[b-hebrew] Interchange of L/lamed with R/resh in Biblical Hebrew

David Kummerow farmerjoeblo at hotmail.com
Mon Jun 23 19:06:05 EDT 2008

Dear Isaac,

/q/, /g/, /d/, /r/, /'/, and /`/ are established phonemes in BH. You 
simply cannot take /`aqad/ and relate it to /'agad/ or /`aqad/ to 
/`aqar/! There is no justification for your unconstrained and 
unsubstantiated fusing of phonemes. You are only able to do this because 
of your disregard for the established scientific linguistic methodology 
of phonemics.

I fail to see why using the established methodology of phonemics has
produced an "imaginative" result here. This is how linguistic analysis
is to be conducted, not in some wanton disregard for the phonemes of a
language! It is not "imaginative" to investigate Semitic cognates,
either. HALOT lists some evidence, and I fail to see that if there is a
Semitic cognate meaning "to bind" that it does not apply here. Certainly
better than than a theory of /q/ = /d/ and /d/ = /q/ or /d/ = /r/ and 
/r/ = /d/! To put it in terms you may understand, it's like saying 1 = 2 
and 2 = 1. That is, it's like saying different numbers are an illusion 
and are instead the same number!

In any case, your own result here is quite strange: replace /d/ with /r/ 
to produce `AQAR and have this `AQAR mean "to plant". `AQAR actually 
means the exact opposite! This is semantic gymnastics indeed.

David Kummerow.

> David,
> I think that the bible uses here the obscure, only once appearing,
> verb (AQAD [related to )AGAD, 'unified, held together', and used here
>  supposedly instead of QA$AR or ASAR] intentionally to further
> obfuscate an absolutely minimal tale.
> There is (AQOD, for a coloring pattern on sheep, as in Genesis 30:39
> and Genesis 31:10, and the the place name BEIT (EQED HA-RO(IM of 2
> Kings 10:12-14, both not easily related to 'bind'.
> At the time of this event Abraham was a very old man and Isaac a
> fully developed NA(AR. Biblical time scales are not easy to figure
> out, but the fact of the matter is that Isaac was strong enough to
> carry uphill and to quiet a distance the full load of firewood needed
> to burn a goat. So how did this old man succeed, all by himself, in
> binding his son and placing him on the altar? Did Isaac play along,
> or did the old man stealthily sneak upon him with a rope, previously
> used to bound the kindling, during sleep? Was there a struggle or did
> the old man stun him first with a stone to the head? And why did he
> place Isaac upon the altar before slaughtering him?
> But these questions are not for us. We want to just try and figure
> out what (AQAD means. The context here is not helpful as there is
> actually barely a coherent context here. So we replace the D by an R
> and have (AQAR, suggesting that all we can say about what Abraham did
> is that he held is son still [literally "planted" him] upon the altar
> above the firewood.
> (AQAD = bound is no more than imagination working overtime,
> "cognates" not withstanding.
> Just for the sake of interest. In Rembrandt's famous depiction of the
>  (AQEDAH, which can be seen here
> http://www.artchive.com/artchive/R/rembrandt/abraham.jpg.html
> Isaac is not shown bound, at least not by the feet.
> Isaac Fried, Boston University
> On Jun 22, 2008, at 11:43 PM, David Kummerow wrote:
>> I would have thought that the more natural semantic antonym of `QR
>> "to uproot" would be NT` "to plant". There is nothing "obvious"
>> about your contrary claim. It makes little sense to have Isaac
>> "planted" into the alter. In any case, from memory I think that `QD
>> is not so obscure in that there are common cognates meaning "to
>> tie, bind". There is nothing lame about an English rendering "tied
>> up" or "bound" if that is indeed the case.
>> Regards, David Kummerow.
>>> Jim,
>>> The letters L and R don't "interchange". In my opinion the letter
>>> L indicates elevation and the letter R dispersion/aggregation.
>>> Every Hebrew root containing the letter R refers to a material
>>> state of several bodies, such as (RM for a heap of grain versus
>>> (LM for something tall and massive. Some jump on this supposedly
>>> L-R interchangeability to relate Hebrew and Indo-European words,
>>> for instance KAPTOR of Exodus 25:33 to the Latin word capitulum.
>>> See: Vernes, Maurice: Les Emprunts de la Bible Hebraique au Grec
>>> et au Latin, Ernest Leroux, Paris, 1914, pages 68-69. Often, the
>>> substitution of R for another letter sharpens the meaning of a
>>> word otherwise obscure. Take for instance the rare verb (AQAD of 
>>> Genesis 22:9, lamely translated by the NAB as 'tied up', and by
>>> the JPS bible as 'bound'. Obviously it is the opposite of (AQAR,
>>> 'tore away'. See more in my book at www.hebrewetymology.com 
>>> <http://www.hebrewetymology.com>
>>> Isaac Fried, Boston University
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