[b-hebrew] $ADAI

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Fri Mar 28 11:45:44 EDT 2008

Isaac Fried:
You wrote:  “If you question the Masoretes' pointing of the name SARAY, then 
 should, by the same logic, question also the editor(s) of the Hebrew  
 bible on his choice of the letter sin. After all, the name of the  
 first lady was not copied from a birth certificate. We easily imagine  
 that when confronted with the choice of samek versus sin he readily  
 discarded the odious samek-resh for the noble sin-resh, making her an  
 instant princess.”
I thought that you and I had agreed that neither “Sary” (sin-resh-yod) nor “
Sarah” means “princess”.
1.  “Sar” (sin-resh) means a male “top official” of a king or pharaoh.  
When applied to human beings, “sar” does not mean “prince”.  A “prince” is a 
son of a king who is a potential heir of the king.  A “sar”, by contrast, is a 
minister or officer or commander, etc. appointed by the king, and usually 
having no blood relation to the king.
2.  One meaning of “sary” (sin-resh-yod) is a plural form of “sar”, meaning 
more than one male “top officials” of a king or pharaoh.  “Sary” does not 
mean “princes” when applied to human beings.  At Genesis 12: 15, it certainly 
is not Pharaoh’s sons who are recommending that Abraham’s wife be brought 
into Pharaoh’s household.  No, we are dealing with “top officers” of Pharaoh who 
are probably not related to Pharaoh by blood.
3.  A second meaning of “Sary” (spelled sin-resh-yod, but perhaps properly 
pronounced "Sarai") is a woman’s name, that is a play on the underlying root 
word “sar”.  It means a woman who is strong-willed and assertive like “top 
officials”/sary of a king or pharaoh.  “Sary” does not mean princess when applied 
to a human being.  Abraham’s wife was not the daughter of a king, so she was 
never a “princess”.  Her key relationship is as a wife (to Abraham), not as a 
I do not see any usage of these words in the Patriarchal narratives contrary 
to the above analysis.
Abraham’s wife was never a “princess”.  Neither of her names means “princess
Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois

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