Tuesday, April 19, 2005

New Pope's Name Based on a Mistranslation

He chose the name Benedict XVI.

This is, and has been, a translation of Baruch. For example, Baruch/Benedictus Spinoza. This assumes that Baruch is the passive and thus means blessed.

We know now, however, that this is not so. Baruch was Yirmiyahu's scribe. See for example Yirmiyahu 45:1:
א הַדָּבָר, אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר יִרְמְיָהוּ הַנָּבִיא, אֶל-בָּרוּךְ, בֶּן-נֵרִיָּה--בְּכָתְבוֹ אֶת-הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה עַל-סֵפֶר, מִפִּי יִרְמְיָהוּ, בַּשָּׁנָה הָרְבִעִית, לִיהוֹיָקִים בֶּן-יֹאשִׁיָּהוּ מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה לֵאמֹר. 1 The word that Jeremiah the prophet spoke unto Baruch the son of Neriah, when he wrote these words in a book at the mouth of Jeremiah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, saying:
One recent archaelogical discovery (discovered by Yigal Shiloh in 1978) has been the signet ring of Baruch ben Neryiah, and it reads Berechyahu ben Neryahu (as I mentioned before in this post). This means that Baruch is a theophoric name (=lit. "bearing deity"}. Thus, it is Berech + Yahu {=Hashem Blesses}. Another such theophoric names is Azaryahu, for which the shortened version is Azzur. In general the shortened form of a theophoric name such as this has a patach under the first letter, gemination (doubling) of the second letter by means of a strong dagesh, and a shuruk between the second and third root letter. As Dr. Steiner has pointed out, what happened for the name Berechyahu in its shortening is that the middle root letter, the resh, cannot take the doubling via strong dagesh, for the resh is a quasi-gutteral and as a rule does not receive a dagesh. As a result, compensatory lengthening of the preceding vowel (called tashlum dagesh) kicks in, and lengthens the short patach to the long equivalent, the qametz. The end reseult looks like the regular Hebrew passive, but it is not.

No comments:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin