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Archaeologists have long believed that the "honey" of the Bible referred to the syrup from dates or other fruit because of the lack of archaeological evidence for cultivated bee honey. I currently live in Israel and can tell you that date honey is very tasty. However, the release of findings by Amihai Mazar in September 2007 at Tel Rehov revealed the discovery of 30 bee hives in an apiary that is believed to contain over 100 such hives. These bee hives date from the 10th to the 9th century B.C. The excavators estimate that as much as a half ton of honey could be produced annually from this apiary. This was reported in the Jerusalem Post online edition at http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1188392526493&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull. To me, this is another instance where science is "catching up" with the Bible. Dave in Israel.

Would you say that the phrase "Land Flowing with Milk and Honey" is Deuteronomistic and so having this phrase within Exodus is a sign of a Deuteronomistic redaction of the Tetrateuch?

what about the claims that this phrase is more idealistic than it was reality. that it was perceived to be a land flowing with milk and honey because it was given by God more than that it was how it actually was?

Regarding David's comment, yes, I am aware of the find at Rehov (and actually a Wheaton student was very much involved with the find). But this is still Iron Age not Bronze Age, so I don't know that it would change the assessment.

With regard to Richard's comment, I do not typically indulge in speculations regarding sources. It is not that there could not be source and redaction elements, but I find that scholars are at times far too confident in the ability to identify them.

As to Brian's comment, the "idealistic" interpretation would only be necessary if the description were not realistic. Since it is a realistic description, there is no need to think in other terms.

Thanks for all the good comments.

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