[b-hebrew] Asher again

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Fri Jul 16 09:58:55 EDT 2010

Dr. Fournet:  
1.  You wrote:  “We do have Mitanni-Aryan names outside Mitanni during that 
period 1500-1200 when the Mitanni Kingdom existed.  The most parsimonious 
idea is to think that all Hurrians at that time were unified under the broad 
banner of Mitanni.  Now, we can also imagine that some Hurrians were out of 
the Mitanni "federation".”
When mighty Hittite King Suppiluliuma I charged into western Syria in the 
mid-14th century BCE, Mitanni was in no position to help its Hurrian ‘brothers
’ in the Orontes River Valley.  Akhenaten was AWOL, too, not surprisingly.  
Left to their own devices, the league of five Hurrian princelings was 
mercilessly destroyed by the Hittites and three regional Hittite allies, which is 
the historical “four kings against five”.
2.  You wrote:  “In all cases, the most parsimonious and the expected 
hypothesis would be that Hurrian people should either have regular Hurrian names 
or Mitanni-Aryan names.”
No member of the league of five rebellious princelings had a Mitanni-Aryan 
name.  They all had Hurrian or Akkadian names.  They were all Hurrian 
princelings, and none was a king of Mitanni, or from Mitanni.  As Hurrian 
princelings, two of whom had Hurrian names, it makes sense for the early Hebrew 
author to decide to use Hurrian common words as their nicknames at Genesis 14: 2.
3.  You wrote:  “This cannot be a "vintage" Hurrian word.  This bound 
morpheme -zzi is completely un-heard-of.  Logically such a "name" should be 
segmented aki- # izzi and we should expect izzi to be a god: "Izzi brought him".  
This does not exist. Among the hundreds of Hurrian names listed in Nuzi 
Person Names, none sounds like that.”
Nuzi is east Hurrian, on the eastern edge of the east Syrian great power 
state of Mitanni.  By contrast, the four kings against five took place in the 
Orontes River Valley in western Syria.  That’s west Hurrian.  Why wouldn’t 
Hurrian princelings in the heart of Hurrian country in the Orontes River 
Valley be expected to have Hurrian names?
4.  You wrote:  “You stated it [-izzi] "was" Hurrian and I think I 
objected. I still object.  To be frank this formative does not exist in Hurrian but 
Nuzi Person Names lists it.  Judging from strange names like Umpizzi, i 
wonder if akizzi is not Kassite rather than Hurrian. The sequence -mp- is very 
much Kassite-looking and -zz- is much more frequent in Kassite than in 
There were no Kassites in the Orontes River Valley when western Syria was 
forcibly made part of the new Hittite Empire by Hittite King Suppililiuma in 
the mid-14th century BCE.  There are no Kassite names at Genesis 14: 2.  [If 
you want a Kassite name, however, there’s K$DYM at Genesis 11: 28, 31.  It’
s a reference to Kassite Babylonia in the mid-14th century BCE.]
5.  You wrote:  “I'm sorry, but we are moving in circles here.  These names 
are *not* Hurrian.  The phonology is aberrant, this type is not attested 
and the items 

themselves are not attested.  All this "vintage" Hurrian is thin air, to 
put it bluntly.”
The name Aki-Te$$up is a virgin pure Hurrian name.  The word $umi-ebri is a 
Hurrian common word, whose Hebrew rendering at Genesis 14: 2 is $M)BR.  The 
Orontes River Valley in western Syria was in the heart of Hurrian country 
in the mid-14th century BCE.  These are Hurrian princelings, several of whom 
had Hurrian names, and four of whom are given as nicknames Hurrian common 
words at Genesis 14: 2.
6.  You wrote:  “"Far from Syria" ??  Hurrians were everywhere at that 
time. From Egypt to Anatolia to Northern Iran.”
Mitanni didn’t help out when the Hurrian princelings in the Orontes River 
Valley were attacked by Suppiluliuma in the Great Syrian War.
7.  You wrote:  “No.  lord is ebri: skeleton ?_b_r ; scheme _e_0_i (or 
maybe _i_0_i if you think e is not a real phoneme).  In addition the first vowel 
of ebri was probably long, which is one more reason it should not fall: it 
was stressed there.”
I think we now agree that ebri means “lord” in Hurrian.  Old Biblical 
Hebrew recorded very few vowels.  Even when writing down a Hurrian common word, 
very few vowels were written down.  In recording Hurrian words in old 
Biblical Hebrew, a vowel indicator was used only when needed to show the Hurrian 
syllable division of the word.  In $M)BR we have the Hurrian e expressly 
written down, by the Hebrew aleph.  In the two prior words, BR( and BR$(, we 
then need to imply that same Hurrian e, realizing that these three names are 
closely related on all scores, with all of them being based on ebri and 
meaning “Hurrian lord”.
8.  You wrote:  “What are the historical consequences if we consider these 
names to be Kassite instead of Hurrian?”
Then we can throw history out the window.  The Kassites were confined to 
southern Mesopotamia.  The league of five rebellious members consisted of 
Hurrian princelings in the Orontes River Valley in western Syria, where there 
were no Kassites.  That’s the case both in the Great Syrian War in western 
Syria historically, and at Genesis 14: 1-11.  Think Hurrian!  You can’t get any 
more Hurrian than Aki-Te$$up or $umi-ebri or $M)BR.  It’s all Hurrian, all 
the way, in every way.  Genesis 14: 1-11 literally reeks of the mid-14th 
century BCE and the Great Syrian War in the Orontes River Valley, a disastrous 
military conflict that marked the beginning of the end for the hapless 
Hurrians.  Of more direct relevance to the Hebrew Bible and early Judaism, the 
Great Syrian War briefly seemed to threaten the early Hebrews themselves in 
beloved Canaan south of Syria.
The pinpoint historical accuracy of Genesis 14: 1-11 in the context of the 
mid-14th century BCE is absolutely stunning.
Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list