Tony Calman tcalman at
Tue Sep 29 10:27:23 EDT 1998

> From: Jonathan D. Safren <yonsaf at>
> To: Biblical Hebrew <b-hebrew at>
> Cc: Biblical Hebrew <b-hebrew at>
> Subject: Re: Atonement in the Pentateuch
> Date: Tuesday, September 29, 1998 11:44 PM
> I haven't seen anyone mention the Akkadian cognate kuppuru (in the
> D-stem= Heb. pi'el) and the cultic contexts in which it is used.
> Mightn't that settle the problem of kipper in Lev. 16 and elsewhere in
> P?
> G'mar hatimah tovah to those of you who observe Yom Kippur
> --
> Jonathan D. Safren
> Dept. of Biblical Studies
> Beit Berl College
> 44905 Beit Berl Post Office
> Israel

Wenham in his commentary on Leviticus does write, "However, despite its
frequent occurrence, its etymology and its meaning is uncertain. One
possible derivation is from the Akkadian verb kuppuru, "to cleanse" or "to
wipe." This fits those contexts where the altar or the sanctuary is the
direct object of the verb and the action involved smearing the altar with

I'm starting to think that if it has something to do with a "covering", it
is a covering of a person or a thing to allow it to be "made clean" or
"holy". It is not a covering to hid the sin.

Tony Calman
tcalman at

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