Re: ABH Shasu lore and the original people who formed Israel
- John Milton Barré:
1. You wrote: “There were Shasu living in tents in the land as Heber the
Kenite and his wife Jael ("Ya is God.").”
“Jael” is Y‘L [yod-ayin-lamed]. The last two letters cannot be “El”,
because that is spelled aleph-lamed, not ayin lamed. Nor can Hebrew yod
standing alone represent YHWH. The traditional etymology of Y‘L is that it is a
west Semitic name meaning “Male Ibex”. HALOT does not give a separate
etymology for Y‘L as a proper name, but rather just references the common word Y‘
L, meaning “ibex”. As a separate entry, HALOT notes that per Proverbs 5:
19, Y‘L-H means “female ibex” in Hebrew. So Y‘L, without the west Semitic
feminine ending -H, actually means “male ibex” in Hebrew.
But that traditional west Semitic etymology, and your unique west Semitic
etymology, are completely wrong, because “Kenite” and “Jael” and “Heber”
are all Hurrian names!
2. You wrote: “The Kenites were metal workers down in the Sinai originally
that migrated into the land.”
That traditional view of “Kenites” is completely wrong. To repeat, “
Kenites” is QYN-Y : Qa-a-ni-ia : The Teshup Is Firm People, being a colorful
Patriarchal nickname for the Hurrians. Here are some Hurrian personal names
that are attested in the Late Bronze Age that are similar to Qa-a-ni-a;
Qa-a-na; Qa-a-ni; Qa-ni; Ka-a-ni; Ka-ni; Ga-a-ni; Ga-ni. In fact, six
exotic names at Genesis 15: 19-21 are Hurrian personal names that are used as
colorful Patriarchal nicknames for the Hurrians. In all six cases, including
QYN-Y,the final Hebrew -Y/yod has two meanings: (i) it’s the classic
Hurrian theophoric suffix -ia or -ya, a-n-d (ii) it’s also the standard west
Semitic suffix meaning “people”. So where qa-a-ni is the Hurrian version of
the Akkadian verb kanu meaning “to be firm”, QYN-Y : Qa-a-ni-ia = The Teshup
Is Firm People, that is, the Hurrians.
3. You wrote: “Here is some of the lore: …[Genesis] 4:22 ‘Now Zillah
birth to Tubal-Cain, who heated metal and shaped all kinds of tools [KL
XR$] made of bronze and iron. The sister of Tubal-Cain was Naamah.’”
That “lore” may well be picking up some authentic Hurrian names. “Tubal”
is TWBL, which could be Te-wi-Ba-al in Hurrian, with Te-wi-ia being an
attested Hurrian name [where -ia is the classic Hurrian theophoric suffix]. “
Cain” is QYN, which in Hurrian is Qa-a-ni, meaning “Is Firm”. The name in
Hurrian would mean something like “Blessed Baal Is Firm”.
The phrase KL XR$ is interesting. KL means “all”, so XR$ is being used as
a noun here, though XR$ is almost never used as a noun elsewhere in the
Bible. XR$ looks suspiciously like XR-$, where XR means “Hurrian”, and -$ in
Hurrian is a standard Hurrian suffix meaning “having the quality of”. So
in addition to TWBL QYN looking like a Hurrian name, XR-$ appears to be
referencing, whether as a pun or otherwise, the Hurrians as well.
4. You wrote: “Balaam describes Israel as a particular and uniquely ‘
Balaam is from northern Mesopotamia, so he’s probably a Hurrian. “Balaam”
is BL‘M. As with BL above in “Tubal”, BL can mean Ba-al in Hurrian. The
ayin likely represents a Hurrian suffix meaning “coming from”. The final
-M can be a Hurrian theophoric, -im or -ma. The Hurrian meaning of “Balaam”
is probably “Baal Is God”.
5. You wrote: “Israel was form in the last half to last quarter of the
That’s about right, if we realize that the early Hebrews pre-date the
nation of Israel. The Hebrews formed in the mid-14th century BCE, and Israel
formed in the second half of the 13th century BCE, blossoming in the 12th
century BCE with those hundreds of Hebrew/Israelite villages in hill country
north of Jerusalem.
The 13th and 12th centuries BCE are the swan song for the Hurrians, as they
are in the process of going extinct, and some of them desperately join up
with the Israelites, who are the “winners” in south-central Canaan. The
reason why your posts have so many Hurrian names, though you do not recognize
them as such, is precisely because one of the key factors in the rise of
Israel was its absorption of the Hurrian remnant in Canaan. That’s Caleb and
Jael in particular, with their ethnic references “Kenizzites” and “Kenite”
being Hurrian-based names that reference the Hurrians, and with “Caleb” and “
Jael” being Hurrian names. And per this post of yours, we can add “
Tubal-Cain” and “Balaam” to the list of Hurrian names in the Bible.
The only way to understand how and when Israel (as opposed to the early
Hebrews) formed is to recognize that one important factor was Israel’s
absorption of the Hurrian remnant that at that time was well on its way to going
virtually extinct. The Hurrian people disintegrated and virtually disappeared
at precisely the same time when Israel was forming and creating those
hundreds of Hebrew villages: the 13th and 12th centuries BCE. That’s why there
are so many Hurrian names in the Bible.
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