[b-hebrew] Hurrian and the Masoretic Text

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Thu Apr 22 14:20:00 EDT 2010


The Masoretic Text is world-famous for its pinpoint accurate recall of 
ancient Hebrew names.  But can it accomplish that same feat with a geographical 
place name from the non-Semitic language of Hurrian?  Let’s check it out.
 
The town name XCCN TMR (in the defective, original spelling)/Hazezon Tamar 
at Genesis 14: 7 makes no sense in any Semitic language.  The first part of 
XCCN looks a bit like the Hebrew verb “to chop”, and TMR could be the 
Hebrew word “date palm tree”.  But certainly no town would be named “to chop 
date palm tree”.  However, could this be a Hurrian town name, recorded with 
pinpoint accuracy in the Masoretic Text?  
 
The Hurrian analysis of Hazezon Tamar/XCCN TMR is as follows.  XCC is the 
Hurrian word for “wisdom”.  Wisdom/Hasis is associated with the Hurrian god 
Ea at RS 24.274 in Laroche (1968: 504-507) “Offerings to El [ilum]”, at 
line 11.  Arnaud Fournet and Allan R. Bomhard, “The Indo-European Elements in 
Hurrian” (2010), La Garenne Colombes, Charleston, at p. 22 and p. 87.  [For 
the first time, in 2010 we now at long last have a good source for Hurrian 
words and grammar.  Check out this dandy Hurrian language site on the 
Internet:  _http://www.nostratic.ru/books/(432)bomhard-hurrian.pdf_ 
(http://www.nostratic.ru/books/(432)bomhard-hurrian.pdf)  ] The suffix –nun/N in Hurrian 
means “the”.  At p. 122.  TMR is often viewed as meaning “nine” in Hurrian.  
(Alternatively, TM can be viewed as meaning “nine”, with the suffix –R 
meaning “together with”, so that TMR would literally mean “together with nine”
.  At pp. 102, 126.)  The number nine is a magical number frequently found 
in Hurrian mythology.  For example, a mythical Hurrian king is said to rule 
nine years (ages?) in heaven.  The full town name then means, in Hurrian:  “
the wisdom (of) nine”.  It makes perfect sense in Hurrian, and it’s a 
perfect seven-letter exact match to the defective spelling of what’s in the 
Masoretic Text.
 
The Masoretic Text amazes us once again:  a perfect 7-letter match to a 
non-Semitic geographical place name from the Bronze Age.  Neat!
 
Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois 



More information about the b-hebrew mailing list