[b-hebrew] abrhm

Nir cohen - Prof. Mat. nir at ccet.ufrn.br
Tue Mar 12 17:06:49 EDT 2013


jim,


>>>De: jimstinehart at aol.com
Data: Mon, 11 Mar 2013 23:19:16 -0400 (EDT)
Assunto: Re: [b-hebrew] abrHm or abRhm?

>>>On your theory of the case, did the author of Genesis 17: 5 err in saying that
the meaning of the name “Abraham” is as follows?

jim,

1. i have no "theory of the case", i was just exploring one of several
possible interpretations of the name, without altogether forming any opinion.
the evidence is, at any rate, polemic and textual and will stay so, maybe
forever, in spite of your "one and only" solution.

2. no, in general i do not accept the biblical explanations as 
automatically true, nor as automatically false. in this respect i 
think i am following your footsteps, e.g. concerning various biblical 
names which, as you brilliantly demonstrated on b-hebrew, are not 
what is written there.
 
>>>In fact, I believe that every detailed examination of the name “Abraham”
has pointed out the foregoing two items, because they are so very, very
obvious. So then what’s missing?

let it be clear that the biblical narrator does explain the HM but not 
the R. the explanation of the R is all yours, and concerning it
i would like to make several observations.

a) taking genesis at face value, we have a change from ABRM to ABRHM. 
so, what was added was not the R, but the H. the R was there already,
and had nothing to do with the egyptian RA. grammatically, this 
phenomenon of adding the H into RM can only be described as an infix,
and so i was examining this process from a purely empirical point of view,
without any initial bias.

b) the biblical narrative is repeatedly very clear about identifying foreign
deities with foreign ethnics. even if the name was changed from )B-RM to
)B-R-HM, influenced by an early monotheistic transformation, and the biblical 
source is correct, i doubt it whether a hebrew patriarch, within the concept
of genesis, could choose an egyptian godhead as his raw model. unless he
indeed converted to the RA cult on his egyptian tour. and we still did not
mention RAM, the indian godhead...

c) i have no problem accepting your version of joseph's name. but he
supposedly became part of the egyptian administration, so he was really using
his egyptian official name. as to abe and sarah, i would understand if 
indeed upon their egypt tour they gained a new local nickname as their 
names were difficult to pronounce(this happens to me often here in 
brazil...). but then the HM would be an egyptism having nothing to do 
with HMWN, and the nicknames would be forgotten upon their return from egypt.

d) it is quite possible that SRH is simply the hebrew translation of the
aramaic SRY. and so, it may also be possible that ABRHM was merely a BH
translation of the aramaic AB-RM. all we have to accept is to assume 
that the BH word for "high" in patriarch times was RHM. clearly, there is
no evidence for it, but the same can be said about your egyptian RA
hypothesis. and even if RHM didnt exist, at least it might have been 
a manner of distancing abraham from his aramaic roots.
 
again, all the above are mere speculations and the evidence does not
permit us to move so easily to the bottom line as you are trying to do.

nir cohen


More information about the b-hebrew mailing list