Eve/Chavvah.

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at mclink.it
Mon Jul 8 11:03:18 EDT 2002


>Whilst I understand the relation in the Hebrew name
>for 'Eve'  (Gen 3:20) to 'life', I'm unsure where we
>get the English 'Eve' from.
>
>I'm guessing that it is a transliteration of the LXX
>for 'Chavvah/Khavvah' = 'Eve'. Can anyone confirm this
>and give more detail, or correct me if I'm barking up
>the wrong tree? I haven't got an LXX to look it up in,
>so I've no idea if I'm on the right track.

Your guess is correct, though in Gen 3:20 the Greek has 
Zoe to preserve the story about the name meaning "life". 
Gen 4:1 has Eua(n) (L. Hava(m)). 

Names that have come to us through Greek seem to have 
lost the khet, Onias, Enoch, Ananias, Anna. These have 
stuck.

Though not regular, there has been an intermittently 
systematic phonetic "misperception" from Hebrew into 
Greek (here as found in English):

khet  --> (lost)         xnwk  --> Enoch

kaf   --> chi            kbr   --> Chebar
                         kmw$  --> Chemosh
                   (Akk. kaldu --> Chaldean)

qof   --> kappa          qrh   --> Korah
                         qd$   --> Kadesh

This last is understandable, as Greek had no equivalent. 
(That's what happens in English.) The other two changes 
intrigue me. I would have thought that the Greek 
equivalent sound of khet was chi and of kaf was kappa. 
Perhaps the pronunciation of the Hebrew was different 
from what we understand it. 

It is in the change from one language (or phonetic 
system) to another that we learn things about 
pronunciation. We learn from the transliteration of 
Caesar in Hieroglyphic (and others) that the initial C 
was pronounced /k/ and not /s/ as we get from the 
French, or /t$/ as the Italians insist.


Ian





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