[b-hebrew] Biblical Names Ending in -YH
JimStinehart at aol.com
JimStinehart at aol.com
Mon Dec 31 17:34:46 EST 2012
1. You wrote: “In Tanakh there are stories of non-Israelites who
believed and followed YHWH, and so would have no problem naming their children in
honor of YHWH. One of the most famous was Caleb, a contemporary of Joshua,
whose family settled around Hebron. His nephew (TNY)L was the first judge
who saved Israel from a foreign oppressor (Judges 3:10).”
Yes, that’s fine as far as it goes. But Karl, you left out the most
important part. Caleb is a Kenizzite, that is, a Hurrian. So Caleb does not
have a west Semitic name with the ultra-derogatory meaning of “Dog”, as
scholars would have it. No way! Rather, Caleb has a fine Hurrian name,
Kelip, which means “Pleasing to the Divine”.
And Yes, since Kelip the Hurrian threw in his lot with the Hebrews, it
would not be surprising that he has a nephew with a Hebrew name.
If you would agree that Caleb is a fine Hurrian name of a
Hurrian/Kenizzite, rather than being a derogatory west Semitic name, then I would agree
with everything you said there.
2. You wrote: “Therefore, without any proof, you cannot claim that
)WRYH, David’s soldier, was not from one such family, therefore was not named
in honor of YHWH.”
What is your Hebrew analysis of the name )WRYH?
My Hurrian analysis is very straightforward. )W-R is the Hurrian word
ev-ri, meaning “lord”. -Y is the standard Hurrian theophoric suffix -ya,
meaning “the divine”. The final -H is a Semiticization of this Hurrian name,
in recognition of the fact that, per Joshua 15: 63, Hurrian families had
remained in, and dominated, Jerusalem from the Late Bronze Age. So I see
the name as being )W-R -Y [-H] : ev-ri -ya Semiticized.
Uriah is said to be a XT -Y : Xu-ti -ya : “Hittite”, where Xuti-ya is one
of the most frequently-attested Hurrian names at the Hurrian province of
Nuzi in Late Bronze Age eastern Syria. So for every person whom the Bible
describes as being a “Hittite”, we should expect that their name will be a
Hurrian name, and will not be a west Semitic/Hebrew name. For example, the
name “Ephron” as the name of a “Hittite”/Hurrian in chapter 23 of
Genesis is not a west Semitic name meaning “Fawn”, but rather is a fine Hurrian
name meaning “[Hurrian] Lord”. The same applies to every other
individual whom the Bible identifies as being a “Hittite”.
So Uriah the “Hittite” should rightly have a Hurrian name, and he does!
3. You wrote: “You have absolutely no evidence about the background of
%RYH, David’s scribe. Therefore your assumptions can be considered as
off-the-wall. Do you have evidence that %RYH was not one of the 400–600 men who
joined David while he was fleeing Saul? Or that he wasn’t David’s scribe
when David ruled in Hebron, before taking Jerusalem?”
There’s no mention of David ever having a scribe until King David took
over Jerusalem. $RYH is constructed like the names )WRYH and )RWNH, all of
whom are contemporaries in King David’s Jerusalem in II Samuel. Per Joshua
15: 63, we rightly expect that King David will have to deal with people of
Hurrian ancestry in Jerusalem, so we’re not surprised to find 5 vintage
Hurrian names of such people in II Samuel:  )W-R -Y [-H] : Ev-ri -ya
Semiticized : “Teshup Is Lord”;  XT -Y : Xu-ti -ya : “Praise Teshup”;
 )R-W -N [-H] : Er-wi -na Semiticized : “[Teshup] Is The Lord”; 
Y-B-W-S -Y : A-bu-u-$e -ya : “Teshup Saves”; and  $R -Y [- H] :
$ar-ri -ya Semiticized : “Teshup Is King”. All five are vintage Hurrian
4. You wrote: “You ignore that the endings -YH and -YHW were used
interchangeably, both referring to YHWH, so that MYKYHW in Judges 17:1, 4 is the
same as if he had spelled it MYKYH, so that name fits your criteria.”
I agree. But some scholars see -YHW as being the old southern Judah way,
whereas -YH is the later, northern way. As to substantive meaning, I agree
5. You wrote: “You do sample biasing, ruling out earlier evidence just
because its record survives only in a book that was written later. That
book was written when the Israelite genealogy tables were still extant (burned
in 70 AD when the temple was burned) so there’s no reason to assume that
(ZRYH 1 Chronicles 2:8 is not an accurate record of someone who preceded
Well, I Chronicles 4: 18 gives a Hebrew name to a daughter of Pharaoh:
BTYH. That’s a bit disconcerting, isn’t it? By sharp contrast, all
Egyptians in the Patriarchal narratives have bona fide Egyptian names, straight
out of the Amarna Age.
6. You wrote: “And now someone has pointed out that )BYH was one of the
sons of Saul.”
I guess I even screwed that up. )BYH at I Samuel 8: 2 is a son of Samuel
[not a son of Saul]. My apologies for that.
7. You wrote: “It’s true that names change in popularity, but you have
no evidence that David invented a whole class of names.”
Yes, I probably overstated my case a bit. Let me amend it to say that King
David was the one who popularized giving Hebrew sons names that end in
-YH, which honor YHWH in that particular way. Such names are a dime a dozen
beginning with I Kings, while being scarce before then.
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