[b-hebrew] Benjamin

Jonathan D. Safren yonsaf at beitberl.ac.il
Sun Jul 4 02:55:09 EDT 2004

Yigal Levin wrote:
> 2. Any direct link between anything in 18th century Mari and in 12th
> (or later) Israel is extremely conjectural.

True. But sometimes, one can reasonably term used in the Bible with a
cognate used in Mari, generally identified as Amorite, when both the context
and the etymology permit.
This is especially true regarding tribal terminology. Malamat has identified
Hebrew goy with Mari gawu{m}, Hebrew xever (ha-keyni} with Mari xibru(m).
I have identified the Mari tribal official merhu(m) with (Ahuzzath)
mere'ehu, which I read mar'ehu.
On the Mari official and his identification with the biblical figure, see:
 Jonathan D. Safren, "merhum and merhutum in Mari", Orientalia 51 (1982),
idem,  "Ahuzzath and the Pact of Beer-Sheba", Zeitschrift fuer die
alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 101 (1989), 184-198.
But not only tribal terminology. The Hebrew expression he$ib nepe$/4obeb
nepe$ has its cognate in the Mari expression napi$a(m) turru(m), probably a
loan translation from the Amorite; on this, see
idem, "'He Restoreth My Soul' - A Biblical Expression and Its Mari
Counterpart", Mari in Retrospect;Fifty Years of Mari and Mari Studies , Ed.
by Gordon D. Young (Winona Lake, IN, Eisenbrauns, 1992), 265-271.
Jonathan D. Safren
Dept. of Biblical Studies
Beit Berl College
44905 Beit Berl Post Office

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