[b-hebrew] $ARAI

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Mon Mar 31 10:26:54 EDT 2008


Jim,

Your interest in the Patriarchal narratives is surely laudable, yet  
it contains what I believe to be a fundamental linguistic flaw. The  
question is this Can we read into a Hebrew name a sure meaning or  
not. More specifically, does the name SARAY harbor any clear meaning  
derived from the root SR and the word SAR. I think not. Your claim  
that she was so named, or nicknamed, since she was "strong-willed and  
assertive like “top officials”" may be but a fantastical invention.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Mar 31, 2008, at 9:54 AM, JimStinehart at aol.com wrote:

>
> Isaac Fried:
>
> You wrote:  “SARAY as a Hebrew WORD means 'my princes'….”
>
> That simply is not true.
>
> Here are the 25 uses of sin-resh or sin-resh-yod in the Patriarchal
> narratives, when such word is used as a common noun (as opposed to  
> sin-resh-yod as Sarah
> ’s birth name).  In 25 out of 25 cases, sin-resh or sin-resh-yod  
> means “top
> officials”, and in 0 out of 25 cases, sin-resh or sin-resh-yod  
> means “prince”
> or “princes” or “my princes”, where the word “prince” in English, when
> applied to a human being, means a son of the king.
>
> 1.  Genesis 12: 15
>
> Pharaoh’s top ministers (“top officials”), not Pharaoh’s sons,  
> recommend to
> Pharaoh that Abraham’s wife be brought into Pharaoh’s household.   
> Certainly
> Pharaoh’s sons, the “princes” of Egypt, would not be involved in  
> that matter!
>
> 2.  Genesis 21: 22, 32;  26: 26
>
> Princeling Abimelek’s lead foreign mercenary, Phicol, is a “top  
> official”
> who is in charge of military matters.  Phicol, a foreigner who is  
> about the same
> age as west Semitic-speaking Abimelek, is certainly not Abimelek’s  
> son, and
> hence is not a “prince”.
>
> 3.  Genesis 37: 36;  39: 1
>
> Joseph’s original Egyptian master, Pa-di Pr, is a “top official”  
> who is in
> charge of Pharaoh’s personal bodyguards.  Pa-di Pr is not related  
> to Pharaoh by
> blood and is not a “prince”.
>
> 4.  Genesis 39: 21-23;  40: 3-4;  41: 10, 12
>
> Pharaoh’s top jailer, who handles the most important jail in Egypt,  
> is a “
> top official”, not a son of Pharaoh who is a “prince”.
>
> 5.  Genesis 40: 2(a,b), 9, 16, 20(a,b), 21-23;  41: 9, 10
>
> Pharaoh’s chief cupbearer and Pharaoh’s chief baker are Pharaoh’s “top
> officials”, who are not sons of Pharaoh and hence are not “princes”.
>
> 6.  Genesis 47: 6
>
> The position of being head shepherds of Pharaoh’s flocks in Egypt  
> would be
> held by “top officials”, not by sons of Pharaoh who were “princes”.
>
> Conclusion
>
> The word sin-resh and sin-resh-yod is used 25 times as a common  
> noun in the
> Patriarchal narratives.  All 25 times it means “top official”, and  
> it never
> means “prince” or “princes” or “my princes”.
>
> Since sin-resh and sin-resh-yod never mean “prince” in the Patriarchal
> narratives, sin-resh-yod as the birth name of Abraham’s wife does  
> not mean “
> princess”.  Rather, sin-resh-yod as the birth name of Abraham’s  
> wife means that
> this woman is strong-willed and assertive like “top officials”.   
> It’s a
> delightful play on words that is most appropriate.
>
> Sarah was never a princess.  Sarah’s father was not a king.   
> Neither of Sarah’
> s two names means “princess”.
>
> Jim Stinehart
> Evanston, Illinois
>
>
>
>
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> Home.
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