[b-hebrew] The Names "Abram" and "Abraham"

jimstinehart at aol.com jimstinehart at aol.com
Sun Sep 18 09:25:06 EDT 2011

Jack Kilmon:

You wrote: “I think we need to look at Northwest Semitic for an L/R shift which was not uncommon.”

That seems to have been the suggestion as well of Andronic Khandjani on this thread.  But how does L help in analyzing )B-R-HM?  )B-L-HM might mean “father to a multitude”, I suppose, but that leaves out the role of the divine entirely.  The Biblical name does not just mean that Abraham is going to have a lot of descendants, which after all is quite commonplace.  Rather, Genesis 17: 5 is telling us that the name “Abraham” means that Abraham will be the father of a multitude pursuant to specific divine intent.  To me, the name “Abraham” works much better if there’s an express reference to the divine in there, and the only hope for that is the R in the middle of the name. 

Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois

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