[b-hebrew] naHHAs versus nahhA$ ---- was previously ----Kadesh-barnea

Ishinan ishinan at comcast.net
Tue Apr 13 21:34:11 EDT 2010

[URI HURWITZ] - The words NH$, the name of the Ammonite king in Hebrew, and 
NHS, the Arabic name of the ancient smelting enterprise in Khirbat Nahas, 
meaning copper, are identical. The Hebrew consonant $ is often the 
equivalent of the Arabic S. Compare $alom, Heb. and  salam, Arab.

One possibility is that this identity - not just similarity - is a 
coincidence, and that would be the end of this matter. Especially since the 
Heb. word means "snake", and the Arab. means "copper".

But then the Hebrew word for copper is derived from the same root, and 
appears in Fem. form, with an auxillary 'T' - N'ho$et. Compare with 
N'hu$tan, the icon destroyed by Hezekiah. Is the name derived from its serpe


[ISHINAN] - Uri,  naHHAs is indeed copper or brass in Arabic, while nahhA$ 
in Arabic is a biting snake  (see LisAn al-`Arab vol. vi, p. 730) hence the 
apparent confusion in Hebrew. They are from totally different roots, the 
former is from nHs root while the latter is from nh$ .

(Arabic phonology: "h" is a voiceless glottal fricative consonant, IPA - 
number 146.   While "H" is a voiceless pharyngeal fricative consonant, IPA - 
number 144  )

I hope this helps

Ishinan Ishibashi

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