[b-hebrew] xiram

Yigal Levin Yigal.Levin at biu.ac.il
Fri Jul 20 13:34:20 EDT 2012

At Bruryah's request, here is Nir's post again.

Yigal Levin

-----Original Message-----
From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Nir cohen - Prof.
Sent: Thursday, July 19, 2012 5:30 AM
To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [b-hebrew] xiram

the middle Y in many semitic names, when used to fuse together two separate
words, such as AX-Y-RM etc, should be interpreted firstly as a phonetic
process, and only secondly as a grammatical process.
the fact is that phonetically the lack of middle vowel may be inconvenient,
viz. AX-RM, and Y is the obvious solution. this may create a dual
interpretation of the name which, i assume, was not considered a problem at
the time, when "grammar" was yet to be invented. 
once the innovation was introduced, it became a trend and, subsequently, the
dual interpretation became fashionable. 

grammatically, it is assumed that in combinations such as )LY)B, )BYXYL,
)BY(ZR, MLKYZDK, the first part seems to refer to god, and it makes sense to
interpret it as "my god/my father/my king" etc.
in case of AXY it might still refer to god as AXY (a general term of
familiarity/friendship) or may be referring to a real brother, an associate,
a friend etc. here, duality may be be more of a problem, as in AXYQM,

jim, the case of ABRM/ABRHM is indeed unique and probably debated to
exhaustion in the literature. we may assume the original AB-RM referred to
god as father, while in the biblical re-interpretation AB-RHM refers to the
patriarch as father. if so, the added H was intended somehow to indicate
exactly this change, being presumably a sign of SMIXUT.
though i imagine there are several "explanations".

but we may equally conjecture that ABRHM was the original and the rest is a
story constructed around the original name, which was already enygmatic when
genesis was written. 

the fact that ABYRM was NOT contemplated in genesis may be another indicator
for the book's antiquity (??).

...covered by the dust of history.

nir cohen
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