G. J Spurrell.

Notes on the text of the book of Genesis : with an appendix online

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root ? (ii) Does b^< really come from bi«, or from a root r\bii (i.e. "•"?«) ?
(iii) How is the n of DM^n to be accounted for? (iv) Can the evidence
which Noldeke brings forward to prove that the ^r in *?« is long be
accepted as conclusive in the face of the fact that the vowel in the cor-
responding word in Assyrian {zlu) is short? (v) If the — is really long,
is Noldeke's explanation of the shortening of -:r in n^jT^bw, wnrr'pN,
and other similar proper names adequate^?

The above is a brief sketch of the views held by scholars as to the
derivation of ■?« and O^ribN. Both b« and D^ribK (rib«) are old words
in Semitic, and, prima facie, would appear to be distinct : their original
derivation, however, is at present obscure *.


It is well known that the vowels with which the Tetragrammaton is
punctuated in the ordinary editions of the Massoretic text do not really
belong to it, but have been supplied from the word '3T>». , with the
composite shewa changed into a simple shewa, unless this word precedes
mrr, when the points of D^riVw are used, e.g. Is, 28, 16. 30, 15. 49, 22.
Ez. 2, 4. 7, 2. Amos 5, 3, etc. This is clear from the following con-
siderations: (i) With the prefixes z, "?, n, i we find nin^a (e.g. Ps. 11,
I. 32, 10. II. 64, 11); nin>S (e.g. Ps. 7, i. 16, 2. 24, i); nin'O (e.g.
Ps. 33, 8. 37, 39. Is. 40, 27); n;n;i (Gen. 13, 14. i Sam. 12, 12. Is. 53,
10), i.e. '2i«l, '^''^,'^» U''^I5» ^"^ 'X^^\ (cf- Ges., § 23. 2). (2) If the
word that follows mn^ begins with one of the letters 2,a,T,D,D, n,
the dagesh lene is inserted, e.g. Gen. 13, 10. Ex. 15, 6. Num. 11, 25.

1 Cf. S. B. A. W., p. ii8of. The masc. forms that occur in Syriac are,
as Noldeke points out, late. Noldeke's remarks on this point also apply to
Dillmann's explanation.

2 Noldeke, S.B.A. W., p. 1181. ^ See note 6, p. 410.

* It may be noted that b^? as the name of a god occurs four times in the
SendschirU inscriptions always with two other gods "^NlDi and Tin ; see
inscript. of Pannamu, line 22, and inscript. of Hadad, lines 2, 11, 18. Cf.
Die altsemit. Inschrijten von SendschirU, D. H. Miiller, Wien, 1893.



Judg. 21, 15. I Sam. 28, 19. 2 Sam. 23, 2. (3) Ewald in his Lehrbuch,
§ 228 b, draws attention to the fact that in Num. 10, 35, cf. ver. 36, nn^p
is accented on the last syllable, though the n is n cohortative, because
the next following word mn' begins with a guttural, e.g. x, ni^n; = '3iN,
cf. Ps. 3, 8 nnip; 6, 5 ni^^ij; 7, 7. 10, 12, etc. (4) The abbreviations
ir»^5 ^^5 in^ cannot come from nin;. The objection to using the real
punctuation of m n' arises from an old misconception of the two passages,
Ex. 20, 7 (Kittjb "[^nbx mn' n^ n« ^?), and the Samaritans used s^n^u3 ('name'), and the
Jews D'\^n for mn', when they had to pronounce the word. The pvo-
nuncioXion Jehovah seems to have been first introduced by Galatinus in
1520 ; but was objected to by Le Mercier, J. Drusius, and L. Capellus,
as being against grammar and historical propriety. Cf. Bott., Heb.
Gram., § 88, and C. P. Ges., szib voce.

There is every reason to assume that the punctuation adopted by
modern scholars for mn^ is correct, viz. rrin^, the form being an im-
perfect Qal (according to another view Hifil) of nin, which is an
archaic and North Palestinian form of the verb n^rr (cf. the note on 27,
29) ; compare the other proper names formed after the analogy of the
imperf of the verb, e.g. 3p»l, "»'«;, prrs^, etc. That this assumption
is correct is proved by the fact that the abbreviations ^nj; (out of ini),
St\\ and V (out of ■in^ = irT_') in compound proper names, and n^ (nin2 =
:in^r^n^>) can easily be derived from n).r72, and by the statement of
Theodoret that the pronunciation of the Samaritans was lABE, while
Epiphanius, Adv. Haer. 20 (40), cites lABE as one of the names of God,
explaining it (from Ex. 3, 14) as os r\v Kal eari kol ad wv, see Ges., I.e.
If this punctuation be conceded it will next be necessary to explain the
meaning of the name. The class of words to which r^^r^'^ belongs is not
very wide in Heb., and is practically limited to a few proper names (see
Stade, Lehrbuch, § 259). The form nin:, as far as the punctuation is
concerned, may be the imperf. Qal or Hifil of r\^-r\ ; and the meaning
we must assign to the word will obviously depend on which of these two
conjugations we consider the form to come from. If it be imperf. Qal,


it may mean, ^he that is ;'' if it be imperf. Hif'il, 'he that causes to he^
If the former view be adopted, the word being taken as imperf. Qal, we
must, in interpreting the meaning of the name, be guided by the passage
in Exodus, viz. 3, 14; for though the name mrr^ may have been known
to the Hebrews prior to the time of Moses — cf. the name of Moses'
mother, Ex. 6, 20 Tlpv, and the formula ' God of thy fathej'^ Ex. 3, 6^ —
it was through him that it received its first explanation. The name has
been considered by various modern scholars^, reviving the view held by
Le Clerc, and thrown out as a suggestion by Gesenius, as a Hif'il
derivative, although the interpretations differ ; e. g. Kuenen interprets
the name as ^ the giver of existence,^ '■creator ;'' Schrader and Schultz, as
'the giver of life and deliverance'' (cf. rrirt Gen. 3, 20) ; Lagarde and
Nestle, who follow Le Clerc, as 'he who brings to pass ^ i.e. ' the per-
former of his promises ;"" Land, as 'life giver ^ 'creator^ so Ges. in Thes.
The objection to the derivation of the word from the Hif'il stem is that
though n-'H is used of the fulfilment of a promise or prediction (e.g. in
I Kings 13, 32), it requires the object of the promise to be at least
indicated in the context, and further, that scarcely any Semitic language
uses the causative form of n^n ^. The latter part of the objection applies
also to Robertson Smith's view*, that the name originally was intended,
to have some other causative force, such as, 'he who causes to fair (rain
or lightning). This apparently seems to have been the primitive meaning
of the root (cf. the Arabic) before it was spiritualized as in Exodus, and
it occurs once in this sense in Job 37, 6 y"i« xin inx> 2b^b >3. But
whether the causal form, used absolutely, without any definite object being
expressed, would convey this special sense, is very questionable, cf. Well.,
Skizzen, iii. 175. If this derivation be regarded as too uncertain, the
alternative one, in which the word mn^ is treated as a neuter (Qal),
must be adopted.

In the passage in Exodus (3, 14) God, in His answer to Moses, says
n^riN l^N fi'.rri:?, then calls Himself rr^n^, and finally mrT\ It is clear
from this that rrin (see above) is presupposed to be equivalent to n^rr,
and that n^ri«, the shorter expression, must be explained by ixdn hmm
n^ri«. Then nM« Toj^ ri'^r^^ must not be taken as a refusal to answer
Moses' question ' I am just who I am^ i.e. it is a matter of indifference
to you who I am, and you should not seek to know, Le Clerc, Lagarde
{Fsalt. Hieron., p. 156) ; as the following n^nw cannot bear this sense, and

1 See Nestle, Eigennamen, p. 80 ff.

* Comp. Driver, in Studia Biblica, i. Oxford, 1885.
^ Comp. Driver, I.e., p. 14, foot-note.

* Old Test, in the Jewish Church, p. 423 ; cf. Driver, 1. c, p. 14.


n''n« TCJN rr^rrN more naturally gives an explanation of the name. An
explanation of the name is certainly found in the rendering adopted by
Wellhausen {Comp., p. 72), following Ibn 'Ezxz,' I a?n, since / am,''TT'7Mi
being regarded as the name, and nTrt* 1M^>« as its explanation ; but tcdm
for '3 in this context is hardly probable, and Moses did not ask ' Wkai is
thy nat?ie ? ' but ' JVAaf shall I tell them ? ' Therefore "« i xlj « n ' n « must
be taken as a simple sentence, which has been variously rendered. The
LXX and Knobel translate, * I am he who exists^ i.e. ^he who is ;'' but it
is doubtful whether r\'





































10 from bottom, /or 10,
16 „ „ „ -IIN

1 from top, „ Hithpael
7 from bottom, read |ii>

3 „ „ >r Tablet

7 from top, ,, i7ot

5 33 35 33 Melanges

8 from bottom, ,, § 82 f

2 ,, ,, „ consist

5 from top, r^^i/inn
8 from bottom, „ ^3i

6 from top, ,, >by2
1 2 from bottom, ,, Vir\hvi

I from top, for Pilel

1 ,, ,, ,, ariix
6 from top, read mto"?

2 from bottom, for Glases
2 from top, ,, m:n'
6 „ ,, „ .ip\ij>

line on page, omit ' here.'

1 2 from top, for Welh.

1 ,, ,, ,, Mahanaim

2 from bottom, ,, ^'}Y

13 from top, ,, Tel-el- Kebir
10 ,, ,, read Dij:

read 10.

55 ""3^

,, Hithpa'el

read Tablets

55 170 f-

,, Melanges

„ §82f.

,, consists

read Pird
,, suffix

read Glaser
,, man'
53 ip^'

read Well.
,, Malianaim

53 ^iv*;

„ Teli-el-Kebir




Stanbavb TTbeolooical Movks


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Online LibraryG. J SpurrellNotes on the text of the book of Genesis : with an appendix → online text (page 34 of 35)