[b-hebrew] Akhenaten and the Hebrew Religion

MarianneLuban at aol.com MarianneLuban at aol.com
Thu Jul 22 17:20:39 EDT 2004

In a message dated 7/22/2004 11:30:48 AM Pacific Daylight Time, 
formoria at carolina.rr.com writes:

> Marianne, let me put a question to you: how do we know that biblical 
> Zoan is Tanis/San el-Hagar? Apart from the assumption that the 
> references must be to the capital of Ramesside Egypt, I mean?

It is assumed mainly on philological grounds.  In hieroglyphs, Zoan is 
spelled "Dan.t".  As James Hoch ably demonstrates in his work "Semitic Words In 
Egyptian Texts", Egyptian /D/ corresponds with Semitic "z".  As you probably know, 
the Egyptians wrote only with consonants, /a/ being one of them.  Mostly, it 
has been assumed this was vocalized like Semitic "ayin"--but this has been 
questioned by some philologists with good reason.  There are many indications 
that /a/ was pronounced  something like "o" and, if not, some foreigners tended 
to hear an "o" there. The true "a" in Zoan was likely the unwritten vowel and, 
of course, final /t/ is silent--as it usually is in Egyptian.  In the Coptic 
Bible(Coptic being the ultimate stage of the Egyptian language) Zoan is written 
"djane" (due to the fact that the final silent /t/ always demands a preceding 
vowel sound) and the Arabs call Tanis "San el Hagar" or "San of the Stone".  
"Tanis" is the Greek version only.  The fact remains is that certain sounds 
can only be approximated with foreign graphic systems.  If Zoan is not 
Tanis--then one scarcely knows what other place it can have been.

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