Modern translations usually use Aramean instead of Syrian but the geographical location is the same: “A wandering Aramean was my father” (Revised Standard Version); “My father was a homeless Aramean” (New English Bible); “My father was a fugitive Aramean” (The Torah, Jewish Publication Society).


For an excellent, but essentially pre-Ebla, summary of this debate, see the discussion by William G. Dever and W. Malcolm Clark “The Patriarchal Traditions” in John H. Hayes and J. Maxwell Miller, eds., Israelite and Judean History, (Philadelphia: Westminister Press, 1977).


More precisely, in the Bible the term “Hebrew” is applied to Israelites only by outsiders (e.g. Genesis 39:14) or as a way foreigners would refer to Israelites (Genesis 40:15; 43:32).


New Haven: Yale University Press, 1975.


Freedman’s views are expounded in a lecture given at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary on May 23, 1978, which is scheduled to be published in the December 1978 issue of the Biblical Archeologist. As of February 3, 1979, this issue has not appeared.


Paul Lapp died in a drowning accident in 1970.