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

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Mon Oct 13 11:32:11 EDT 2008

Gabe Eisenstein:
It is nice to hear from someone who recognizes that names in the Patriarchal 
narratives often are deliberate puns, even when those puns are not openly 
On that basis, we can figure out that the very first sentence of the 
Patriarchal narratives, Genesis 11: 26, divinely foreshadows much of what subsequently 
happens in the Patriarchal narratives, based on the divinely-inspired puns on 
the three names of Terakh’s sons.
1.  “Haran” is a pun on the Akkadian word harannu, meaning “road, caravan”. 
 That neatly foreshadows that Terakh’s firstborn son will die on the “road”, 
on a long “caravan” trip way out to Ur (to buy lapis lazuli).  As such, 
Haran suffers the notable misfortune of predeceasing his own father, which nicely 
foreshadows that each and every firstborn son in the Patriarchal narratives 
will get the shaft, and rightly so:  Haran, Ishmael, Esau, Reuben.  Even more 
obviously, the fact that the name of a younger son, Abrum, is set forth first at 
Genesis 11: 26 likewise foreshadows that the winning son in every generation 
will always be a younger son, never his father’s firstborn son:  Abraham, 
Isaac, Jacob, Judah.
2.  “Nahor” is a pun on nahar (river, that is, the Euphrates River) and 
Naharim (Genesis 24: 10).  That neatly foreshadows both that (i) Nahor himself 
will stay behind at Harran near the nahar/river/Euphrates River in Naharim to 
take care of Terakh, after Abraham and Lot leave for Canaan, and that (ii) Nahor’
s descendants, including Rebekah, will live near the nahar/river/Euphrates 
River in Naharim.  Abraham will have to send his trusted servant all the long way 
out to Naharim near the nahar/river/Euphrates River in order to obtain Nahor’
s descendant Rebekah as Isaac’s ideal bride.
3.  “Abrum” is Ab/)B + r(u)m/RM.  “Ab” means “father”, and “rum” means “up
”.    (See Genesis 14: 22, where the first form of “up”/RM features 
resh-mem/RM.  Often a yod appears between the R and M, and the root word is said to be 
RWM.  Yet the true root is simply RM, being the last two letters of the name 
)BRM/“Abr(u)m.)   The first third of the Patriarchal narratives primarily 
features Abraham having to look “up”/rum to YHWH in order to be able to become a “
father”/ab of a son by Abraham’s long-barren, beloved main wife #1, Sarah.  
This also foreshadows that Isaac likewise will have to look “up”/rum to YHWH 
in order to be able to become a “father”/ab of a son by Isaac’s beloved main 
wife #1, Rebekah, who is barren for many years (though not as long as Sarah).  
Finally, in the third generation, Jacob too will need to look “up”/rum to 
YHWH in order to be able to become a “father”/ab of a son by Jacob’s favorite 
main wife, Rachel (who is frustratingly barren for almost 7 years).
Thus the names of Terakh’s three sons divinely foreshadow, by means of these 
deft puns, the bulk of what happens in the Patriarchal narratives.
How people can deny that each important person’s name in the Patriarchal 
narratives is a brilliant, divinely-inspired pun is beyond me.  These 
ultra-brilliant puns confirm, rather than undercut, the divinely-inspired nature of the 
truly wondrous, historically based, ancient Patriarchal narratives.
Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois

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