Pi-ha-hiroth (Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Akkadian)

Walter Mattfeld mattfeld at mail.pjsnet.com
Fri Mar 9 11:33:39 EST 2001

In studying Exodus 14:2 and Numbers 33:7-8, I note that George Lamsa's
English translation of the Aramaic Peshitta (_Holy Bible From the Ancient
Eastern Text_) renders the following-

"...encamp by the INLET OF KHERITHA, between Migdol and the Sea, in front of
Baal Zephon..." (Ex 14:2)

"And they departed from Etham and encamped at the ENTRANCE OF HERITHA, THE
CANAL, which is before Migdol. And they departed from THE ENTRANCE OF
HERITHA and passed through the midst of the sea into the wilderness." (Nu

I recall reading somewhere that some scholars are not pleased with Lamsa's
translations. Is he correctly tanslating the Aramaic, or is he taking
liberties to interject his own views ?  Particularly, I want to know, does
the Aramaic really call Kheritha/Heritha "a canal" ? The LXX renders mouth
of Iroth (mouth being stoma in Greek).

Pi-ha-hiroth (pronounced in Hebrew as pee-ha-cheeroth) is usually translated
"mouth of Hiroth," where is Lamsa getting "entrance of Hiroth" or Hiroth THE
CANAL if it isn't in the Aramaic Peshitta ? Are there Aramaic traditions it
was a canal ???

Hoffmeier notes:

"With the discovery of the canal remains in Sinai, Weissbrod and Sneh
thought Pi-ha-hiroth is a Semitic term for "mouth of the canal." Just
recently, Redford has come around to this position, stating: As transcribed
the word resembles a Hebraized form of Akkadian origin, Pi-khiriti, "the
mouth of the canal," which would be an appropriate toponym for the eastern
edge of the heavily canalized eastern delta." (p.170, James K. Hoffmeier.
Israel in Egypt, The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition.

All the best,  Walter

Walter Reinhold Warttig Mattfeld
Walldorf by Heidelberg
Baden-Wurttemburg, Germany

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