[b-hebrew] $XR = black?

Kevin P. Edgecomb kevin at bombaxo.com
Thu Apr 2 00:08:45 EDT 2009

Jim Stinehart wrote: 
The #1 problem with arguing that $XR or $XWR or $YXWR = Shihor/"pond of
/"northeast edge of the Nile Delta" is not a linguistics problem.  On the
linguistics front, Kevin Edgecomb's theory makes more sense than the
majority scholarly view that $XR "developed into a more figurative term for
'river', ' stream' or 'wadi'".  But the fatal flaw in Kevin Edgecomb's
analysis is the geographical problem.  In the Bible, $XR never references
the northwest corner of the bleak Sinai Desert!  Rather, $XR/$XWR/$YXWR
consistently references the Nile River and bountiful Greater Egypt as a
whole, extending to the north-e-a-s-t  corner of the Sinai, not the
north-w-e-s-t  corner of the Sinai.

I write:
This is hardly a "fatal flaw," Mr Stinehart.  It's simply reality.  I never
claimed it refers to an area of land; this is your own misprision.  Shihor
was one of several names for the Nile River known to the Hebrews, and it is
a name that we find was also used by the Egyptians, not to refer to their
land, but to a particular branch of that river in the Nile delta which they
defined as their easternmost border.  We have in our ancient texts the
description of a shared border between these two separate territories, which
the inhabitants of these two territories also call by the same name, Shihor,
and the location of which is now verified archaeologically.  What's the

So, what does one make of a comparison of Isaiah 27.12, where the Euphrates
and River of Egypt m the extent of Israel, with Isaiah 23.3, where these
boundaries are the Euphrates and Shihor?

Frankly, everyone could disagree, but this is the kind of evidence that
stands on its own.  Interpret it away if you will, and for whatever reasons.
But it is absolutely clear that there was some kind of tradition, whether
ever realized or not, of an ideal extent of Israel stretching from the
Egyptian border at the Shihor all the way up to the Euphrates.

Kevin P. Edgecomb
Berkeley, California

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