[b-hebrew] help with Ezekiel 32:21

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Thu Sep 28 15:55:33 EDT 2006

On 9/28/06, Kelton Graham wrote:
> that is very interesting what Joshua Fox studies revealed, I was thinking
> maybe the yod there was a vowel.  Not trying to contridict what Fox's
> studies show but just pointing out something I found interesting in
> H.A.L.O.T (hebrew and aramaic lexicon of the old testament) p 40, has listed
> 'ayil and right next to it 'awl which I believe is suggesting the yod is a
> vowel. And then goes on to list a ugaritic form il, and an akkadian form
> (y)alu AHw.  It also list Eg. which I believe is Egyptian has lw.yyr =irr =
> 'el.  (I don't know either language but it seems relevant to etomology.)

No.  First, notice that there are several definitions )ayil, so it
would be wise to
point out to which you refer.  You refer to the first one, but there
are three in
all.  Next, notice that there is )ayyal on the next column.  This has all the
cognates that Fox lists for PS *)ayyal.  Now, next to both, along with )eyal,
and )ayil (2), there is: ")WL (2)", meaning that HALOT views these words,
all these words as deriving from the second root )WL.  If you look up this
second root )WL, you will see it is defined "to be in front, to be strong", and
that there is an Arabic and perhaps other uses of this verb.  This root is
reconstructed in Hebrew, so evidently there aren't verbal uses of this root
in the Bible.  However, it is viewed by HALOT as the root for both the
first and second )ayil definitions, )ayyal, )el, )ellah, )elon,
)allon, and perhaps
muwl.  Note that )ayyal has a dagesh inside the yod meaning that letter is
doubled.  Fox evidently disagrees with reconstructing these words from a
verbal root since the study mentioned of Fox aims to reconstruct isolated
nouns -- those nouns that are not related to verbs and hence their
development can be traced.  Nouns that are related to verbs are very hard
to trace in Semitic languages because their noun forms change along with
usage of the verb.  Fox recognizes that sometimes verbs can occur relating
to isolated nouns in some languages but these are specific occurences that
are not widespread across all Semitic languages, and furthermore, it is
clear that the verb is a secondary formation from the noun.  When the verb
is widespread or the verb does not appear to be secondary development
from the noun, Fox does not identify the word as an isolated noun.  Finally,
note that even HALOT notes that some of its claims of )ayil (1) words are
alternatively explained as deriving from )el.  In fact, the examples they give
are probably better explained as deriving from )el.  I think that since )ayyal
and )ayil are so similar in consonants and semantics, it appears clear that
they are etymologically related, and deriving )ayil from )ayyal seems the
most reasonable way to do so.  The derivation I gave for )ayil -- )ayyal ->
)ay.yl -> )ayil -- is not Fox's but I assume something like that is what he
intends since he places both as Hebrew cognates of PS *)ayyal.

Yitzhak Sapir

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