[b-hebrew] $XR = black?

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Thu Apr 2 10:17:40 EDT 2009

Dear Kevin Edgecomb and Karl:
1.  Isaiah 27: 12-13 Is Not the Promised Land 
Isaiah 27: 12-13 does not say that the Promised Land includes the Nile River 
and the Euphrates River, or all the land between such rivers.  On the 
contrary, Isaiah 27: 12-13 explicitly says that any Hebrew at either of such two 
rivers is in the diaspora,  n-o-t  in the Promised Land.  Any such unfortunate 
Hebrew in due course, if faith in YHWH is maintained, can look forward to coming 
home to beloved Jerusalem:
“In that day from the river Euphrates[?] [$BLT NXR] to the Brook[?] [River?] 
[NHR] of Egypt the LORD will thresh out the grain, and you will be gleaned one 
by one, O people of Israel.  And in that day a great trumpet will be blown, 
and those who were lost in the land of Assyria and those who were driven out to 
the land of Egypt will come and worship the LORD on the holy mountain at 
Jerusalem.”  (ESV of Isaiah 27: 12-13)
Even if NHR of Egypt were to be viewed as being the Nile River (a contested 
view), still the Nile River is not part of the Promised Land!  Any Hebrew at 
the Nile River is clearly and unequivocally said to be one of “those who were 
driven  o-u-t  to the land of Egypt”.  If you’re within eyesight of the Nile 
River or the Nile Delta, you’re not in the Promised Land, according to the Bible.
2.  Genesis 15: 18;  25: 18 Is Not the Promised Land
Genesis 15: 18 does not concern the Promised Land of Jacob’s descendants (the 
Hebrews), but rather tells us what land Abraham’s descendants (including 
Ishmael) will inhabit:
“On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, "To your offspring 
I give this land, from the river [NHR] of Egypt to the great river, the river 
As above, scholars disagree whether the NHR of Egypt there is the Nile River. 
 But even if it is, that promise to all of Abraham’s descendants, including 
Ishmael, is then neatly fulfilled at Genesis 25: 18:
“They [Ishmael’s descendants] settled from Havilah to Shur, which is 
opposite Egypt in the direction of Assyria.”
It’s Ishmael’s descendants, not Jacob’s descendants, who live in the Sinai.
3.  $XR Is Not Shihor
Yigal Levin’s article sets forth the majority scholarly view of 
$XR/$XWR/$YXWR as a geographical reference relating to Egypt.  Believe it or not, here it 
is.  $XR is not a Hebrew word, but rather is an Egyptian phrase.  Yet though 
the Egyptians consistently used this Egyptian phrase to refer to the 
northeastern edge of the Nile Delta, the Hebrews often used this Egyptian phrase with a 
completely different meaning:  $XR/Shihor in Hebrew (quoting Nadav Na’aman) “
developed into a more figurative term for ‘river’, ‘stream’ or ‘wadi’.”  So 
on the majority scholarly view that is taught in universities, $XR means “
Shihor” except that it doesn’t.
I can see why Kevin Edgecomb does not see that as being a compelling 
linguistic analysis. 
4.  $XR vs. “Black”
Karl, Kevin Edgecomb, Nadav Na’aman and Yigal Levin all agree on one thing:  
$XR, when used as a geographical term relating to Egypt, is  n-o-t  a Hebrew 
word, and has nothing to do with the Hebrew common word $XR that means “black”
.  All agree that it is a pure coincidence that the Hebrew common word $XR 
means “black”, and that the Egyptians called their own country “Black”/Kemet, 
with $XR (or $XWR or $YXWR) being used four times in the Bible to refer to 
Egypt, never in a negative context.
Kevin Edgecomb and Karl would dispossess Ishmael’s descendants from the 
Sinai, contra Genesis 25: 18, having the Promised Land of Jacob’s descendants 
extend all the way to the Nile River!  Mainstream scholars, for their part, insist 
with a straight face that $XR means “Shihor” but that it doesn’t.  Yet all 
agree that there’s zero possibility that $XR/$XWR/$YXWR is a Hebrew word meaning 
“Black”/Kemet/Egypt/bountiful Greater Egypt.  Go figure.
Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois 

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