lethargic_man: "Happy the person that finds wisdom, and the person that gets understanding."—Prov. 3:13. Icon by Tamara Rigg (limmud)
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These are the kings that reigned in Edom before there reigned any king over the children of Israel in the land of Edom. Balaq, the son of Beor, reigned in Edom, and the name of his city was Danaba.
This king is called Bela` in the Bible (Gen. 36, end of פ׳ וַיִּשְׁלַח). I'm not sure why the name's been changed, but it's confusing, because there's a story involving Balaq king of Moab and Bile`am son of Be`or in Numbers!

Chapter 40

When Pharaoh appoints Joseph as (to use an anachronism) grand vizier, a herald goes before him proclaiming "El El wa Abirer". In the Bible the people cry before him (Gen. 41:43) "Avrech!". Does this represent an independent tradition as to what they cry? And what does it mean? The traditional commentators have tried to interpret "Avrech" as Hebrew (the KJV renders it "bend the knee"), but it's not a well-formed Hebrew word. More likely it's a mangling into Hebrew of something Egyptian (as is the name Pharaoh gives Joseph, Zaphenath-Pa`aneaḥ); does this apply to "El El wa Abirer" too?

(As an aside, I find "Avrech" amusing for a completely different reason, which is an in-joke that will require a little explanation. When I worked for the BBC, there was a voice-recognition system on the internal 'phone network, which, as was the case for voice recognition in the noughties, left somewhat to be desired. Thus it would say "What name do you require?" and you would reply, say, "Paul Harding", whereupon frequently it would say "Calling Chris Thompson unless you say 'cancel'." Thus attempts to make internal 'phone calls were often punctuated with cries of "Cancel!" Now, Greek and Classical Latin both lacked letters to represent the sound "v", hence "avrech" is traditionally transcribed "abrech!", and abrech (albeit pronounced slightly differently) is the German word for "cancel!", so I have this vision in my head of the Egyptians all going "Cancel! cancel!" on their 'phones as Joseph comes along. Yes, I have a strange imagination.)

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