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

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Tue Jul 20 14:31:14 EDT 2010

Dr. Arnaud Fournet:
Although you know Hurrian well, you don’t seem to realize that the pointing 
of vowel sounds that is found in many Hebrew Bibles was added by the 
Masoretes in the Middle Ages.  Though the Masoretes may well have gotten most of 
the pronunciations of Biblical Hebrew common words more or less right (a 
subject much debated on the b-hebrew list), there is absolutely no way that the 
Masoretes, or any other human beings in the Middle Ages, would have had the 
foggiest idea of the actual pronunciations of proper names in long-extinct 
non-Semitic languages like Hurrian or Hittite from the Late Bronze Age.  So 
the medieval pointing 2,000 years after the fact is of no value whatsoever in 
examining the names and titles at Genesis 14: 1-2.
1.  You wrote:  “Apart from history or History, is there some numerical 
symbolism hidden in the 4 to 5 equation?”
No.  Historically, the Great Syrian War in western Syria featured a 
coalition of 4 attacking rulers, led by mighty Hittite King Suppiluliuma, who 
destroyed a league of 5 rebellious Hurrian princelings.  There is no numerical 
symbolism here.
2.  You wrote, in response to my statement that ‘The first three letters of 
the name “Chedorlaomer” are KDR.’:  This looks like firm ground, if we 
take letter to mean consonant.”
There’s nothing there but the letters in the received text, all of which at 
the beginning of the name “Chedorlaomer” are true consonants.  The 
medieval pointing of vowel sounds for the names and titles at Genesis 14: 1-2 has 
no evidentiary value whatsoever, one way or the other.
3.  You wrote, in response to my assertion that ‘“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.”
Kdr means “a sacred religious vessel” in Ugaritic.  L is both a 
preposition in Ugaritic, and an intensifier, that can mean “indeed...into”, and when 
paired with (mr, which means “dust, ashes, or excrement” in Ugaritic, the 
phrase l (mr can mean:  “indeed fell into excrement”.  So the king of Ugarit 
is said, in this highly pejorative nickname, to have allowed “a sacred 
religious vessel to indeed fall into excrement”.  The meaning is that the former 
independence of Syria, and perhaps in the near future of Lebanon and the 
Hebrews’ beloved Canaan as well, being “a sacred religious vessel’, has now “
fallen into excrement”, that is, has been forfeited by Ugarit to the 
Hittites.  Ugarit King Niqmaddu II sold out Ugarit to the mighty Hittites, and 
Ugarit was never independent again, but rather was forevermore a docile Hittite 
vassal state.
4.  You wrote:  “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.”
Because of its great commercial wealth, Ugarit was the golden goose that 
all the great powers coveted.  Here is the standard account of what Ugarit did 
in the mid-14th century BCE when it was being raided by 5 Hurrian 
princeling neighbors from the Orontes River Valley:  “Finally the conspirators took 
action:  Ituraddu of Mukishe, Addu-Nirari of Nukhashshe, and Aki-teshup of 
Niya formed an ad hoc league [along with Qatna and Tunip], renounced their 
vassalage to Khatte [being five rebellious princelings as to the Hittites under 
Suppiluliuma], and [unsuccessfully] attempted to force Niqmaddu II of 
Ugarit to join them, on pain of invasion.  But now came the unexpected.  Niqmaddu 
[of Ugarit]…made a volte-face and appealed, not to Pharaoh, but to the 
Hittite king to extricate him from this dilemma.  Suppiluliumas was not slow to 
seize the opportunity”.  Donald B. Redford, “Egypt, Canaan and Israel in 
Ancient Times” (1992), at p. 175.  The mighty Hittite king operated with three 
regional allies, making a coalition of 4 attacking rulers, who soon crushed 
the league of 5 rebellious Hurrian prlincelings.  The Great Syrian War in 
western Syria was on!
5.  You wrote:  “How do you account for -u- in t-u-d- but -i- in t-i-d?”
That’s the medieval pointing of the Masoretes in the Middle Ages again.  It 
has no evidentiary value regarding names and titles at Genesis 14: 1-2.  
All that’s there in the received text is TD(L.  There’s no U, and no I, with 
the I being a guess from the common era.
6.  You wrote:  “How does this idea work with the -o- in Ari-o-ch?  I can 
see no -o- in arawaka or eriwika!?”
That’s the irrelevant medieval pointing of the Masoretes in the Middle Ages 
again.  The vav/W in )RYWK is a Hurrian W as a true consonant.  There is no 
I will complete my comments in my next post.
Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois

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