[b-hebrew] The Names "Abram" and "Abraham"
garthgrenache at hotmail.com
Sun Sep 18 07:53:02 EDT 2011
I don't find in any of them yet a good explanation for the R in Abraham.
'Ra' the Egyptian sun God doesn't convince me, because the 'a' in 'Ra' is not a vowel (as in the ra of Abraham), but is a consonant(pharyngeal fricative) sound like `ayin.
This is confirmed by the Hebrew spelling Ra`meses.
Indeed it is uncertain whether even the vowel between the r and ` in Egyptian Ra was originally 'a'. Some spell it Re`.
So one who suggests that the 'ra' in Abraham is from Egyptian 'Ra', must also at least suggest why the `ayin sound is missing from Abraham.
Gesenius ( http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H85&t=KJV ) cites Arabic ruhaam- to mean 'a large number'.
Perhaps as is often so, Arabic has preserved a root that Hebrew has lost from general usage?
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