[b-hebrew] Ex Pu'ah

MarianneLuban at aol.com MarianneLuban at aol.com
Thu Aug 26 15:32:17 EDT 2004

In a message dated 8/26/2004 9:41:52 AM Pacific Daylight Time, 
peterkirk at qaya.org writes:

> >
> >>Marianne, I'd be interested to know - what is the Egyptian meaning of 
> >>Puah?
> >>
> >>    
> >>
> >
> >I can't provide the answer.  My Hertz Pentateuch says that the names 
> "Shifra 
> >and Pu'ah" are probably Egyptian.  Others think they are Semitic.  Shifra, 
> as 
> >I mentioned previously, is among the name of foreigners given on the 
> Brooklyn 
> >papyrus.  So I don't doubt that one is Semitic.  "Swordsearcher" gives the 
> >name "Pu'ah" as meaning "splendid".   An old Bible dictionary I have here 
> has 
> >Shifra as meaning "handsome" and Pu'ah as "mouth".  So there is not much 
> >consensus. ...
> >
> Marianne, the sources you quote and the way you use them show clearly 
> that you are treading outside your field of expertise here. While the 
> male name Pu'ah in Judges (with Alef) may possibly mean "mouth", the 
> female name Pu'ah in Exodus (with Ayin) certainly cannot mean this, and 
> doesn't derive from any well-known Hebrew root. Your insights on 
> Egyptian language are helpful here, but you don't seem to be in the best 
> position to contribute on Hebrew language. Thos who live in glasshouses 
> shouldn't throw stones.

I am not tossing any missiles.  I just gave views.  The Bible dictionary in 
which I looked up "Pu'ah" was compiled by James P. Boyd, hopefully an expert.  
He treats the Pu'ah of Exodus and the Puah of Judges as the same name.  What 
his rationale for this is and why he gives the meaning as "mouth", he does not 
say.  I am as puzzled at this as anyone.  But I can read Hebrew quite well and 
can contribute.  Ask "Noam".  About a month ago he posed a question on a 
Hebrew term and I gave him a private answer.  The only reason I answered privately 
is because I was brand new to the list and had not yet figured out that to 
respond to a post, one needs to hit "reply all" instead of just "reply" as with 
the Yahoo groups.  If "Noam" remembers, perhaps he can attest that my answer 
was the same as that of the majority he received onlist.  I studied Hebrew 
before I ever cracked open an Egyptian grammar.  It is not a language I am "in no 
position" to comment on.  However, at this point my expertise in Egyptian is 
far greater than in Biblical Hebrew--that is true.  But you don't know me well 
enough to be able to make any judgments on what I am fit to comment upon--or 
not.  If my sources are not good enough for you, perhaps it is you who has a 
source that explains the meaning of Pu'ah and gives a rationale that is 

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