New Book by Israel Knohl: Ha-Shem
Prof. Israel Knohl has a new book called Ha-Shem. Knohl claims that the Israelites were enslaved not in Egypt, but by the Egyptians in Canaan, probably in the area of the Golan Heights. He claims that the sea that the Israelites passed through was really the Hula, and Mount Hermon is Har ha-Elohim, lit. God’s Mountain or the Mountain of God. What about Mt. Sinai? Sinai was one of God’s names, so Mt. Sinai is in some sense parallel to Har ha-Elohim.
I enjoyed his previous book מאין באנו, From Where Did We Come?, that discusses the origins of the Isrealite people, so I can’t wait for this one. For a different approach to the question see this post, “Were the Israelites Enslaved in Egypt?,” by Michael Carasik.
Knohl’s book made this (Heb.) list of recommended books for the Pesaḥ. Two key texts for Knohl are Psalm 68, esp. verse 16, and the Merneptah Stele that describes events in Canaan! Read both the Psalm and this excerpt and see what you think. If this wasn’t enough, he also examines the centrality of numbers in the Ancient Near East and finds the gematria for God’s name in Ancient Hebrew Poetry.
Below is an interview that Knohl gave today on Israel Radio with Liat Regev. Because of size limitations, it had to be divided into a few different files.
Hag Kasher ve-Sameaḥ.