[b-hebrew] "Dan" in Ezekiel 27: 19

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Fri Dec 28 15:03:05 EST 2007

I am sorry, but I am not in a position to commrnt on Egyptian names.
Isaac Fried, Boston University.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: <JimStinehart at aol.com>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Friday, December 28, 2007 5:45 PM
Subject: [b-hebrew] "Dan" in Ezekiel 27: 19

> Isaac Fried:
> If I am understanding your post, you are seeing all of the following as 
> being
> related:
> 1.  “The name DAN”
> 2.  “ADON, ‘lord, master’”
> 3.  “DIN, ‘law, justice’”
> 4.  “)ATON, ‘Equus asinus’,”, meaning a she-ass
> 5.  And “as a personal name it may be the name of an
> ancient deity, corresponding to ADONAY of the Hebrews.”
> As you probably know, university scholars in the West do no permit the 
> name
> of Akhenaten’s sun-god deity, Aton or Aten, to be compared with one of the
> names of the Hebrew deity, Adon or Adonay.  Meanwhile, non-scholarly books
> routinely assert that the names of those two different deities are 
> essentially
> identical, and are derived from each other.
> The sounds D and T in Egyptian (and other languages) are somewhat similar,
> though by no means identical.  It seems likely to me that a foreigner, 
> whether a
> very early Hebrew or a pre-Hebrew Canaanite, might not clearly distinguish 
> D
> from T in an Egyptian deity’s name.  (Likewise, although the Hurrians
> themselves almost certainly distinguished D from T, it is almost 
> impossible for us
> today to make such a distinction in Hurrian.)  When one compares “Aton” to 
> “Adon”
> , the difference in sound seems pretty slight, considering that a 
> foreigner
> would be unlikely to be able to distinguish consistently between an 
> Egyptian T
> and an Egyptian D.  “Duat” in Egyptian is alternatively transliterated 
> into
> English as “Tuat”, for example.  When “Aton” came to mean an Egyptian 
> deity
> in the 15th century BCE, and no longer simply meant the sun as before, a
> meaning of “lord, master”, which you give above for Hebrew Adon, would 
> seem to be a
> natural fit for the new conception of Aton in Egypt.
> I am basically repeating here the well-known non-scholarly arguments.  I
> honestly do not know how strong or weak such non-scholarly arguments are. 
> In my
> opinion, it is unfortunate that university scholars do not seem willing to
> discuss this controversial issue on the merits, but rather unanimously 
> insist,
> without discussion, that there is no relationship whatsoever, in any way, 
> shape
> or form, between “Adon” in Hebrew and “Aton” in Egypt.  Oddly enough,
> atheistic scholars seem to be more insistent on that than anyone else. 
> (To me, the
> scholarly position would be much more convincing if (i) 10% of scholars 
> had a
> contrary view, and (ii) there was a vibrant discussion/argument among
> university scholars on this issue, out in the open.  I myself do not know 
> of a single
> mainstream university scholar in the West who sees any relationship at all
> between “Aton” and “Adon”, or who is even willing to discuss that issue.)
> Since you are someone who possibly has a foot in both camps, being well 
> aware
> of scholarly works but willing to think outside of the box, could you dare 
> to
> comment as to whether, in your opinion, there might be any linguistic
> connection between the word “Aton” in Egypt and the word “Adon” in Hebrew? 
> I
> myself am not asserting, much less insisting, that there is any 
> relationship
> between those two words (and I am well aware of the critical fact that the 
> two
> deities in question are very different deities, with very different
> characteristics, so that the deities themselves certainly do no seem to be 
> derived from each
> other).  I am just asking for your honest opinion on the linguistic side 
> of
> this controversial, prominent issue.
> Jim Stinehart
> Evanston, Illinois
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