[b-hebrew] H-XT-Y at II Samuel 11: 3

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Thu Jul 29 09:33:27 EDT 2010

Dr. Arnaud Fournet:
You wrote:  “I don't see what makes these people "obviously" not Hittites 
or Anatolian Indo-Europeans of that kind in the first place!?  Please explain.
1.  The mainstream scholarly view is that the name “Uriah” is a west 
Semitic name that means (per Gesenius) “YHWH Is My Light” or, per Karl, “Lord Is 
Light”.  If that scholarly analysis is right, then no Hittite or Anatolian 
Indo-European would have such a blatantly Hebrew name.  
2.  In chapter 23 of Genesis, Abraham is portrayed as buying Sarah’s 
gravesite in the heart of Canaan from Ephron, a member of the X-T people.  
Historically, no Hittite or  A-n-a-t-o-l-i-a-n  Indo-European people ever dominated 
a city in the heart of Canaan, or sold a plot of land to a tent-dwelling 
Hebrew.  The Luwians that you mention were never in the hill country of Canaan 
south of the Jezreel Valley, so their daughters couldn’t marry Esau.
How can you and James Christian talk about Hittite or  A-n-a-t-o-l-i-a-n  
Indo-European people being in south-central Canaan?  There’s no evidence to 
support that.
3.  The mainstream scholarly view is that “Ephron” is a west Semitic name 
that means “Bambi”/“fawn”, that his father “Zohar” has a west Semitic 
name that means “tawny”, and that the phrase H-XT-Y has no attested historical 
4.  Could you please comment on the mainstream scholarly view that the 
names “Uriah” and “Ephron” and “Zohar” should be viewed as being west Semitic 
names with the above meanings, and that the phrase H-XT-Y should be viewed 
as having no historical meaning whatsoever?  Is west Semitic the first 
language you think of when you see the following four Biblical names referring to 
people in Canaan?
That west Semitic analysis is the semi-unanimous view of the leading 
mainstream scholars, as we see here:
“[A]ll Hittites named in the OT have good Semitic names, e.g. Ephron, 
Sohar, Uriah.  ‘Apart from the expression “the land of the Hittites”, which 
sometimes denotes Syria, all other references to “Hittites” in the OT are to a 
small group living in the hills during the era of the Patriarchs and 
descendants of that group’ (H.A. Hoffner, POTT, 213-214).”  Gordon Wenham, “
Genesis 16-50” (1994), at p. 126.
What is your own analysis of those four names?  Do you agree with the 
scholarly consensus that they are west Semitic names?  (I’m quoting the very top 
scholars in the world here.)  Why would the Biblical phrase “the land of the 
Hittites” sometimes denote Syria [Joshua 1: 4], if the Biblical Hittites 
are “a small group living in the hills” of Canaan?  II Kings 7: 6 seems to 
view the kings of the Hittites as being kings in Syria.  There weren’t any 
kings of “a small group living in the hills” of Canaan, were there?  And why 
is Solomon said to have Hittite wives at I Kings 11: 1?  Did Solomon marry 
several women from “a small group living in the hills” of Canaan, and if so, 
why would that be noteworthy?  I presume that university freshmen are taught 
this stuff every year.  Am I the only one who sees this scholarly analysis 
as not making sense?  Why would anyone think that the Biblical Hittites were 
Canaanites with west Semitic names?  Not only is there no historical 
backing for such a claim, but also it makes no linguistic sense either.  
Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois

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