JimStinehart at aol.com
JimStinehart at aol.com
Wed Jun 2 09:56:36 EDT 2010
On a different thread, George Athas wrote concerning the names of
characters in the Book of Ruth: “Mahlon = 'Critically ill' (Guess what he does: he
dies!) Chilion = 'Terminally ill' (Guess what he does: he dies!) Orpah =
'Back-of-the-neck girl' (Guess what she does: she turns her back on Naomi)
Ruth = 'companion' (Guess what she does: she acts as Naomi's companion) Naomi =
'Sweetie' (She's anything but, and she knows it, too) Boaz =
'Strongly/Lively' (Guess what he does: he comes to the rescue) Should these wordplays
figure in a discussion on the dating of the book of Ruth?” Dave Washburne
commented that there are cognates in the west Semitic language of Ugaritic for
these names. James Christian then added: “Isn't Genesis full of characters
with names fitting what they did or would do?”
Now compare what I have started to show on this thread, where the name “
Terakh”/TRX is a west Semitic name that neatly encompasses virtually everything
that Abraham’s father is portrayed as doing in the Patriarchal narratives.
1. T + RX = TRX/Terakh, vs. Moon = Y + RX = YRX. Many scholars agree that
the name Terakh/TRX is in part a play on YRX, meaning “moon” or “month”
in Hebrew, and being the moon god in Ugaritic. TRX/Terakh is closely
associated with Ur and Harran, which were the preeminent sites of moon god worship
in the ancient world.
2. T + RX = TRX/Terakh, vs. Caravan: [i] ) + RX = )RX; and [ii] T + ) +
RX = T)RX. As second person singular, T + ) + RX = T)RX, meaning “you
travel on a caravan”. The name TRX could be viewed as intentionally recalling
the verbal form T)RX. The Patriarchal narratives open with Terakh leading his
family on a long, somewhat ill-fated caravan trip.
3. T + RX = TRX/Terakh, vs. Harran: )RX = XRN. )RX is the west Semitic
equivalent of the Hurrian word XR-N, meaning “the road” in Hurrian. XRN is
the name (derived from Hurrian) of the place where Terakh/TRX spends the
rest of his life: Harran.
4. T + RX = TRX/Terakh, vs. Pay the Brideprice: [i] T + RX + M = TRXM;
and [ii] in Ugaritic, T + RX = TRX. As second person singular, T + RX + M =
TRXM, and means “you behold with tenderest affection”, which may move you
to marry. Psalms 102: 13. TRXM is similar in sound to TRX (regardless of
whether there is or is not any pure linguistic relationship here). TRX is not
only the name of Abraham’s father, but also TRX in Ugaritic means “to marry
” or “to pay the brideprice”, which is one of Terakh’s critical roles
when he arranges for Abraham to marry Sarah as Abraham’s only main wife.
As with George Athas’s examples for the Book of Ruth, note that all of the
above words are west Semitic words. As I noted in my last post, the
Akkadian equivalents of these various words are not similar to TRX at all. That
strongly supports the focus of this thread, which is not so much a dating
issue (as George Athas has raised regarding the Book of Ruth), but rather is as
follows. In my controversial view, Terakh/TRX is portrayed in the
Patriarchal narratives (historically accurately) as being indigenous to Canaan, not
as being a lifelong resident of non-west Semitic-speaking Mesopotamia, as
shown by the fact that TRX is a west Semitic name.
I agree with George Athas’s approach of focusing on names. On this thread,
the implication is that if all of TRX, HRN and )BRM are virgin pure west
Semitic names (as I myself think is the case), then the Patriarchal narratives
would seem to be presenting the Hebrews as being indigenous to west
Semitic-speaking Canaan. The pinpoint historical accuracy of the Patriarchal
narratives never fails to amaze. If we could only get the underlying geography
right, then the startling historical accuracy of the Patriarchal narratives
would come shining through. A good start in that regard is to focus on the
name TRX/“Terakh”. It’s west Semitic!
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