Tag Archives: Canaanite language

El the Bull

For the Canaanites, Ēl or Il was the supreme God, the father of mankind and all creatures.[16] His sons were HadadYam, and Mot… Though Ugarit had a large temple dedicated to Dagon and another to Hadad, there was no temple dedicated to Ēl.

Ēl is called again and again Tôru ‘Ēl (“Bull Ēl” or “the bull God”). He is bātnyu binwāti (“Creator of creatures”), ’abū banī ’ili (“father of the Gods”), and ‘abū ‘adami (“father of man”). He is qāniyunu ‘ôlam (“creator eternal”), the epithet ‘ôlam appearing in Hebrew form in the Hebrew name of God’ēl ‘ôlam “God Eternal” in Genesis 21.33. He is ḥātikuka (“your patriarch”). Ēl is the grey-bearded ancient one, full of wisdom, malku (“King”), ’abū šamīma (“Father of years”), ’El gibbōr (“Ēl the warrior”). He is also named lṭpn of unknown meaning, variously rendered as Latpan, Latipan, or Lutpani (“shroud-face” by Strong’s Hebrew Concordance).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_(deity)

Hebrew belongs to the Canaanite group of languages. In turn, the Canaanite languages are a branch of the Northwest Semitic family of languages.[13]

Archaic Biblical Hebrew from the 10th to the 6th century BCE, corresponding to the Monarchic Period until the Babylonian Exile and represented by certain texts in the Hebrew Bible (Tanach), notably the Song of Moses (Exodus 15) and the Song of Deborah (Judges 5). Also called Old Hebrew or Paleo-Hebrew. It was written in a form of the Canaanite script.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_language

“Aaron! What have you done?” Moses staggered into the tent.  His eyes were on fire.

Aaron jumped, as if he was seeing the dead.  “Moses-!”

“You made an image! Why, Aaron?”

“What do you mean?  We didn’t know what happened to you!  You know how the people are! They were starting to panic. They were starting to pack up and leave- a few families at a time, under cover of darkness.  They were saying that God must have killed you and that they were going to be next. I had them bring me their gold earrings- and other jewelry- and I just threw it into the fire- and out popped this calf.  And they stopped panicking and stayed.”

“I knew you would come back!”  Aaron added loyally.

Moses groaned and collapsed onto a pile of tent cloth. He covered his face in his hands and his shoulders shock like he was weeping, though there was no sound.

“He’s going to kill us all.” he told his brother.

“What do you mean?” Aaron asked.  The open flap of the tent framed the Mountain- still smoking and burning.   Moses had been well educated when he lived at the Court of Egypt. He had once described to Aaron the volcanoes on the Northern shores and islands of the Mediterranean.  The Mountain reminded Aaron of those stories.  But this was no volcano. There was no fire.  The Mountain shone with a light that could burn without consuming. Darkness rose from it instead of smoke. Even in the day.

Moses’ distress was frightening Aaron.

“The image…” Moses said through his hands.

Aaron knelt in front of his brother, peering as if trying to draw the problem, like a magnet does, from his brother’s heart to his own.

“What’s wrong with the image?”

“Its a bull- a bull-calf.”

“That’s how we’ve always portrayed El Shaddai. It’s… so flattering. Bulls are powerful creatures, and the metaphor-”

“That isn’t how He looks.” Moses’ shoulders had stopped shaking. They were slumped now in utter exhaustion. “I’ve seen him, Aaron. You saw Him. The elders all saw Him”

“But no one ever, in their right mind, believed that the image is supposed to be what He actually looks like! That’s not why people make images of their gods!”

“He’s not going to believe that, Aaron. He thinks we’re idiots.”

Moses was roused to temporary, muffled eloquence. He sometimes was around his brother.  No one else, though.

“He’s going to be insulted if we let Him think that the people think He’s an animal-spirit.  And He’s going to be insulted if we try to convince Him that He was wrong in his opinion of us. Because that would mean that He was wrong about us and that He’s the imbecile for not noticing. And either way He’s going to kill.  Kill us all.”

Moses finally looked out through his hands at his brother. His eyes were red rimmed and bloodshot from grief and lack of sleep. Aaron stared in stunned disbelief.

It was quiet for a moment inside the tent. Outside was the sound of music and dancing. The people were holding a festival in honor of their new-found ancestral God. El the Bull. El of the Mountain.  El, who had laid low the Egyptians and brought them out of Egypt.  The people had been so afraid for so long. Afraid of the Egyptians who had enslaved them, afraid of the malevolent Sea and Desert. Afraid of El- his unpredictable rage and all-destroying power.

And now they thought there was going to be peace. That they’d found a way to make El happy.  That they didn’t have to be afraid anymore.

They were laughing.

“NO!! No! No! No!”

Aaron took Moses by the shoulders and jerked him to his feet. He shook him, screaming, and Moses hung unresisting as a rag in his hands.

“He said we weren’t supposed to make images of other gods and we didn’t!” He let go of Moses and his brother swayed weakly for a moment before collapsing backwards. Aaron’s face was streaked with tears.

“He told us not to make images at all.” Moses whispered.

“You had the book with you! He spent so much time talking about the other gods- I thought that’s what he meant-”

Aaron raised his hands towards the hidden heavens.

“It took us more than a week to make an image that size! He must have known what we were doing- how could He not? And He waited till now to tell us it was wrong? You! You waited till now to tell us!”

Moses’ shoulders had started shaking again, but he made no sound and there were no tears.

“If He knew- I certainly didn’t-” he squinted up at Aaron. “It took you a week? How long have I been gone? ”

“A month, Moses!  A month and ten days!”

It was quiet in the tent.

“He wouldn’t stop talking.” Moses said said finally.  He was picking at a thread in the cloth.  “We’re supposed to build him a- a sort of- tent temple.  I was starting to think it had been a long time.”

“What?”  Aaron was having trouble comprehending.

“There are all these- these- purple curtains and ropes, and lamps and gems.  Do you remember what he did to the Egyptians as we were leaving?”

“That they kept walking up to us with blank faces and handing us treasure?”  Aaron still was having trouble comprehending.

“I think this is what that was for. Its- its going to take every thing we have.  He went on and on about it. Oh- and Aaron- images of the cherubim.”

Aaron’s eyes were nearly bugging out of his head.

“He said we were forbidden to make images! He’s about to kill us for making an image!”

Moses was on his feet. He was screaming.

“Don’t you understand? Don’t you understand?  Nothing He says matters! Nothing!”

They were both sitting on the floor again.

“That’s what’s more important to him than whether our people live or incur his wrath and die.  Not even a temple.  A fancy tent.” Moses finished.  He was picking at a thread again. He was thinking of an Egyptian he had once buried in a shallow grave. The flight into the desert afterwards. “When He lives in a Mountain.”

“You said he lives everywhere.”  Aaron was staring off into the distance.

“Nothing I say matters”  Moses was staring off into the distance in the other direction.

The laughter and dance music outside went on.  The flicker of the firelight was blending with the flicker of the Light of the Mountain. The two lights looked happy, flickering together.

“What are we going to do?” Aaron asked finally.

“We have to appease Him.” Moses sighed.  “Call together your tribesmen.  Tell them to arm themselves. I’ll- I’ll go talk to him.”

Aaron looked over at Moses, brows knit.

“Arm- ?  Why?”

Moses stood up.  “If He starts killing the people, He wont stop.”

Aaron stared at his brother. Then his face changed. He stood.  “You can’t mean…” he breathed.

“If you can think of another way- I’ll gladly follow you.”

Aaron slowly looked at the ground.  He stared at it for a long time. He slowly looked back up at Moses.  He didn’t speak.

Moses shrugged, then turned and went out of the tent.

Slowly, Aaron went to the opening. He caught himself standing, stock-still, watching the dancers in their circles.  He put his eyes on the ground as if he had been burned by the sight and hurried towards his tribe’s tents.

He cursed in his heart, wishing that Moses could do this himself.  It was Moses’ word, after all.  But the curse and the wish were both futile.  The people loved and feared and sometimes hated Moses as they did El himself.

But the people, not even Aaron’s own tribe of Levi, would never take an order like this from a man whose father was an Egyptian. That was why Aaron had to speak for him.

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Cursed be Canaan!

Today’s Bible story is from Genesis.  Genesis 9 to be exact. But before we read today’s Bible story, let’s look at some charts.   Painfully boring I know- but hey!   Life is pain.

Semitic-Language-Tree

http://rharriso.sites.truman.edu/semitic-language-family/

Notice the relative positions of Canaanite and Hebrew.  Here’s another.

117850-004-D5B94B61

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/media/117464/

This one is from the Encyclopaedia Britannica.  Cool, huh?  Again, notice the positions of Hebrew and Canaanite languages.

And one more.  Just one.

semitic-languages

http://blog.eteacherbiblical.com/2008/01/02/language-and-genre-hebrew-amongst-the-semitic-languages/

This site teaches Hebrew.   Here is a quote from the article that come with this chart.

“Hebrew is defined as part of the more specific family of North-Western Semitic languages, a branch including Arabic, Aramaic, Canaanite languages and Ugaritic. Most similar to Hebrew are of course her fellow Canaanite languages (or possibly even dialects) such as Ammonite and Moabite. These languages have close vocabulary, grammatical and morphological ties. For example, in all these languages, a long ā sound found in other Semitic languages becomes a long ō sound, a clear-cut characteristic that enables us to identify whether or not a language is Canaanite.”

Now.  For today’s Bible story.  Sit back and get cosy.  Oh, and this story seems to involve primitive incest porn/ incest, so viewer discretion is advised.

The story begins after the Flood.  The God that Noah and his family worshiped had decided to wipe out their race- and they were the only survivors.   They were living, alone, in a destroyed world. 

So the story is told.

18 The sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.) 19 These were the three sons of Noah, and from them came the people who were scattered over the whole earth.

20 Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded[a] to plant a vineyard. 21 When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent. 22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father nakedand told his two brothers outside. 23 But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father’s naked body. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father naked.

24 When Noah awoke from his wine and found out what his youngest son had done to him, 25 he said,

“Cursed be Canaan!
The lowest of slaves
will he be to his brothers.”

26 He also said,

“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Shem!
May Canaan be the slave of Shem.
27 May God extend Japheth’s[b] territory;
may Japheth live in the tents of Shem,
and may Canaan be the slave of Japheth.”

28 After the flood Noah lived 350 years. 29 Noah lived a total of 950 years, and then he died.  Genesis 9

In the next chapter, this ‘son of’ stuff is explained a bit further.

The Hamites

6 The sons of Ham: Cush, Egypt, Put and Canaan. Genesis 10

15 Canaan was the father of Sidon his firstborn,[g] and of the Hittites, 16 Jebusites, Amorites, Girgashites, 17 Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, 18 Arvadites, Zemarites and Hamathites. Genesis 10

The Semites

21 Sons were also born to Shem, whose older brother was[h] Japheth; Shem was the ancestor of all the sons of Eber. 22 The sons of Shem: Elam, Ashur, Arphaxad, Lud and Aram. 23 The sons of Aram: Uz, Hul, Gether and Meshek.[i] 24 Arphaxad was the father of[j] Shelah, and Shelah the father of Eber.  Genesis 10

Eber, is the fabulous and obscure person from whom the Hebrews take their name.  Eber. Heber. Hebrew.  See?

From this story and this genealogy, people who take the Bible to be literally true (such as Young Earth Creationist) derive these *obvious* facts.

Semitic languages are associated with the descendants of Noah’s son, Shem. Shem. Shemitic.  Semitic.  See how well that works?

(As a disclaimer- some of these sites are heavily racist.  Others are less so.  I do not endorse or promote any of them, as I find them vomitous as well as being an affront to reason.  I post them here only to prove I’m not making this stuff up)

http://creationwiki.org/Hebrew

http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/nation03.htm#TABLE 3. THE LINEAGE OF SHEM

The Canaanites are descendents of Noah’s son, Ham.   For various reasons, it’s easier for Creationists and their friends to talk about Shem and Japheth, but they manage to come to a conclusion about Ham’s descendants as well.

“Next we come to the sons of Ham: Cush, Mizraim, Phut, and Canaan (Genesis 10:6). The descendants of Ham live mainly in south-west Asia and Africa. The Bible often refers to Africa as the land of Ham (Psalms 105:23,27;106:22). The name of Noah’s grandson Cush is the Hebrew word for old Ethiopia…Noah’s next grandson mentioned was Mizraim. Mizraim is the Hebrew word for Egypt… Phut, the name of Noah’s next grandson is the Hebrew name for Libya…Canaan, the name of Noah’s next grandson, is the Hebrew name for the general region later called by the Romans Palestine, i.e. modern Israel and Jordan…”  http://creation.com/the-sixteen-grandsons-of-noah

Others put it like this.

THE LINEAGE OF HAM. The peoples of Ham’s line populated parts of Asia Minor, the Arabian Peninsula, and eventually the entire continent of Africa – once known as the Land of Ham.”

http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/nation02.htm#Table 2. THE LINEAGE OF HAM.

The more reserved ICR puts it this way.

“There were three basic streams of nations (Semitic, Japhetic, and Hamitic) and although there has been much mixing and proliferation, these three basic streams of nations (not “races”!) are still roughly distinct.”

http://www.icr.org/article/21856/

Some go further.

“The eighteenth verse in the Table of the Nations reads,…. and afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad.” This terse remark may be telling us that the vast populations of Asia, Africa, and the Western Hemisphere are descended from Canaan.”

And then conclude that-

“…the descendants of Japheth are the same people as those from whom come the Indo-European languages, the Shemites those from whom come the Semitic languages, and the remainder [are] the descendants of Ham, through one line or another”

http://www.creationism.org/csshs/v07n1p05.htm

Thus- the Hebrew language (and the Hebrew nation) are descended from the Semitic language group, and the Canaanite language (and nations) are descended from the Hamitic.

Except, my brave reader, you already know part of what’s wrong with this.  Do you remember those charts at the beginning?

You do!   THE HEBREW LANGUAGE IS A DESCENDANT OF CANAANITE!!!

To illustrate this another way, (and I said only one more chart but I lied) behold the following.

family tree

http://bashapedia.pbworks.com/w/page/13960069/Afro-Asiatic%20Language%20Family

Ladies and Gentlemen, Hebrew is a member of the language family spoken by “…the vast populations of Asia, [and]  Africa…”.

Semitic IS  “Hamitic”.

Now.  The ancient Hebrews spoke a Canaanite language.  They lived in the same small region as the Canaanite nations.   They were competing with these fellow Canaanite for resources and seem to have been almost continually at war with them.

According to Hebrew records, whether literally true or literally false, they once attempted the genocide of all other Canaanite groups.

Why would it be important, dear reader, to not be related to people you believe you once attempted to exterminate?

Why would it be important to believe that they were cursed?