[b-hebrew] Gabriel

Dave Washburn dwashbur at nyx.net
Fri Jul 25 13:39:20 EDT 2003

On Friday 25 July 2003 10:11, Peter Kirk wrote:
> On 25/07/2003 08:54, Jim West wrote:
> >At 04:50 PM 7/25/03 +0100, you wrote:
> >>A friend has asked me if I can throw any light on the Hebrew roots of
> >>the name Gabriel (Dan 8:15, 9:21).
> >
> >"warrior of God" or "strong one of God" or more precisely, "warrior of
> > El".
> >
> >>I'm aware that there are various alternatives suggested, but wondered
> >>if people here had any views which might contribute to a fuller
> >>understanding?
> >
> >well, gibbor means warrior and el is the name of the canaanite god.
> Maybe, but there is no dagesh in the bet and no O vowel in Gabriel. So
> the first part is more likely GEBER "man" (as distinct from women and
> children) than GIBBOR. The second E in GEBER is "anaptyctic", thanks Ken
> for this word, i.e. added for ease of pronunciation, and the first vowel
> may originally have been A. So I would go more for "man of El". Which is
> in fact exactly what BDB said.

Of course, considering the commonly-accepted dates for Daniel, is it really 
legitimate to suggest that "El" refers to the Canaanite deity here rather 
than being an alternate term for YHWH?  I tend to doubt it.

Dave Washburn
"God does a lot of things in the Psalms
that He can't get away with in systematic theology."

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