Etymology and meaning of Avi-'ad (Isa. 9:6)

Yigal Levin Yigal-Levin at
Tue Aug 20 13:23:18 EDT 2002

At 11:32 AM 8/20/2002 -0400, awohili at wrote:
>Theology aside (please!), what is the etymological and grammatical meaning
of the expression *avi-'ad* as found at Isaiah 9:6?
>Translations differ quite a bit.  Generally speaking, as determined by the
above, is the term pointing to the past, or to the future, or both?
Litterally, abi/my father + `ad/forever  =  Abi`ad/"My father is Eternal".
A perfecty normal Western Semitic theophoric name, in which the theophoric
element is "Abi"-"My Father", just like Abiner, Abishai, Abiram etc. This
is part of the four-part name given to the scoin of the Davidic dynasty.

The real gramatical question is whether the verbs yullad and nittan, both
in the past tense, can be understood as future tense. In Hebrew that would
work, depending on context.


>Solomon Landers
>You are currently subscribed to b-hebrew as: [Yigal-Levin at]
>To unsubscribe, forward this message to
>To subscribe, send an email to join-b-hebrew at
Dr. Yigal Levin
Dept. of Philosophy and Religion
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
615 McCallie Avenue
Chattanooga TN 37403-2598

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list