[b-hebrew] abrHm or abRhm?

jimstinehart at aol.com jimstinehart at aol.com
Mon Mar 11 23:19:16 EDT 2013

Nir Cohen:
On your theory of the case, did the author ofGenesis 17: 5 err in saying that the meaning of the name “Abraham” is asfollows?
“Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram,but thy name shall be Abraham;  for afather [)B] of many [HMWN] nations have I [God] made thee.”
In order for )B R HM to mean what Genesis 17: 5 saysit means, we need the following three elements:
(1)    “ [Human] father”.  That’s )B, here not meaning “divine father”[per Genesis 17: 5].
(2)    “Many nations” or “multitude”.  -HM in “Abraham” is a short form of HMH,which in turn is a short form of the HMWN that we see at Genesis 17: 5, all meaning“many” or “crowd”, etc.
In fact, I believe that every detailed examination ofthe name “Abraham” has pointed out the foregoing two items, because they are sovery, very obvious.
So then what’s missing?
(3)    We need a reference to “God”, who is the onewho is making Abram into a “human father”/)B of “many/HM [nations]”.  That’s the o-n-l-y  thing missing, and all wehave in that regard in this name is -R-. Please note that the last letter in the name “Potiphar” at Genesis 39:1, namely P W+  -Y-  P R, is -R, and it’s a divine reference.  The same author who came up with the name “Potiphar”also came up with the name “Abraham”.
The solution to this age-old problem, which hasdefied conventional Hebrew-only analysis for three millennia now, is to cut theGordian knot and see both the -R at the end of “Potiphar”, and the -R- in themiddle of “Abraham”, as being divine references.
That’s the o-n-l-y  way to square )B R HMwith what Genesis 17: 5 says this name means.
For thousands of years Hebraists have been creativewith the -H- and a hypothetical raham regarding this name.  Yet that approach, regardless of how creativeor even fanciful it may be, never leads to a meaning for the name “Abraham”that fits with what Genesis 17: 5 tells us the meaning is.  In my opinion, the early Hebrew author ofGenesis 17: 5  c-r-e-a-t-e-d  the name “Abraham”, and Genesis 17: 5 istelling us  e-x-a-c-t-l-y  what the name )B R HM means.
Moreover, the s-a-m-e  analysis applies to themeaning of the name “Sarah” at Genesis 17: 16.  S-a-m-e .  The early Hebrew authorof the Patriarchal narratives created these two names, “Abraham” and “Sarah”,and he is flat out telling us what they mean. Where ssade/C is emphatic sin/%, the first syllable of Sarah’sdivinely-changed name is sA [meaning “son”], and the first syllable of Joseph’sEgyptian name at Genesis 41: 45 [another name created by the early Hebrewauthor] is likewise sA [meaning “son”].  S-a-m-e .  The second syllable ofthe name “Sarah” is ra, just like the end of the name “Potiphar”, and themiddle of the name “Abraham”, in all three cases being a divine reference.   S-a-m-e . In addition, sA ra as a phrase in Sarah’s name also has the additionalmeaning of being directly comparable to sA pA nTr, spelled C P NT, in Joseph’sEgyptian name, in both cases literally meaning “son of God”, but effectivelymeaning:  “king”.   S-a-m-e . These names in the Patriarchal narratives are so very, very old thatthey go all the long way back to the Bronze Age, before Egypt had done anythingwrong to the Hebrews.  That’s  o-l-d !
Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois

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