[b-hebrew] "Sary" vs. "sary"

pporta at oham.net pporta at oham.net
Thu Mar 20 13:46:23 EDT 2008

Are you sure, Jim, of what you're telling?
The "sary" of Pharaoh are not "sary" but "sarEy". Why do you take no account 
of the vowels?
You are speaking of two plural forms of the noun "sar". And you don't write 
even a word about the "construct"...   "sary" (as you spell it) is a plural 
construct... "sary" is not essentially different from "sarim".
Now, the name of Abraham's wife is "Saray" or "Sarai" and not Sary.
You say (if I understand you rightly) that the vowels of Saray are something 

Something odd? Look at Isa 10:8 (fourth word)  where we find "saray", my 
chiefs, my rulers, my princes.
So, from a strict litteral viewpoint "Saray" o "Sarai" means "my princes" 
(and not "my princess") -- a single letter s versus a double ss. It is just 
the fourth word in Is 10:8.

Sincerely, I think you are not on the good path at making this kind of 
And I'm not writing these words as offensive to you, please! Maybe in a 
given case  --or even in more than one--  this kind of wordplay would make 
sense. Maybe.
But not in your actual mail. This is my humble opinion and I wish to share 
it with you and other listers.


Pere Porta
Barcelona (Spain)

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <JimStinehart at aol.com>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Thursday, March 20, 2008 3:28 PM
Subject: [b-hebrew] "Sary" vs. "sary"

> “Sary” vs. “sary”
> 1.  In the Bible, we see two plural forms of sin-resh/“sar”.  The more
> common plural form in the Bible, and the only plural form in the 
> Patriarchal
> narratives, is sin-resh-yod/“sary”.  Genesis 12: 15 and 47: 6  (The other 
> plural
> form, which is seen in several books of the Bible and in modern Hebrew, is
> sin-resh-yod-mem/“sarim”.)
> 2.  Sarah’s birth name, which I transliterate into English as “Sary”, is
> spelled with the same three Hebrew letters:  sin-resh-yod.
> 3.  There seems to be clever Hebrew wordplay at Genesis 12: 15, based on 
> “sary
> ” vs. “Sary”.  Though the name “Sary” does not explicitly appear at 
> Genesis
> 12: 15, it is clear from the preceding verses that “Sary” is who is being
> looked at.  So at Genesis 12: 15, the “sary” are looking at “Sary”, and 
> the “
> sary” recommend “Sary” to Pharaoh.  There are of course no capital letters 
> in
> Hebrew, so in written Hebrew these two words look exactly the same:
> sin-resh-yod.  Pharaoh’s sin-resh-yod/“sary” are dealing with Abram’s wife
> sin-resh-yod/“Sary”.
> 4.  In English, “sary” at Genesis 12: 15 oddly gets translated as 
>  “princes”
> , though certainly it is Pharaoh’s “top officials”, not princes (such as
> Pharaoh’s sons), who are being referenced here.  (In the Bible, when the 
> word “sar
> ” is applied to a human being, it usually means “top official”, such as a
> military commander or Pharaoh’s senior officers.  The word “sar” rarely 
> means “
> prince” or “king” in the Bible, when applied to a human being.)
> In English, Sarah’s birth name oddly gets translated as “Sarai”, pursuant 
> to
> the medieval pointing.  (Note that Sary is not a “princess”.  Sary does 
> have
> a strong-willed personality, though, like a king’s “top official”.)
> In the Hebrew written text, in both cases it’s simply sin-resh-yod/“sary”.
> Sary are dealing with Sary at Genesis 12: 15.
> Jim Stinehart
> Evanston, Illinois
> **************Create a Home Theater Like the Pros. Watch the video on AOL
> Home.
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