[b-hebrew] Wellhausen vs. "Pharaoh" and "Pithom"

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Mon Dec 31 17:20:38 EST 2007

On Dec 31, 2007 7:40 PM, Jim Stinehart wrote:
> Yitzhak Sapir has elsewhere voiced the following perceptive thoughts, as to
> possibilities of why "pharaoh" in Hebrew has the Egyptian R as an R, whereas "
> Pithom" in Hebrew has the Egyptian R as an I, not as an R.
>  "2) Would it then be reasonable to see the development of pr > pi:
>  within Late Egyptian, whereby in earlier periods of Late Egyptian,
>  pr was pronounced [pr], while in later times the r became i: giving
>  [pi:]? Pharaoh was borrowed into Hebrew earlier (for example,
>  while Egypt dominated Canaan) where Pithom was borrowed later
>  (from the city Pithom, established in the 7th century BCE, perhaps)?
>  3) Did this sound change take place in the word Pharaoh after pr
>  was pronounced [pi:]?"
> On the Wellhausen JEPD theory of the Patriarchal narratives and the Book of
> Exodus, which holds that both books were composed at about the same time by
> basically the same four disparate authors, no sense can be made of this matter.

You make it sound like all four authors worked at the same time.  This is wrong.
Centuries separated them.  But it's true the documentary hypothesis has at least
three of them write both parts (Genesis part and Exodus part) of their
parallel portions each about the same time.

However, sense can be made of the matter.  The word was simply borrowed into
Hebrew, and as Egyptian evolved, Hebrew's borrowing did not (or
rather, they each
developed on their own separate independent paths).  This happens all the time
when words are borrowed.

While it's great to have your show of faith, I wouldn't get your hopes
up.  This is
only part of a much longer review of an article of Kitchen mostly on the Exodus
but also touching other subjects like the Conquest.  The other example of flawed
linguistic analysis by Kitchen is not as simple for you to explain.
It's also more
certain, whereas here there are possible other explanations (hence the rest of
the questions in the original post I sent on the subject to ANE-2).  Because of
this, and because I've decided to look up a few of Kitchen's references (one
of them dealing with Pithom), my posting on Kitchen's article is
delayed a little
bit longer.

Yitzhak Sapir

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