2014 | 4(61/2) | 273-278
Article title

Namiestnik, ochmistrz ’abrēk, hbrk

Title variants
Chief, Steward ’abrēk, hbrk
Languages of publication
The Hebrew hapax legomenon ’abrēk in Gen. 41:43 was unsuccessfully interpreted by various scholars in the light of Coptic or Neo-Egyptian expressions. The correct explanation is provided by cuneiform abarakku, attested also in Phoenician as hbrk in the inscriptions of Karatepe, Çineköy, and several stamp seals. The initial h belongs to the original form of the word, as shown by its spelling in Eblaic bilingual word lists, while the Hebrew form ’brk must result from the weakening of the laryngeal in this archaic noun. The logogram AGRIG (lúIGI.DUB), read indiscriminately abarakku for a long time, must be interpreted as masennu / mašennu in Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian texts, at least from the 7th century B.C. on, as shown by the bilingual archives from Ma‘lānā/ Ma’allanate, where Aramaic mšn corresponds to cuneiform AGRIG. The same title appears in Gen. 41:43, where Joseph is mounted on “the chief steward’s chariot” and it is used as a synonym of ’abrēk, the older pronunciation of which in Hebrew seems to have been ’abrak, as shown by its explanation in the midrash Bereshit rabbah 90, dividing ’brk in ’āb, “father”, and rak, “tender”. The original meaning of lúIGI.DUB and of mšn
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Document Type
Publication order reference
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