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Giants in anceint Israel

Poster: hfeld@ids2.idsonline.com (Harold Feld)

Greetings from Yaakov.

1) It is difficult to say which comes first, Greek mythology or Hebrew
mythology.  Both appear to share some similar characterisitics with
Phonecian mythology.  There is a clear cultural link for both with the
Phonecians (i.e., the alphabet).  Part of the problem is that identifying
when the Hebrews first appear and develop a distinct mythology is more
conjectural than for the Greeks.

1a) Although modern scholars will generally agree that the Bible takes its
final form in 586 b.c.e, they will also agree that pieces are older, with
some *much* older.  some probably date as far back as 1000 b.c.e, which
would (I believe) pre-date most of the classic Greek sources (like Homer).
Identifying which pieces is somewhat controversial.  The older scholarship
relied on principles of linguistics that have long since been disproven
(e.g., languages become more complex as they become more developed,
therefore more linguistically complex pieces are newer.  This is false.)

2) Although Goliath is exceptional as a giant, myths regarding goants are
found elsewhere.  The spies, when reporting on the land, refer to "the
giants, children of giants" (n'philim b'nei anak) who were so large "we
were as grass hoppers in our sight compared to them." (Numbers 13:33)
Similarly, Og, king of Bashan, is described as "the last of the remnant of
the giants (r'phaim). (Deut. 3:11).  I do not know if these sections are
considered older or newer than the Greek legends.

3) Of course, Moses recevied the Torah from God at Sinai, but I speak above
whereing my secular hat.

Harold Feld
Yaakov HaMizrachi

"Do not ask 'Why are these days not as good as the days of old?' This
question is not prompted by wisdom." -Eccl.

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