Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Velikovsky argued that Kadesh-Barnea was Mecca.

As I've come to agree with Velikovsky less then I used to on some matters.  But this is an example of one of his lesser known ideas that I've come to find compelling.

The "Great and Terrible Wilderness".

Some corresponding identities I'm not sold on, like Medina with the Midian of Jetho, I think that Midian was probably the usual Midian, but shouldn't his theory be looking for it in Yemen?  And while I've contemplated the idea of Sinai in Yemen, I'm annoyed by the logic that goes into trying to make it a Volcano.  And I've already talked about where I agree and disagree concerning the Amalekites.

I have already explained on this blog why I believe Sinai was in Arabia, even if I'm not so solid on Jebel El Lawz anymore.  And on the Ishmael tag of my Prophecy Blog, I discus further reasons I see some truth in the Islamic claims about Ishmael, even though I would never endorse Islamic Theology, Christolgoy or Soterology.  Including possibly agreeing that Baca of the Psalm 84:6 refers to the Bakkah of Mecca.

Others taking aspects of Velikovsky's argument have tied it into other totally off base theories, like all of Israel was in Arabia, or that the Mizraim of the Hebrew Bible was just an Arab tribe.

One thing that I'm not sure Velikovsky knew, was there where probably two places called Kadesh visited during the wandering.  The place where Miriam died was not Barnea.  I do think Barnea is meant by some unqualified references to Kadesh, and this theory requires all three Kadesh of Genesis to be Barnea.  But the Kadesh that marks a Southern/Eastern boundary of Israel in Ezekiel 47 and 48 I do not think was Barnea but was somewhere near Aqaba or Petra, where Miriam died, and a location near Patra is traditionally where Aaron was buried.  There were likewise two places called Meribah.

Lots of people I know disagree about there being two places called Kadesh in the wandering.   But reading of the narrative that assume them to be the same have Israel in the same place for like 38 years.  Deuteronomy 2:14 defines this 38 years as hey time they were traveling from Kadesh-Barnea to the Brook of Zered.  So they were at Barnea only at the start of that time-frame.  And in this case the sources Veiikvosky is drawing on say Mozaikiya and his tribe stayed in Mecca only a few years then traveled North.  BTW, the "Mountain of Moses" in the Masudi quote Velikovsky talked about could be Nebo where Moses was buried and died, rather then Sinai.

The Kadesh of Numbers 13, which is Barnea, is in the Wilderness of Paran.  In Numbers 20 they arrive at a Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin, no references to Paran apply to the Kadesh where Miriam died.  In Numbers 13:21 Zin is referenced not as being where that Kadesh is located, but as a southern border of the Promised Land that the 12 spies surveyed.

What interests me in particular is how this is one of the places where The Tabernacle had been erected, and some Arab historians do say a Tent existed where the Kaaba is first.  I have become intrigued by the argument that the Tabernacle was actually Dome shaped.  And there is a Dome shaped structure near the Kaaba.  I don't think any building there now goes back to the time of Moses, but it's interesting.

Every time it's called Barnea it's called that in retrospect.  It's just called Kadesh when Israel is there in the present in Numbers 13.  It's in references back to those events in Numbers 32 and 33, and in Deuteronomy and Joshua that it's called Kadesh-Barnea.   That makes me wonder what Barnea means?

Update May 2017: I made some mistakes up above.

I'm not alone in this mistake I made, lots of other people talking about what Velikovsky wrote on Kadesh-Barnea and Mecca seem to miss that he was suggesting Mar'ib wasn't in Yemen.

Velikovsky did not place Sinai in Yemen or in Arabia at all, he based this on a Sinai Peninsula Sinai view and said it fit the 11 day journey requirement by arguing a day's journey could be 40 Kilometers.  With that math you could also made Mecca as Barnea consistent with Jabal el-laws or Jebel al-Madhbah.

However I have a problem with placing Sinai north of Kadesh-Barnea, since the account of Israel traveling from Sinai to Kadesh implies they were heading in the direction of the Promised Land.  If Mecca is Kadesh-Barnea then Sinai is south of it, between them is a mountain range called Seir which could refer to the Asir mountains.  So it being in Yemen fits best.

I think the Kadesh in the Wilderness of Zin where Miraim died is Petra or someplace very near there.  The Mountain near Petra believed to be where Aaron was buried I think is where Aaron was buried.

The story Velikvosky was drawing on I think is itself a confused mixture of traditions.  Partly based on Moses but also mingled with how the Banu Khuza'a came to Mecca around the second century AD.  Or sometimes as early as the 6th Century BC.

One of the guilt by affiliation tactics used by enemies of Sinai in Arabia is a fear it would somehow vindicate Islam.  Muhammad's failures as a Prophet are sufficient to discredit Islam, Muslim traditions about Ishmael derive from what Jews and Christians of Arabia already believed.

Jerome and Eusebius both well before Muhammad placed the Wilderness of Paran in Arabia Deserta.

It is true that for most of Biblical History Ishmaelite tribes lived further north, mostly in Jordan and Syria.  But Jeremiah foretells Kedar being scattered by Nebuchadnezzar.  Which I talked about in my post showing that Muhammad descended from Ishmael.

But the Islamic traditions agree that for a long time after Ishmael himself others controlled Mecca until the Kedarites came.  The Jurhum (who are sometimes identified as Amalekites), and then the Banu Khuza'a.

Update October 2017: Alternatively, Mecca as Sinai.

Another theory out there is that Mt Sinai was Jabal al-Nour (Mount of Light or Illumination), a mountain near Mecca, where supposedly Muhammad had his first revelation, in the Hira cave.  A lot of evidence for that theory could overlap with Mecca as Kadesh, so I figured I'd talk about it here.

If that theory is true, the Hira cave could also be Elijah's Cave.  And the Kaaba could be where the Tabernacle of Moses was first pitched, the original Holy of Holies.  And the Zamzam Well could be the Well of Exodus 2:15, where Moses met Zipporah.  And perhaps also identify the city of Midian with Medina, also named Yathrib, a name possibly derived from Jethro.

Another nearby Mountain is Jabal Thawr, meaning Mountain of the Bull, perhaps linked to the Golden Calf incident.

And that could be consistent with a more usual location for Kadesh-Barnea, in southern Israel or Jordan.  Possibly near Petra.

What's curious is how Wikipedia and some other sites will mention that Charles Beke in 1873 suggested Jabal al-Nour as Mt Sinai, but without mentioning it's close association with Muhammad or Mecca, and even misrepresent where it is making it sound closer to the Gulf of Aqaba.

Even going off the account Velikovsky based his Kadesh as Mecca theory on.  It has this family/tribe going from Meri'b right to Mecca, no stopping at a separate Sinai analogue in between.   So maybe even that account Velikovsky had miscalculated and was really associating Mecca with Sinai?

Now this gets into some authors theories that the Ark of the Covenant is in the Kaaba now, and was placed there by Muhammad, and that till then it was in Sinai. And citing the Quran, Sura 2 verse 248.

I still have reasons for favoring Sinai being in Yemen.  But this possibility is interesting.  Though I of course don't think the Ark is in Mecca.

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