[b-hebrew] Hebron: The Linguistic Search for the Patriarchs' Bronze Age "Hebron"

dwashbur at nyx.net dwashbur at nyx.net
Thu Oct 9 13:51:52 EDT 2008

On 9 Oct 2008 at 9:46, JimStinehart at aol.com wrote:

> "Hebron" is heth-bet-resh-vav-nun/XBRWN.  The -on/-vav-nun/-WN is a suffix, 
> that means "place".  Thus for example the "-on" ending of "Sharon" means "
> place", with the Sharon Plain being a geographical area, not a town.  (The root 
> of "Sharon" is yod-shin-resh/YSR, meaning "level".  The geographical name "
> Sharon" is always preceded by he/H, meaning "the", which causes the yod 
> [which is not a guttural] to drop out completely.  H + [y]$R + WN = the level place 
> = H + $RWN = the Sharon (Plain).  Note that some form of a he/H must always 
> precede the name of this geographical area which ends in "-on".  We will see 
> that "Hebron" is somewhat similar, except that an initial guttural (aleph or 
> ayin) in the root does not drop out completely, but rather causes the he/H, 
> meaning "the", to become the guttural heth/X.]  

Karl already dealt with some of the lexical issues; I'll just mention a serious grammatical 
problem, since grammar is my hobby-horse.  

As Karl mentioned, the -on suffix does not always mean "place," so the idea breaks down 
right there.  But also, I'm not sure where you got the idea that the H- prefix would cause a 
non-gutteral to "drop out completely."  This is simply not the case.  There are two basic H- 
prefixes in biblical Hebrew, the article and the interrogative.  The interrogative has no effect 
at all on the consonant that follows it, while the article causes the following consonant to 
double, i.e. far from assimilating or dropping out, it actually strengthens.  This is why we 
have no less than 35 examples of HY$R ranging from Deuteronomy to Micah.  So this 
hypothesis breaks down at the very first step, and anything built on this step or corollary to it 
is likewise invalid.

Dave Washburn
"I'll hold the nail.  And when I nod my head, you hit it with the hammer."

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