[b-hebrew] Zipporah the Cushite

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Sun Mar 17 00:17:56 EDT 2013

I suspect that כוש KU$ is a general name for a mountainous region,  
being a variant
of גוש GU$, 'clod, lump, chunk' of Job 7:5. I also surmise that the  
lands of גושן GO$EN
(Gen. 45:10 and Jos. 10:41) are lands of גושים GU$IYM.

KU$ is also a variant of כשה KASAH, 'thick, large, full, plump', as  
in Deut. 32:15, and
of קשה QA$AH, 'large, difficult', as Deut 1:17, and also of קשח  
QA$AX, 'hard', of Is. 63:17
(an interesting example, by the way, to H <–> X). Also of the  
latter גס GAS, 'crude, clumpy'.

So there is some etymological justification to the (apologetic?)  
consideration of the woman
of KU$ as a buxom (namely, biegsam or box-some) woman.

It is true that Moses was most humble, but after Ziporah (it is  
written in the HB with only one P)
left he still arguably needed someone to remind him to have breakfast  
before going out to face
his difficult charge.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Mar 16, 2013, at 5:48 PM, Joseph Roberts wrote:

> I was reading the English translation of the Samaritan Pentateuch  
> by Benny Tsadaka. According to him in Numbers 12:1Moses had only  
> one wife, Zipporah and the word translated as Cushite in the MT is  
> understood to be a different word pronounced "Kaashet" which means  
> Beautiful. I did notice that Targum Onkelos in the rendering of  
> this verse says the following:
> And Miriam and Aharon spake against Mosheh, because of the fair  
> woman whom he had taken, because the fair woman who .had been sent  
> away he had taken. And they said, Hath the Lord spoken only with  
> Mosheh? Hath He not spoken with us also? And it was heard before  
> the Lord. [But the man Mosheh was very humble, more than all the  
> men who were upon the face of the earth.]
> Just curious of everyone's thoughts on the issue,
> -- 
> Joseph Roberts ( UCC 1-308)
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