Joe Baker
Re: Borders
Mon Sep 25, 2017 07:34
60.228.221.41

Hi Tory

Can someone please define the borders of Edom, Moab, and Ammon please.

Depends on what time period you are talking about. Boundaries are fluid because they depend on everyone recognising them.

My concern was with the northern border of Moab because the J source assumes it was along the Arnon. But this source belongs to the reign of Ahab when the Book of Kings has Moab as a tribute paying vassal of Israel and the Mesha stele tells the story of how Moab took back the cities of Northern Moab that Omri had taken for himself. The J source is trying to justify why (contemporary) northern Moab belonged to Israel.

All the later sources (except D) take it that northern Moab (north of the Arnon) was an integral part of Moab. This is so in the writings of the prophets - Isaiah 15, Jeremiah 25 and Ezekiel 25. It is also the case with the P sources in the Pentateuch which consistently report that the plains of Moab were on the other side of the Jordan (opposite) Jericho. It is only the J source (and the D source which follow it) which says that Moab did not control northern Moab in the days of the Exodus because its possessions north of the Arnon had recently been conquered by Sihon of Heshbon, whom it makes out to be an Amorite. So J (a contemporary of Ahab) can argue that northern Moab was not Moabite but instead had been Amorite when the Exodus Israelites conquered it (for the Amorites had recently taken it from the Moabites). Thus J’s argument is much like the later Hittite claim, in the Tudḫaliya - Šauškamuwa treaty, which has it that during the reign of Suppiluliuma, Aziru of Amurru was a vassal of the king of the Ḫurri (Tušratta) before going over to Suppiluliuma. In this case the fact that Aziru was an Egyptian vassal at the time (as confirmed by the contemporary Suppiluliuma-Aziru treaty) is completely ignored.

REGION           EARLIER SITUATION  FABRICATED SITUATION  LATER SITUATION
Northern Moab Moabite control Amorite control Israelite control (under Omri)
Amurru Egyptian vassal Mittannian vassal Hittite vassal (under Suppiluliuma)

But even J makes a slip as when he says that while at Shittim (before the crossing of the Jordan), Israelites men were fornicating with Moabite (not Amorite) women before Baal-Peor. Also the D source (which follow J in placing Northern Moab under Amorite control, but written some two centuries later) say that Moses (before the crossing of the Jordan) declared the torah in the land of Moab and and was buried in front of Beth-Peor, in the land of Moab.

Regards Joe


  • BordersTory, Sun Sep 3 04:35
    Can someone please define the borders of Edom, Moab, and Ammon please. Thanks Tory
    • Re: Borders — Joe Baker, Mon Sep 25 07:34
      • Re: BordersTory, Fri Sep 29 10:23
        Hi Joe, My concern was with the northern border of Moab because the J source assumes it was along the Arnon. I no longer agree with the conventional identification of the Arnon river as the Wadi... more
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