[b-hebrew] Caleb

jimstinehart at aol.com jimstinehart at aol.com
Thu Sep 15 22:46:11 EDT 2011


George Athas wrote:  “[Y]ou failed to demonstrate that the names cannot be Northwest Semitic (even though they make perfect sense).”

In 17 out of 17 cases, the names do not make good sense in west Semitic, much “less perfect sense”, while in 17 out of 17 cases, the names do make “perfect sense” in Hurrian.
 
1.  Kenizzites : QN-Z-Y : Qa-ni-zi-ya

No west Semitic word like this.  Often viewed by scholars as being a Hurrian name.  Qa-ni-zi-ya is attested as an Akkadian-based Hurrian name at Nuzi, meaning “Blessed Deity Is Firm”.  The root is the Hurrian spelling of the Akkadian verb kānu.  -zi is a standard Hurrian suffix meaning “blessed”, and -ya is a standard Hurrian suffix that is a theophoric.
 
2.  Jephunneh : (PN-H : Abin

A west Semitic meaning of “He Turns Round and Round” does not fit the context.  P and B are interchangeable in Hurrian.  As a Kenizzite/Hurrian, Abin in Hurrian means “Before [Deity]”, with abin Teshup being a well-known phrase in Hurrian.  [Final -H is Semiticization.]
 
3. Othniel : (TN-(L : A-ta-ni

No west Semitic word like the root of this name.  As a Kenizzite/Hurrian, A-ta-ni in Hurrian means “the father”.  The Hurrian name means “[Deity] (is) Father”, and with the Semiticized ending, the Biblical name means “El (is) Father”.
 
4. Caleb : KL-B : Kelip 

A west Semitic meaning of “Dog” is most inappropriate for this great Biblical hero who is Joshua’s right hand man.  As a Kenizzite/Hurrian, Kelip in Hurrian means “It Pleases [Deity]”.  The comparable Hurrian name Keli-ya is found in the Amarna Letters.  Keli means “to please” in Hurrian.  -b or -p as a suffix is a Hurrian formative that has no substantive meaning, but which allows a common word to be a freestanding name. 
 
5. Achsah : (KS-H : Akisi

West Semitic meaning of “Fetters of a Prisoner” makes no sense.  As a Kenizzite/Hurrian, Akisi is merely an orthographic variant of Akizzi, a well-known Hurrian princeling name from the Amarna Letters, meaning “Led by [Deity]”.  [The final -H is a Semiticized ending.]
 
6.  Kenites : QN-Y : Qa-ni-ya

Folk etymology is west Semitic name meaning “smith”, but although the Hebrew word QYN means “spear” at II Samuel 21: 16, QYN is never used with the meaning “smith” in the Bible.  Moreover, the Hebrews never displaced “smiths”, so the west Semitic meaning does not make sense at Genesis 15: 19.  Qa-ni-ya is attested as an Akkadian-based Hurrian name at Nuzi, meaning “Deity Is Firm”.  The root is an alternate Hurrian spelling of the Akkadian verb kānu.
 
7. Heber : XBR : Xa-vur

A west Semitic meaning of “United” does not make sense, because XBR is introduced in the Bible as a person who has “separated” from the Kenites.  As a Kenite/Hurrian, XBR/xa-vur means “sky” or “heaven” in Hurrian.
 
8.  Hobab : XB-B : Xeba-b

A west Semitic meaning of “Burning with Fiery Love” is not an appropriate name for Moses’s father-in-law.  As a Kenite/Hurrian, Xeba-b means that this person honors the famous Hurrian goddess Xeba.
 
9.  Reu-el : R(W-)L : Ar-a-wa

There is no west Semitic word like this root.  As a Kenite/Hurrian, Ar-a-wa is one spelling of the Hurrian word for “lord” [where the prosthetic aleph at the beginning of this Hurrian word has been omitted in Hebrew].  The Hurrian name would have meant “[Deity] (is) Lord”.  With the Semiticized ending here, the meaning is “El (is) Lord”.
 
10.  Hittites : XT-Y : Xuti-ya

“Terrorist” is an inappropriate west Semitic meaning.  Xuti-ya is the most frequently-attested name in over 2,000 names at Nuzi, meaning “Praise [Deity]”.  Xuti or xudi means “to praise” in Hurrian.  [This name has nothing whatsoever to do with the Hittites in eastern Anatolia.]
 
11.  Ephron : (PR-W-N : E-pi-ri-un-ne

“Fawn” is an inappropriate west Semitic meaning for the imperious lord who charges a grieving Abraham a king’s ransom for Sarah’s gravesite.  As a “Hittite”/Hurrian, e-pi-ri is one of the many Hurrian spellings of the Hurrian word “lord”.  -un-ne is a standard Hurrian suffix sequence that effectively means “the”.  The Hurrian name would imply “[Deity] (is) The Lord”, though in the Bible the double meaning is that this person himself is a “Hurrian lord”. 
 
12.  Uriah : )WR-Y-H : Ew-ri-ya

Generally viewed by scholars as being a Hurrian name, which is fitting for this “Hittite”/Hurrian.  Ewri is the most common spelling of the Hurrian word “lord”.  Hurrian meaning is “Deity (is) Lord”.  [Final -H is a Semiticization.]
 
13.  Jebusites : YBWS-Y : E-bu-uS-ya

No west Semitic word like this.  This is the third Hurrian-based Patriarchal nickname for Hurrians in Amarna Age Canaan at Genesis 15: 19-21 that is based on the Hurrian spelling of an Akkadian verb, to which is added a standard Hurrian suffix, just like the name Yi-id-ya in the Amarna Letters.  The two names have almost the same meaning:  “Made by Deity” or “Established by Deity”.  E-bu-uS is one possible Hurrian spelling of the Akkadian verb epe$u, meaning “to make”. 
 
14.  Araunah : )RW-N-H : Erwi-na

Generally viewed by scholars as being a Hurrian name.  Erwi is the most common spelling at Nuzi of the Hurrian word for “lord”, featuring a well-attested metathesis of the consonants.  The final -na means “the” in Hurrian.  The name means “[Deity] (is) The Lord”.  [Final -H is a Semiticization.]
 
15.  Perizzites : PR-Z-Y : Piri-izzi-ya

A west Semitic meaning of “Village Dwellers” does not make sense at either Genesis 13: 7 or Genesis 15: 20.  The reference at Genesis 13: 7 is to IR-Heba as the “Hurrian” princeling ruler of Jerusalem in Year 12.  The reference at Genesis 15: 20 is to the Hurrians as the ruling class in Canaan during the mid-14th century BCE.  Piri is one Hurrian spelling of the Hurrian word for “lord”.  [P and B and W are all interchangeable in the many Hurrian spellings of “lord”.]  -zi means “blessed” in Hurrian, and -ya is the standard Hurrian theophoric suffix.  The name in Hurrian means “Blessed Deity (is) Lord”.  [Note how so many of these Hurrian names have similar meanings.  That’s the Hurrian way.]  This name is attested in the Amarna Letters as the name of a Hurrian envoy.
 
16.  Girgashites : GR-G-%-Y : Gera-ga-si-ya

No west Semitic word like this.  Gera-si means “strong and longlasting” in Hurrian.  -ga [here added before -si] is a Hurrian formative that has no substantive meaning, but enables a common word to function as a name.  The Hurrian meaning is “Deity (is) Strong and Longlasting”.  The root of this name, GRG%, is attested at Ugarit.
 
17.  Midianite : MDYN-YM : Mitannian

There is no historical name “Midianite”, whereas “Mitannian” is well-attested for the Late Bronze Age great power Hurrian state in eastern Syria.  D and T are interchangeable in Hurrian, and an interior Hebrew yod/Y can be used to represent the Hurrian vowel A.  Compare MDYN and MDN as the names of two of Abraham’s sons by a minor wife that are sent out east to Naharim/Mitanni.  [Final -YM is a Semitic ending.] 
 
Note that in 17 out of 17 cases, a Hurrian meaning makes more sense than a west Semitic meaning, and in several cases no west Semitic meaning is even possible.  That’s because all 17 of these names are Hurrian names, and none of them are west Semitic names.  Only the early Hebrew author of the Patriarchal narratives could come up with the names Kenites, Kenizzites and Jebusites, which are Akkadian-based names with Hurrian characteristics.  But since purely Hurrian family names endured for some families at Jerusalem even into the mid-1st millennium BCE, pre-exilic Biblical authors were able to come up with purely Hurrian personal names to be associated with the non-west Semitic, Hurrian names at Genesis 15: 19-21 that are Hurrian-based Patriarchal nicknames for the Hurrian ruling class in Amarna Age Canaan:  Kenites, Kenizzites, “Hittites”, Perizzites, Girgashites and Jebusites.

17 out of 17 cases.  Game, set and match.

The Patriarchal narratives are much older and more historically accurate than university scholars realize.

Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois





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