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Saul in the Amarna letters?

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okamido View Drop Down

Joined: 11 Nov 2009
Location: San Francisco
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    Posted: 01 Jun 2012 at 05:45
Was the Canaanite warlord Labayu, mentioned in the Amarna letters the historical Saul?

In the letters to Pharoah Akhenaton, Biridiya of Meggido complains that Labayu was attacking his lands; Meggido being in the Jazreel valley that Saul fought in.

Abdu-Heba sends a request to Akhenaton for archers to fight off the Habiru, which some scholars believe may have been the original Hebrews, although this is not yet proven or disproven.

Abdu-Heba sends a second letter stating that Labayu is slain and that his sons are taking cities of the King and giving them to the Habiru, and that he fears for the loss of his own city, U-ru-sa-lim (Jerusalem). Is the son of Labayu, David, and is Labayu, Saul.

Some other interesting similarities:

-The Name Labayu translates as "Great Lion of (god)".

-Saul is referred to as the "great lion of Yhwh".

-Psalm 57 also makes mention of Saul's men/ personal guard as lebaim'(lions).

-Saul's son Ish-bosheth and Labayu's Son Mutbaal; both names translate as "man of baal".

-Mutbaal then identifies three men in a latter Amarna letter, Dadua, Ayab, and Yishaya. If Mutbaal is actually the son of Saul, then these three names could be reconciled with David, Joab, and Yishai.

-Saul and Labayu were both killed at Gilboa.

Just too many interesting similarities to be just "thrown out with the bath water."           
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