[b-hebrew] Seir and El Paran

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Tue Dec 14 15:34:20 EST 2010

Dr. Fournet:

1.  $e-e-ir-ri at the Mitanni Letter IV: 115-118 obviously is some kind of 
a divine reference, in context.  I will accept your analysis that the 
meaning, however, is not “(Divine) King”, as I initially had thought.
2.  $e-e-ri in Amarna Letter EA 288: 26 is the same Hurrian word, but this 
time it’s referring to a city north of the Dead Sea.  The importance of this 
city name being a divine Hurrian reference in the Mitanni Letter is that it 
makes perfect sense for Genesis 14: 6 to be telling us that XR-Y lived 
there.  It’s no surprise that Hurrians live at a place with a Hurrian name.
3.  Each of $e-e-ir-ri and $e-e-ri is close to the Biblical rendering, 
which probably initially was $(-R, and in the received text is $(-YR.  Since 
Hurrian has so many vowels, it was necessary for the early Hebrew author to use 
a letter not found in Hurrian, ayin, to represent Hurrian vowels in order 
to show the multi-syllabic aspect of this Hurrian name.
4.  The Biblical name )L P-)R-N matches beautifully to the Hurrian word “
eli pu-ur-ni”.  Once again, it makes sense for Genesis 14: 6 to be telling us 
that the Hurrians/XR-Y lived at a place with a Hurrian name.  The Hurrians 
were never south of the Dead Sea, but are attested in Amarna Letter EA 197 as 
being in the central Transjordan north of the Dead Sea.
5.  The point is that Genesis 14: 6 tells us that the XR-Y were living at 
two places that have Hurrian names (even though it seems that I initially 
misinterpreted the meaning of one of those Hurrian names).  Places with Hurrian 
names cannot be south of the Dead Sea, much less at the Gulf of Aqaba, so 
the traditional interpretation of Genesis 14: 6 needs to be jettisoned.  
Genesis 14: 6 and Amarna Letter EA 197 are in fact reporting the same historical 
event, though naturally Genesis 14: 6 reports this from a Hebrew point of 
Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list