eloi or alah.

Numberup at worldnet.att.net Numberup at worldnet.att.net
Sun Jun 20 09:24:37 EDT 1999

Henry Churchyard wrote:

> If you want to get parallels with Arabic "Allah", then look at Hebrew
> 'Eloah ('aleph,h.at.eph-s at ghol,lamedh,h.olem,pathah.-g at nubha,he-mappiq)
> which corresponds to Arabic 'Ilaahu by regular sound correspondence
> rules.  Arabic "Allah" actually seems to be a kind of contraction of
> 'Al-'Ilaahu ("the god").  The Old Testament Aramaic cognate to Hebrew
> 'Eloah and Arabic 'Ilaahu is 'Elah ('aleph,h.at.eph-s at ghol,lamedh,qames.,
> he-mappiq), showing the Aramaic absence of the Canaanite long a to o
> change which is seen in Hebrew 'Eloah.

However, orthodox (Sunni) Muslim scholars insist that "Allah" does not mean "the God"
and is not formed by a contraction of al (the) + ilah (god).  It should not be
overlooked that Syriac ("Christian Aramaic") pronounces the word as "Alaha" (as in the
Peshitta), and this is a more probable influence upon the Arabic, especially the
Arabic of Muhammad ibn Abdullah, to whom the Qur'an was given.

Solomon Landers
Memra Institute for Biblical Research

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