if at math.bu.edu
Mon Mar 31 10:26:54 EDT 2008
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.
> 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
> 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”.
> 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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