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

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Mon Dec 31 17:41:28 EST 2007

Jim, I'll give you another example of the same kind of phenomenon: The name 
"Ashur" (Assyria) was borrowed into Hebrew fairly early, at a time when the 
Assyrians and others were still pronouncing the "sh" sound. By the late Iron 
Age, the Assyrians themselves had begun pronouncing the same sign as "s". 
Thus, by the time of King Essarhadon (682-669 BCE), whose name was spelled 
"Ashur-ahhe-iddina", what the Hebrews actually heard was "Assur-ahhe-iddin", 
which was rendered "Assarhedon", spelled with a Samekh. His kingdom, 
however, was still spelled Ashur, with a Shin.

Yigal Levin

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Yitzhak Sapir" <yitzhaksapir at gmail.com>

> 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
> respective
> 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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