Friday, June 24, 2011

What Language Did Abraham Speak?

The world known to the early Hebrew.

Alice C. Linsley

The best evidence to date suggests that Abraham and his Hebrew ancestors spoke the languages of the peoples among whom they lived. Some of Abraham's ancestors spoke early Nilo-Saharan languages, some of which are now extinct. Abraham and his immediate family would have spoken Ancient Akkadian, the oldest known Semitic language. This explains why Akkadian roots are found in the oldest layers of the Genesis material. 

Abraham probably spoke more than one language and had men in his household who were scribes and translators. He would have known the Akkadian of Mesopotamia where he grew up, and he would have been familiar with the related languages of his Hebrew kinsmen living in Anatolia, Canaan, Arabia, and the Nile Valley.

The evidence of linguistics, history, archaeology, anthropology, and the Book of Genesis suggests that Abraham's Hebrew ancestors were widely dispersed in the Fertile Crescent and the Ancient Near East. Much is known about these ruler-priests. They are called the "mighty men of old" because they were kingdom builders who regarded themselves as divinely appointed to disperse and populate the earth. They spread out of Africa along major water systems and mountain ranges. They built fortifications at high elevations near permanent water systems. These royal complexes included palaces, temples, treasuries and housing for priests and warriors. They established trade, married only within their caste (caste endogamy), spread belief in the High God though he was known by different names. 

The Hebrew were a ruler-priest caste in the service of kingdom builders such as Nimrod (Gen. 10), a son of Kush. Nimrod left his homeland in the Nile Valley and established a territory in Mesopotamia. Abraham is one of his descendants.

Common roots found among many Ancient Near Eastern and East African languages.

Genesis 11:1 says that the peoples of the Afro-Asiatic Dominion spoke “one language” and the dispersal suggested by the Tower of Babel story did not change this. This explains the linguistic similarity between names and titles found in Genesis and in among populations among who the early Hebrew scribes lived. Examples include Jochi (biblical Joktan/Yaqtan), Malik, and Khan (biblical Kain or Kayan). Khan means king, and in the Bible, Kain is the archetypal earthly ruler (see Book of Jude). Today Khan is a common surname in Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Mongolia. Some Pashtun tribes adopted Malik as the title for ruler instead of Khan. Malik is equivalent to the Hebrew Melek, meaning king.

Consider the following correspondences:

The Hebrew rison adam = ancestral man is adamu orisa = ancestral Adam in Hahm/Hausa languages of Nigeria and Niger. The Hausa word for human being is dan adam. Related is the Babylonian word for blood: dhama. The Sanskrit word for male human is manu which resembles the African word adamu.

The Hebrew bara = to begin, is related to the Yoruba/Hahm word bere = to begin. There is a relationship between the verb "to begin" and the Hebrew word for Creator which is Bore and the African Twi dialect is Borebore (a reduplication) indicating the Most High God. The Sanskrit kr = ‘to create/to make is related to the Igbo kere = created.

The Hebrew hay = “living being” is related to the Hausa/Hahm word aye = life, created world. Likewise, the Hebrew iya = mother, corresponds to the Dravidian ka ayi = mother, and the Hausa/Hahm eyi = gave birth.

The Hebrew hayah = "Let there be…" is related to the Igbo haa ya = "Let it be…/let there be"

The Hebrew amar = "commanded" is related to the Igbo hamara = "commanded"

The Hebrew abba = father, corresponds to the Hausa/Hahm baba = father, to the Dravidian appa/appan = father, and to the Mundari apu = father. The original root is likely AP.

The Hebrew ha’nock = the chief, corresponds to the Hahm word nok = “first ancestral chief”. The original root is likely NK and suggests the royal title Enoch.

The Semitic word wadi = river, corresponds to the Sanskrit nadi = river. The original root is likely AD.

The Semitic root mgn = to give, is the same as the Sanskrit mgn = to give.

The Hausa word for hunter is maharba. Compare this to the Hebrew word that appears in the Targum nah shirkan = hunter. Note the similarity to the Hausa word sarkin maharba = lead hunter.

The Sanskrit svah = sky or heaven, corresponds to the Semitic svam or samyim = sky or heavens. The Semitic resembles the Proto-Dravidian word van = heaven. The Arabo-Spanish desvan (attic or upper room) is likely related to the root SVN.

The Hebrew yasuah = salvation, corresponds to the Sanskrit words asvah, asuah or yasuah = salvation. Yashua means salvation in the Urdu language also.

The Hebrew root thr = to be pure, corresponds to the Hausa/Hahm toro = clean, to the Amarigna (Ethiopia) anatara = pure, and to the Tamil tiru = holy. All are related to the proto-Dravidian tor = blood. In some Kushitic languages mtoro means rain and toro refers to God. The Egyptian ntr = deity may be related.

The Hebrew echad or ehat = one, corresponds to the Nilotic Luo achiel, the Syrian eka, the Sanskrit eca, and to the Ethiopian Gonga ikka. In the Proto-Saharan, ikki is a directional element, meaning toward or to. In the ancient world, primacy or the first position or number one was reserved for the deity. This is evident in the Luo word for one: achi-el. El is a very ancient reference to God.

The number six in Proto-Dravidian is caru. This correlates to koro in Proto-Saharan, a directional element; to karkia in some Chadic Languages; and to korci in Meidob (a language of eastern Sudan). The most striking similarity is between the Kanembu (another language of Sudan) araku and the Dravido-Tamil aarru.

We can verify the connection between the Nile and Indus Valley by comparing the ancient Egyptian and Indus pottery inscriptions in which 17 figures are virtually identical (see below).

(Found on p. 330 in The First Lords of the Earth: An Anthropological Study, available at Amazon.)

Hebrew is a relatively recent language.

Abraham did not speak Hebrew. Hebrew emerged as a distinct language about 1000 years after Abraham's time. 

Hebrew is largely triconsonantal and, as with the older Arabic, has no vowels. This is why a word may appear with various spellings: hur, heru, hor, har. The root is HR which in ancient Egyptian refers to Horus and means "Most High One".

The Hebrew triconsonantal root system consists of only about two hundred roots. When a certain vowel pattern is placed over these roots, a wide range of related meanings can be assumed (polysemic). Over the centuries translators have guessed at some of these vowels, but rarely has this affected the meanings. Where accuracy has been compromised it is often means that the translators have not cross-checked the Hebrew or Aramaic against the older cognate languages such as Akkadian, Ancient Egyptian, and Old Arabic.

The Danish linguist Holger Pedersen (1867-1953) explained in The Discovery of Language that “Hebrew, Aramaic and Akkadian languages had all undergone significant linguistic degeneration. Only Old Arabic, due to its relative isolation in the Arabian Peninsula, remained closer to the old stratum of the ‘Semitic’ form of the language.”

There are various textual clues that enable us to determine the general nature of the language spoken by Abraham. These involve words that reference shrines, temples, and place names associated with numbers and water systems.

Houses of God

In the ancient Egyptian and Ugaritic languages, the word piru meant house, shrine, or temple. These were Sun temples in royal complexes at the Sun cities such as Heliopolis. The Sun temples were served by priests, among them the Hebrew ruler-priests caste, called abrutu, from the Ancient Akkadian word abru, meaning priest.

The Hebrew were devotees of God Father and God son. The oldest known site of Horite and Sethite Hebrew worship was at Nekhen on the Nile (4200 B.C.). At the Horus temple of Nekhen votive instruments were ten times larger than the mace heads and bowls found elsewhere, suggesting that this was a very prestigious shrine. Horite Hebrew priests placed invocations to the HIgh God and his son HR at the summit of the fortress as the sun rose. This is the likely origin of the sun blessings in Hinduism (the Agnihotra morning ritual) and in Judaism (the Birka Hachama, or “Sun Blessing” ritual performed every 28 years).

Another Horite shrine was at Heliopolis (biblical On). The Harris papyrus speaks of 'apriu of Re at Heliopolis, the shrine of the Sun. Joseph married into this royal priest line when he married Asenath, the daughter of the priest of On. Asenath was probably Joseph's cousin.

The Horite Hebrew priests of Heliopolis were known for their meticulous devotion to the Creator and his son, and for their sobriety and purity of life. Plutarch wrote that the “priests of the Sun at Heliopolis never carry wine into their temples, for they regard it as indecent for those who are devoted to the service of any god to indulge in the drinking of wine whilst they are under the immediate inspection of their Lord and King. The priests of the other deities are not so scrupulous in this respect, for they use it, though sparingly.”

Abraham's Hebrew ancestors believed in the High God and his son HR who Hathor conceived miraculously by divine overshadowing. This is the probable origin of Messianic expectation. This very ancient narrative is the proto-Gospel, the foretelling of Jesus Christ's conception by Virgin Mary's who conceived by divine overshadowing, as the Angel Gabriel explained.

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God."


  1. Very Interesting- I am from Somalia and the word for Sun in Somali is Ko-rah related to Ra in ancient Egyptian. River Wabi in Somali-Habi egyptian. Many words like Cat-Bisat = bastat. And the Y- shaped headrest used by Somali nomads today is Barki in both langueges. thanks

  2. Dirsame,

    Thank you for this valuable information. I'm writing on this topic for my other blog Just Genesis. The post "A Tent for the Sun" will probably appear tomorrow.

    Best wishes to you.

  3. Proto-Sumer civilization, w/ public temples 8.5ka

    Ijebu (also known as Jebu or Geebu[1]) was a Yoruba kingdom in pre-colonial Nigeria.

    Obanta (originally Ogborogan) was the first king of the Ijebu kingdom in what is now Ogun State, Nigeria.

    Obanta led a migration of people from Wadai, an area near the modern-day Sudan. On arriving at Ijebu, the inhabitants welcomed him warmly, shouting "oba wa nita" meaning "the king is outside" in the Yoruba language. This is how Ogborogan became known as Obanta.[

  4. algerian from south algeria

    very valuable, nice analysis.

    since i was a child i was analysing every word and every expresssion i hear and corelate language intuitively.

    i think that a treasur of analysis is there in the yet still unanalized language of ancient yemen .
    sebean language and thamudic and dhafari languages all ancient languags of arabia .

    i am an arab and i am very fluent and native arabic speaker, loving arabic very much didn t make me understand a lot of ancient peotry. made by our ancestors.

    somtime i feel like i am listening to completly strange langauge .

  5. You are right! There is much research still to do. The languages of the ancient ones is prior to the langues of Aramaic, Arabic, Hebrew. It is likely closer to the languages Nilo-Arabian peoples - Old Dedanite (Yemen), Sabean, Luo, Oromo, etc.

  6. From time to time I hear or read about amazing linguistic facts. Sometimes they seem far fetched for example my Senegalese friend told me the word for key in wolof is 'chabi' that is the same as my native language (urdu). West Africa is so far away from India! It really is the same word.

  7. I've never heard about all these connections to the Egyptian God Horus before, in regards to the Bible. It does seem to make a lot of sense though, considering the constant excursions to Egypt in Genesis ... but I do wonder. If Abraham's people are so infatuated with Horus, then where does Yahweh fit into all of this?

    On a side note, I made a connection awhile back. In Genesis it talks about the biblical ancestor Eber, and in Genesis 10 it specifically identifies "the children of Eber" as a people-group. Abraham resides in Hebron, and is the first person to be called a Hebrew (ib-ree). Hebrew derives from the place Hebron, which in itself is derived from the person Eber. In the Table of Nations it says that Eber lived 430 years after begetting Peleg, and in Exodus it says the Hebrews (whom sprung from their patronymic ancestor Eber) were in hard bondage for 430 years at Egypt.

    Is this just a coincidence or is there anything to my observation?


  8. Bethlehem was a Horite settlement. It is associated with the Horites in I Chronicles 4:4 which names Hur (Hor) as the "father of Bethlehem." Rahab of Jericho was the wife of Salmon, the son of Hur or HR (Hebrew has no vowels). Salmon is called the "father of Bethlehem" in 1 Chronicles 2:54. Rahab was the grandmother of Boaz who married Ruth. Salmon is a Horite name associated with Bethlehem in 1 Chronicles 2:51.

    The Creator was called Ra, Amum-Ra and El. The Creator's son was called Horus. He was born of Hathor who conceived when she was "overshadowed" by the Sun. Luke 1:35: The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God."

    See this:

    And this:

    You ask great questions!

  9. Shem and Ham's descendants intermarried. That is called endogamy. Endogamous marriage is a characteristic of castes. The early Hebrew were a ruler-priest caste.


Your comments are welcome. Please stay on topic and provide examples to support your point.