Monday, December 8, 2014

The Connection of Hebrew and Arabic-More Than Just Language

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                  
Esau and Jacob

Our languages of Hebrew and Arabic are closely related.  Look at Shalom and Salaam. Ben is son in Hebrew and ibn in Arabic.  Eema is mother in Hebrew an umm in Arabic.  Abba is father in Hebrew and Av in Arabic.  In Hebrew, the letter B or bet can also be read as a V or vet.

A most important word for G-d is El which occurs in all Semitic languages.

  Even Eloheinu and Allah have a connection.  From Abu Rashid I learned that "The root is indeed alef-lam-heh (and also alef-lam in some languages), and it exists in pretty much every single Semitic language."  That would be ALH or AL. 

 In the Tanakh  it appears rarely for G-d but is an element in proper names such as Eleazar, Nethanel, Eloah.  The plural is Elohim which is used both in the plural for gods, idols, and in the singular G-d.  When it is used for G-d, it is a way of underlining it or capitalizing it  to show its importance.  It does not mean that we ever believed in multiple gods as Erich von Daniken tried to make out.  

YHVH is the Tetragrammation or Shem ha-Mephorash and was the particular 

name of the G-d of Israel and occurs nearly 7,000 times in the bible.  Its original pronunciation is unknown.  "y-h-w-h is a different root, which also exists in Arabic, and its meaning is linked to blowing wind."  

 We use it as Adonai (my lord) whereas some Christians will read it as Yahweh.  The sound of wind is most likely the word, which is the sound of the consonants alone.  

 I know so because the Arabic teacher at Lincoln High School in Portland, Oregon told me this several years ago.  The alphabet characters look completely different to me but the names of them are similar.  They both write from right to left, too.

"The Arabic and Hebrew scripts originate from the Phoenician alphabet, just like our Latin one does."
The Ishmaelites
 Our people are actually related to each other !  Abraham's 1st son by Hagar, and Egyptian handmaiden of his wife, Sarai, was Ishmael;  and his 2nd son by his wife, Sarah was Isaac.  They would be half brothers.  Then Isaac had twins; Esau and Jacob.  The twins had a falling out  in adulthood,  causing Esau to become the enemy of Jacob, the father of the Jewish people.  Jacob became known as Israel and Esau was identified with the people of Edom.  Edom was the country in the SE of Canaan, also called Mount Seir which became known as Idumea.  The Edomites were of Semitic origin, traditionally descendants of Esau, and lived by hunting.  They in turn had replaced the Horite people who had lived there first.  Edom had become part of the Assyrian provinces during their attack in 735 BCE.   This story symbolizes the relationship between the 2 nations which had developed to the point of hostility.  Of course their mother can be blamed for it all, as most mothers are blamed for all the faults of their children.  Rebecca, the twins' mother,  had favored Jacob.

Uzi Silber made a startling revelation related in his article listed below.  Lebanon and Syria are named for adjacent mountains, Levanon and Siryan.  Levanon comes from the Hebrew word lavan, which means white.  This is because of the snow cover of the Lebanese mountain range.  Siryon come from the Bible as the another name for Mount Hermon which lies between the Israel-Syrian border.  Israelis ski on Mt. Hermon.

The Jordan River on the eastern side of Israel was Yarden, meaning "descends from Dan.  This area was designated by Moses and Joshua to be the land suitable for their tribe of Dan.

Egypt, in Hebrew is Mitzrayim.  In Arabic it is Mizr, an abbreviated form of the Hebrew.  In the Books of Moses  (the first 5 books of the "Old Testament" which is to the Jews, the Torah),  Mitzrayim is written 291 times.  It was an important part of our life history. It means "EAST" in Hebrew.

 English         Hebrew          Arabic

Lebanon     Levanon           Lubnan
Syria           Siryon              Sooriya
Jordan        Yarden             Ourdun
Egypt         Mitzrayim          Mizr

Gaza was mentioned in Genesis and made famous by Samson in the book of Judges, also a part of the "Old Testament" or what we call Tanakh.  It's kept its original name.

Here's a case where Muslims didn't change the names when they came into being.  Mohammad died in 632 CE and probably didn't realize they came from Jewish sources.

What bothers me is that Judea and Samaria were states belonging to Israel 3 millennia ago and are now referred to as the "West Bank" because they lie West of the Jordan River, and rivers have banks to them.  What is east of the Jordan is today's state of Jordan, which was allotted to Israel, by the way,  in the deal with Britain who held the mandate. Abdullah I seized it during Israel's 1948 War of Independence when they were attacked 5 minutes after announcing their recognition by the UN.   They didn't hold onto it very well, did they?  Originally, Jordan was part of the empire of King Solomon.
King David
The towns in Judea-Samaria also have Biblical names being it was the original land of the Jews.  It had started by being Israel, with the kings of Saul, David and Solomon.  David ruled from 1010 BCE to 970 BCE.  Solomon ruled from 961 BCE to 920 BCE when he died.   When Solomon died  in 920 BCE, the southern part of Israel left the union to become Judea being it was where the tribe of Judah lived.  The Assyrians attacked Israel in 722 BCE and carried away most all of the people of Israel, at least the best of the men for slaves.   Judah escaped that fate at that time.

 Batir was Beitar in Hebrew.  Beit Jalla was Gilo in the Jerusalem neighborhood; Beitin was Beit El in Hebrew, named by Jacob himself.  That would mean "The House of G-d."  Mukhmas was Michmash in Hebrew which was King Saul's fortress.  El-Jib was Giv'on in Hebrew meaning "where the sun stood still."  Jaba was Geva.  Jenin was Ein Ganim.  Silwan was Shiloach.  Selum was Shilo which was one of the 1st capitals of ancient Israel.   Tequa was Tekoa in Hebrew which was the prophet Amos's hometown.
Cyrus the Great
  As our Jewish people had to leave the land, names began to take on the language of that foreign nation.  We know that Queen Esther, alias Hadassah, is not found in Persian history though she was married to King Ahasuaros, a name not found, either.  They did have King Cyrus II who died in 529 BCE.  He was a conqueror of many lands and overran the Babylonian empire, including Judah.  He pursued an enlightened policy towards his subject peoples and in 538 BCE, granted permission to the exiles of Judah who were living in Babylon where they had been brought as captives, to return to their own homeland and even to rebuild the Temple.  This information is found in Ezsra 1:1-44; and also in II chronicles 36: 22-3).  The Jewish exiles regarded Cyrus as a divine agent.  That is told in Is. 44:28; and 45:1).

I also remember reading that Cyrus may have been the son of Queen Esther, and that this is why he was so kind to the Jews.
Queen Esther
A man who tried to kill all the Jews in the Queen Esther story was Haman, which is an awful lot like Hitler.  Hitler tried to do the same thing and almost succeeded.  At least Esther was told of Haman's plot early on and was able to nip it in the bud.  She told her husband about it and in doing so had to confess that she also was a Jew and would also be killed.  The king had Haman hung along with his  sons.

  Hamadan is a town in Iran which is identified with Ecbatana where King Cyrus issued his decree permitting the Jews to rebuild the Jerusalem Temple (found in Ezra 6:2).  Hamadan is identified with the city of Shushan where they have a mausoleum of the tomb of Esther and Mordecai, Esther's uncle.  It could also be the tomb of Queen Sushan-Dukht of Susa, Jewish wife of Yazdegerd I of the 4th century, the reputed founder and builder of  Hamadan.  There are Hebrew inscriptions on it, though, which indicate that the tombs were built or reconstructed by a pious Jewess of the 13th century.  Hamadan was the seat of a Jewish community in early days.  We had many Jews still remaining and living in Persia.

One thing about the ancients.  They didn't slaughter everyone in sight.  King Hosea of Israel in 726 BCE tried to throw off the yoke from Tiglath-Pileser,king of Assyria from 745 to 726 BCE, which led to Shalmaneser V's siege of Samaria and who died during the siege of Samaria.   Samaria was then  captured in 721 BCE by his successor, Sargon.  Sargon annexed the country and deported 27,290 Israelites to Assyria and Media and then replaced them with Syrian and Babylonian prisoners.  With this transfer of people, it had to come with a transfer of new words from each group's languages.

Resource:  The Jewish Press, December 5, 2014, page 6, Irony Of Ironies:  arab countries Bearing biblical Hebrew Names by Uzi Silber, writer and painter.  EXCELLENT
The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia,+connections&biw=1024&bih=677&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=zTCGVJWEJ8OyogTE_YKgAQ&ved=0CE4QsAQ  ***** very helpful

No comments:

Post a Comment