[b-hebrew] The Name "Chedorlaomer" in Hebrew and Ugaritic

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Tue Jan 29 10:57:52 EST 2008


Kevin P. Edgecomb:
 
1.  You wrote:  “Mr Stinehart, it is shockingly apparent that you are 
interested only in your own linguistic gymnastics….”
 
So far, my own "linguistic gymnastics" have consisted of a Hebrew analysis of 
"Chedorlaomer"/KDR+L+AoMR, as follows.  I match KDR in "Chedorlaomer" to the 
Hebrew word KDR.  I match L in "Chedorlaomer" to the Hebrew word L.  And I 
match AoMR in "Chedorlaomer" to the Hebrew word AoMR.  So where are the 
"linguistic gymnastics" that you are complaining about?  Each of those three matches 
match letter for Hebrew letter.
 
But now let's take a look at your own "linguistic gymnastics".  You compare 
Kutir-Nahhunte to "Chedorlaomer".  That seems like "linguistic gymnastics" to 
me.
 
Kudur-Nahhunte ruled for only 5 years, 1155 – 1150 BCE.  He successfully 
attacked Babylonia, but he never came anywhere close to greater Canaan.  Why would 
chapter 14 of Genesis recall the 5-year reign of a king of far-off hatamtu, 
east of the lower Euphrates River, who never had anything to do with the 
Hebrews?  Your “linguistics gymnastics” are vaulting you into never-never land, as 
far as I can see.
 
And continuing with the subject of your “linguistics gymnastics”, you insist 
that ayin-yod-lamed-mem/(YLM is "Elam", meaning historical hatamtu, the 
predecessor of Persia.  How do you get ayin-yod-lamed-mem/(YLM from "hatamtu"?  
Isn't that a super-gigantic linguistic leap of faith? 
 
2.  You wrote:  “…likewise [you] elicit no competency in actual 
inter-cultural contact in the Ancient Near East.”
 
Speaking of "inter-cultural contact in the Ancient Near East", what 
historical contacts did the Hebrews have with far-off hatamtu, located east of 
Babylonia, on the far side of the lower Euphrates River?  If the Hebrews never 
interacted with hatamtu (as opposed to Persia), why would the Hebrew Bible be studded 
with reference after negative reference to hatamtu?  Doesn't that make you 
want to reconsider your view that ayin-yod-lamed-mem/(YLM in the Bible always 
means far-off hatamtu?
 
By sharp contrast, the Hebrews had ongoing "inter-cultural contact in the 
Ancient Near East" with Syria, who is Canaan's immediate neighbor to the north.  
On your view, the Bible is always referencing far-off hatamtu, east of the 
lower Euphrates River, while almost never mentioning neighboring Syria.  Is that 
a credible theory of the case?  However, if ayin-yod-lamed-mem/(YLM usually 
means Syria, not hatamtu, in the Bible, which is my view of the case, then the 
Hebrew Bible frequently mentions neighboring Syria, while not mentioning 
far-off hatamtu until the very late Book of Daniel.  Isn't that a much more sensible 
view of what the Hebrew Bible is saying?
 
3.  On your view, the author of Genesis 10: 22 oddly states that far-off 
non-Semitic hatamtu and Semitic Assyria are the first two named sons of Shem.  But 
if ayin-yod-lamed-mem/(YLM does not mean far-off non-Semitic hatamtu, but 
instead means neighboring Semitic Syria, then Genesis 10: 22 sensibly states that 
Semitic Syria and Semitic Assyria are the first two named sons of Shem.
 
4.  On your view, the author of chapter 14 of Genesis in the Patriarchal 
narratives oddly portrays a fictional king of far-off hatamtu, located east of the 
far-off lower Euphrates River, as fictionally having five rebellious 
princeling subjects in greater Canaan, and as fictionally coming all the long way to 
Canaan to discipline them.  This fictional king of hatamtu oddly fictionally 
allies with a king who has a bona fide Hittite kingly name, Tidal/Tudhaliya.  
During the long history of the Hebrews, no king of hatamtu ever came to greater 
Canaan to discipline wayward Canaanite princelings, and no king of hatamtu 
ever allied with the Hittites.  But if ayin-yod-lamed-mem/(YLM means Syria here, 
and in this context is referring to Ugarit on the west coast of Syria in 
particular, then chapter 14 of Genesis is quite accurate historically.  The 
princeling ruler of Ugarit did in fact ally with a Hittite king, and with a Hurrian 
princeling, and with an Amorite princeling, just as portrayed in chapter 14 of 
Genesis, and that unusual ethnic grouping of four attacking rulers did in fact 
totally destroy a league of five rebellious princelings, quite similar to 
what is portrayed in chapter 14 of Genesis:  “four kings against the five”.
 
Why prohibit any Hebrew and Ugaritic linguistic analysis of first “
Chedorlaomer”, and then ayin-yod-lamed-mem/(YLM?  How else are we going to determine if 
chapter 14 of Genesis is reporting fairly accurate historical facts, as 
opposed to your view that chapter 14 is nonsensically claiming that a fictional king 
of far-off hatamtu east of the lower Euphrates River fictionally came to 
greater Canaan to fictionally deal with 5 rebellious princelings, fictionally 
picking up a Hittite king as an ally along the way?
 
5.  Your concluding remark basically says it all:
 
“I suggest you simply drop it.”
 
All I have done so far is to show that the name “Chedorlaomer” makes perfect 
sense as being composed of three Hebrew words.  All 7 Hebrew letters match 
letter for letter.
 
Aren’t you interested in finding out whether the name “Chedorlaomer” 
likewise makes sense as being three Ugaritic words?
 
If it turns out that the name “Chedorlaomer” makes perfect sense in both 
Hebrew and Ugaritic, then wouldn’t you be interested in seeing a Hebrew and 
Ugaritic analysis of ayin-yod-lamed-mem/(YLM?
 
On what basis do you insist that no Hebrew or Ugaritic linguistic analysis of 
either “Chedorlaomer” or ayin-yod-lamed-mem/(YLM should be done?  Your view 
of ayin-yod-lamed-mem/(YLM makes both Genesis 10: 22 and chapter 14 of Genesis 
nonsensical.  Doesn’t that make you wonder if perhaps you may have been 
misinterpreting what ayin-yod-lamed-mem/(YLM means at Genesis 10: 22 and in chapter 
14 of Genesis?
 
Why preclude, in advance, any Hebrew or Ugaritic analysis of these two 
fascinating words?  These words appear in the Hebrew Bible, after all.  Why should 
we be forbidden from taking a close look at what these two words may mean in 
Hebrew?  Why should that be forbidden?  Isn’t that exactly the type of thing 
that the b-Hebrew list is designed to foster?  Why should it be forbidden to 
state that the name “Chedorlaomer” can be viewed as being composed of three 
Hebrew words?  Even if that does not fit with your hatamtu theory of the case, 
nevertheless all 7 Hebrew letters match, letter for letter, in my Hebrew analysis 
of the name “Chedorlaomer”.  That Hebrew linguistic analysis of the name “
Chedorlaomer” backs up my view that Chedorlaomer is portrayed in chapter 14 of 
Genesis as being an historical west Semitic-speaking Amorite princeling ruler of 
Ugarit on the west coast of Syria, rather than as being a fictional king of 
far-off non-Semitic hatamtu, from east of the far-off lower Euphrates River.  
Why should such a Hebrew linguistic analysis of the name “Chedorlaomer” be 
verboten?  Why should I “simply drop it”?
 
Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois




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