[b-hebrew] P R (H/"Pharaoh"" Three Meanings
wbparsons at alum.mit.edu
Sat Mar 16 11:27:27 EDT 2013
Jim, I'll just comment on a few aspects of your exposition below...
On Fri, 15 Mar 2013 14:48:50 -0400 (EDT), JimStinehart at aol.com wrote:
> The Achilles heel of using Akkadian cuneiform to record west Semitic
> words and names is that Akkadian cuneiform heth/X had to be pressed
> into service to represent many different Hebrew letters: “[I]n the
> El Amarna tablets the h, ḥ, ǵ, and sometimes even ’ and ‘ are
> represented by ḫ....” Yohanan Aharoni, “The Land of the Bible”
> (1979), p. 113. Let me paraphrase that by saying that in final
> position, Akkadian cuneiform heth could represent any one or more of
> the following alphabetical Hebrew letters: regular h, emphatic H,
> aleph, ayin, or heth. In looking at PR(H in the received text, what
> we are seeing as the last letter there is either regular h or
> emphatic H.
Or it serves as a mater lectionis.
> As discussed in my prior post, emphatic H works very nicely: P R (H
> = pA ra aH = “Palace of The Ra”, being a fine generic reference to the
> king of Egypt/Pharaoh.
I don't see p3-rʿ-ʿḥ as being possible in Egyptian. If I were to try
to translate “Palace of The Ra” back into Egyptian, I'd probably come
up with something like ʿḥ-n-rʿ or ʿḥ-n-p3-rʿ. Nor does assuming that
it was formed in Hebrew seem to help.
> But in my opinion the early Hebrew author of the Patriarchal
> narratives also wanted us to consider the other possible endings to
> this same Biblical Hebrew word, per the Akkadian cuneiform
> rendering, as a series of deliberate and sophisticated puns as it
> were. Akkadian cuneiform heth in final position could represent
> Hebrew aleph/): now suddenly the scholarly interpretation of PR(H as
> being Egyptian praA makes sense, for the first time. That final
> Hebrew he/H in the received alphabetical text could just as easily
> be Hebrew aleph/), because both such Hebrew alphabetical letters
> were represented by the same Akkadian cuneiform sign in final
> position: Akkadian cuneiform heth. We know from the Boundary Stelae
> at Akhenaten’s new capital city that praA was sometimes used to
> refer to Pharaoh in the mid-14th century BCE, so that meaning works
> very nicely. Note also that “Great House”/praA has a quite similar
> meaning to “Palace of The Ra”/pA ra aH, even though the Egyptian
> spellings are totally different; the sounds in Egyptian may even
> have been roughly similar, perhaps close enough for a natural pun.
> But now, at long last, we get to the good part. Given that the last
> letter in PR(H is Akkadian cuneiform heth, the last alphabetical
> Hebrew letter in that Biblical Hebrew word could also have been
> intended to be: Hebrew heth/X. On that third level of meaning, that
> word could now be viewed as being P R (X, which is pA ra ax. The
> final element in that name could be alternatively [and less
> formally] transliterated as a-khe: it’s the a-khe in the name
This seems less reasonable if we consider the Egyptian form of
this name, 3ḫ-n-ỉtn (i.e., divided Akh-en-Aten, but note the different
> Whereas “Akhenaten” means “Devoted to Aten”, pA
> ra ax : pA ra a-khe : P R (X means: “Devoted to The [One and Only] Ra”.
> And remember that although Akhenaten named his first four daughters after
> Aten, he then switched gears and named his last two daughters after Ra,
> indicating that by Year 14, fairly late in his reign, his preferred
> nomenclature no longer was Aten, but now was Ra. That is to say, “Devoted to The [One
> and Only] Ra”/P R (X is but a Biblically “updated” version of his older
> historical name, “Devoted to Aten”/Akhe-n-Aten.
> One big impediment to seeing the Patriarchal Age as being the Amarna Age
> has heretofore been the claim that the name “Akhenaten” does not appear in
> the Biblical text. But it does! Repeatedly. The name “Akhe-n-Aten” has
> simply been updated to “Akhe-pA-Ra”, per Akhenaten’s switch after about
> Year 12 or so to preferring Ra or pA ra to Aten [itn]. A Biblically updated
> version of Akhenaten’s historical name is there, big as life, all over the
> received text of the Patriarchal narratives, under the somewhat misleading
> alphabetical spelling PR(H : “Pharaoh” : pA ra ax : pA ra a-khe : P R (X : “
> Devoted to The [One and Only] Ra” : Akhe-n-Aten : Akhe-pA-Ra.
> The Patriarchal narratives are much older, and much more historically
> accurate, than university scholars realize. We have just solved the
> 3,000-year-old mystery of why the Biblical Hebrew word “Pharaoh” ends in Hebrew he/H,
> not in Hebrew aleph/). Just think Akkadian cuneiform, and the solution
> to this 3,000-year-old problem is virtually self-evident.
> When you see “P R (H, king of Egypt” at Genesis 41: 46, that’s “
> Akhenaten [Akhe-pA-Ra : P R (X], king of Egypt”, where the alphabetical Hebrew he/H
> in the received text reflects an original Akkadian cuneiform heth, which
> could just as easily be [and be intended to be] alphabetical Hebrew
μη φαινεσθαι, αλλ' ειναι.
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