[b-hebrew] The root XRS-XR$

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Mon Nov 5 12:19:24 EST 2007


On 11/4/07, Isaac Fried <if at math.bu.edu> wrote:
> Karl,
> I did exactly what I said I will do, I looked al all Hebrew roots extant
> with a medial R, an initial G, H, X, K or Q, and a final D, Z, Tet, S, C, $
> or Tav. To limit the discussion to roots of the form XRS-XR$ I knowingly
> excluded all other permutations thereof such as GZR, RGZ, ZRQ, nor did I
> mention any other root not of this form.
True, but ....

You mentioned a list of meanings that you claim that these roots all
share, so after going through your list and finding examples that did
not follow your claims, I then looked for synonyms based on your list
of meanings, then listed those too. That the synonyms well outnumber
your verifiable examples weakens your claimed connection.

> Dispersion or aggregation means that the root refers to a material state of
> several free or loosely connected bodies.
The actions are opposite.

> You statement: "words that have no example as a root" is not clear to me. An
> example accompanied by some explanation would be greatly appreciated.

Each of the examples that I listed as not having a root in Biblical
Hebrew are found only as a noun or an adjective, and sometimes found
only once in Tanakh. The existence of a tri-literal root is never
found, merely speculated. See below for an example.

> Likewise, "could have been borrowed from other languages" is vague and
> tentative. An example would be be greatly acknowledged.

The problem here is that the documentation from Biblical times is so
slight that we cannot except in rare cases prove or disprove
linguistic borrowing. A rare exception is that PRDS is widely
recognized as a Persian loanword, not only into Hebrew, but also into
Greek. It is not a native Hebrew word.

> XRD may indeed be also 'tremble, startle, disperse in fear or haste'. See 1
> Samuel 13:7, Judges 8:12 and Hosea 11:11. The NAB sensibly renders Judges
> 8:12
> וְכָל-הַמַּחֲנֶה הֶחֱרִיד
> as "throwing the entire army into panic".
> As to: "XR$, to work on or over (hence) to keep silent (can't talk while
> working), to be deaf", it is one of the most inventive etymologies I have
> ever encountered. Is this remarkable etymology actually being proposed in
> some dictionaries?

It is less inventive than some of your etymologies. Further, the
connection can be seen in actions that do follow that pattern.

> You are saying: "XRZ, (not a root found in Tanakh)". What about XARUZ of
> Song of songs 1:10?
That's a happax legomenon that is found only as a four letter noun. As
for its meaning, that can only be guessed at based on translation
and/or cognate languages.

> Isaac Fried, Boston University
Karl W. Randolph.

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list