[b-hebrew] The Name "Esau"

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Wed Aug 28 17:39:13 EDT 2013


 
Isaac Fried: 
1.  You  wrote:  “The editor of Genesis knew  very well what עשו means.” 
That’s almost right.  The author of Genesis 25: 25 definitely  knew what 
the name “Esau” means, that’s for sure.  But he wasn’t an “editor”.  No, he 
was the guy who came up with the  name “Esau” in the first place. 
2.  You  wrote:  “He even resorted to a  little sly visual obfuscation by 
writing ayin for aleph, and waw for  bet….” 
No, you’re changing the Hebrew letters in the text  there.  There’s no 
need for  that.  As we will see, ($W has an  underlying meaning that perfectly 
describes Esau’s appearance at his birth, with  there being no need 
whatsoever to change any of the Hebrew letters. 
3.  You  wrote:  “He even resorted to a  little sly visual obfuscation by 
writing ayin for aleph, and waw for bet to turn  the alien אשאב or אישאב 
into עשו, a clever spelling modification to take  both the eye and the mind 
away from idols and into thinking about עשב  'grass'.  The theophoric איש
 I$ is  very common, as in ישמעאל I$MAEL, שמעון  
$IMON, אכיש AKIY$, כמוש KMO$ (KMO-I$?), and many  more.” 
)Y$ is not present in a single one of the names that you  cite!  It’s not 
there in “Esau”, or  “Ismael”, or “Simon”. 
4.  You  wrote:  “Likewise the theophoric אב  AB.” 
Yes, )B means “[the divine] Father” in a proper name, and  as such is a 
theophoric.  But the  vav/W as the third letter in ($W/“Esau” is not )B, for 
heaven’s sake. 
5.  There’s  no )Y$- in ($W, and there’s no -)B in ($W either. 
Rather, we should look at the Hebrew letters in the  received text, as is, 
and ask if Esau’s mother, Rebekah, who hailed from Bronze  Age Syria, would 
have viewed those three  letters as forming a name and word that perfectly 
reflect what Esau looked like  at his birth.  There’s no need to  change a 
single letter here.  What’s  needed, by contrast, is to be willing to  a-s-k  
how Rebekah from  Bronze Age Syria would have viewed the name  “Esau”.  
After all, why would the  Hebrew author of the Patriarchal narratives have gone 
to all the trouble of  portraying Rebekah as being born and raised to 
adulthood at Harran, if he didn’t  want his audience to ask themselves how a 
woman from Bronze Age Syria would view  the name ($W?  Isaac Fried,  certainly 
you don’t think that Rebekah’s mother out in eastern  Syria spoke Biblical 
Hebrew as her  native language, do you?  Aren’t you  curious as to how 
Rebekah and her mother would have viewed the name ($W?  If the Hebrew author of 
the Patriarchal  narratives didn’t want us to think like that, then why on 
earth would he portray  Rebekah and her mother as being native to eastern 
Syria, with Rebekah giving her  firstborn son a name that makes no sense on any 
level in west Semitic?   
At least you don’t take the scholarly view that the  author of Genesis 25: 
25 was like modern scholars themselves in having no  earthly idea what the 
name “Esau” means.  But unfortunately you seem to accept the [100% 
erroneous] scholarly view  that the author of Genesis 25: 25 was incapable of 
thinking how Rebekah from  Bronze Age Syria would have viewed the name ($W.  The 
key to solving this 3,500-year-old  Biblical mystery is simply to ask how 
Rebekah would have viewed the name  ($W.  Then the meaning and etymology  of the 
name ($W will become clear, and we will see how truly brilliant the  author 
of the Patriarchal narratives was, and how ancient as a written text and  
how historically accurate the Patriarchal narratives are.  
Jim Stinehart 
Evanston,  Illinois
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