sociological pathologies and addiction and for females in terms of mood and female sex drive which is a completely different head state.

    My path was only legalized/available in my state around 2016 because before they forced you to have genital or sexual reconstructive surgery and no endos were willing to see me unless I promised to opt for what I view as genital mutilation but it’s a slippery slop because castration is very different than trying to make an intersex born or HRT individual have three orifices. Except for urinating it’s the same and I love exactly in the middle but child-like or eunuch-like down there. Sorry if too much information but until people realize that we have virtually nothing in common with anyone except for beautiful Greek bottom boys, every single thing you read is misinformation. All the sites state things about MtF’s that are simply not true and usually never true. Everyone grows hair back if they use enough estrogen long enough but it might take ten to 15 years. I am at year 7 officially and over 8 years altogether seen I started secretly by buying offshore. MtF’s can do that legally; FtM’s without a prescription might go to jail and often appear to become addicted to their meds where they start to look bizarre but never male.

    T and especially DHT are addictive per se for XX’s and XY’s and can cause violent mood swings. I do not consider them “trannies” at all nor do I refer to anyone but myself as that and others who are conceptually similar. Not that my use of “them” there is incoherent in terms of meaning when I use “our” pronouns which simply make no sense while admitting that a name for people “like me” might be nice but they, them, theirself? are all incoherent and I know how to intentionally right acceptable statements for “my people” that are largely void of all meaning except to me. I understand the mind state but it’s cruel to well meaning non-transgender people.

    I and many chemical MtF’s love being tranny and when every single joke is about how Jews hate being Jewish, it infuriates me. Many/most unattractive members of our coalition hate themselves and there’s literally nothing to be done but left them pursue self-hatred. Middle-age self-hating Jewish men in particular are often Jewish and it goes together. Me, I am a nymph in second puberty and I swear to Goddess that at 50 and now 57, I am living in such a different physical and hormonal environment of pure joy except for how others who know that I used to not be on HRT categorize me. I am in competition with male bottoms for partners and in my view, we are preferable to most or all tops, straight or gay, which is essential to understanding the Greeks.

    I actually believe that your writings about Sodom and Gomorrah are informed and I too don’t buy the idea that the men in the story were not at least attempting to sexually abuse the beautiful angel boy/girls as angels appear to be most similar to beautiful XY females. We are all of a sudden the most wanted for sexual purposes by tops and versatile and bottoms but we also even without castration look intersex and completely female from the neck or top down if we have our hair which I now do again or wear wigs which we tend to like to do anyway. Much of LGBTQ “doctrine” is complete and utter garbage that is offensive to human in general but to be me/Janey you tend to have to be very petite as a male and it helps to be 5’6″ or less than 160 centimeters. I have been me too’ed so often that I reluctantly report it to some places but often they want us to simply not keep showing up in many places. If you knock over a glass or stand up to a bully, the restaurants ban you and tell the cops that you/we were drunk and disorderly and I barely drink except as a way to tip waitresses when I perform.

    I have made so much progress to go back into the closet but it’s exhausting to not go stealth at least in all future locations.

    Many people who attempt to be attractive white bottoms who dress like females and are equally indifferent to sex or asexual try to help people go on hormones and do it correctly which requires vast knowledge due to the paucity of sources but I have studied this and lived this so I know that both far more and far less are possible for others and it’s virtually all related to size and to being working class or not.

    I am a lawyer and I only leave the house dress to the 9’s but consistent to being upper middle class and the holder of several difficult degrees and I speak or have knowledge of virtually all Western European languages and I understand the grammatical structures of all languages and IPA which is not just a beer and it’s fundamental to the study of Indo-European and proto Inido-European language and mythology. With DNA, linguistics and people going behind the stories of mythology like you,

    I have a vision of world history that is “the Bearded one are wise and often beautiful but they created chaos everywhere they go and they always leave behind the many baldness/beard genes and baldness crops up immediately in the mixed population be it Native Americans or the Japanese. I think testosterone levels are related to war-like and aggressive behavior as Indo-Europeans and Semites historically wipe each other out all but completely again and again and again and they seem to both value life highly for themselves but as inconsequential to others or the Other as I state it related to both Jews and transgender or gal people who look always and forever different and bizarre even to me or especially to me..

    As you know, blacks are both correct and incorrect to see a link with Egypt or Ethiopia or Eritrea or Somalia which are Semitic speaking largely and highly mixed but also linked to Yemen where many Jews have lived historically quite happily and probably still do. Blacks fundamentally understand all of this and comparing Jewish struggles with choosing to integrate or not with blacks who were yanked out of their homeland and sent to work where whites and Indians were dying. The reason that Africa was spared so long is that only they are genetically able to survive their or in Central America or Alabama.

    Jewish Americans even on some of the enlightened sites say deeply offensive things without even realizing it again and again and again but the working class non-college educated losers are despicable every single time they tell a joke as is Sarah Silverman and none of them get it.

    You cannot patronize blacks and Christians for believing things that your coalition still promotes. I never talk about Yahweh without redeeming Jewish universalism. They always tell Yahweh jokes that are deeply insulting to Christians. You cannot have it both ways and then cry anti-semitism. They truly believe they can say anything because they are an oppressed people and many blacks as do I call bullshit on that because many Jews seem oblivious that they chose to self-segregate and whine about not blending in but of course I never defend mistreatment of anyone. Jericho is incompatible with all reasonable ideation about God unless Yahweh is Satan which exists in many Christian and Gnostic offshoots. Allah seems to be “El” to me and you have exposed parallel separation tendencies in the Bible itself that make the Old Testament seem more mystical than it is instead of pagan or polytheistic to the core.

    The universal ideals in Judaism seem to all come from Persia and never from Canaan. Calling them a kind of Egyptian seems more correct than out of Egypt. Your writings and interpretations of Moses are devastating to all people who believe the Bible is a work of God or from God and it also indicates a scribal conspiracy where you could add things but not edit them out which again makes the book all but incomprehensible as you and I and many Jews were taught it. Somehow we did not dwell on the talking donkey while assuming all other talking animals in mythology were phony except for our, um, donkey or sexually-charged snake.

    You are Goddess-sent and I admire you and your fairness while pursuing topics that many fundamentalist Christians and Jews seem to continue believe and without their questioning the behavior of “Yahweh” which is generally atrocious and inhumane and narcissistic to the point of disbelief. You have shown that consulting the Hebrew sources makes knowing Hebrew much less of a requirement.

    Your writings are revolutionary to me and I re-visit them again and again as themes as a stand-up performer. I sit through filth for two hours often before I go on and I recognize that much or all of “race” issues are actually conflicts between elites, who are almost alway erudite and informed, and working class Gentiles and Jews who simply are “classless” or working class and uneducated. The existence of the typical NYC yiddish-influenced accept is telling as other Jews speak like everyone else at Duke and Harvard. Virtually none of these misinformed people have ever been to college and many Jewish comedians routinely say hateful and hurtful things about transgender people, blacks, Africans and other Semites that have no place in public discourse or any discourse. As I try to master Yiddish sounds in NYC accent and read books about Yiddish, I am beginning to think that the whole Jewish mother thing is again related to self-loathing and the fact that people born of a Jewish mother are always accepted as Jewish by Rabbis and Israel. The only country open to Bobby Fischer after which appears to be mental illness in which is person self-loathing took over and Bobby Fischer had ever reason to be resentful of his father and mother and was raised in semi-poverty by his elite sister.

    Even my conservative Jewish mentor was self-loathing while he called various famous Jews self-hating Jews. Jews know this and they still can’t stop. No Christians view them as having a reason to hate themselves nor do we ever exclude them. Young Jewish people are remembering things that never happened. It’s difficult for me to identify a time where Jews were prevented from being lawyers and working for most WASP firms. They say this because it is part of their own mythology, not ours but it’s offensive to the court to say that no one wanted them in their schools or country clubs. It was both sides there but Gentiles no longer feel this way anywhere in Canada or the U.S. that I can find. We are the best two countries and then France in terms of accepting Jews and still they implicitly insult us.

    I am really, really shaken by pretty much all working class comedians. Sorry to unload on you but I think you implicitly understand things related to archetypes and national mythologies that are often all but completely fabricated. Even our Revolutionary War was won by Scots but the English planters took all the credit and they also drove out all of the loyalists to the point where I prefer Canada and France to my own country.

    No fundamentalist or Wasp or Black Christians that I have encountered believe that Jews “were Christ-killers” and these Jews have no idea how fundamentally offensive comedy related to American or Canadian Christians who lack any notion or belief whatsoever that “Jews” were Christ killers”.

    The bit line, Jesus is magic by Sarah Silverman is false and obscene as imputed racism that like Jericho, never happened around here except by Catholic immigrants who were thrown together with other working class Jews and Irish. Jewish mythology about how mistreated Jewish immigrants in the U.S. and Canada seem to be mythological but they love rags to riches Jewish stories when it’s often the fact that German Jews were treated very well in both countries but also feared because they were elite merchants and lawyers, doctors, architects and so forth.

    As I realize more and more how acceptable it seems for Jews to stomp all over Black American mythologies such as son of slaves, then sharecroppers, then maids, I realize that it usually white sports announcers who paint this fantasy to the point where it becomes deeply offensive to me and to many blacks. Nobody need know that a certain person grew up with his mother scrubbing floors. That’s embarrassing to virtually all races but the idea the Jewish women were scrub women due to white Christian racism or prejudice is deeply offensive to me now as I try to embark on this pst ath but I might have to just reference your material in a Christian context because these people undermine my basic concept of elite universalism n modern Jews, sigh. The regression into a new form of NYC/Ultra Conservative Speak is unsettling to me. Somehow it is English but it isn’t and only people from a Shul tradition with Hebrew and Yiddish are able to understand it. Yiddish was exactly like that many scholars deny that it was at all related to German except phonetically. Ladino or Sephardic is intelligible and easy to understand for Portuguese and Spanish speakers.

    There’s something very different about the Askenazi and they know it but some might have simply been Gentiles who chose to convert for no reason other than to curry favor in the Steppe regions. But Jews who assimilated which was probably many, disappeared into Islam and Christianity which is exactly what happens to transgender people who “pass” and this concept fascinates me especially for androgynous transgender people from the get-go who usually get amazing results from HRT and become more attractive while virtually everyone else sticks out like a thumb more after HRT.

    Anyway, I keep putting them up and I think they are funny and instructive but my new bit says that Jesus was magic but Yahweh has super powers and “he’s” willing to use them against everybody. Fundamentalists do almost universally believe that Yahweh had right.or was right to have Joshua commit genocide. Your writings, to me, indicate how these verses relate to the return from Babylonia and which people Jews admired. Cyrus seems to be a close parallel to Moses and he’s one of the few people who matter who actually existed in the Old Testament.

    I hear self-loathing humor that ends up being offensive to humans in general and these comedians have no idea why many/most blacks become offended. Nobody, among even the most abhorrent churches has claimed that Jews are Christ Killers in a very long time if ever. I am trying to use comedy to show how offensive the Old Testament is to transgender people and to humans in general.

    You as a writer never insult the group that you came from and I rarely do and don’t seek to but I get frustrated with them too. These “believers” are often fundamentally good people who simply believe God/Yahweh should do anything he wants which is the opposite of the Talmudic dialogues often but explicitly stated in the text. Your writing on the four author/source tradition continues to develop the thought of Van Seters. No one in the U.S. had anything to do with the Holocaust and everyone abhors it. People can cope how they want as Jews but Christians often refuse to wallow in things like Slavery or the Holocaust because the Holocaust is essentially unique and at the time, Jewish believers often opposed the concept of Israel as being anti-universalist and anti-Messianic. Your writings about the meaning of “Cain” are often mind-blowing.

    You have a unique intelligence and skill set that amaze me. I sat through various versions of Jewish Holocaust jokes, not Gentile ones and atrocious behavior by “working class” comedians who lack class to the core of their souls. Tikkun Olam. Jews who equate the Holocaust to Black slavery have no idea how fundamentally racist that is. In my opinion, even “woke” Jews who claim that Jews are not white in opinion pieces are saying things that are deeply offensive to Blacks and they simply seem clueless as to why implying that Jews are not white is because often the same people then claim that Jews were white when it suits them, or that they are Semitic but different genetically from other Semites or in terms of deserving to live in places that barely existed in OT times.

    Arguably based upon your writings about circumcision, Jewish Christians were subsumed as were many Jews in general by Islam since Islam as a religion to me, is completely compatible with Jewish belief except for alcohol, which many Christians believe too. You have shown how important the concept of being “Other” is to history and to self-segregation. If everyone is forced to live a mile away from a shul, then that equilibrates into self-isolation as an economic process. Choosing not to become Christian or Islam is both very noble but to many people the differences between Judaism and Islam are not worth dying for except for people like those at Masada but of course, those folks appear to be Essenes or Essenes-orient as were many from Maccabees to AD 70 or so who thought the world might be ending literally.

    The entire New Testament more or less aside from the Gospels and the bizarre Book of Revelation is about whether or not genital mutilation is acceptable or required but also even morally acceptable. The Greeks hated circumcision and the entire idea of genital mutilation related to religion. Christians and Jews are essentially clueless or simply not interested in the fact that the practice of circumcision made the growth of Judaism in Europe at least, all but impossible. You could not “grow” the Christian religion through missionaries with circumcision but cultures tend to deviate at times so Islam could grow through a certain swath of the Roman empire where the Phoenicians were or had been but otherwise Islam largely lacks a north or south pattern of conquest any longer. I understand why many people insist on using the term Anatolia because I believe the fall/taking of Constantinople was without cause or justification as is the destruction of anyone’s culture anywhere. This, in my opinion is why Turkey will not.be admitted to the EEC, as well as the extreme corruption in that country but the drug policies in Turkey have arguably been more lenient than those of the U.S. and Canada.

    I am very shaken by the misogyny that even the XX female comedians spew. I simply do not get humor now because it has gotten so filthy and anti-female and anti-transgender. Somehow gays and lesbians are not made fun of the way that transgender people are. It’s difficult to continue for me because I sit though “filth” spewed by all races but only by working class people. We need to encourage college and life-education even if university no longer pays for itself. Being physically present on the campus is civilizing. Afterwards I asked one of the “Jewish” comedians how long you had to sit shiva and he said he didn’t know what sitting shiva was but he told Holocaust jokes anyway.

    Your writings are about universalism and logic and applying the same rules from academics of Greek mythology to Christian and Jewish mythology. You also show how extra-doctrinal traditions are. I might quibble therefore that Lucifer has independent traditions where he is seen as a lawyer or adversary as Satan which seems to be much less evident in the Arabic Shaytan. I hope you will address the Jinn at some point because they seem bizarre now, but this concept of Jinn/Angels/demi-gods and monotheism is critical to Biblical analysis as to what it meant to be monotheistic In Indo-Iranic traditions. I see a tradition of Persa and Egypt representing nationhood post captivity. You put paid to the 12 tribes and lost tribe traditions.

    Balaam is one of the few people who seems to have actually existed in some form that relates to Old Testament scholarship and he rode a talking donkey which seems ridiculous in any mythological tradition. Cyrus, Darius and Babylonian figures all existed but none of the Egyptians in the Bible appear to be identifiable at all. Your ponderings seem to always be espoused/endorsed by https://www.thetorah.com as they incorporate them into the universalist Jewish tradition. Many universalist Jews have always opposed the return to Israel for theological reasons about what the messianic duties of Jews are in terms of themselves literally being missionaries related to the most elevated and refined concepts in the Rabbinic tradition. The Talmud is used in all Jewish traditions but in many ways, as far as I can see, only the Talmud defines universal Judaism although all of the concepts can conflate and become blurred in times of persecution and crisis like the “H” which to me almost should not be named because it was so close to Jericho that many believers cannot accept revisiting it over and over by people who were not even alive them and then using it aggressively as a weapon. Justifying Jericho is incompatible with denouncing the “H” word or criticizing Gentiles in general and Christians who attempt to defend Yahweh and the events at Jericho as being justifiable was something that drove me away permanently from the evangelicals and every single time I google this I still see garbage about all children going to heaven which comes from a Beatles song and not the Bible at all. There’s limbo but Christian fundamentalist say that limbo is a false doctrine. Every single time the Catholics and Orthodoxs try to give us an out from “hell” the protestant fundamentalists fight it with all of their vigor. That’s the part of where I come from that brought me to your site originally and how it related to my treatment by my own family.

    All of the goyim terminology is arguably more offensive than the ways that Jews are addressed by Gentiles with tiny exceptions with groups that in the U.S. and Canada have no power or potential for power but who like much of the working classes have been essentially replaced by machines and females so they get stuck with being loggers, truckers, deliverymen, steel workers, mine workers and so forth. Women and many ethnic groups have no tradition of working in these industries nor do they respect how grueling they are.

    I considered becoming a Reform or Reconstructionist Jew but my Jewish mentor discussed the law of Moses vs. the covenant with Noah and told me that it was unnecessary for Christians to convert to “worship” the “Jewish” univeralist G_d or partake in any form of Jewish heaven if it exists. Your writings about Sheol make me think that the one life and then you no longer exist concept is superior to Sheol.

    It’s often charged to even try to distinguish between adherents of a broad coalition. The most upsetting things that I hear or people say to me are by other members of the LGBTQ coalition and their insistence on doctrinal agreement with what many gays and lesbians say about transgender people. Many people indicate support but “feel sorry” for me but “are glad” that they are not transgender or non-binary. No, I do not know a transgender person personally in Washington or Baltimore who is in a completely different category or tradition that has zero to do with me or the people most like me. Some times people hand me their phones and try to hook me up with literally people that look like sex workers to me. I might be slightly autistic but my type of almost being a savant never forgets anything relevant to my journey or existence but I might forget I have a doctor’s appointment or show up at the wrong place and I am pretty sure high estrogen levels are associated with this because my mood is so elevated.

    Many or most of these fundamentalist people are decent working class people who are decent but clueless Christians. I love all people and all members of “out coalition” and would gladly represent them in court but there’s a new group like me that is growing who only use hormones and who insist that the transgender female variety requires some commitment besides a change of clothes.

    I thank you for your defenses of gay males and your understanding as to what it meant to be a Greek or Roman top who would deny being homosexual at all and no, they were not deluding themselves. It has to do with the state of mind and whether a transgender person is carrying a functional weapon that might intimidate females who have been abused or traumatized. I try to do hormonal counseling for anyone who wants it but I disapprove of the “they” usage because it is stigmatizing and outs people who don’t want to be outed. Asking people’s pronouns often humiliates them whether you are right or wrong. Many teenagers have a look that I know from Hormone Replacement Therapy that appears mixed or inter-gender and it happens to XX’s and XY’s both and most of them are not gay or transgender.

    Puberty blockers are universally supported by all transgender people because of how hormones work and if you miss your sweet spot, there is very little that surgery can do with people who appear extremely sexually dimorphic when they start hormones. No surgery, cosmetic or otherwise can correct that for people who are transgender who want to disappear and live in stealth which many petite XY’s can easily do while other people in our tradition are constantly plagued with the concept of being “Other”. I perceive that maybe the majority of our coalition accepts the necessity of SRS for those who want it but many of us abhor surgical modification but also recognize that being “chemically female” or surgically female is necessary for our experiences to be valid.

    We tend to oppose infant circumcision always until the same age where people are deemed able to make informed decisions to be circumcised. Circumcision always and everywhere requires genital mutilation and we are completely excluded from the Brist tradition which many of us find horrifying and demeaning to humans in general but I remain a leftwing libertarian who opposes war always. I do not in any way, shape, manner of form approve of what Russia or the Ukraine is doing and without knowledge of Slavic culture and traditions, Americans need to butt out. If Canada has a problem with the U.S. which they some times do, the idea of Europeans coming to rescue Canada is ludicrous because Canada is still sitting next to the U.S. and we share virtually all traditions among English speakers and non-Acadian, non-Quebecois blacks in both countries in terms of current culture.

    Some of this might seem extraneous but your work and writing process has changed my life and your writings about Sodom and Gomorrah and Greek archetypes in the Bible helps to stop LGBTQ members from being exploited by the Abrahamic religions. LGBTQ as a coalition has two traditions that are impossible to reconcile because I have been through both of them. We promote or seek the idea that changing one’s gender official makes sense while pursuing new pronouns. Like many in our coaliton, when I read articles where they call someone “they” who is in a relationship with anyone then become incomprehensible and meaningless when read by “anybody” else.

    Eg. They fell in love with a “woman” and then they moved to Mexico” has little or no meaning to anyone else.

    People should stand up to our BS and call us on it but also try to understand that I am following Greek ideals and traditions related to mutilation and body type ideals related to whom the Greeks found most attractive, male, female, transgender and other. You clearly are aware that these traditions can be manipulative but also at some age of “boyhood” deeply emotionally and satisfying to both, which is the homosexual tradition known as topping and bottoming. You cannot understand the Greeks or Romans and their views without understanding that many many “homosexuals” are only able to relate to these two concepts. All of the best bars know this and we all know this too. Many assume that all “homosexuals” are “versatiles” as we put it in ads seeking partners or “they do”.

    Many times tops and bottoms will walk into a “gay” bar and immediately leave because we can visually tell “no likely partners for me here” and our “gaydar” is rarely wrong in context. We know immediately who among our coalition are potential partners and many people who call themselves transgender dislike or do not want to be associated with other types but we still love them. My group is not bisexual or gay because those topics rarely have any relevance for us because transfeminine means something almost the opposite of transsexual which term LGBTQ members, no longer use except to explain that surgery path transgender females are often diametrically opposed to hormones only but hormones always tradition.

    Thank you for promoting understanding of “gay” and pederastic concepts that virtually no one else gets. Our age in Maryland and that of the UK is 16 for criminal purposes but not for someone in authority over someone else. Women in particular continue to fail to understand this concept because it is all but void for vagueness. Federal law prohibits photographing gay youths who might be 16 and married but this rarely happens. What it means is that it deeply unsettles me that people do not understand that it is “okay to be attracted to people pas the age of 13 or 14 traditionally but that does not justify grooming and exploiting youths who are not in college yet. It’s repugnant to me often but I do not deny that people of vastly different ages can if not often, have deep loving relations. Whether or not Alexander was “gay” seems to be simply irrelevant to Greeks while the idea of Caesar “bottoming” was consider a crime against his clan and position in Roman because it is submissive which usually correlates to bottoming.

    Many idealized boys “bottom from the top” though and often have most if not all of the power in the relationship until they are no longer petite, have beards or pubic hair or begin to bald which happens to many Greek males today as early as 14, which is tragic and also a valid reason for puberty blockers. All of this might be incomprehensible to everyone except you and me but it is fundamental to all Western ideas of eros and nobody I encounter even remotely understands any of these topping and bottom ideas. In my view, it’s impossible to understand any aspect of the LGBTQ tradition without them but I reject the term queer entirely and reclaim “tranny” which other people in our transgender hormonal user community find offensive but some times people have to agree to not stereotype their own coalition members because it divides us and clearly makes us angry. My goal is to educate others though instructional commentary about the Old Testament to see the multiple names of god–I hate capitalizing the word god or leaving the O out because saying goddess’s name is offensive or I am what I am which is similar to what Popeye often said in a Cockney accent for some reason.

    You point out again and again that the Jewish traditions of having multiple hidden gods along with the doctrine of only saying Adonai basically makes the Old Testament impenetrable for non-Semitic language potential scholars. The equation of Yahweh snorted and smoke came out of his nostrils with the Lord became angry is so offensive that because it completely excludes non-Hebrew religious truth seekers from being able to understand the Bible at all. That translation transfers Baal into a universalist God miraculously and it is completely obscured by the no vowel posture of Hebrew which I find impossible to understand when another tradition in Phoenicia seems to have been far superior in terms of spelling and being understandable to others. Yeshua and Joshua are identical apparently in Hebrew but now pronounced differently and spelled differently for unknown reasons. The bizarre term Kenite both obscures and elucidates Cain and the rivalry with Seth.

    Again, and again, we encounter things that indicate that some Canaanites sought to simply withdraw from almost coherence with other religions and traditions which some in the Jewish tradition use to excoriate Christians in general. Anyone who understands Ladino, as do I quite well since it’s more or leas Portuguese, not Spanish but differed slightly can see that Ladino and Yiddish are fundamentally different not the same because Ladino can easily be understood orally by others and grammatically it differs very little from Portuguese and Spanish. The Ladino language has some embedded Hebrew but is very close to Latinic languages, and the Sephardic Jews and the Samaritans seem to be the only groups in danger of extinction even though the “H” was largely directed at Askenazi and class groupings seem to be key to understanding anti-Semitism in Europe but people sling anti-Semitic slurs at Americans who weren’t around or didn’t exist as a country for what Russia or Poland or Ukraine or Germany did. Germany and Ukraine did seem in cahoots at one point in WWII and if I were Russian, I might still be deeply upset and want back all lands ceded by the Soviet Union.

    No ethnic nor racial group nor people “forced” Jews to wander the planet without a home. They largely throughout history appear to have self-selected for that and “secret” Jews are essential to understanding all of this and I have a close friend who is related to secret Jews who are Catholic outwardly. I understand how that protects individuals but Islam is so close to Judaism doctrinally and Islam has a tradition of being very welcoming to Jews and against mistreatment of Jews and Jewish refugees in general and somehow inexplicably the people of these two faiths seem to have been perpetually at war but no, only the Christians and the Muslims have been perpetually at war. Israel and how it has been developed as a concept is offensive to many Christians, Muslims and Jews who are not anti-semitic all all.

    This might all be too hot to handle for anyone in comedy except for what I consider elite enlightened people. Many Jews have no ability whatsoever in my opinion to even understand what you write because every people has its own mythology which often prevents them from even perceiving inconsistency in their own traditions. Calling people anti-semitic because they oppose not Israel but the fact that Israel violates freely many universally accepted conventions that all other nations at least adhere to publicly and at least feel guilty for violating. You cannot give a state the power to exclude immigrants based upon language or religion or nationhood but yes, the H created unique circumstances but excluding some Christian converts who believe in God from Israel while accepting others automatically who believe in no god is not coherent or defensible in the long-run without some articulation of principles and how long this will continue.

    I see Black American people in generally being accused of anti-Semitism again and again when it is not even remotely legitimate. Going to a comedy show now almost requires an X rating because of the filth that virtually all of the stand-up joints near me subject the audience and participants too. Objectification of female or transgender people as bitches or ho’s is incomprehensible to me as being acceptable or funny or even permissible down here on the front lines. I believe in free speech but fence these folks off from people who like comedians in the Jack Benny or Flip Wilson of non-mentally-ill and stigmatizing Cosby comedic traditions. Fat Albert is racist to its core as most of us define the limits of acceptability and made fun of people who stuttered and appeared mentally ill. I know because I grew up with it every Saturday.

    Nevertheless, I will strive to promote the universalist concepts of understanding and defanging things that are alleged to be anti-Jewish or anti-Christian. Jews comedians who make fun of the OT almost always proceed to implicitly and deeply insult blacks and Christians of all types and they seem oblivious. I think explaining Greek ideals, Gay and transgender ideals and the new hormonal only non-binary transgender folks who see gender preference as largely lacking relevance or meaning outside of the top/bottom concept is worthwhile and I can make it edgy and funny without demeaning anyone. “We” reject being depicted as binary even if we are legally female and “out” as female which is often for legal reasons and self-protection for when, not if, we get hassled or arrested. Janey however seems to never get tickets only warnings and the people she newly treat her/them almost preciously. I get it and virtually no one else in my/our coalition gets it.

    Janey is far more esteemed than Will and clothing and makeup and being almost invisible looks-wise as a transgender person gets you far better treatment in life. Being viewed as “Other” is virtually always a step down class-wise and even in our movement/coalition. Your writings about the unacknowledged Asherah vs. Astarte and Aphrodite have really being moving to me in terms of helping me in figuring my own role or ideal or mission in society. It’s stark but frank and true. Attractive people always and everywhere get better treatment in life but this usually means being somewhat petite and extremely vulnerable in my context. There’s no free ride in nature. Goliath is incapable of becoming Aphrodite and Lucifer crashes or falls from trying to be as beautiful or as important as someone but the attempt can be thrilling and legendary but for those who can’t even get off the ground so to speak, heartbreaking to the core.

    This in my view largely encapsulates human beings who think becoming “transgender” will improve their lives or self-image. It almost never happens and when it does, the person still has calamity with family or previous friends and then becomes invisible and subsumed as a female similar to Jews being subsumed by some Christian and Muslim situations. My heart aches for these people but there’s little or nothing to be done except so say that puberty blockers are virtually always a good idea for people unsure of gender but “coming out” as transgender from a gay or lesbian tradition in my opinion is rarely a good idea primarily because you lose potential partners in life almost entirely without any offset except for those partners involved in fetishism. Fetishism disappears entirely in chemical females over time, perhaps within 2 years for everyone reaching or exceeding female estrogen levels. So again, without understanding Greece, the effects of castration and the science of HRT and the science of beard and hair loss genes, it’s impossible to even get any of this. But only whites and Semites among unmixed people go bald or grow significant beards and sexual dimorphism is all but absent related to hair and facial differentiation in Native Americans and Asians, Polynesians and the Inuit/Eskimo (both valid and acceptable terms in both Canada and the U.S). People who go bald or experience scalp-hair like beard growth appear to process testosterone differently or they have more of a type called 5-DHT which could also promote adventurism, war and the idea of conquest elevating the conquering peoples which seems absent in virtually all other traditions.

    Anyway to me, your writings explain key parts of all of this, along with new DNA advances and the delineation about how many of these topics are addressed. People who support body mutilation as being necessary to go to heaven or to join the faith, have almost zero in common with those of us who admire the Greek and Iranian ideals. Peace, love and sisterhood/brotherhood but some people choose to look Hasidic and to speak a new exclusionary dialect of English that only current Yiddish speakers understand are opting for Other or see themselves as needing to be Other. Many Jewish traditions are simply not coherent as universalist traditions or coherent when “norms” as we call them, rudely (not me) or people who decide their life goal is too look like Barbie when they are 183 centimeters tall. They do try though but it usually turns out like a male female impersonator. I abhor female impersonators because they are making a parody of XX’s in a way that I find offensive to me and to XX females. When bars have those, only flamboyant people tend to be there and lesbians all huddle in one corner, all five of them.

    Realistically, very few people want to look Hasidic or associate with people of that female impersonator look in public nor do they want to hang out with extremely tall and large chemical males who insist that they are females but neither surgery not using hormones which to me appears to be a fetish of gay men for reasons all gays and lesbians understand since these seem to always be those of us arrested for peeing in public and are at times, the people I represent in criminal cases. They often have extreme boob jobs and butt jobs but are functioning male fetishes of some submissive men. LGBTQ powers to be refuse to admit what all of us know and pretend to others that all females are female. Many of these protest if I call them XY-females even when I am trying to help them consider a hormonal plan that allows them to grow breasts but also to top and be just as substantial. I hold my nose at times and give them advance but it’s virtually impossible to pull off without being chemically female which is entirely disarming. Their partners/clients don’t want that. Most of my potential male suitors would immediately lose all interest if I got genital reconstructive surgery and I would go down immediately in the LGBTQ pecking order which is the same as that of the Greeks pretty much even for lesbians. The show the L word covers all of this well as does it the fantasy Jewish persecution complex, I think unintentionally by the Jewish developer who went on to do Orange is the New Black. That show along with Oz define many, many homosexual fetishes. I hope don’t end up in jail for being transgender in public but it might happen if I hang out with the wrong people. It’s a bizarre situation because my character needs to be out and almost pass to work.

    Becoming transgender is never going to be accepted if people look Other. Some people look Other from birth precisely because of hormone irregularities (not disorders) and there’s a look associated with estrogen dominant people in general and testosterone dominant lesbians that I can spot all but instantly and many gays and lesbians are able to do the same thing without even understanding that hormones affect us at least as much as DNA and genes and maybe more. Baldness is largely five or six different genes and you can’t combat baldness without taking some form of T blocker but that often stunts beard growth and many claim, sexual vigor. I will continue to read your articles and with your videos with alacrity as they are all uplifting and I find them incredibly satisfying almost like puzzle revelation in my semi-autist mind which churns 20 hours a day. Nature giveth and nature giveth away. ADHD often reverses into hyperfocus and I can master a field pretty quickly and if I can put together say hormonal articles and publications that have never been connected by others, I can make eureka breakthroughs and your articles help me do that in a way that is difficult to explain but its as though once I have enough disparate information or knowledge, it coalesces into a recognizable pattern and your writing does that for me related to my fascination with all things Indo-European since we seem to have all of the records and recorded history too. It’s hard to find any from Africa, our hemisphere or Polynesia. Only Asia/Semitic regions including China and everywhere the Indo-Europeans/Phonecians/Caanites/Arabs have traveled to and they never seem to lose their wanderlust which is both good and bad historically. There’d be a lot more if Europeans could have decided that justification by faith vel non was not worth dying over.

    Best and with respectful gratitude,

    Will/Jane Loeffler.

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  4. Nice support for the antiquity of Joseph as a group. We have extra-Biblical support for the name Israel from the time of the Omrides (not necessarily related to the Israel in Merneptah’s stele). Any idea how old might the name Jacob be? Finkelstein thinks the Jacob vs Laban story preserves the border between Israel and Aram as it was in the time of the Omrides specifically. If so, would its original version have been about Israel (and probably just one wife), and later versions would have Jacob, with the added story about the name change to Israel?

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    • Thanks for the comment. I have a lot of unfinished reading on this topic. Finkelstein and Römer 2014, “Comments on the Historical Background of the Jacob Narrative” (link) propose a 10th century date for the earliest Jacob traditions based on the idea that this is when the ethnic divide between the Gilead (where the core Jacob tradition seems to come from) and the Arameans was established. At that time, he would have been the ancestral patriarch of the “Sons of Jacob”, but not yet the patriarch of Israel. They think the Jacob tradition was “institutionalized” in the 8th century around the reign of Jeroboam II.

      Now, there’s also a recent article by Israel Knohl, “Jacob-El in the land of Esau”, pointing out a toponym, Jacob-El, that appears in three Egyptian inscriptions of the 13th century and seems to be located in Edom. Knohl suggests that the clan of Jacob-El migrated to Israel at some point, perhaps bringing knowledge of Yahweh with them. (Basically, this is a version of the Kenite hypothesis.)

      Incidentally, in the Joseph story, Jacob is primarily called “Israel” in the passages corresponding to the “Judah-version” of the story, which Redford considers to be an addition meant to supplant the Reuben version.

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      • I tried to reply, but my hone seems to have eaten my comment. Please delete if duplicated.

        Thanks for the paper. The evolution of Jacob is proposed to be from patriarch of one group in a small area of Transjordan to patriarch of the kingdom of Israel to patriarch of the joint Israel + Judah, with the Jacob and Laban story as the oldest core.

        However I doubt this oldest version included the fertility contest between the two wives. The story did not require Jacob to have more than one son, maybe named Machir or Gilead, sometimes the name of a tribe or other group in the area.

        The tribes mentioned in Deborah’s song more or less match the 8th century BCE situation with no tribes to the south of Benjamin, and with some non-standard tribes. Also with tribes from the far north, including the northern warrior Barak.

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        • Yeah, I get the feeling that the writers/editors of Genesis did a lot of work organizing the family tree to make all the different patriarch traditions fit together.

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    • How the Hyksos fit in is an interesting question. Manetho’s story of the renegade priest Osarseph and the army of Egyptian lepers allied with the Hyksos against Pharaoh “Amenophis” (probably Akhenaten) has numerous echoes in both the Joseph story and the exodus story — including Joseph’s name. But whether Manetho is writing anti-Jewish propaganda inspired by the biblical stories or the biblical tales were written in response to (or as a subversion of) Manetho’s work is hard to say. At the very least, the name Joseph cannot be based on Osarseph if the “House of Joseph” was an Iron Age political entity in the Levant.

      That said, the actual rule of the Hyksos, Egypt’s 15th dynasty, was way back in the Middle Bronze Age, and the Bible shows no evidence of any cultural memory from that far back. Any influence would have to come from the memory of Egyptian legends about the Hyksos from much later, encountered by diaspora Jews living in Egypt.

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  5. I’m fascinated by the development of the tradition of the tribes of Israel and the sons of Jacob, so I found this article very interesting. I believe there are also some psalms that refer to Joseph in a context you might expect to see Israel or Judah, as well.

    Do you believe this House of Joseph was roughly equivalent to the territories of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin? What would be the relationship between the House and the tribes?

    Since I’ve stopped reading the Bible literally, I’ve found it contains quite a few riddles. There are the tribes such as Reuben and Simeon that are barely mentioned, the fact some sons, and therefore tribes, are attributed to concubines, and others. Maybe I’ll learn some of the solutions in my lifetime.

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    • What do you make of the Blessing of Jacob, and the place of Joseph in it? I’ve seen people assign dates of composition everywhere from the 10th century BCE to the 6th.

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      • The Blessing of Jacob is a confusing mix of different source material that constantly switches between the speaker. Sometimes it is Jacob speaking in the first person, sometimes it is Yahweh speaking, sometimes it uses the third person, and so on. Much of the content is probably unrelated to Jacob’s deathbed blessing. Joseph’s blessing is also strange: “the blessings of your father are mightier than the blessings of my ancestors.” (49:26) That doesn’t sound like Jacob speaking.

        Andrew Tobolowsky (The Sons of Jacob and the Sons of Herakles) believes that this passage in its final form and the overall tribal-genealogical framework are late and of southern (Judaean) origin, and his arguments make sense to me. As for the place of Joseph (you mean, being listed second-to-last?) I’m not sure if it’s significant. The sheer length of Joseph’s blessing seems to establish him as the superior brother (see Garbini, Myth and History in the Bible, p. 50).

        By the way, that book by the late Garbini has a lot of interesting stuff to say on Reuben.

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        • The NIV changes the text to create a parallelism between “ancient mountains” and “age-old hills.” It notes the change in a footnote.

          26 Your father’s blessings are greater
          than the blessings of the ancient mountains,
          than[n] the bounty of the age-old hills.
          Let all these rest on the head of Joseph,
          on the brow of the prince among[o] his brothers.

          n. Genesis 49:26 Or of my progenitors, / as great as

          The NRSV does something similar:

          26 The blessings of your father
          are stronger than the blessings of the eternal mountains,
          the bounties[b] of the everlasting hills;
          may they be on the head of Joseph,
          on the brow of him who was set apart from his brothers.

          b. Genesis 49:26 Cn Compare Gk: Heb of my progenitors to the boundaries

          Does this merit inclusion on your mistranslations list?

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        • I guess I wasn’t clear. The Blessing mostly seems to be addressing tribes rather than sons, and yet it mentions Joseph rather than Ephraim or Manasseh. Meanwhile, Ephraim as a distinct entity is at least as old as the Song of Deborah. The Blessing of Moses also refers to Joseph as a tribe but mentions Ephraim and Manasseh as being contained within it.

          Another thing I find interesting about the Blessing of Jacob is it has an explanation for the scattered status of Levi that has nothing to do with priesthood.

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        • “Simon and Levi are brothers”, condemned for their violence (I assume this refers to the Dinah episode, another curious subplot). But was Simon also scattered?

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        • Like John Kesler points out, Simeon essentially has no territory of its own and has no independent role in the history of Israel. The aforementioned Tobolowsky points out that Reuben-Simeon-Levi-Judah is kind of a fixed formula in a lot of the tribal texts, and he seems to think that this was a “southern bloc” invented by Judaean scribes to supplement northern tribal traditions. It’s possible none of these names were actually tribes at any time in history.

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        • Right. I think what’s happening is that quite late in the editing process, the House of Joseph (a separate political entity) was combined with the tribal myth and made the father of Ephraim and Manasseh, which is what we get in the Blessing.

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  6. Paul Braterman, according to Joshua 19:1-9, Simeon’s territory lay within the territory of Judah. Also, Simeon is missing from the Blessing of Moses, Deuteronomy 33.

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    • Which makes the story of Jeroboam’s rebellion interesting. The idea is that Jeroboam would rule over ten tribes, and the Davidic king would have one tribe. The problem is, Simeon cannot reasonably be one of the ten, and the text identifies Benjamin as being part of the Kingdom of Judah.

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  7. Here’s a question that I don’t get. Why don’t you just narrate your videos with you uncompressed voice?

    There are a lot of Books on “Tape” online that sound similar to that.

    You have a nice voice, Canadian yes, but still nice except for that “ou” sound but I digress. Love the videos but the sound is sort of eh, Janey says. Help me understand since I am old and still listen to vinyl.

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    • Audio is still one of the areas I’m working on. I’m somewhat limited by my medium-quality microphone and a noisy neighborhood that requires a bit of noise processing.

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