[b-hebrew] Re: Genesis 1:6-7, 8:1, Waters Above and Below

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Mon Jun 21 07:32:43 EDT 2004

On 19/06/2004 16:07, Rasmus Underbjerg Pinnerup wrote:

>On Tue, 15 Jun 2004 02:36:44 -0700, Peter Kirk <peterkirk at qaya.org> wrote:
>>So it is possible that "sky" goes back to something like "there
>>water", but if so the naming must go back at least to proto-Semitic
>>times - perhaps even to Adam in the garden!
>I thought the standard etymology for »shamayim« was »mayim« (waters)
>plus the causative prefix »sha-« known from related Semitic languages.
>Has this etymology been rejected?

No, only pushed back to proto-Semitic. This indeed seems more likely 
that sham + ma (the -yim is a Hebrew innovation). It is also possible 
that shamayim received its -yim suffix by analogy and false etymology 
with mayim.

I'm not sure where you get "standard etymology" from. It is not 
mentioned by Strong, BDB or TWOT.

>It seems to me, that if the etymology was »sham« + »mayim«, there
>would be a problem in explaining why »shamayim« only has one m.

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

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