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

pporta at oham.net pporta at oham.net
Sat Mar 22 02:55:48 EDT 2008

I think, Jim, that in moedieval times the points were either created or put 
on the consonantal text just to get a BETTER understanding of the text.
Namely, I see the points not as something troubling or creating troubles or 
making the text understanding more difficult.. but just the contrary!
Now, maybe in this or in that word ... the pointing is wrong?...  Yes, it is 
quite possible! But from a global viewpoint the points are here to help, not 
to make thing more difficult...
Just these days Karl and I are dealing with Ecc 12:7, where it seems --so 
Karl says-  that the first word has a wrong pointing.
I feel that at making your comparisons between words, vowels must be taken 
into account.

(Barcelona, Spain)

> You make many good points.  Yet almost all of what you say seems to me to 
> be
> based on the medieval pointing that was done to the text in the Middle 
> Ages,
> as opposed to the Hebrew letters that were in the Bible in ancient times.
> 1.  You make the fascinating point that “princes” at Isaiah 10: 8 is 
> pointed
> the same as Sarah’s birth name.
> You then state:  “So, from a strict literal viewpoint "Saray" or "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.”
> If Isaiah 10: 8 is referring to divine figures, or is speaking
> metaphorically, as appears to be the case, then I could accept there the 
> translation “prince”
> in the singular, which is “princes” in the plural at Isaiah 10: 8. 
> Perhaps
> you agree with me that there is no “princess” here at all.
> But at Genesis 12: 15 and 47: 6, I do not like a translation of “prince” 
> or “
> princes”, because there the references are to high officials (top men 
> under
> Pharaoh), not to a king or to sons of a king.
> 2.  You wrote:  “The "sary" of Pharaoh are not "sary" but "sarEy".  Why do
> you take no account of the vowels?”
> I believe that there you are referencing the medieval pointing.  The word 
>> sary” at Genesis 12: 15 was pointed differently in medieval times than the 
> name “
> Sary” at Genesis 12: 11.  Yet in the original text, which had no pointing,
> these two words are identical, as far as I can see.  Both words are
> sin-resh-yod, nothing else.
> 3.  You wrote:  “"sary" (as you spell it) is a plural construct... "sary" 
> is
> not essentially different from "sarim".”
> That may well be.  Yet what one sees at Genesis 12: 15 in unpointed text 
> is
> sin-resh-yod, and those sin-resh-yod are dealing with sin-resh-yod.  That 
> is to
> say, Pharaoh’s top officials, sin-resh-yod, are recommending to Pharaoh 
> that
> sin-resh-yod, being the birth name of Abraham’s wife, be taken into 
> Pharaoh’s
> household.
> The Hebrew letters in the original text are identical.  That’s my point.
> 4.  You wrote:  “Now, the name of Abraham's wife is "Saray" or "Sarai" and
> not “Sary.”
> I believe that, once again, you are basing that statement on the medieval
> pointing.  Many scholars have stated that the medieval pointing is often
> unreliable.
> If you ignore the medieval pointing, what would lead you to say that “the
> name of Abraham's wife is "Saray" or "Sarai" and not “Sary”?  All I see in
> unpointed text is sin-resh-yod, nothing else.
> 5.  You wrote:  “Sincerely, I think you are not on the good path at making
> this kind of
> wordplays...”
> Perhaps the fact that these two very different words have identical 
> spellings
> is a mere coincidence here.  But you must remember that there is more 
> clever
> Hebrew wordplay in the Patriarchal narratives than in virtually any other
> Hebrew composition ever done.
> Sary are dealing with Sary at Genesis 12: 15.  Perhaps that’s a mere
> coincidence.  But perhaps not.
> Perhaps the author of the Patriarchal narratives is deliberately trying to
> emphasize there that Abraham’s wife is as strong-willed and determined as 
> are a
> king’s top officials.  Sary is as strong-willed and determined as sary. 
> Sary
> acts like sary.
> To me it makes sense.  But I’m here to learn, like everyone else.
> 6.  I myself do not see the names “Sary” and “Sarah” as having an 
> identical
> meaning, with the only difference being that “Sary” has an archaic 
> feminine
> ending, whereas “Sarah” has a regular feminine ending.  I believe that is 
> the
> way scholars explain these two names.  Scholars also often claim, in my 
> view
> completely erroneously, that both of those names mean “princess”.  Sarah 
> was
> never a princess.  That would not be a fitting name for Sarah, who was not 
> the
> daughter of a king or anything like that.  I myself do not see either 
> “Sary”
> or “Sarah” as meaning “princess”.
> I view Genesis 12: 15 as being one key clue as to what Sarah’s birth name
> means.  Sary deal with Sary at Genesis 12: 15.  To me, that is intended to 
> make
> us realize that Abraham’s wife Sary will act in as strong-willed and 
> determined
> manner as do sary:  top officials of a king.  This is a positive and 
> fitting
> name for an assertive, righteous woman like Abraham’s wife, who is one of 
> the
> most appealing women in all of mankind’s accounts of women.  I do not 
> think
> that Sarah’s birth name has anything at all to do with the concept of 
> being a “
> princess”.  Rather, I see Genesis 12: 15 as deliberately being a key clue 
> to
> what Sarah’s birth name means.
> Sary deal with Sary at Genesis 12: 15.  Sary is as assertive as sary. 
> That’s
> the clever, meaningful Hebrew wordplay I am seeing here.
> Jim Stinehart
> Evanston, Illinois
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