[b-hebrew] P R (H/"Pharaoh"" Three Meanings

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Tue Mar 19 14:14:02 EDT 2013


 
Will: 
In analyzing PR(H [“Pharaoh”] in the received  alphabetical text on the 
assumption that this Biblical Egyptian name was  originally written down in 
Akkadian cuneiform, let’s examine how Egyptian aleph  and Egyptian ayin come 
out in the Akkadian cuneiform of the Amarna Letters.  You will quickly see 
that in Akkadian  cuneiform, Egyptian ayin cannot be distinguished from 
Egyptian aleph. 
As I noted previously, Amarna Letter EA 29 features mAat  being spelled as 
mu-u, where the same Akkadian vowel U is used for both Egyptian  aleph and 
Egyptian ayin. 
But now let’s see how Akkadian cuneiform A can also  represent both 
Egyptian aleph and Egyptian ayin.  In Amarna Letter EA 1: 2 written by  Amenhotep 
III himself, mAat is written, as you point out, as mu-a.  To me, that means 
that the Akkadian  vowel A can stand for Egyptian ayin, although you oddly 
opt for seeing no ayin  whatsoever being written down by Amenhotep III.  
Without getting bogged down as to that  one example, however, it is easy to 
confirm that Egyptian ayin could be  represented by the Akkadian vowel A.  That 
is the case in the Egyptian name ap-pi-xa in four different Amarna  Letters, 
including EA 105: 35, and the Egyptian name xa-ip in four different  Amarna 
Letters, including EA 107: 16, where the Akkadian cuneiform vowel A is  used 
for Egyptian ayin. 
But the Akkadian cuneiform vowel A can also be used for  Egyptian aleph!  
For example, in  both the Amarna Letters and the Patriarchal narratives, the 
most frequent  beginning of an Egyptian name is pA.  The Egyptian name 
pa-xa-na-te in four different Amarna Letters, including  EA 60: 10, spells the 
Egyptian aleph with an A.  The Egyptian name pi-wu-ri features four  different 
spellings of pA, but in three separate Amarna Letters, including EA  287: 
45 from IR-Heba of Jerusalem [whose scribe may have been the scribe who,  
shortly after leaving Jerusalem, was commissioned by the tent-dwelling Hebrews  
to write down the Patriarchal narratives in Akkadian cuneiform], the second 
 letter in pA is spelled with the Akkadian vowel A. 
So when PR(H in Genesis is setting forth an Egyptian  name, the Hebrew 
alphabetical ayin/( that one sees in the received text could  just as easily 
have been originally intended to be a Hebrew alphabetical  aleph/).  Why?  
Because that name was first written down  in the Late Bronze Age, when the only 
way to write down a sophisticated  composition like the Patriarchal 
narratives was by means of Akkadian  cuneiform.  The Amarna Letters  attest that 
sometimes the Akkadian vowel U was used to render both Egyptian  aleph and 
Egyptian ayin, and sometimes the Akkadian vowel A was used to render  both 
Egyptian aleph and Egyptian ayin.  In fact, on a more general level, Akkadian 
cuneiform generally was unable  to differentiate among the various gutturals.  
That applies in spades to ayin vs.  aleph. 
As to PR(H in particular, we note that Akkadian cuneiform  heth could 
render, among other letters, alphabetical Hebrew ayin/( or  alphabetical Hebrew 
heth/X, and that the Akkadian vowel A was sometimes used to  render both 
Egyptian aleph and Egyptian ayin.  PR(H in the received text started out in  
Akkadian cuneiform as something like PR – RI – A – XI.  Those four Akkadian 
cuneiform signs  could mean [among other possibilities] either (i) PR(H [per 
the received text],  or (ii) P R )X, with the latter being pA ra Ax : pA ra 
a-khe : “Devoted to The  Ra”, which compares nicely with Akhe-n-Aten : “
Devoted to Aten”. 
If we reverse engineer the received alphabetical text as  to the Biblical 
Egyptian name PR(H and determine what the original Akkadian  cuneiform signs 
were, we then see an  e-x-a-c-t  letter-for-letter  match of the original 
cuneiform version of PR(H to P R )X : pA ra Ax : pA ra  a-khe : “Devoted to 
The Ra”.  Will,  it’s an  e-x-a-c-t  match of  a-l-l  the letters.  It’s not 
merely close, it’s  e-x-a-c-t . 
Surely you would agree that if the Patriarchal narratives  were not 
originally written down in the Bronze Age using Akkadian cuneiform,  they can’t be 
old and accurate as to an historical Patriarchal Age.  To see then if the 
Patriarchal  narratives are or are not truly ancient and accurate, simply 
reverse engineer  the Egyptian names in the received text to determine how they 
would have  originally been recorded in Akkadian cuneiform.  Then the 
gorgeous result is  e-x-a-c-t  letter-for-letter matches to Late Amarna  
nomenclature that in each case fit the storyline perfectly.  The greatest wordsmith 
of all time  created these Biblical Egyptian names.  But we cannot appreciate 
them unless we reverse engineer the alphabetical  Hebrew letters in the 
received text to determine the Akkadian cuneiform  originals, and then ask what 
Egyptian names could result from such Akkadian  cuneiform originals.  For 
example,  the name of Joseph’s Egyptian priestly father-in-law, once it is 
recognized that  the final intended letter was heth, not ayin, is:  pA wAt  
-Y-  pA rx, referencing such priest’s  devotion to Akhenaten as allegedly 
being “the only one/pA who knows/rx the  distant/pA wAt [God]”.  Only  
Akhenaten ever made such a daunting theological claim.  And Akhenaten himself is 
fittingly  referred to as P R )X : pA ra Ax : pA ra a-khe : “Devoted to The Ra”
, which  exemplifies Late Amarna theology perfectly. 
The true antiquity and historical accuracy of the  Patriarchal narratives 
come shining through when we reverse engineer the  alphabetical Hebrew 
letters in these Biblical Egyptian names to determine the  Akkadian cuneiform 
original signs, and then ask what Egyptian names could result  from those 
original Akkadian cuneiform signs.  We find that, unlike all previous  attempts to 
explain these Biblical Egyptian names, we don’t have to stretch a  single 
letter!  Rather, we merely  need to recognize that Akkadian cuneiform 
writing, such as in the original  written version of the Patriarchal narratives, 
usually did not distinguish one  guttural from another. 
Jim Stinehart 
Evanston,  Illinois
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