[b-hebrew] The 'Golden Rule of Hebrew Etymology'?

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Thu Feb 1 15:16:06 EST 2007

Using the restriction that words with a resh refer to aggregation or
dispersion, secondly that "the Hebrew root describes a material state,
not an ongoing act or process."

First of all, I disagree with the second point, for often the Hebrew
root only makes sense when understood as referring to an ongoing (or
finished) act or process.

Starting with the list as provided, getting as far as words beginning
with a dalet, I get the following:

אבר to soar, אגר  to gather in as a farmer brings in the harvest, אדר
to have splendor, אור to give light, אזר to gird about, אחר to delay,
אטר to restrict, prevent access to, איר NN, אכר NN, אמר to say, אסר to
tie to, to yoke, אפסר NN, אפר NN, אפשר NN, אצר to treasure up, ארב to
lie in wait, as in hunting, ארג to weave, ארגז NN, (ארה to nibble),
ארז NN, ארח to travel, ארך to draw out (time, measurement, anger), ארס
NN, ארע NN, ארץ NN, ארר to curse, ארש to become engaged (to be
married), אשר to make happy, to become happy, אתר NN,
באר to draw out (both literally and figuratively, as in drawing out a
meaning, explaining), בגר NN, בדר NN, בהר NN, (בור to dig out
(metaphorically, to search out) αλ), בזר to allot, בחר to choose, בכר
to be first born, בסר NN, בער to consume, in the sense of destroying,
making useless ⇒ to remove, to be useless, ignorant, בצר to gather
(grapes): to withdraw (from) ⇒ to fortify (making the enemy withdraw
from), בקר to look after, ברא to create, set up, ברג NN, ברד to hail,
ברה to be fed, ברז NN, ברח to pass through ⇒ to become a refugee, ברך
to kneel down (to) ⇒ to bless, not only as a superior blesses an
inferior, but also as a form of greeting and to gain honor, ברק to
flash, ברר to select out, removing the inferior, in the sense of
selecting out superior quality, among humans selecting for moral
quality, (בשׂר to report, often a good report), בתר to section, cut
into pieces
גבר to overpower, master, גדר to fence around, גהר to prostrate
oneself, גור to sojourn, live temporarily in a place: to be
intimidated, גזר to part off, sever ⇒ to part off words, hence decree,
גיר NN, גמר to make a secession once and for all, גער to rebuke, גפר
NN, גרב NN, גרגר NN, גרד to scrape, scratch αλ, גרה to provoke, as in
inciting, stirring up trouble, גרז to trim away, as part of dressing
stone, preparing lumber, גרט NN, גרל NN, גרם to gnaw, גרן NN, גרס to
grind down, גרע to diminish by plucking out (beards), removing, גרף to
mire down, גרר to grind by crushing, גרש to drive out, גשר NN,
דבר to sting, poke or injure with a sharp object??, to lay low as in
causing injury or death?? Ps 18:48, 47:4, 2 C 22:10: to express in
word or action, דגר to sit (on a nest), דהר to gallop αλ, דור to
cycle, make a circle, דקר to stab, דרא NN, דרבן NN, דרג NN, דרדר NN,
דרך to range about (as in walking), to place with others in a cause,
to put in line with a target, דרס NN, דרר NN, דרש to seek (for),

"NN" means Not Noted, i.e. not found as a verb in Tanakh. There are
quite a few of those. There are a few not from the original list
included within parentheses. A few of the words have what seem to be
homonyms, the second meaning following a colon.

For me, it's a real stretch to fit many of the words as either an
aggregation or dispersion. For example, what about to wait? to gnaw?
to consume? to make a cessation once and for all? to mire down? to
take a few examples.

Karl W. Randolph.

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