[b-hebrew] Ssade Can Be Emphatic Sin

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Tue Nov 20 11:39:07 EST 2012


 
In response to my assertion  that ssade/C in early Biblical Hebrew can 
sometimes be an emphatic sin, having a  sound quite similar to sin/%, Will 
Parsons wrote:  
“I don't know, Jim -  this view sounds kind of mainstream to me.  At this 
rate you may lose your reputation for advocating ‘unconventional’  
interpretations.” 
Well, if it’s “mainstream” that ssade/C in  early Biblical Hebrew can 
sometimes be an emphatic sin, having a sound quite  similar to sin/%, then why 
has no university scholar ever considered that in  trying to figure out the 
3,000-year-old mystery of the meaning of Joseph’s  Egyptian name?  That name 
starts  with ssade/C, per Genesis 41: 45:  C  P NT P (NX.  Scholars have 
never  been able to make much sense out of Joseph’s Egyptian name.  Perhaps that
’s because scholars have  never analyzed that name on the basis that 
ssade/C in early Biblical Hebrew can  sometimes be an emphatic sin, in which case 
it has a sound quite similar to  sin/%. 
The best explanation I have ever seen as to  how ssade/C relates to 
Egyptian names in the Bible appeared right here on the  b-hebrew list, way back on 
November 21, 2004, by Yitzhak Sapir.  Citing the noted Egyptian linguist  
Loprieno, Yitzhak Sapir wrote: 
“Tsade sounded like an emphatic s.  Loprieno suggests that the AfroAsiatic  
*t. and *s. merge into Eg. /d/, which in turn is realized as an ejective t. 
…  However, this d_ is now closer to Tsade: Tanis is transcribed Tsoan.  
Egyptian /d/ (heir of *t. and *s.) is  rendered by Semitic tet (t.) in Hebrew….
” 
Thus logically we would [in my opinion]  surmise the following.  The Hebrew 
 ssade/C at the beginning of Joseph’s Egyptian name might be expected to 
reflect  in Egyptian either of the following:  (i) D;  or (ii) an emphatic  
sin or a regular sin (or samekh), that is:  s.  Scholars are not sure  whether 
Egyptian had a pure sin/% sound, though s is prominent in Egyptian;  
perhaps the closest Hebrew equivalent to  Egyptian s was Hebrew ssade/C as an 
emphatic sin.  Of critical importance here, however, is  to note that the single 
Hebrew letter ssade/C can  n-o-t  be Dd, as the majority scholarly view of  
Joseph’s Egyptian name would have it:  a single Hebrew ssade/C cannot 
represent two different Egyptian true  consonants.  So Dd, which may have  been 
pronounced De-de, is not a viable option here.  Rather, the two viable 
options for  Hebrew ssade/C at the beginning of Joseph’s Egyptian name are:  D or  
s. 
If we don’t follow Kenneth Kitchen’s  outrageous gambit of changing the 
order of the remaining consonants in this name  [ouch!], the next letter is 
peh/P, which surely must render the Egyptian word  pA.  There is no Egyptian 
word Dp [though  there is the Egyptian name Djefa].  The first letter of 
Joseph’s Egyptian name, a ssade/C, thus stands alone,  and is not connected to 
the next letter (which is P, meaning  pA). 
The majority scholarly view of Joseph’s  Egyptian name, though it has 
convinced few non-scholars, is that of Steindorff,  which goes all the long way 
back to 1899.  (The best that one might say about that old view is that all 
post-1899  attempts to analyze Joseph’s Egyptian name have been even worse.)  
Steindorff insists that the Hebrew  ssade/C at the beginning of Joseph’s 
Egyptian name is the Egyptian word Dd,  meaning “he said”.  But in fact, we  
definitely would not expect the single Hebrew letter ssade to be two true  
consonants in Egyptian.  Dd/De-de in  Egyptian would require ssade-tet/C+ in 
Hebrew, but here we only have  ssade/C.  Steindorff’s gambit is  untenable. 
Logically, if we are willing to go beyond  what scholars have published, we 
should ask if that Hebrew ssade at the  beginning of Joseph’s Egyptian name 
might alternatively be sin or emphatic sin  or samekh.  In that case, that  
single Hebrew letter ssade would be the Egyptian sound s, and would be 
rendering  the Egyptian word sA, which means “son”.  Since sA is a 1-syllable 
Egyptian word, we would expect it to be rendered  by 1 Hebrew letter, which 
per the foregoing could well be ssade/C.  [The aleph at the end of the 
Egyptian  word for “son”, sA, would not be rendered by Hebrew aleph, because the 
general  rule is that a 1-syllable foreign word will be rendered by 1 Hebrew 
letter in  early Biblical Hebrew defective spelling.  Thus Hebrew peh/P is 
the 1-syllable Egyptian word pA, and Hebrew ssade/C  is the 1-syllable 
Egyptian word sA.] 
Wait!  Pharaoh has just in effect adopted Joseph as his “son” when Pharaoh 
 bestows this new Egyptian name upon Joseph.  And with Joseph being given 
powers  almost akin to the powers of Pharaoh himself, we know that the most 
famous  pharaonic title of all time was sA ra, literally meaning “son” of 
the god  Ra.  So we would almost expect the  Egyptian word “son”, that is, 
sA, to be the initial element of Joseph’s Egyptian  name, if the early Hebrew 
author of the Patriarchal narratives knows what he’s  talking about.  And it 
 is! 
If we’re willing to recognize that in early  Biblical Hebrew ssade could be 
emphatic sin and have a sound quite similar to  sin, then we can figure out 
the heretofore inexplicable meaning of Joseph’s  Egyptian name.  The first 
letter is  Hebrew ssade/C, being a sound similar to s, and as such rendering 
the Egyptian  word sA, meaning “son”. 
The key to being the first ones to  understand Joseph’s Egyptian name in 
over 3,000 years is to realize that Hebrew  ssade could be emphatic sin. 
Jim  Stinehart 
Evanston,  Illinois
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