Arthur Hall.

Who hath believed our report? : a letter to the editor of the Athenaeum, on some affinities of the Hebrew language online

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HALL

WHO HATH BELIEVED OUR
REPORT





;



WHO HATH BELIEYED OUR REPORT ?



A LETTER



TO



THE EDITOR OF THE ATHEN/EUM,



ON SOME



gifimtws rrf % ffekeja %m$m%t



LONDON:

SUTTON, DROWLEY & CO.,
11, Ludgate Hill, E.C.

18 0.



ONE SHILLING.




Price Is. 6d. in Cloth.

THE



TKEASURY OF LANGUAGES,

A RUDIMENTARY DICTIONARY OF UNIVERSAL PHILOLOGY.



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WHO HATH BELIEYED OUR REPORT ?



A LETTER



THE EDITOR OF THE ATHENAEUM,



ON SOME



Affinities cf % J$jefoxto language,



LONDON:

SUTTON, DROWLEY & CO.,
11, Ludgate Hill, E.C.

18 9 0.



ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.






PREFACE.



Some three or four years ago, I commenced a
close examination of the Hebrew Language, its
structure and vocabulary, with the express purpose
of detecting all Indo-European affinities open to
my research.

When fully completed, I submitted a condensed
report of my results to the Editor of the Athenceum,
who presented the following abstract thereof to his
readers, and so to the world at large : —

" Mr. Arthur Hall, of Paternoster Row, is

" preparing an elaborate work for publication, in

" illustration of his view that all primary Hebrew

"roots are identical with Sanskrit; that a good

" fourth of the Hebrew vocabulary consists of forms

" interchangeable with Greek, while a still larger

a2

1924SC0



IV PREFACE.

" proportion favor the Latin phonesis ; all being co-
" derivatives from the same Indo-European roots.
" He fancies that considerable light is thus thrown
" on the formation of the Celtic and Teutonic
" branches."

I have reason to suppose that this report, if
noticed at all, was received with general incredulity;
so am led to select for full consideration and
criticism, a few points calculated, as I conceive, to
bring the question thus raised to a final issue.

In now submitting these crude speculations to
public notice, I will only remark that the curious,
and hitherto unnoticed and still unexplained coinci-
dences here produced, are but as a grain of desert
sand is to the bulk of the Sphynx there immerged,
compared with the mass of details that I have
garnered for future use.



To the Editor of the Athenaeum.

Sir,

As reference has been made to my labors~on
the Hebrew roots, I trust that I may feel myself
at liberty to address you thus familiarly, and so
introduce myself as an occasional correspondent of
the Athenaeum, for a matter of some twenty-five
years or so.

I am, Sir,

Yours very faithfully,

ARTHUR HALL,

Citizen and Stationer of London.



CONTENTS.



PAGE.

I. THE WORD BERESHITH .... 9

II. THE WORD GENESIS AND THE GREEK

ZflON 15

III. THE NAME OF ITALY 21

IV. THE KESITAH 25

V. THE STAR RIGOL 29

VI. THE PHOENICIAN BYBLUS .... 33

VII. THE CORYCIAN CAVES .... 37



No. I.

BERESHITH.



VERBAL INDEX TO No. I.



B—

bai.

Bereshith.

bhu.

boe.

brae, braigh.

brig.

Brigantes.

B'roshetb.

eth.

faurthis.



fore-st, first.

fuerst.

Genesis.

prius, pros, puras.

ras, rasu.

rasoth.

risan, rison.

rise.

rosh.

rosheth.

vi, vo.



I.

BERESHITH



The Hebrew version of the Old Testament opens
with the word Bereshith, which has thus given
name to the Book of Genesis.

JTE^fcOl or B'Rosheth reads : " In the beginning,"
and is, to all appearance, regularly formed ac-
cording to the grammatical rules inherent in the
Hebrew language.

We have the word B>an rosh, " head " or " top" :
Assyrian rasn, Arabic ras ; with the terminal " eth"
constituting a feminine noun, and the preposition
B-, " in beginning," or " in beginning the" ; for HK
eth is, by itself a denominative, and survival of the
syllabic stage, signifying " it " or " the." Rosh, as
here used, does not really mean " begin," for, being
a noun it is regarded as a derivative, the verb from
which it is thus supposititiouslv derived being lost ;
if found, it might resemble the Sanskrit risk, " to



12

flow." But we have p£W) and p&^H rison, " first "
or " beginning," which compares with the English
word " rise," A.S. risan. We have also HWl
rasoth used for "pillow " or " bolster," which be-
comes JV&JW) rosheth, " first " or " beginning,"
as in our text.

The backbone of the word consists of the three
consonants " B, R, and S " minus vowels ; if we
substitute P for B, we get the Latin prius, the
Greek 7rpo?, Sanskrit puras ; if we substitute an F we
can manufacture the Gothic faurOis, our " forest "
or " first," German fuerst ; if we retain the B, we
find the Scottish brae so dear to Robert Burns,
Gaelic braigh, Welsh brig, and so the Brigantes of
Yorkshire. This curious allotment presents the
following problem : Did mankind need all this
elaborate agglutinative process to arrive at the idea
of " first," or was the initial letter born originally
with the word ? In the latter case it will be
manifest that the Hebrew grammarians have
adopted what we call an Aryan root, and chopped
it up to suit their habits.

The prefix B in Hebrew, may be worn down
from the veil) K13 boe, " to enter " ; I do not pretend



13

to decide, but it is very curious that in Russian we
do find the preposition " vo " which means in, and
thus exactly equates the Hebrew prefix 2 ; yet
Russian is certainly a very important member of
the Indo-European family of languages, with an
exact genealogy.

Boe "to enter" means also "to come " or " go,"
and I venture to suggest the Sanskrit vi or bhu as
equivalent, either will do phonologically or textu-
ally ; and it equates the prefix " bai " in the Greek
/Satvta.

I have not undertaken this with any desire to
undervalue our Scriptures ; the Bible is a great
boon to man, for it has diffused knowledge and
civilisation ; true, parts are obscene, so is man ;
parts are violent, cruel, predatory, oppressive, so is
man ; the better parts will, and do elevate those
amenable to its influences, the worse parts serve to
attract the baser metal, and thus spread its ulti-
mate influence.

My object is simply to inquire if the irregular
grammatical structure of the Hebrew language is
any bar to its admission as a member of the Indo-
European family of languages.



No. II.

THE WOED GENESIS AND
THE GREEK ZfiON.



VERBAL INDEX TO No. II.



azim.

dania.

ez.

Genesis.

genos, genus.

jan.

Kind.

Kuni.



mazon.

Seh.

Sinu.

tsaon, tsenu.

Zan.

Zoon.

Zun.



II.

THE WORD GENESIS AND THE GREEK

zn ON.



Starting thus with the Book of Genesis, it will be
sequential to point out that this word, so familiar
to our ears, is directly descended from the Sanskrit
root word jan, "to beget," Latin genus, Greek yevos.
The fact is self-evident, and the process has been
explained in every authoritative Lexicon, Dictionary
and Cyclopaedia dealing with Etymology. Sans-
krit is a very copious language, and we have vast
remains of Hindoo literature from a remote epoch ;
it is unquestionably the first, the very earliest mass
of erudition known to mankind ; and, while not to be
compared with the classics of Greece and Rome, is
yet more vital, more accessible than the stone slabs,
cylinders and seals of Nineveh and Babylon, or the
papyri of Egypt. This Indo-European root jan is,
I find, equated by the Hebrew tt Zan, a sort, a
species ; the Chaldean pi Zun, "to feed," for food is



18

the staff of life ; from it we obtain the Hebrew jlTD
mazon, " food." But I write more particularly to
draw attention to the Hebrew form jtf¥ tsaon, used
for " a flock " generally, and specifically as a plural
for sheep. This last word tsaon, I hold to be
precisely identical with the Greek word £woj/, mean-
ing " an animal," " any living creature," yet I do
not venture to call it a loan word.

The question is now very complicated, for I find
that in Assyrian sinu or tsenu, which means "good,"
also serves for " sheep," " goats," etc. ; these two
forms, so much alike, are called respectively
Assyrian and Babylonian, but they are only dialec-
tical variations of the same form, however applied,
and they equate the Arabic dania.

I am not aware that anyone has ever yet
ventured to compare these old Semitic forms with
any living European language, and specialists will
hesitate to mix up the Hebrew T and ¥ in one
etymology ; but I must point out that the Assyrian
Sinu quoted above closely allies itself with the
Hebrew !"1D Seh for " Sheep " which, as with us,
has no real plural in Hebrew.

Nor is it necessary to look to the Hebrew ty ez,



19

" a goat," plural D*$ azim, for any explanation of
|K¥ tsaon, " a flock " of goats, etc. ; this last word,
so far as I can at present see, is more like the
Greek goov than any word that can be produced
from a Semitic source. If however it is not a loan
word, it can only come from the Sanskrit jan ;
which also produces the Gothic Kuni " a tribe,"
English " kind."



b 2



No. III.

THE NAME OF ITALY.



VERBAL INDEX TO No. III.



Ashtoreth, Astarte.

bath, bathal.

Bethulah.

bhu.

bion.

litalos.

fui.

Hestia.

Isbtar.



Italy.

phuo.

Sum, f. esse.

ush.

Vesta.

Virgo.

vita.

Vitellius.

Vitulus.



III.

THE NAME OF ITALY.



The Hebrew word HI bath, for " daughter," begets
7J"D bathal, a " virgin," which becomes a personal
name as nSlMi Bethulah, the constellation Virgo ;
it represents some deified female, whether Ishtar,
Ashtaroth or Astarte is unimportant, all three
words are of identical origin, perhaps from the
Sanskrit ush " to burn " ; but, though their cults
were different, they all mean the Queen of Heaven.

The word Bethulah compares very closely with
the Greek Fitalos, Latin vitulus, supposed eponym
of Italy ; the word is explained as meaning a
female calf, but I prefer the above suggestion,
which plausibly elicits the goddess Vesta, the
Greek eVrta, a fire deity, whose worship, transferred
in early times to Italy, was centralised in her
temple at Rome, where the sacred fire was perpe-



24

tually attended by her vestal acolytes, all pure
virgins, for this is the point of contact with bathal.

If then we compare bathal with Vitulus, V and B
interchanged, we may refer back the Hebrew ]"Q
bath, to the Sanskrit root bhu, " to be," Greek fyvw
and ySi'ow, Latin sum, fid, esse, " to be," and vita for
VitelliuSj from which also comes our English word
victuals.

But vestal is from the Sanskrit ush, "to burn,"
and it is at this point that the split or separation
takes place, for there is nothing in ush to suggest
virginity, which idea can only come from bathal.



No. IV.

THE KESITAH.



VERBAL INDEX TO No. IV.



Daric.


Kshatrapa.


Kashteneeth.


Kshatrya.


Kastu.


Kshetrapati


Kesheth.


Kshi.


Kesitah.


Satrap.



No. V.

THE STAE RIGOL.



VERBAL INDEX TO No. V.



agal, agar.


Nrigal.


ankulos.


nur, nurru


Ares.


Orion.


Aruna.


pramantha


Baal.


raj.


Hercules.


regal.


hora, horaios.


rego.


Koh-i-nohr.


Regulus.


Mars.


Rigol.


Nergal.


rijl.


Nimrod.


wriggle.



V.
THE STAR RIGOL.



Rigol is a star of the first magnitude in the con-
stellation known as Orion ; pictorially this star fits
in with the hero's ankle, for one leg is uplifted.

The Hebrew word Sjn regal means " a foot,"
Arabic n/7, and I suggest a comparison with the
English word " wriggle," for it means " to twist," as
does the ankle, cf. Greek djKv\o^. But rigol is
only a survival, for Orion represents Nergal, the
Assyrian god of the chase and of war, the Euro-
pean "Apr)? or Mars, the Scriptural Nimrod and also
Hercules, for, treating the aspirate " h " as a mere
nonentity, we have patcXe^, a very near counterpart
of regal* In Sanskrit we find the rather equivocal
word Nrigal.

Each tongue may have its favourite and plausible

* With " regal " cf. Regulua or cor Leonis, a star of die firsl magni-
tude : Latin rego, Sanskrit raj "to shine"



32

etymology ; but in that mother tongue common to
all civilisation, the same radical letters are found
inherent in all forms. I propose, under correction, to
explain Nergal as Ner=nar : Assyrian nurru, " light,"
Chaldee *V|3 nur, "light," "fire," Hebrew *\) nur, " a
light," "a lamp"; a root word brought home to us
in England by the royal Koh-i-nohr or " mountain
of light," among the crown jewels : plus -tftf agar,
i.e., agal, " to collect " supposititiously " drops of
light," so expressive of this brilliant constellation.
But, " to collect fire " suggests a reference to
Prometheus, Greek •n-pb-firjBofuib, a provisional sub-
stitute for our word providence, i.e., " providing in
advance." Prometheus, in mythology, secreted an
ethereal spark of heavenly fire to animate man-
kind. In Sanskrit we find a very early word,
pramantha, surviving as " stick of fire,'' and we
know that Nimrod is supposed to have founded
Nineveh, and is by some regarded as a fire god,
having his counterpart in Baal.

As to Orion, I consider it a metathesis of Aruna,
naturalised in Greek under copa, oupaios, &>/nW.



No. VI.

THE PHOENICIAN BYBLUS.



VERBAL INDEX TO No. VI.



Biblians.


Giblians


bibo, bibulous.


jebel.


Byblus.


Jubeil.


Gebal.


pa —


Gebalites.


pappos.


gebel.


papyrus.



VI.
THE PHCENICIAN BYBLUS.



It is a curious point that the Phoenician town
Gebal, so closely connected with the worship of
Thanimuz or Adonis, is also called Byblus. The
town is a sea-port, situated in a hilly district with
granitic formation ; the Semitic name is from the
Hebrew ~03 gebel, Arabic jebel, now Jubeil, " a
hill." Byblus does not mean " a hill," still there is
some analogy.

An earlier Byblus was the seat of the papyrus
cultivation, in a low-lying, marshy tract of Egypt ;
the plant, a cyperus, is perhaps indigenous. Its
root served as food, its material was manufactured
into sail-cloth and used as a substitute for leather,
while the exported paper constituted a staple trade.
We will assume, for purposes of inquiry, that the
stone monuments of Egypt preceded the use of

papyrus for records, and that the Phoenicians had

c2



36

cultivated a trade with Egypt in carved and
engraved monoliths, and monstrous stone sarco-
phagi. When writing superseded inscriptions, the
Phoenicians took up the second trade, and became
paper merchants ; so exchanging the granitic Gebal
for the softer Byblus, and the Europeans knew
them in this way. And I infer that the change
was comparatively recent, because the Vulgate
adopts both forms ; thus we have Biblians and
Giblians in the same version, where the recent
English reads Gebalites. Upon this basis alone
can we understand the " stone squarers " of an
earlier version, meaning quarrymen, who, by the
Bible records, proved a numerous and refractory
class. But the point I wish to note is, that Byblus
and papyrus are interchangeable terms. B=P,
R=L, an interesting comparison. Byblus is from
the Sanskrit pa, " to drink," whence we derive the
Latin bibo and our bibulous, an exact term for
the aquatic reed which sups up the fluid like a
drunkard. Pa also gives us the Greek 77W7ro?,
" any soft, downy substance." Still this may be
merely speculative, for the main word irdTrvpos is
called Egyptian.



No. VII.

THE COEYCIAN CAVES.



VERBAL INDEX TO No. VII.



Apollo.

bothros.

car.

char.

charuz.

chivvar.

choros.

chorus.

chur.

churreein.

coer.

cor.

Corycian.

Corycus.

Crissa.

Delphi.



dhuma.


putheim.


dolphin.


puthesthai


fume.


putho.


pataru.


puthon.


pathah.


putrid.


peah.


putu.


peethoem.


pyt-


peh.


Pythian.


pethen.


Pytho.


Phocis.


Python.


phokaina.


taphung.


pit.


thoum.


Pithoum.


tuphon.


pitu.


Typhoeus.


pu.


Typhon.


puteus.


typhoon.



VII.
THE CORYCIAN CAVES.



I must offer an apology for dragging in the
above sub-title, for I have really very little to say
about the Corycian Caves, but it is the only way
properly to introduce the subject I wish to
specialise.

The most noted set of these Caves is that in a
hill-side above Delphi, a town of Phocis, former
seat of the oracle of Apollo, which stood at the
foot of Mount Parnassus, near the Castalian
Spring. These caves form a stalactitic recess
which has been explored in modern times.

The story of the contest between Apollo and the
Python has some features analogous to our legend
of " St. George and the Dragon." Apollo thus
became the Pythian God, and a local temple,
instituted in his name, had its body of Priests and



40

Sibyls, who uttered his oracles or responses to
questions addressed by petitioners in his name.
The slain monster expired in stenching fumes, and
the rotting body gave rise to the name of Python
from the verb 7™#a>, allied to our word " putrid," so
Trvdeiv, Python ; this form of argument exposes the
fact that the dead monster had no living name
intelligible to the Hellenes. Another school adopts
the form irvOeadai " to inquire," which may explain
the Pythian oracles if not the dead serpent.

As to Corycus or Corycian, it appears that the
town of Delphi, Homeric Pytho, was originally
named Crissa, apparently a mutation of Corycus ;
there is another Corycian cave at Korghoz in
Cilicia, so non-Hellenic ; it has its own sacred
spring and a legend of the monster Typhon or
Typhceus, so a full counterpart to Python. This
brings up the Egyptian Pi-Thoum ; if the terminal
thoum equates the Sanskrit dhuma " smoke," our
own word " fume," there is a plausible analogy
between the two monsters and their names ;
Typhon, the Greek ™0<wv "a whirlwind," is, I
contend, identical with Typhoon, Chinese ta-phung
or " great wind," but this is disputed.



41

But, the Pvthon? 1 have to suo;o;est the following
Semitic forms : Hebrew 7\%peh "the mouth," so an
opening, from nnS pea /?, also Plfi3 pathah "to open,"
so our own " pit," A.S. pyt, Latin puteus (Vulgate),
Greek /3o/9po?, p = 1). The Assyrian forms, older
than Hebrew, run : pataru and pita " to open," pu
" a mouth," putu "an opening"; if this last word
ever reached the Hellenes from some earlier
inhabitants of Phocis, it might well serve as a basis
whereon to erect the Pythonic superstructure, it
would represent an opening in the hill- side, former
abode of some sooth-sayer such as the " Witch of
Endor." It naturally follows that we have in
Hebrew jfiS pethen, " an asp " or " serpent," DJYS
peethoem, " a familiar spirit," "a sorcerer." Was the
Greek irvdov utilised to produce these allied forms,
or are both formed independently from peh HS ?

Apollo represents " the sun," " light " ; and, when
explorers enter deserted caverns they take blazing
torches, or, perhaps, magnesium wire ; they light
bonfires to expel the foul fiend of darkness, and
purify all noxious exhalations. So might Apollo be
represented as conquering the works of darkness,
sole tenant of a pre-historic cave.



42

But Phocis — take Qaicaiva " tlie porpoise"; how
suggestive of the fabled Dolphin, the form taken
by Apollo when he brought the Cretan priests to
minister at his fane in Greece, so to become the
Delphi of historic fame. But the famous x°P^ nas
never been fully explained, for our etymologists
fall back on the Welsh cor in Bangor, a word which
cannot be original. Let me refer to the Semitic
"in char, Tin chur or chivvar, " a hole " ; nD car i
TO coer, " a circular measure," " a hoop," and ITiTl
charuz, "rhyme," "harmony," Latin chorus. If
charuz be a loan word from Greek, yet surely Tin
and TD will explain the prefix in Corycos; and
then we have D*T)H churreem, " caverned, a set of
caves."



VERBAL INDEX



agar, agal,


charuz,


Gebal, Gebel,


ankulos,


chivvar,


Gebalites,


Apollo,


choros,


Genesis,


Ares,


chorus,


genos, genus,


Aruna,


chur,


Giblians,


Ashtoreth,


churreem,




Astarte,


coer,


Hercules,


azim,


cor,


Hestia,




Corycian,


hora, horaios,


B-, bai,


Corycus,




Baal,


Crissa,


Ishtar,


bath,




Italy,


bathal,


dania,




Bereshith,


Daric,


jan,


Bethulah,


Delphi,


jebel,


bhu,


dhuma,


Jubeil,


Biblians,


dolphin,




bibo, bibulous,




kashteneeth,


biou,


eth,


kasta,


boe,


ez,


kesheth,


bothros,




Kesitah,


brae, braigh,


faurthis,


kind,


brig, Brigantes,


first,


koh-i-nohr,


B'rosheth,


Fitalos,


kshatrapa,


Byblus,


for-est,


kshatrya,




fuerst,


kshetrapati,


car,


£ui,


Kshi,


char,


fume,


Kuni,



44



Mais.
mazon,

Nergal,
Nimrod,
Niigal,
nur,

nurni,

Orion,

pa, pappos,

papyrus,

pataru,

pathah,

peah,

peethoem,

peli,

pethen,

Phocis,

phokaina,

phuo,

pit,

Pithoum,

pitu,

pramantha,

prins,

promedonai,

Prometheus,

pros,



providence,

pn,

puras,

puteus,

putlieiin,

putheathai,

putho,

puthon,

putrid,

putu,

pyt,

Pythian,

Pytho,

Pj T thon,

raj,

Raklees,

ras,

rasoth,

rasu,

regal,

rego,

Regulus,

Rigol,

rijl,

risan, rison,

rise,

rosh, rosheth,

Satrap,



sell,

sinu,

sum, f. esse,

taphung,

tlioum,

tsaon,

tsenu,

tuphon,

Typhoeus,

Typhon,

typhoon,

ush,

Vesta,

vi,

victuals,

Virgo,

vita,

Vitellius,

vitulus

vo,

Wriggle,

Zan,

Zoon,



POSTSCRIPT.



In drawing these few observations to a close, I
desire to furnish an outline of the historical aspect
of affairs.

i. I am willing to assume that the Septuagint
Version of the Old Testament represents the first
form in which the scattered records representing
the Jewish sacred writings ever appeared as a
connected narrative ; that it is no mere translation
but the actual composition of Greek-speaking
Jews, and that Biblical Hebrew was then in a
condition quite unintelligible to the literate Avorld
of Europe.

ii. That while the LXX. thus served for Greece,
Egypt and the dominions of the Seleucidas, a
natural desire grew up for a version accessible to
non-Greek-speaking Jews ; that the Hebrew idiom
was then first committed to writing by Latin-
speaking Jews, living under the sway of Rome ; who
thus unconsciously modified their native tongue.



4G

iii. Starting with the Assyrian Syllabary allied
to Zen die and Persian, so like them derived from
Sanskrit or its elements, we see the syllabic stage
merge into the agglutinative, under the influence of
European grammarians, who, while preserving the
Semitic construction, yet added their own phonesis
in a manner imperceptible to themselves, and,
perhaps, quite unintentional.



IN PREPARATION.



D-izritprr nan



SEPHER HO-SHARASHIM:



GLEANINGS FROM

/Iftebueval anb Biblical
Ibebcew.



FOREWORDS.



Nothing is more perplexing to the philologist than the
mystery of Hebrew roots. Over and over again, the
translators of our sacred text are left to hover hopelessly
between two opinions on a disputed passage because (1)
we have no reliable lexicographical authority for the right
use of a particular word, and (2) in this dilemma, no agree-
ment exists as to its derivation, or, as the expression goes,
finding its true root ; for, on the existing theory, every
Hebrew word has its origin in Hebrew.


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Online LibraryArthur HallWho hath believed our report? : a letter to the editor of the Athenaeum, on some affinities of the Hebrew language → online text (page 1 of 2)