[b-hebrew] Biblical Names Ending in -YH (Jim)

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Mon Dec 31 15:04:30 EST 2012

Jonathan E. Mohler: 
1.  You  wrote:  “Pharaoh's daughter is named  בתיה, the daughter of Yah. 
 Albeit, this is not recorded in Exodus, but in  1Chronicles.  Obviously, 
the Hebrews gave her that name. This is an  indication that, on the one hand, 
she was accepted into the fold of  Israel, and on the other hand, that  she 
had made Yah her God.” 
You may well be right about that.  That’s an interesting name at I  
Chronicles 4: 18.  Unlike the  authentic Egyptian names of Egyptians in the 
Patriarchal narratives, BTYH looks  like a Hebrew name being given to an Egyptian 
in Chronicles. 
2.  You  wrote:  “This is most likely the  case with אוריה, )uri-YH the 
Hittite.  He has made Yah his god,   having married Bath-Sheva, and has 
sworn allegiance to David.  Both of  these names suggest conversion to Yahweh 
and assimilation into the Hebrew  nation.” 
I have to disagree with you there, and go with the  scholarly view.  The 
final -H in the  name “Uriah” is generally viewed as being a Semiticization 
of a non-Hebrew name,  as with the names Araunah and, in my opinion, Seraiah, 
who are contemporaries in  the Hurrian/Jebusite-dominated Jerusalem of King 
David in II Samuel.  Uriah is said to be a Xuti-ya/XTY  [“Hittite”], which 
is one of the most frequently attested Hurrian names at Nuzi,  and means “
Praise the Divine” or “Praise Teshup”.  Thus every indication is that King 
David  is dealing with people of Hurrian ancestry in Jerusalem [as one would 
expect from Joshua 15:  63], who have Semiticized Hurrian names. 
Leaving off that final -H, we have )WRY, or )WR -Y, which  is the expected 
Hebrew rendering of the Hurrian name Ev-ri  -ya.  That name means “The 
Divine Is Lord” or  “Teshup Is Lord”.  Both )WR -Y,  before adding the 
Semiticizing final -H, and XT -Y work perfectly in  Hurrian.  In both cases, the  
standard Hurrian theophoric suffix, -ya, is represented by Hebrew yod/Y.  By 
contrast, neither such name works  well in Hebrew. 
Not all people in Canaan  were born Hebrews with good Hebrew names.  Even 
persons who joined with the Hebrews, and were good people who were  much 
appreciated by the Hebrews, were not necessarily born Hebrews with good  Hebrew 
names.  Per Joshua 15: 63 we  know that King David must have had to deal 
with several important non-Hebrew  people in Jerusalem of Hurrian/Jebusite 
ancestry.  These people, each of whom has a  Semiticized Hurrian name, turn out 
to be:  Uriah, Seraiah, and Araunah. 
If there had been no Hurrian remnant in Jerusalem, with  Joshua 15: 63 
either being factually incorrect or not intending to refer to  Hurrians, then 
there’s no way that later books in the Bible could come up with,  as they 
invariably do, bona fide Hurrian names for Kenizzites, Kenites,  Hittites, and 
Jebusites.  All four  of those names are colorful Patriarchal nicknames for 
the Hurrians, based on  attested Hurrian personal names at the Hurrian 
province of Nuzi in Late Bronze Age eastern Syria. 
One important, if underrated, theme in the Bible is that  the Hebrews had 
to contend with many non-Hebrew people.  Not only enemies, but also 
non-Hebrew  people living in Canaan who threw in their lot  with the Hebrews, but who 
had not been born Hebrews with good Hebrew  names. 
Jim Stinehart 
Evanston,  Illinois

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