[b-hebrew] Seir and El Paran

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Tue Dec 14 09:47:29 EST 2010

Dr. Fournet:
A.  You wrote:  “1. Serri or Sarri is not a Hurrian word but a Semitic 

In all cases, the root is S_r, there is no (. 

2. “(God Is) King” cannot be a possible Hurrian name. 

In addition Hurrians were not monotheistic.” 

Here is the standard translation of Mitanni Letter IV: 115-118:
“As by $eri [$e-e-ir-ri], and your [Egyptian] god our life and our fate are 
determined, may the gods guide both of us together, Te$up and Amanu, our 
lords [ip-ri-iw-we-$u-u$], our fathers.”
1.  Your translation of $e-e-ir-ri as “king” is inadequate, as it is clear 
from the context that a divine meaning is intended here.  That’s why I said 
the implication was “(God Is) King” as the name of a city.  As you well 
know, the most common second element of a Hurrian name is -iya, being a 
generalized theophoric reference.
2.  The Hurrians certainly weren’t monotheistic, as here they reference 
both Te$up and Amen.
3.  Your transliteration “$erri” is inadequate, and hides the comparison 
to the Biblical spelling.  The word is $e-e-ir-ri in the Mitanni Letter (per 
the original German transliteration), and $e-e-ri in Amarna Letter EA 288: 
26 (per Anson Rainey).  Those middle vowels are represented by ayin in 
Hebrew.  Indeed, the later Hebrew spelling, $(-YR, is fairly close to $e-e-ir, 
while not being as close to your truncated $erri. 
4.  Since Phoenician and Punic authors used ayin to represent an interior 
vowel in a name, the early Hebrew author of the Patriarchal narratives could 
use the same technique in recording Hurrian names.  $R was not an option 
here, because he had to show that this was a multiple-syllable Hurrian name.  
$(-R works very nicely.
B.  In the context of a sentence (Genesis 14: 6) that is expressly telling 
us where XR-Y live:
(a)  $(-YR = $e-e-ir-ri = $e-e-ri
(b)  )L P-)R-N = eli pu-ur-ni
Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois

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