[b-hebrew] Does the Name Caleb Mean "Dog"? Not.

Pere Porta pporta7 at gmail.com
Tue Sep 13 01:50:34 EDT 2011

Are you sure, Jim, that Nm 13:6 writes: “Caleb the son of Jephunneh the

You're quite wrong, Jim.

It writes. "from the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh"

Be more careful, please!!

Regards from

Pere Porta

2011/9/12 <JimStinehart at aol.com>

> We have discovered a new way of analyzing certain exotic foreign names in
> the Bible.  YBWS-Y/“Jebusites”, formerly thought to be inexplicable
> linguistically, turns out to be just like the princeling name Yi-id-ia in
> the Amarna
> Letters:  an Akkadian name with Hurrian characteristics, where the root is
> the Hurrian spelling of an Akkadian verb, followed by one or more standard
> Hurrian suffixes.  That insight may enable us to solve another longstanding
> Biblical mystery:  the question of whether the name of Joshua’s trusted
> confidante, KLB/“Caleb”, is, as scholars assert, a west Semitic name that
> means “
> Dog”.  Such a meaning makes no sense for an invaluable ally of Joshua.
> Moreover, should we in any event expect Caleb to have a west Semitic name?
> The Bible tells us over and over and  o-v-e-r  again that Caleb was a
> Kenizzite.  For example, we see the phrase “Caleb the son of Jephunneh the
> Kenizzite” at Numbers 13: 6, Deuteronomy 1: 36, and Joshua 14: 6.
> Who were the Kenizzites, and how should that name, QN-Z-Y, be analyzed?
> Although many scholars properly see Kenizzites as being a Hurrian name,
> nevertheless the scholarly view of this name is extremely peculiar,
> focusing on a
> single letter, the Hebrew letter zayin/Z, and saying essentially nothing
> about any of the other three letters in this exotic name:
> “[O]f all the ethnic terms found in these early [Biblical] traditions
> Kenizzi comes closest to a Hurrian form….  With Kenizzi, Perizzi cf.
> a-ki-iz-zi
> king of Qatna during Hurrian preponderance…and Perizzi, name of a Hurrian
> envoy in an Amarna letter….”  Blenkinsopp, “Gibeon and Israel” (1972), pp.
> 18
> and 113.
> W-h-y  have scholars been unable to identify the linguistic root of QN-Z-Y?
>  Closer examination reveals that, contra Blenkinsopp, QN-Z-Y is  n-o-t
> like Peri-izzi or Aki-izzi, because piri is the Hurrian common word for
> “lord”
> , and ag or aki is the Hurrian common word for “to lead, guide”, whereas by
> contrast, QN is not a Hurrian common word at all.  But we on the b-hebrew
> list now know how to approach this linguistic problem.  “Kenizzite” should
> be expected to be an Akkadian-based name with Hurrian characteristics, just
> like “Jebusites” and Yi-id-ia.
> Remembering that Hurrian spellings of Akkadian verbs are often a bit funky,
> QN is the Hebrew rendering of the Hurrian spelling of the Akkadian verb kā
> nu.  Although modern practice is, unfortunately, not to use the letter Q in
> transcribing Hurrian, in fact Hurrian has the word NQD, which may be a loan
> word from Akkadian that in Akkadian can be spelled with either a Q or a K:
> the Akkadian verb naqādu or nakādu, each of which can mean “to be anxious”
> or “to be disturbed”.  Given how close the meanings are of those two
> Akkadian verbs, it appears that an Akkadian K could on occasion interchange
> with
> and/or be pronounced Q, that is, as an emphatic K.  Note also that the
> Akkadian verb kananu [meaning “to contract”, and being somewhat similar to
> the
> Akkadian verb kānu being discussed here] could alternatively be written as
> qananu, with K interchanging with Q in Akkadian [even though those two
> letters
> do not interchange in Biblical Hebrew].  We see that kānu in Akkadian could
> be written qan in Hurrian, and transcribed using Hebrew letters as QN.
> On that analysis, QN-Z-Y means “Firm Is Blessed Teshup”, where QN/kānu is
> an Akkadian verb meaning “to be firm”, -zi is a standard Hurrian suffix
> meaning “blessed”, and -ya is another standard Hurrian suffix that is a
> theophoric which often references Teshup.  Names like QN-Z-Y, starting
> interchangeably with Q or K, are commonplace at Nuzi [per the 1943
> renderings in Gelb
> and Purves, “Nuzi Personal Names”]:  Qa-ni-iz-za and Ka-an-za-a-a and
> Qa-an-zu, etc.  How can one look at Nuzi name Qa-ni-iz-za and not see the
> Biblical
> name QN-Z-Y?  They’re the same name!
> The format of all these names, both at Nuzi and in the Biblical names “
> Kenizzite” and “Jebusite”, is just like Yi-id-ia in the Amarna Letters:
>  the
> Hurrian version of an Akkadian verb, plus one or more standard,
> run-of-the-mill, classic Hurrian suffixes.  Same.
> Since “Caleb”/KLB is repeatedly stated in the Bible to be a Kenizzite, and
> the name QN-Z-Y/“Kenizzite” is a Hurrian name (being an Akkadian-based
> name with Hurrian characteristics, to be specific), we should then
> logically
> expect KL-B to be a Hurrian name.  And it is!  And it should have a grand
> meaning in Hurrian, well befitting a fine comrade of Joshua.  It does!
> The root of KL-B is KL, being the Hurrian common word kel-, meaning “it
> pleases” or “it satisfies”.  Many Hurrian names start with this Hurrian
> word:
> Kel-teya, Kel-te$up, Keleya and from the Amarna Letters, Keliya, with all
> four such names meaning “It Pleases Teshup” [remembering that -ya
> references
> Teshup as a Hurrian suffix].  An alternative suffix for kel- is -b,
> alternatively spelled -p [as Teshub with a -b and Teshup with a -p are
> interchangeable in Hurrian].  This Hurrian formative has no substantive
> meaning, but
> makes a common word suitable to be a freestanding name.  We see this in the
> form Kelip at the beginning of many Hurrian names:  Kelip-erwi;
> Kelip-$arri;
> Kelip-tilla;  Kelip-ukur.  The first such name, where erwi is one spelling
> of the Hurrian common word for “lord”, means “It Pleases the Lord”.
> The Biblical rendering KLB has no express theophoric, but the implication
> is there.  Thus for a Hebrew like Joshua’s trusted assistant, the name
> KLB/“
> Caleb” is the Hurrian name KL-B, meaning “It Pleases [Deity]”, with the
> fine implication then being in this context:  “It Pleases YHWH”.
> Does the name “Caleb” really mean “Dog”?  Not.  Rather, the meaning of
> the name of Joshua’s fine confidante is “It Pleases YHWH”.  The key is the
> Bible’s repeated insistence that KLB/“Caleb” is a QN-Z-Y/“Kenizzite”.  We
> now know how to analyze Biblical names like “Kenizzite” and “Jebusite” as
> being Akkadian names with Hurrian characteristics.  Think Akkadian!  [With
> Hurrian characteristics.]
> These exotic foreign names in the Bible are much older and more
> historically accurate than scholars realize.
> Jim Stinehart
> Evanston, Illinois
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Pere Porta

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