Full Text for Exodus- Volume 13 - What were the lives like of people during the time of the Exodus? (Video)

ROUGHLY EDITED COPY CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY EDUCATION NETWORK EXODUS DR. DAVID ADAMS #13 Captioning Provided By: Caption First, Inc. 10 E. 22nd Street Suite 304 Lombard, IL 60148 800-825-5234 *** This text is being provided in a rough draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings. *** >> I like Josh's question about Lawrence of Arabia type lands. Whenever I picture the world of the Bible, sand and camels come to mind. But is that really the way that most of the people lived? Did they really use camels? And were they as nomadic as we picture? >> They did use camels, David. And camels are mentioned in the Old Testament. The Hebrew word is ***gemline, which is one of the few words in Hebrew that actually came into English. Our word camel is an adaptation of the Hebrew word ***gemel. However, we probably got our word not directly from Hebrew but rather from Arabic. But I do like to make the connection because there are so few Hebrew words that have come into English apart from names like yours or mine. But actually while they used camels, the life of the patriarchs especially was not the kind of nomadic life that we typically picture when we think of nomads in the ancient near east. We tend to picture sheiks in robes with hats riding on camels through the desert. And that was simply not the way that the patriarchs lived. I prepared a document that's in your course pack that deals with social organization at the time of the patriarchs. So I don't want to go through all of that here. But let's just touch on the major points so that we can review the way that people actually did live. Now, there were some true nomads in the ancient world. We just said the patriarchs weren't among them. But they did exist then as they do now. They typically were engaged in some kind of trade or commerce. They moved from place to place without any kind of fixed residence, though they often moved sort of not willy-nilly just anywhere but sort of in a generally confined area. So nomadism occurred in the ancient world. But it wasn't -- certainly wasn't the lifestyle of Abraham or Isaac or Jacob as we might think. They actually engaged in a kind of lifestyle that's known by the technical term transhumence, t r a n s h u m e n c e. Transhumence and transhumance describes a lifestyle where people live outside the cities. And while they may not be -- have a fixed abode in the sense that one place they stay all the time, they move around within a relatively confined area within sort of a very closely defined geographic area typically because they are engaged in agriculture. So they may live in a place for a year or so or grow in a season or two and then move to a different place where the fields are more fertile so the land can lie fallow for a while. Or alternatively -- and this is probably the more common picture we have for the patriarchs -- they are engaged in what we call small animal husbandry, raising sheeps and goats. And they move with the flocks as the pasturage changes over the course of the year. So they don't move far. But they do kind of move around. And because they are on the edge of cities, they often trade, you know, their livestock that they raise with people in the cities for wool, meat or whatever from the sheeps and goats and trade for goods that are prepared in the city. So there's a lot of interaction between them and those who dwell in cities unlike true nomads who don't have that level of interaction with the urban culture. So really the cultural of the patriarchs is what we would call transhumence. But they are not the only people who lived on the outskirts of cities. There were also people who were I guess what we would call today outlaws and whose lifestyle we might call outlawry. They lived on the outside of cities. But they weren't raising sheep and goats, at least not constantly as their business. They would live outside the cities. And then perhaps raid nomadic caravans or other kind of trading caravans or people as they traveled. And sometimes they would also raid cities. And we see this in the people group known in the ancient world as the Habiru or Hapiru who lived outside of cities and were apparently at least engaged in raiding the cities of Canaan in the 14th, 15th century in the ancient world. So we've been talking about people interacting with cities. That obviously means that there were people who did live in cities in the ancient world. But more people probably lived in what we would call settlements or villages. These were small communities of anywhere from two or three homes to maybe a few dozen homes. And what distinguishes them is that they don't have a wall around them. And so these settlements or villages are typically agricultural in areas, just like our small towns in rural America or rural Canada today. You know, where they are a closer knit communities and people. Maybe three or four interrelated families. Or sometimes more. But they haven't grown enough to accumulate enough wealth that they feel all that threatened by the outlaws. So consequently, they don't need to build walls. And they don't need a kind of permanent army to protect them or anything like that. And most of the people in the ancient world either lived a kind of transhumence lifestyle of the patriarchs or they lived in settlements and villages like I've been describing. There were, of course, major cities. There are some in Canaan. Jericho among them. Remember Jericho has a city wall at the time of the exodus. But there were also major cities -- cities are like villages and settlements except they are bigger. They collected more wealth. There are more families living there. More homes. Typically cities at the time of the patriarchs would number a few thousand people. So they wouldn't be big cities by modern standards. But they would be bigger than the maybe 1- or 2- or 300 people of a village or a settlement. And they would have accumulated enough wealth, probably a building, a temple or religious center. Along with that, if there was a king or prince who ruled them, there would probably be some kind of palace, as well. And a city wall to protect the community from raiders. And so that characterizes the city life, which was largely then engaged with trade. And trade both with those who lived around it and with other cities. Then, as now, most artisans lived in the cities. And finally, there were social and political structures that we think of as nations or empires. These occur when one city or one king accumulates enough wealth and enough power to have a standing army large enough to control not just his own city but also the surrounding countryside. And we would call that a nation. Typically when he controls not one city but a number of cities or cities and villages in a defined area, a nation. And then beyond that empires are usually described as groups of nations. So that an empire is not just one nation. But one nation that has accumulated enough power and wealth that it can then extend its political control over others, as well. But of course in a sense, everybody lived in a nation or in an empire, whether they were aware of it from day to day or not. But for most people everyday life was the life of a farming community, a small town or a family or group of families that lived in a what we today think of rural animal raising kind of environment, especially in Canaan. *** This text is being provided in a rough draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings. ***