[b-hebrew] linguistics, was Re: Prov. 30:19

Charles David Isbell cisbell at cox.net
Sun Oct 12 15:08:48 EDT 2003

Karl asks: "What evidence do you have that he [Moses] was not brought up in
a Hyksos household? That the pharaoh of the Exodus was not a Hyksys
Really, Karl, this makes no sense to me. Only if the Hyksos were the rulers
of the time of Joseph, is the idea of another outsider rising so high in the
national government strengthened. But that would rule out the Pharaoh who
"had not known Joseph," and point to a new local dynasty replacing the
foreign Hyksos.
At any rate, methodologically, one does not accomplish much by asking what
evidence there is for something NOT to be. Proof of a negative is virtually
impossible, but in any case would not indicate a case for its opposite.
"The reason recorded for his name is Semitic, the Hyksos capital and main
population centers were in the land of Goshen, where Israel also lived, and
while the Hyksos dressed differently than other peoples living in that area,
they spoke a Semitic language and were familiar with Semitic writing
systems. To the downtrodden Israelites, the rulers of Egypt were Egyptians."
I am not convinced that the Hyksos were Semites, first of all. Second, of
course the rulers of Egypt were Egyptians to the downtrodden Israelites. But
what does this say about your Hyksos argument? I don't catch the connection
you are making. Third, I guess I am not impressed with the folk etymology of
"Moses" or any other name.

To Peter, I don't think the American Pilgrims living 400 years in a land
that they conquered is parallel to a group of "outsiders" stuck as slaves in
a land where they were completely disenfranchised.

Finally, let me underscore the single point I started three postings ago to
make. None of this 22 letter alphabet as THE original Semitic alphabet, none
of the Hyksos appeal calling for me to prove that Moses was NOT raised in
their environment [which would make no sense if they had been displaced by a
non-sympathetic native Egyptian ruler who switches policy from
enfranchisement and land grants to abject slavery] has anything to do with
biblical Hebrew. I further fail to see how any of it speaks to the literary
issue of whether Moses was the author of the Pentateuch.

Karl and I obviously view things differently. I am confident members of the
list know how we both feel, and I need say no more.

As a point of humor, may I suggest that "Moses" could have done us all a
favor if he had explained VAV-conversive more clearly!  And, if he had not
taken so long to find the promised land, which turned out to be the only
real estate in the region with no oil, I would think more highly of him. <G>

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