[b-hebrew] Asher again
fournet.arnaud at wanadoo.fr
Wed Jul 14 16:17:27 EDT 2010
----- Original Message -----
From: JimStinehart at aol.com
To: fournet.arnaud at wanadoo.fr ; uzisilber at gmail.com
Cc: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Sent: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 9:24 PM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Asher again
At least at the beginning of your post, you seem to have ignored my
insistence that most of the Biblical names I see as being Hurrian words are
not attested Hurrian names, but rather, by contrast, are Hurrian common
words that the early Hebrew author is using as nicknames for Hurrian
Do you have any literary parallels inside or outside the Bible for that kind
So for most of these Biblical names, what is needed is to ask whether they
represent Hurrian common words. In most cases, it’s clear that they are not
attested Hurrian personal names.
To be frank, I'm very sceptical about their being even Hurrian whatever at
They are clearly not attested Person Names and they do not even look like
being possible phonological Hurrian items.
Yet there is one case (other than Arioch) where the Biblical name seems to
be but a slight variant of an attested Hurrian name. In this post, I will
focus solely on that name: BR%(.
As a preliminary matter, in order to critique my view, it is necessary to be
aware of my theory as to how the early Hebrew author consistently uses
certain Hebrew letters as vowel indicators in representing Hurrian words or
Hurrian names. Here, the one vowel indicator is an ayin. On my analysis of
all these various words that may be Hurrian words, a Hebrew ayin
consistently equates to a Hurrian i.
Just a few spontaneous remarks:
1. Ayin is nearly the complete phonetic opposite of -i- or -y-: grave /
guttural / occlusive versus acute / palatal / approximant.
2. How comes that this early Hebrew scribe is using consonants to note
vowels (and other mater lectionis)?
3. Why is this early scribe not just using Y to note -i- or -y- as would any
naive human being?
Moreover, for names that may be Hurrian words in chapter 14 of Genesis, the
ayin is only used in connection with a discrete Hurrian syllable that is
consonant-i. [If we view the Hebrew ayin as being used in that particular
fashion, consistently, then all these various previously inexplicable
Biblical names suddenly make perfect sense, as Hurrian common words.
I must confess that I still have some way to go before it makes consistently
perfect sense at this point in the process.
Please note that a Hebrew ayin in these cases is not representing a rare
ayin in Hurrian (or any other Hurrian letter somewhat similar to an ayin).
There is little doubt that Ayin was *not* a component of Hurrian phonology,
neither was any emphatic of that kind.
It's fairly possible that Hurrian had a glottal stop in addition to voiced
and voiceless velar fricatives and this was all.
No, in setting forth Hurrian common words used as Biblical names, the Hebrew
ayin consistently represents the commonplace Hurrian vowel i, and it is
usually used only at the end of a standard Hurrian syllable which is
consonant-i. To test out my theory of the case, treat a Hebrew ayin in all
these cases as representing a Hurrian i, and you will then see that all of
these Biblical names make perfect sense, usually as being Hurrian common
I have a problem with this "thing" popping up as a vowel or a consonant or a
You wrote: “BR% is also fairly desperate as a Hurrian word. A voiced
initial is normally impossible in Hurrian.”
I see BR%( as being ebri-ssi. It means “your lord”. In Hurrian, the word
starts with either (i) an e, as here, with the Hurrian common word “lord”
consistently starting with either an e or an i in Hurrian, or (ii) as we
will see in the Amarna Letters as a proper name (not a Hurrian common word),
a P, with P being interchangeable in this context with B.
As I mentioned in a previous post, the word "lord" ebri or ewri or even erbi
is a loanword of Akkadian abaru "strong".
The idea that p and b could be interchangeable is completely inacceptable.
As I noted in my prior post, to see that an e needs to be implied at the
beginning of this name, look at $M)BR in the same verse, where the aleph is
indicating a discrete syllable eb in Hurrian. In all three of the names
BR(, BR%(, and $M)BR at Genesis 14: 2, the root Hurrian word is ebri,
meaning “lord” or “Hurrian princeling”. [In the first two cases, the
initial e is implied, as confirmed by analyzing the third name.] The reason
for those nicknames at Genesis 14: 2 is to identify the five defeated
princelings in the “four kings against five” as being Hurrian princelings.
As noted above, in most cases when a Hurrian name is presented in old
Biblical Hebrew in the Patriarchal narratives, an ayin not only means
Hurrian i, but also it denotes a discrete syllable ending in i, being
consonant-i. Thus here, the ayin at the end of this name confirms that the
final syllable is %-vowel, with the Hurrian vowel being i.
I don't understand the reasoning.
Ayin is Ayin. It's not a phonetic joker card.
If the Hebrew sibilant here is a sin/%, then this is probably representing
an emphatic sin in Hurrian. (See the Fournet/Bomhard Hurrian language
website at p. 13. An emphatic sin is often transliterated as a simple s,
but it can also be represented by z.) The final syllable here then (where
Hebrew sin/% is Hurrian emphatic sin) is likely the Hurrian suffix –ssi,
meaning “your”. The suffix “your” in this form is plural, but the noun to
which it is attached can be either singular or plural. F/B at p. 54. For
example, ulme-ssi is attested as meaning either “your weapon” or “your
weapons”. F/B at p. 54.
BR%( is [)]B – R[(] + %(, or )B-R(-%(. That’s eb-ri-ssi in Hurrian,
meaning “your lord”, or “your (Hurrian) lord”, or “a Hurrian princeling for
all of you” (to emphasize that “your” is plural here), or simply: “Hurrian
princeling”. We see that BR%( has virtually the same meaning as BR(, with
the root in both cases being eb-ri, meaning “lord” or “Hurrian princeling”.
Where is the first syllable #e- of ebri- ?
BR%( in fact appears to be a slight variant of the Hurrian name Pi-ri-iz-zi,
which is attested in Amarna Letters EA 27: 89, 93 and EA 28: 12.
Pi-ri-iz-zi is a messenger of Hurrian King Tushratta of Mitanni/Naharim, so
we would expect Pi-ri-iz-zi to be a Hurrian name. Here is Richard Hess’s
analysis of the name Pi-ri-iz-zi at p. 125 of “Amarna Personal Names”: “The
language represented by this PN [proper name] is Hurrian. Pi-ri-iz-zi is a
hypocoristic name [meaning a shortened name], composed of ewri ‘lord’ and
zzi, a (hypocoristic?) suffix.”
What other examples of that hypocoristic suffix do you have ?
In all cases, Pirizzi and ebri/ewri cannot have any relationship.
In Hurrian, the letters W and B and P are often interchangeable; in
particular, we know that those three letters are interchangeable as to the
Hurrian word for “lord”. Hess cites ewri, and ebri and ibri are also
attested versions of this basic Hurrian word. The third possibility for the
first consonant is the P that we see in this Amarna name (per Hess’s
analysis). Pi-ri is comparable to bi-ri in Hurrian, and if the vowel is
placed before, rather than after, the first consonant (with both such
variants being attested for this word in Hurrian, though as a common word
there would always be a vowel before the first consonant), we have eb-ri.
So the pi-ri in this Amarna name is but a simple variant of the underlying
Hurrian word eb-ri, meaning “lord”, just as we have been seeing as the
Hurrian root word in both BR( and BR%(.
I'm not aware that there is any example in Hurrian of a first syllable being
Ebri is from Akkadian abaru and the first syllable should be there.
Pirizzi is another word.
As to the suffix –zzi in the Amarna name Pi-ri-iz-zi, that is likely the
Hurrian suffix –ssi discussed above. As to z vs. s, consider for example
how F/B presents the Hurrian word “intelligence, wit” at p. 87, with the
sibilant alternatively being set forth as TS or z or s: “[xaTSiTSi]
‘intelligence, wit’; EL xazzizzi/xasisi. CA <xa-(as)-sí-(is)-sí>.” If –zzi
in this Amarna name is the Hurrian suffix –ssi, then the meaning of the
Amarna name would be “your lord” (or, to emphasize that “your” is plural
here: “lord for all of you”). Thus it is likely that Biblical BR%( and
Pi-ri-iz-zi in the Amarna Letters are slight variants of the same Hurrian
name, with the same Hurrian meaning: “your lord”, or more simply: “Hurrian
Thus BR%( works well as a Hurrian common word, basically meaning “Hurrian
princeling”. It is built on the Hurrian root word, ebri, just like the
first Biblical name, BR(. Both of these Biblical names have the same basic
meaning in Hurrian: “Hurrian princeling”.
Ebri is not a "real" Hurrian root and BRx cannot be the same thing as ebri.
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