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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:55185
Doc. No:TL25139
Call number:‭3263005‬
Main Entry:Rebecca Thurman
Title & Author:A linguistic exploration of the river and related terms in Sumerian and the Semitic languages of the ancient Near East and the Hebrew BibleRebecca Thurman
College:Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
Date:2007
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2007
Page No:360
Abstract:This dissertation explores the peculiarity that though the river term (nāru(m)/nhr/ nāhār) occurs 119 times, in the Hebrew Bible there are no rivers in Israel. The meaning of wadi (nahallu( m)/nhl/nahal), the torrential flow from winter rains or the gorge that remains when the waters cease, was expanded to describe even the perennially flowing streams of Israel, except for the Jordan which is not modified by any water-path term. The Hebrew Bible describes four major water-ways, each occurs more than 64 times, and a number of minor terms, each of which occurs less than 12 times. Of the major water-ways, hayyardēn (the Jordan) and haye ̆'ōr (the Nile), generally appear with the article, refer to specific streams, and are rarely mentioned in the ancient Near Eastern Semitic texts. The situation is completely different for river and wadi. A diachronic study of these, beginning with the earliest and continuing through the ancient Semitic languages, encourages insight into ancient culture and cosmology and the peculiar use of water-ways in the Hebrew Bible. Chapter 1 explores the earliest river, the compound Sumerogram ÍD. By the third millennium, ÍD often appeared with the determinative of deity (d/DINGIR). With the advent of the ancient Semitic languages, ÍD was syllabically translated as nāru( m). Both were portrayed as aspects of the gods. From the third through the first millennium, from the literature and lists of city-states through sacrificial and pantheon lists, rivers were aspects of the divine, wadis were not. Ugaritic and Aramaic texts demonstrate the connection of nhr /nāhār with the divine, nhl/nahal shows no such connection. Chapters 3-5 study the major and the minor water-paths of the Hebrew Bible synchronically and note the commonly misapplied understanding of appellatives. It is concluded that there are no rivers in Israel's ancient writings because of the theological connection of river with the ancient gods and that portraying all ancient rivers as mere topographical markers obscures the portrayal of God and the power of this ancient text.
Subject:Philosophy, religion and theology; Language, literature and linguistics; Ancient; Hebrew Bible; Linguistic; Near East; River; Semitic; Sumerian; Wadi; Ancient languages; Linguistics; Bible; 0289:Ancient languages; 0290:Linguistics; 0321:Bible
Added Entry:R. W. Y. Klein, K. Lawson, Jr.
Added Entry:Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago