[b-hebrew] Pharaoh Khepera'a in Jeremiah 44:30

Arnaud Fournet fournet.arnaud at wanadoo.fr
Tue Jul 20 13:15:04 EDT 2010

----- Original Message ----- 
From: JimStinehart at aol.com
To: fournet.arnaud at wanadoo.fr ; George.Athas at moore.edu.au ; 
b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Sent: Tuesday, July 20, 2010 5:13 PM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Pharaoh Khepera'a in Jeremiah 44:30

Dr. Arnaud Fournet:

You wrote:  “How do you tell a "fact" from something that is not a "fact" 
and something that is "historical" from something that is not?”

No Biblical Maximalist has been able to figure out the historical facts that 
support the pinpoint historical accuracy of the “four kings against five” at 
Genesis 14: 1-11.  But as a linguist, you can verify the following objective 
linguistic facts, which in turn will lead us to the historical explanation 
of the “four kings against five”.
Apart from history or History,
is there some numerical symbolism hidden in the 4 to 5 equation?

1.  The first three letters of the name “Chedorlaomer” are KDR.
This looks like firm ground, if we take letter to mean consonant.

2.  The word KDR is splattered all over Ugaritic literature, having many 
meanings, including “sacred religious vessel”.
Hm!? So?

3.  No university scholar has ever asked whether “Chedorlaomer” may be a 
nasty nickname that is a Ugaritic curse:  kdr + l + (mr, being three 
well-attested words in Ugaritic that work nicely as a Ugaritic curse.
What would that curse be and mean in that language?
I'm sorry but I don't speak fluent Ugaritic, you know.

4.  No university scholar has ever asked where Chedorlaomer’s kingly title, 
in its original defective spelling, MLK (LM, is attested in non-biblical 
sources as to a human king.  The answer is:  only at Ugarit.  It was Ugarit 
that instigated the Great Syrian War in western Syria by calling in the 
Hittites in response to raids by Ugarit’s Hurrian princeling neighbors.
It strikes me as a huge claim that Ugarit could instigate a war.
This place looks like a commercial harbor where about 10 to 15 different 
languages are attested in about all writing systems of Planet Earth except 
Chinese and Mayan (so far and as far as I know).
Commerce is the contrary of war. You never kill your clients and neighbors 
in general. Kind of rule #1 for commerce.

5.  But now we get to your area of expertise.  You are presumably one of the 
very few people on earth who know the best potential support for the 
scholarly view that Chedorlaomer’s kingly title, (LM, references Elam [or at 
least could be reasonably viewed as referencing Elam].   Biblical scholars 
have only come up with Elammatum in Akkadian, but the prominent T there is 
not at Genesis 14: 1.  But you
know the Hurrian word for Elam, which is Elami.  That’s a perfect linguistic 
This "match" is more exactly a borrowing.
You can see that the loanword is slightly Hurrianized by the final -i, which 
makes it a clean Hurrian-looking word.

As to the absence of the vowels A and I, that’s what’s expected in early 
Biblical Hebrew defective spelling.  Thus tu-ud-xa-li-ya in Hittite comes 
out as TDGL in Ugaritic, and TD(L at Genesis 14: 1 (“Tidal”), with all 
non-essential vowels being routinely dropped in Late Bronze Age alphabetic 
How do you account for -u- in t-u-d- but -i- in t-i-d?

6.  But now we come to the really exciting part.  (LM at Genesis 14: 1 is a 
dead ringer for Elami in Hurrian.  So the Hebrew ayin there is representing 
the Hurrian vowel E.  Your most potent attack on my views last week was your 
excellent point that I had failed to show what Hurrian letter is attested as 
being the equivalent of Hebrew ayin.
Logically, we should *never* expect Ayin in any word with a true Hurrian 

  I have now revised my former view to a significant degree, in reaction to 
your well-founded attack.  Now relying heavily on (LM at Genesis 14: 1, we 
see that Hebrew ayin represents Hurrian E.  With Hurrian E and Hurrian I 
often being interchangeable (per the Fournet/Bomhard Hurrian language 
website), Hebrew ayin represents either E or I in recording Hurrian words at 
Genesis 14: 1-2.  Meanwhile, “Arioch” at Genesis 14: 1, whose initial Hebrew 
letter is an aleph, is either Arawa-ka in Akkadian-style spelling, or 
Eriwi-ka in Hurrian-style spelling.  So we see that Hebrew aleph represents 
either Hurrian A or Hurrian E in spelling Hurrian words or names at Genesis 
14: 1.  Per the F/B website, Hurrian E and Hurrian A are often 
interchangeable (but by contrast, Hurrian A is not interchangeable with 
Hurrian I).
How does this idea work with the -o- in Ari-o-ch?
I can see no -o- in arawaka or eriwika!?

7.  So now we have objective linguistic facts (not Jim’s idiosyncratic 
guesses, as before) to show that each of the four personal names at Genesis 
14: 2 is a Hurrian common word meaning “Hurrian princeling”.  Those Hurrian 
common words are brilliantly being used by the early Hebrew author as apt 
generic (non-pejorative) nicknames for the Hurrian princelings who 
historically comprised the league of five rebellious princelings.  $M)BR is 
$umi-ebri-[w]e in Hurrian, meaning “on behalf of a (Hurrian) lord”, and 
hence meaning:  “Hurrian princeling”.  The first E there is expressed as a 
Hebrew aleph, per the Hurrian-style spelling of “Arioch”, whose first Hebrew 
letter at Genesis 14: 1 is aleph.  From the “Tidal” example above, we know 
that the rest of the vowels will not be represented at all in early Biblical 
Hebrew defective spelling, including the entire ending.
As explained before, $M)BR should be $M)BR-Y/W. In addition this word is 
vocalized $eMaVeR (in the French Bible) which goes against your suggestion 
even more powerfully.
Not to speak about semantics and onomastics.

 In two other similar personal names at Genesis 14: 2, we imply the same E 
before the B.  So BR( is ebri in Hurrian, meaning “(Hurrian) lord”, and 
hence meaning:  “Hurrian princeling”.  Note that the final ayin is Hurrian 
I, per our analysis above of (LM, which showed that Hebrew ayin can be 
expected to represent Hurrian E or Hurrian I.  BR%( is ebri-ssi, meaning 
“your (Hurrian) lord”, and hence meaning:  “Hurrian princeling”.
Your example above suggests that the initial of ebri is written )e- with ).
So your idea lacks internal coherence. If $M)BR is to be segmented $M - )BR 
then BR cannot be ebri.
In my humble (but stubborn) opinion there's no way BR Bera can ever stand 
for ebri. Ebri should be either )BR or YBR, which are the most logical 
writings for the consonants alone.
Now I can see that BR is apparently written Bera which makes matters even 

The final Hebrew ayin is Hurrian I once again, per the above analysis. 
Finally, $N)B is $ena-b in Hurrian, meaning “your (Hurrian) brother”, and 
hence meaning:  “Hurrian princeling”.  The expected Hurrian I at the end of 
the Hurrian word $eni/“brother” changes to Hurrian A with the addition of 
this particular suffix, so to show that Hurrian peculiarity, the Hebrew 
aleph is there, indicating Hurrian A.

The foregoing objective linguistic facts point the way to seeing the “four 
kings against five” as being a pinpoint historically accurate report by an 
early Hebrew contemporary of the well-documented Great Syrian War in the 
Orontes River Valley in mid-14th century BCE western Syria.  All the 
Biblical Maximalists have missed it, along with all the mainstream 
university scholars and all the Biblical Minimalists.  But as a linguist who 
knows Hurrian, you can see that (1) (LM at Genesis 14: 1 is a dead ringer 
for Elami in Hurrian, being the Hurrian word for Elam, and (2) on that 
basis, Hebrew ayin is being used to represent Hurrian E or Hurrian I in 
Hurrian words at Genesis 14: 1-2.  Consequently, all four personal names at 
Genesis 14: 2 are Hurrian common words that are apt generic nicknames for 
Hurrian princelings like Aki-Te$$up, who historically comprised the 5-member 
league of rebellious Hurrian princelings in the Orontes River Valley in the 
Great Syrian War.  Scholars generally agree that chapter 14 of Genesis, 
unlike the rest of the Bible, pre-dates J, E and P, and hence is truly 
ancient.  But with a little help from a Hurrian expert like yourself, maybe 
we can show Biblical scholars the pinpoint historical accuracy of the “four 
kings against five” at Genesis 14: 1-11.
There is still some road to go before your idea really works, I'm afraid.

It's not that I'm against critical and unusual points of view. I'm not 
especially following the dogmatically orthodox dots myself on many issues. 
But there is some "hybris" in thinking that everybody's wrong or missed the 
point. This kind of approach is fraught with a huge load of dangers. If 
everybody is wrong about everything, then you may reach the point when 
people no longer understand what you say, then you're the one with a 
problem. I've learned that from some frustrating experiences with 
peer-review. Not everybody can be stupid, incompetent, ill-faithed or 
I mean your own point of view must interconnect and plug with existing 
points of view at least once somewhere, otherwise I wonder where you stand 
on the radar screen.
Possibly it's easier to break away than to break through on those issues.

Arnaud Fournet

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