Post by Bebercito Post by Peter T. Daniels Post by Bebercito Post by Peter T. Daniels Post by Quinn C
| Ark of the Covenant
| Not to be confused with Noah's Ark
How did they both get the same name, anyway? It seems Latin is to blame.
German (Luther?) went with a native word for one of them.
"Noah's Ark (Hebrew: תיבת נח; Biblical Hebrew: Tevat Noaḥ) is the vessel in
the Genesis flood narrative (Genesis chapters 6–9) through which God spares
Noah, his family, and examples of all the world's animals from a world-engulfing
"Ark of the Covenant, Hebrew Aron Ha-berit, in Judaism and Christianity, the
ornate, gold-plated wooden chest that in biblical times housed the two tablets
of the Law given to Moses by God."
Blame Mr. Stuart. His English apparently didn't have enough words for boxes
to render the different Hebrew words differently.
Nobody's English does.
box, case, casket, container, crate, holder, housing, locker, trunk, ...
No two of those match the distinction inherent in the two Hebrew words.
See e.g. https://ohr.edu/7030
Nonsense. It should be clear -- even from that discussion -- that the
first word is known nowhere else in the Hebrew text, so little to nothing
can be determined about its specific semantics.
Here's the discussion of this Egyptian loanword from a book I edited a
couple of years ago:
תֵבָה ‘ark; basket’
HALOT 1677–78; DCH 8:585–86
(Gen 6:14 [2×], passim) κιβωτός ‘box, chest’, arca ‘chest, box’ Gen; in Exodus, θῖβις ‘basket’ (derived from Heb תֵבָה ), fiscella ‘wicker basket’; qbwtʾ, ‘box, ark’; (Aramaic forms)
[D] Eg → Heb
QH תבה ; Eg ḏbꜢ.t (since OK), db.t (MK, NK), tb (NK), tb.t (Ptolm) ÄW 1:1500, 2:2774, 2834; GHwÄ 993, 1046, 1078; 5:261, 434, 561; DLE 2:203, 244, 267^621
The word occurs a total of 28 times, but these instances are limited to two specific uses.
621 JA תיבות , תיבו and Gk θῖβις are clear adaptations of BH תֵבָה (DJPA 580; DJBA 1203; LSJ 801).
Most commonly, the word תֵבָה refers to the ark that Noah builds to escape the flood (Gen 6:14, passim). Elsewhere, תֵבָה appears twice with reference to the basket in which Moses was placed (Exod 2:3, 5). This word also appears as תבה in the Dead Sea Scrolls in contexts alluding to the flood narrative in Genesis (e.g., CD v:1).
In the book of Exodus, the basket denoted by תֵבָה is said to be made of גֹמֶא (a reed or rush plant), an Egyptian loan. This Egyptian association, the general Egyptian context of the passage, and the lack of any known Semitic root on which Hebrew תֵבָה could be based suggest that תֵבָה is an Egyptian loan. The donor term is Egyptian ḏbꜢ.t, db.t, tb , tb.t, attested with the meaning ‘coffin, box’ as well as ‘shrine, room’ (cf. Dem tby.t, tyb.t, tybꜢ.t, tbꜢ.t, tb Ꜣ.t, tb.t and Copt taibe, tēēbe: CDD T 89, 143, 145–47; DG ^622; Crum 397) (EPNL 258). The form of this word is ḏbꜢ.t in Old Kingdom Egyptian texts, but by the Middle and New Kingdoms this word came to be written as db.t, and by the Ptolemaic period it was written as tb.t. This demonstrates that ḏ became d and then t and that the Ꜣ dropped out early on (EPNL 258).
As already noted, the use of an Egyptian loan in Exod 2:3, 5 fits well within the broader Egyptian context. The appearance of תֵבָה in the Flood narrative, however, is somewhat unexpected, since there is no clear Egyptian context and because Egyptian ḏbꜢ.t, db.t, tb never refers to a boat. The usage of תֵבָה in Genesis probably stems from the strong thematic links between the flood narrative and the narrative of Moses’ birth: in both cases, the item denoted by תֵבָה is the means of deliverance of the narrative’s hero.622
622 Hoffmeier 1996, 138; Cassuto 1967, 18–19; contra C. Cohen 1972. Propp (1999, 159–60) notes similarities between the Epic of Atraḫasis and Exod 2:1–10, further strengthening the thematic connections between the narratives of the flood and Moses’ birth.
Elsewhere he mentions in passing that "At least two clues indicate that
this [i.e. אַּרְגַּז ] is not a Hebrew word. First, אֲרוֹן , not אַּרְגַּז , is the common
Hebrew word meaning ‘chest’."
Incidentally, "gopher-wood" is probably cypress.