[b-hebrew] The Name Abraham

Will Parsons wbparsons at alum.mit.edu
Sun Mar 10 20:47:12 EDT 2013

Hi Uri,

On Sun, 10 Mar 2013 16:19:22 -0700 (PDT), Uri Hurwitz <uhurwitz at yahoo.com> wrote:
>   Hi Yigal,
>   A good question. The late Theodor Gaster once
>  mentioned in conversation that the inserted He
>  is a result of a switch in writing from the
>  Sumero-Akkadian syllabic to the the proto-Canaanite
>  alphabetic script. This, if memopry serves, was also
>  his opinion about the change from Sarai to Sarah.
>  I don't know if he has written on the subject. 

Since I don't know the details, it's somewhat difficult to comment on
this, but it's not clear to me how such a putative switch in writing
could have resulted in an "insertion" of the He.

>  On the other hand, that the full biblical name with the He is
>  derived directly from ABRM is clear from the text. At least that's
>  what the author/editor thought.

I beg to disagree.  While I have no theory of my own on the
construction of the name אברהם, my reading of the Biblical text
suggests a complete renaming.

> I don't think there is a need to search for a meaning for a
> speculative 'rhm'.
>  Uri Hurwitz

I think there does.

Will Parsons
μη φαινεσθαι, αλλ' ειναι.

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