[b-hebrew] The Name "Haran"

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Fri Mar 9 09:52:16 EST 2012

1.  You wrote:  “Why would anybody be named for the place of his death? Or 
rather: how _can_anybody be named for the place of his _death_? I assume 
that even in the "Late Bronze Age" people were named at (or shortly after) 
birth and not only after dying?”
It is unlikely that the names in the Patriarchal narratives are actual 
names that the Hebrew author passively recorded, with such names having been 
given to the person at birth and accordingly having nothing to do with the 
storyline of the Patriarchal narratives.  Rather, it is more likely that the 
names in the Patriarchal narratives have been selected by the Hebrew author to 
embody a key characteristic of the person who is being portrayed.
The key characteristic of Haran/HRN is that, per Genesis 11: 28, he dies in 
Ur of the Kassite-country-people/K$-D-YM.  K$ means “mountain” in 
Kassite/Sanskrit, and HR means “mountain” in Hebrew.  K$ is the root of the proper 
name K$-D-YM, and HR is the root of the proper name HRN, both of which are 
featured at Genesis 11: 28.  So if the Hebrew author knew that in the 
Patriarchal Age [which I see as being the Late Bronze Age], Ur was situated in a 
country ruled by the Kassite dynasty, which country’s name reflected the 
Kassites, and if the Hebrew author knew one word of Kassite/Sanskrit, namely 
ka$a/kush, meaning “mountain”, then the name HRN is a brilliant reference to 
Haran’s signature characteristic of dying in Ur of the 
In order for the Patriarchal narratives to be historically accurate, the 
Hebrews must be portrayed as being indigenous to Canaan.  That is done by 
having all three names of the sons of Abraham’s father have vintage west Semitic 
names:  HRN, NXWR and )BRM.  The Hebrew author was well aware of the 
concept of foreign names, which appear by the dozens throughout the Patriarchal 
narratives [such as K$-D-YM, for example], and of course the Hebrew author was 
a native west Semitic speaker himself.  So needless to say, the Hebrew 
author could spot a west Semitic proper name in his sleep.  The consensus 
scholarly view does not make sense in holding that (i) Haran has a west Semitic 
name but allegedly is portrayed, historically inaccurately, as being 
indigenous to southern Mesopotamia in the Late Bronze Age, and that (ii) the name 
Haran has no meaning that relates in any way, shape or form to what the 
Patriarchal narratives say about this person.  If one knows that K$ in K$-D-YM 
means “mountain” in Kassite/Sanskrit, and that Ur was a ghost town by the time 
the Chaldeans came along in the 1st millennium BCE, so that the KJV phrase “
Ur of the Chaldees” is an oxymoron, then the logical interpretation of 
Genesis 11: 28 is that K$-D-YM refers to Kassite southern Mesopotamia, and the 
west Semitic name HRN was deliberately chosen for Abraham’s oldest brother who 
died there because both HR in Hebrew and K$ in Kassite/Sanskrit have the 
same meaning:  “mountain”.  
To the best of my knowledge, university scholars consider the name HRN of 
Abraham’s oldest brother to be utterly inexplicable, being a west Semitic 
name that means “mountain” but that does not fit any element whatsoever in the 
storyline of the Patriarchal narratives.  University scholars insist that 
the Patriarchal narratives were composed by multiple authors all of whom 
post-date the Bronze Age, and none of whom had any specific knowledge whatsoever 
of the Bronze Age which their composition references.  Yet university 
scholars for the most part decline to ask if the K$ element in K$-D-YM at Genesis 
11: 28 may logically be referencing the Kassites of the Late Bronze Age, 
and if HRN may have been chosen as the name of Abraham’s oldest brother 
because HR in Hebrew has the same meaning as K$ in Kassite/Sanskrit.  [By the way, 
very similar issues apply to the name of Abraham’s middle brother, Nahor, a 
name that university scholars interpret, believe it or not, as meaning “
Snorter” or “Snorer” and as having no relationship whatsoever to anything 
Abraham’s middle brother is portrayed as doing in the Biblical text.   In my 
opinion, unless scholars are willing to consider what these names would have 
meant in the Bronze Age, scholars should not assume that these names are 
senseless names ginned up without rhyme or reason by multiple authors who 
post-date the Bronze Age and who know nothing as to which they speak.]
2.  You wrote:  “Second question: why "Late" Bronze Age? If the 
establishment of the Israelite Kingdom(s) coincide with the Iron Age (as almost all

archaeologists would agree), should the patriarchs not rather be living in

the early or middle Bronze Age? (Moses being in the Middle or Late Bronze

Though a 300-page book could easily be written on that fascinating subject, 
on the b-hebrew list the best approach to that question is linguistics.  If 
the Patriarchal Age is an historical time period [rather than being 
fictional], and if the historical time period of the Patriarchal Age is the 
mid-14th century BCE [my view], then  a-l-l  of the proper names throughout the 
Patriarchal narratives should reflect that particular period of time.  The 
Kassites ruled southern Mesopotamia then, so K$-D-YM makes perfect sense at 
Genesis 11: 28.   The Hurrians ruled northern Mesopotamia then, so we should 
expect, per the Amarna Letters, that eastern Syria in that time period would be 
referred to as the Hurrian country of “Naharim”, which it is at Genesis 
24: 10.   As a third example, bringing in a third non-west Semitic language, 
Joseph’s Egyptian priestly father-in-law should be a semi-monotheist from On 
devoted to R-e whose name at Genesis 41: 45 is a monotheistic version of 
Pharaoh Akhenaten’s own name, Wa-n-R-e, and so it is.  PW  +Y PR( is:  pA-wa   
di.i   pA-R-e.  7 Hebrew letters represent 7 syllables in the Biblical 
rendering of non-west Semitic proper names.  The meaning is “The One and Only God 
Gives Me The One and Only Re”, a blatantly monotheistic sentiment that fits 
Egypt perfectly in the mid-14th century BCE, being a monotheistic variant 
of Akhenaten’s own name, but which would be entirely inappropriate in any 
other time period.  The scholarly interpretation of that Egyptian Biblical name 
ignores the vav/W entirely, and hence misses the blatantly monotheistic 
nature of the name of Joseph’s Egyptian priestly father-in-law from On.
We cannot appreciate the pinpoint historical accuracy of the Patriarchal 
narratives unless we are willing to consider a Late Bronze Age interpretation 
of all these many foreign proper names in the Patriarchal narratives.  Once 
one sees that every single proper name in the entirety of the Patriarchal 
narratives accurately reflects the unique circumstances of the first Hebrews’ 
troubled times in the mid-14th century BCE, the only logical conclusion is 
that university scholars err in seeing the Patriarchal narratives as having 
been composed by multiple authors, all of whom post-date the Bronze Age, and 
none of whom had any specific knowledge whatsoever about any specific 
historical events in the Bronze Age.
Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois

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