[b-hebrew] Is "Kiriath Arbe" in Genesis an Historically-Documented City Name?

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Fri Oct 17 11:31:39 EDT 2008


On Fri, Oct 17, 2008 at 6:29 AM, <JimStinehart at aol.com> wrote:

> Is "Kiriath Arbe" in Genesis an Historically-Documented City Name?
> In looking for the secular historical equivalent of the city name "Kiriath
> Arbe" in Bronze Age Canaan, the first linguistic issue to consider is
> "Kiriath"
> vs. "kiriath".  The word "kiriath" is the construct form of a Hebrew word
> that means "city".  Although Genesis 23: 2 initially suggests that "
> Kiriath-Arbe" might be the name of this town, Genesis 35: 27 seems to
> indicate that, on
> the contrary, the word "kiriath" is just a general reference to a "city",
> rather than being an integral part of this city's name. Genesis 35: 27 has
> the
> definite article in the middle, so the reference there seems to be to the
> "city
> of [kiriath] the Arbe".
> Based on that slight ambiguity, what we are most likely to see in secular
> history is the following:  (i) the root of the city name either will be
> only the
> key true consonants in "Arbe", or it will be some slight variation on
> "Arbe"
> itself, and (ii) there will probably be a standard suffix, -T, meaning
> "city"
> .  That is the most likely pattern that we should expect to see in secular
> history (even though there are a handful of actual city names in ancient
> Canaan
> that include some version of the word "kiriath").  For Biblical
> confirmation
> of the well-documented secular historical ancient west Semitic practice of
> creating a city name by adding a final tav/T to a common word, see Genesis
> 26:
> 22, where Isaac does exactly that in naming a place after a well he has
> re-dug.
> "Arbe" is aleph-resh-bet-ayin, or:  )RB(.
> Per Gesenius, the initial aleph in )RB( is prosthetic.  The aleph is not
> part
> of the root word, but rather is there merely to aid pronunciation.  The
> root
> of this word clearly is R-B.  R-B means "to be many", or "to be great", or
> even, "to be more than three".  In the form "arbe"/)RB(, the word can mean
> the number "four".  But the root, which is what we are looking for, is
> simply
> resh-bet/RB.

OK, far enough.

1) that QRYH, in the form QRYT, is part of a town's name is not unheard of,
in fact the practice is found in all civilizations, in some the practice is
more common than in others. You need a good reason to strip it off, and all
you have is your speculation.

2) You have already been told by others that Gesenius is not a trustworthy
source, and for me he is the reason I went into lexicography, as his
definitions often did not fit the contexts of the passages I was reading.
Your following Gesenius here is invalid.

3) Your stripping off of ayin is for no good reason, you give none.

4) You commit the etymological fallacy, which I suspect is also the reason
for #3 above.

5) You commit other linguistic and historical fallacies which have already
been mentioned before, so I won't repeat them here.

Conclusion, your whole analysis is a bunch of hot air.

Karl W. Randolph.

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