[b-hebrew] Xireq Compaginis

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Fri Jul 19 10:08:25 EDT 2013

George Athas: 
You wrote:  “You have not convinced me that there are Hurrians haunting the 
hallowed  halls of Hebrew….” 
Well then let’s look at the first 7 XTY names in the  Patriarchal 
narratives.  If, as you  say, “Maybe we just have a text written in a time when there 
was a Judah?”, then  a 1st millennium BCE author would have no reason (i) 
to portray  Abraham as buying Sarah’s gravesite from Hurrians [XTY] who are 
landowners in  south-central Canaan, and who have attested Hurrian personal 
names [Ephron and  Zohar] from the Late Bronze Age Hurrian province of Nuzi, 
or (ii) to portray  Esau’s first two wives [Judith and Basemath] as being 
Hurrians with Hurrian  fathers [Elon and Beeri], with such Hurrian women 
having lived their entire  lives in Canaan [per Genesis 27: 46], and with all 
four such names likewise  being attested Hurrian names from Nuzi.  So let’s 
analyze those first 7 XTY names in the Patriarchal narratives  and ask if they 
reflect the only time in 5,000 years of human history when the  ruling class 
of Canaan was dominated by Hurrian  charioteers:  the  mid-14th century 
BCE.  We  want to know (i) if the Patriarchal narratives date all the long way 
back to the  Bronze Age as a  w-r-i-t-t-e-n  text [in cuneiform], and (ii) 
whether,  in particular, the proper names in the Patriarchal narratives 
[including the XTY  names] are vintage Bronze Age names. 
If the Patriarchal narratives were a written cuneiform  text in the Late 
Bronze Age, then we would expect plenty of references to the  Hurrians, who 
dominated the ruling class of Canaan in the mid-14th  century BCE, per the 
names of the princelings in Canaan in the Amarna Letters.  Instead of always 
referring to the  Hurrians by their historical name, XRY, the early Hebrew 
author usually referred  to the Hurrians by a series of clever, apt Patriarchal 
nicknames, based on  attested Hurrian personal names.  Of  the six such 
names at Genesis 15: 19-21, the most famous is XTY.  XTY is the name of 92 
Hurrian men at the  Late Bronze Age Hurrian province of Nuzi:  Xu-ti-ia.  [Pp. 
64-65.]  [All page references are to Gelb and  Purves, “Nuzi Personal Names” 
(1943).]  Note the letter-for-letter match, once it is realized that, per 
the  analysis of scholar Edward Lipinski, Hebrew yod/Y is being used to 
render the  Hurrian true vowel A as its own separate syllable [and separate 
cuneiform sign],  and in final position is often -ia or -ya or -a-a. 
Here are the first 7 XTY names, all of which are closely  based on attested 
Hurrian personal names, that one sees in the Patriarchal  narratives: 
1.  “Hittite”  : XTY : Xu-ti-ia.  Genesis 15:  20 
2.  “Ephron”  : (PRWN : E-pi-ri-i(n)-ne.  Genesis  23: 8  
3.  “Zohar” :  CXR : Cu-xa-ar.  Genesis 23:  8 
4.  “Judith”  : YHWDYT : A-xu-ú-di-ia-T.  Genesis  26: 34  [Final -T is 
the feminine  ending.] 
5.  “Elon” :  )YLN : I-la-nu.  Genesis 26:  34 
6.  “Bashemath” : B$MT : Ba-$i-ma-T.  Genesis 26: 34 
7.  “Beeri” :  B)RY : Bi-ir-ia.  Genesis 26:  34 
All 7 Biblical Hurrian names feature letter-for-letter  spelling accuracy, 
once one realizes what conventions were adopted, out of  necessity, for the 
Biblical Hebrew rendering of Late Bronze Age Hurrian  names. 
Notes:  Attested Hurrian names at Nuzi that are the basis for the above 7 
names,  and how the cuneiform originals, recorded in rural Canaan by a scribe 
retained  by the tent-dwelling first Hebrews in the mid-14th century BCE, 
were  transformed 700 years later into alphabetical Hebrew by a Jewish scribe 
in late  7th century BCE Jerusalem. 
1.  XTY.  [This name was analyzed in the prior two  posts.  -yod/Y in final 
position is  -ia, being the cuneiform sign I.A, which was a universal 
theophoric in Hurrian,  Egyptian and west Semitic names in the Amarna Letters.  
It is especially commonplace in Hurrian  names.  See also #4 and  #7.] 
2.  (PRWN.  The root, (PR, is the  root of name E-pi-ri -- tu attested at 
Nuzi [p. 47].  [The -tu is the feminine ending for this  woman’s name, with 
the root being E-pi-ri.]  Hebrew ayin/( is used to render the  Hurrian true 
vowel E as its own separate syllable in initial position.  The same basic 
root, but without the  initial vowel, is found in the name Pi-ri-e -- en-ni [p. 
115], which has the  same ending as the Biblical Hurrian name here.  For 
words and names based on this  Hurrian word for “lord”, the individuating 
suffix is formed by a -Vn-ne ending,  where V stands for whatever vowel 
precedes this ending;  that is the concept of the Hurrian  anaptyxe vowel. Starting 
with the form Pi-ri-e, the -Vn-ne suffix is -en-ni  [because the preceding 
vowel was E], resulting in Pi-ri-e -- en-ni.  If instead we start with 
E-pi-ri, then  adding the -Vn-ne suffix results in:  E-pi-ri-i(n)-ne.  [Hebrew  
always drops the first of doubled Hurrian consonants.]  With Hebrew vav/W in 
third or fourth  interior position being the Hurrian anaptyxe vowel, so that 
it’s the same vowel  as whatever vowel immediately precedes it, 
E-pi-ri-i-ne is rendered:  (PRWN, exactly as appears in the text at  Genesis 23: 8. 
With the exception of prosthetic aleph [in #5 and #7  below], each Hurrian 
syllable/cuneiform sign is rendered by one Hebrew  letter. 
3.  CXR.  An attested Hurrian woman’s name at Nuzi  is Cu-xa-ar -- ti-ya 
(p. 181), where -ti is a feminine ending, and -ya is an  express theophoric.  
The root is  Cu-xa-ar, which is the man’s Hurrian name CXR at Genesis 23: 8. 
4.  YHWDYT.  Analyzed in two  prior posts.  [The Hebrew vav/W in  third 
interior position may be the Hurrian anaptyxe vowel discussed in #2  above.]  
Alternatively, if the -Y-  is a xireq compaginis [as discussed in a prior 
post], then the name would be  simply HWD-Y –T. 
5.  )Y-L-N.  5 different men at  Nuzi had the Hurrian name I-la-nu [p. 68]. 
 Aleph/) is always prosthetic in the Hebrew rendering of Hurrian  names.  
Here, )Y in initial position  = the true vowel I as its own separate 
6.  B$MT.  The root, B-$, is  Bi-$a or Ba-$i, which is the root of the 
following attested man’s name at  Nuzi:  Bi-$a -- at-ta [p. 112].  B and P are 
interchangeable for this  name in Hurrian.  The same root,  spelled with a P, 
is Pa-a$-$i, which is the root of the woman’s name Pa-a$-$i --  i$-$e at 
Nuzi [p. 112].  Instead of  the most common Hurrian theophoric, -ya, which 
appears in the Nuzi name Pa-a$-$i  -- ya, here in this Biblical Hurrian name we 
have -ma as the Hurrian theophoric  suffix.  [As an example of -ma and  -ya 
having the same function, the following two names at p. 131 have the same  
meaning, differing only in whether -ya or -ma is used as the theophoric  
suffix:  $e-en-ni-ma vs.  $e-en-ni-ia.] 
7.  B-)R-Y.  The root, B-)R, is  Bi-ir, which is the root of the attested 
Hurrian name Bi-ir -- zu at p.  115.  The ending is the standard  Hurrian 
theophoric suffix -ya.  In  the Hebrew rendering of Hurrian names, aleph/) is 
always prosthetic, and when  followed by a consonant, it just indicates a VC 
syllable/cuneiform sign, without  mandating any particular vowel.  Here, )R 
= ir.   
*       *       * 
XTY in Hebrew has nothing to do with the classic Hittites  of eastern 
(PRWN is not a west Semitic name with the incongruous  meaning of “Fawn”. 
YHWDYT is not a west Semitic name with the incongruous  and anachronistic 
meaning of “Jewess”. 
Rather, all 7 above names are vintage Hurrian names,  which reflect with 
breathtaking accuracy the well-attested history of  mid-14th century BCE 
Canaan.  The Patriarchal narratives are much older as a  w-r-i-t-t-e-n  text [in 
cuneiform], and are much more  historically accurate in a mid-14th century 
BCE historical context,  than scholars realize.  One key to  that critically 
important determination lies in analyzing the XTY names in the  Patriarchal 
narratives, which are vintage Late Bronze Age attested Hurrian  names. 
Jim Stinehart 
Evanston,  Illinois
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