[b-hebrew] Asher again

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Thu Jul 15 14:34:11 EDT 2010


Dr. Fournet:
 
Based on the beginning and the end of your post, your primary attack on my 
view of the personal names at Genesis 14: 2 seems to be based on history, 
not linguistics.  Unfortunately, you are completely wrong on the history here.
 
In the Great Syrian War in the Orontes Valley in western Syria in the 
mid-14th century BCE, which I see as being what the “four kings against five” is 
accurately reporting, the defeated league of five parties were Hurrian 
princelings who lived in the Orontes River Valley.  They did not live in, or 
anywhere close to, Mitanni in eastern Syria.  Indeed, one key reason why the 
league of five rebellious princelings was effortlessly crushed by the mighty 
Hittites in a men-against-boys total mismatch was precisely because Mitanni 
never showed up to help out its fellow Hurrian ‘brothers’!  So your comments 
about the names of kings of Mitanni are almost entirely irrelevant.
 
Let’s now examine the historical name of one of the historical members of 
the league of five rebellious princelings who were crushed by the Hittites in 
the Orontes River Valley in the mid-14th century BCE Great Syrian War.  We 
know from Amarna Letter EA 53 the name Akizzi, the ruler of ill-fated Qatna. 
  Here is Richard Hess’s analysis of the name Akizzi, at pp. 27-28 of “
Amarna Personal Names”:
 
“a-ki-iz-zi…The language represented by this PN is Hurrian.  A-ki-iz-zi is 
composed of the Hurrian verbal form, ag ‘to guide, lead,’ and the bound 
morpheme, -zzi.”
 
As to the first Hurrian word, at p. 80 of F/B we see:  “*[ag-ú] [P-x] ‘to 
bring, to lead’
EL ag- <a-ku-u>.  …UR <ag/j(u)>”
 
Note that this is a vintage Hurrian word, not a Sanskrit or Indo-Aryan word.
 
We have discussed the second element in this name, -zzi, in prior posts, 
noting that it is Hurrian.
 
The early Hebrew author of Genesis 14: 1-11 used nicknames for all 17 names 
and titles of the nine contending rulers at Genesis 14: 1-2.  So we won’t 
literally see “Akizzi” at Genesis 14: 2.  But an appropriate nickname would 
be a Hurrian common word, which is not a Sanskrit word, and which 
effectively means “Hurrian princeling”.  That’s because the defeated members of the 
league of five rebelllious parties were Hurrian princelings, several of whose 
names are Hurrian names, and none of whose names are Sanskrit or Indo-Aryan 
names.
 
So BR%(, representing ebri-ssi in Hurrian (not Sanskrit), literally meaning 
“your brother”, and effectively meaning “Hurrian princeling”, is a 
perfect nickname used by the early Hebrew author for Akizzi of Qatna.
 
1.  You wrote:  “A general problem I see here is that during the Mitanni 
Period, the Hurrian-Mitanni upper-class bore Indo-Aryan sounding names.”
 
That’s true but irrelevant.  The league of five defeated parties was 
composed of Hurrian princelings who were not kings of Mitanni, who did not have 
Indo-Aryan names, and who in several cases had vintage Hurrian names like “
Akizzi”.  So a Hurrian common word that effectively means “Hurrian princeling” 
is a perfect nickname to use for such a person at Genesis 14: 2.
 
2.  You wrote:  “[T]hese names should be Indo-Aryan sounding.  So the 
conclusion is that these names do not refer to persons who have anything to do 
with Mitanni and Hurrian people.”
 
Akizzi is not an “Indo-Aryan sounding” name.  It’s a pure Hurrian name 
that sounds Hurrian.  So a Hurrian common word that effectively means “Hurrian 
princeling” is an apt nickname for Akizzi at Genesis 14: 2.
 
True, the four names/nicknames at Genesis 14: 2 of members of the defeated 
league of five rebellious parties “do not refer to persons who have anything 
to do with Mitanni”.  That’s because that league formed in the Orontes 
River Valley in western Syria, far from Mitanni, and indeed was abandoned by 
Mitanni at crunch time.
 
Your further statement that the names/nicknames at Genesis 14: 2 “do not 
refer to…Hurrian people” relies almost solely on your assumption that the one 
and only Hebrew letter that could possibly be used to represent a Hurrian i 
would be a yod.  That is simply not true, as my post showed.  That choice 
would have been very poor for the Hurrian words “which” and “Ea”, which 
include both i and y in Hurrian, and for all the many Hurrian words where the 
first syllable consists solely of the Hurrian vowel i.  The superior choice 
was the choice actually made by the early Hebrew author:  to use an otherwise 
irrelevant Hebrew letter, ayin, to represent Hurrian i.  On that basis, all 
four names at Genesis 14: 2 are Hurrian common words that effectively mean “
Hurrian princeling”.  BR( is ebri.  [I understand that to a Hurrian, the e 
at the beginning of this Hurrian common word was a vowel in its own right, 
not merely a prosthetic.  But from an early Hebrew point of view, that e 
would have been viewed as being in the nature of a prosthetic aleph, being there 
merely to facilitate the pronunciation of the true consonant B.  We know 
that such e must be implied here, because of the )B -- eb -- discrete syllable 
in the related name $M)BR.]   BR%( is ebri-ssi.  $M)BR is $umi-ebri.  And 
$N)B is $an-a-b.  It’s so straightforward that the early Hebrew contemporary 
audience, though only knowing a couple of Hurrian words, could catch it.  
They knew that the key consonants in the Hurrian word for “lord” were BR, and 
that the key consonants in the Hurrian word for “brother” were $N, and 
that both such Hurrian words used by the Hurrian ruling class princelings in 
14th century BCE Canaan effectively meant “Hurrian princeling”.  That’s all 
the early Hebrew contemporary audience needed to know, in order to figure out 
that the manifestly non-west Semitic names at Genesis 14: 2 are Hurrian 
common words being used as apt nicknames for the five members of the defeated 
league of Hurrian princelings, who were crushed by the Hittites under mighty 
Hittite King Suppiluliuma I [Biblical “Tidal”] in the Great Syrian War in 
the Orontes River Valley in western Syria in the mid-14th century BCE.






Pinpoint historical accuracy, thy name is the “four kings against five” at 
Genesis 14: 1-11.
 
Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois



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