[b-hebrew] Sahaduta at Genesis 31: 47
fournet.arnaud at wanadoo.fr
Wed Jul 14 08:23:53 EDT 2010
<JimStinehart at ...> writes:
> The name $H-DW-T) at Genesis 31: 47 is presented as being a foreign name
> spoken by Laban of NHRYM. If the text is historically accurate, we would
> expect $H-DW-T) to be composed of two Sanskrit words having Hurrian
> characteristics, all rendered in Biblical Hebrew. If so, that would be very
> because no Hebrew or Jew in the 1st millennium BCE could come up with that,
> whereas if $H-DW-T) is Aramaic, no written Aramaic is attested prior to the
> 1st millennium BCE.
Something that puzzles me is that a Hurrian or Mitanni Aryan could be attested
as late as the 1st millenium BCE.
Leaving that aside, another issue is that NHRYM cannot be completely equated
with Mitanni or Hurrian-peopled areas.
$u-wa-ar-da-ta. This name occurs
> in 10 Amarna Letters, including, for example, Amarna Letter EA 278 from
> Suwardata. The only alternative spellings both occur in Amarna Letter EA
> from Abdi-Heba of Jerusalem, and they are important to note: $u-ar-da-tu
> $u-ar-da-ti. Abdi-Heba sees the W as being optional, and deletes it.
> That shows that the W after the initial $ was optional and could be deleted.
Another idea is that the underlying form is *Suha- which is rendered as either
*su-a- or su-wa or su-ha.
> Su-wa-ar-da-ta may be rendered ‘
> given by the sun(god)’.” I do not fully agree with that explanation. The
> Hurrians did not worship a sun-god; rather, the all-important god for the
> Hurrians was the Hurrian sky-god, Tessup. So $u-wa or $H in a Hurrian’s
> literally meaning “sky” [or “sun”], would reference the sky-god Tessup, not
> a sun-god. As to the verb, the Sanskrit word for “to give” is actually
> da-da-ti Though this is a Sanskrit verb, not a Hurrian word, the ending –ta
> may be the Hurrian verbal ending for 1st person singular for an intransitive
> verb. [See p. 64 of the Fournet/Bomhard Hurrian website.] So ignoring the
> interior R for a moment (discussed below), the meaning would be: “the
> Hurrian sky-god Tessup I have been given”.
Actually TeSSub is a thunder-god.
Apart from that minor issue, the problem is that -ta or maybe even -tta with a
geminate can only be suffixed to a passive verb or an intransitive verb.
In addition this kind of person-name formation is unattested.
Personally I would favor a purely Indo-Aryan analysis: Su-war-da-ta, Su-ar-da-
ta "given by the sun".
It's unclear to which extent Sahaduta can be equated with *suwardata.
This would entail that Sahaduta is a distortion of an original *suhadata.
What is interesting is that the laryngeal of "sun" *saH2w- seems to be still
All this would be coherent with this name being very much older than the 1st
millenium. I have no idea if we have the right to push the dating back that
> The pinpoint historical accuracy of the consonantal Masoretic Text is
> absolutely amazing. No one has understood Hurrian for 3,000 years, and who
> expect Sanskrit in the Bible? Yet $H-DW-T) is right there at Genesis 31:
> 47, highly accurate as a Sanskrit name with Hurrian characteristics. And
> early Hebrew author also knew that a bona fide historical name from the
> Late Bronze Age could feature a Hebrew word followed by a Hurrian-type
> Abdi-Heba and YGR $H-DW-T). YGR is the Hebrew word “fear” [not an Aramaic
> word]. And $H-DW-T) is the Hurrian version of Sanskrit words which
> [that is, the Hurrian sky-god Tessup] I have been given (as my witness)”.
> So in historical context, when Laban says YGR $H-DW-T), he is saying:
> “Fear (of) the Hurrian sky-god Tessup I have been given (as my witness)”.
This meaning is not possible.
Hurrian never had person-names with that syntax or formation.
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