[b-hebrew] Ark of the Covenant

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Fri Aug 20 13:40:07 EDT 2004

On 20/08/2004 17:52, MarianneLuban at aol.com wrote:

> ...
>That the BOG was written a thousand years before the Septuagint is a huge 
>assumption--based on what? ...

That is the hypothesis which you tried to deny. Harold and I are trying 
to show that your falisification is invalid, so we have to work with the 
hypothesis. That there is other evidence in favour of the hypothesis is 
just at the moment irrelevant.

>... To recap--I said earlier that I found it strange that 
>the name of the pharaoh Joseph served was forgotten--but that the names of a 
>captain of his guard and the priest of On (Heliopolis) were not. ...

Except that as argued below these may not actually be names but titles. 
The king of Egypt is called "Pharaoh" as if this were a name. It is of 
course a title, not a name. The words PR(H, PW+YPR and PW+Y PR( [+ = 
TET, note how similar they are] may actually all be titles which are 
used in Genesis as if they are names.

>...  But the reason for the scholars of the Septuagint assuming 
>"Petepres" is that this was a name still current and had been for the last couple 
>of hundred years.  But not before that.  

So we are agreed here.

>...  But, 
>okay, I can suggest something.  Just in case the names of the two men *are* 
>different, the first can be accounted for.  Because it is written "Potiphar, an 
>officer of Pharaoh", perhaps it means exactly that--in Egyptian.  "an officer of 
>Pharaoh" can possibly be "P3-wdw-pr-a3" (the officer of pharaoh) and could 
>very well have been vocalized "Potiphar".  But nothing like that can account for 
>the name of the priest of On. ...

Hold on, and look at the Hebrew forms I gave above. Pharaoh is spelled 
PR(H, with ayin [and a final silent he], and this presumably corresponds 
to Egyptian pr-a3, even if your 3 is nominally alef rather than ayin. So 
one might expect P3-wdw-pr-a3 to appear in Hebrew as something ending in 
PR(H or PR(. And that is exactly what we have for the priest of On. So 
why don't you allow P3-wdw-pr-a3 to be that priest's name (as well as 
Joseph's master's name), or title misunderstood as a name? Is the 
problem that a priest of On would not have been an officer of Pharaoh, 
or what?

By the way, I have seen it suggested that Potiphar and Potiphera are not 
just the same name but the same person: Joseph's former master, having 
perhaps been appointed priest of On while Joseph was in prison, gave his 
daughter in marriage to Joseph when the latter became important, hoping 
to win back the favour of the one he had wronged and now had to submit 
to. The problem with that is that the text of Genesis seems to present 
them as different people.

>...  So we are stuck with that one, I'm afraid.  As 
>for the "records of the Hyksos"--no name there, had there been such a record, 
>would have begun with the masculine article "p3", which is the beginning of 
>all those names like "Petepres" (as rendered in Greek).  The reason is this 
>article was never used at this time in writing.  The article was "pn", then.  Few 
>texts survive from the Hyksos time but there is one very interesting one 
>called the Papyrus Rhind.  It is a document from the Delta and actually tells of 
>the onslaught of the Egyptians on the Hyksos strongholds.  In it, a certain 
>Theban prince, probably Ahmose, is called "pn rsy" or "the one of the south".  
>See?  Now the article "p3" is derived from this "pn" and reflects how it came to 
>be pronounced at some point (because Egyptian /n/ was always a weak phoneme). ...

The weak phoneme may always have been written as n in *Egyptian*, but it 
is probable that those writing the names in *Hebrew* would have written 
what they heard rather than trying to represent every written 
hieroglyph. So, if the /n/ was silent, in Moses' or Joseph's day, it 
would not have been written in the Hebrew text.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list