Notes and Thoughts

The Apiru of Samuel


Anchor bible

vv. 3, 4 too connected!!  Also moves לאמר to the  P’s, making 3b+4 one verse.  “A jew would never say ivri.” See n. on v. 3 .  REALLY?!  They would indeed!


Brooks, Simcha Shalom, The "Habiru/`Apiru" and "`ibrim" and the connection with I Samuel, Bulletin of the Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society 19-20 (2001-2002) 65-70.


Comes up bwith a whole theory of how population explosion caused more and more destitute who were forced to join ranks with the Phillistines.  (from the Hebrews-gentilic!).  Talk about going the long way around to justify “shtinkers”!  (I think that its clear from the Marana letters that Apiru can be applied to a sutuation, without requiring actual Habpiruness, especially in the eyes of Egyptians.  You can be a ONE-TIME ‘apiru!)

R. Y. Bin-Nun-


Na'aman, Nadav, “Habiru and Hebrews; the transfer of a social term to the literary sphere” JNES 45,4 (1986) 271-288.

Bibliography on n. 1

“Habiru” disappear from the ANE milliue at the end of the 2nd millennium (p. 272) (Eric: So it’s hard to say the the word would be in use by Yonah’s time.


Rejects the theory: Since the Israilite invasion was actually an “invasion” from within, the Habiru withdrawing from cities in the 13th cent could have comprised the core of the new Israeli nation.  P. 277


Etymological connection between the two terms can be reasonable established.  P. 278.  n. 31 on Weippert, The settlement of the Israelite tribes in Palestine; a critical survey of recent scholarly debate. (Naperville, Ill., A. R. Allenson [c1971]: DS121.55 .W413) , pp. 74-82.


Ivri is a gentilic in use in OT (p. 278).


Greenberg (n.32): All Ivri in OT is always referring to Israeli.  See Ibn Ezra cited by R. Y. Bin-Nun.


Samuel’s author’s lived at the same time as the events.  (p. 279) (While this seems like an extremely un-traditional view, it’s actually quitre important.  Biblical usage was relating stories for an audience that was post-exodus.  Therefore, it is specifically the Egyptian usage of the word which would be the most meaningful to the Israelites of that time, and any of there was a doub;e entendre, it would be especially significant to said audience. 


(p. 279) I Sam 13:3 is corrupt.  See Driver, Notes on the Hebrew Text of the Books of Samuel pp. 99f.  (Really, let’s take a closer look! Eric)


See f. 34 regarding I Sam 14:21-22


Shallow view of the David-Naval conflict (p. 280)

Weingreen, Jacob, Saul and the Habiru, WCJS 4,1 (1967) 63-66

Ivri is always appellative in the OT.  (See Lewy, HUCA, 1957). 


Comes up with the “third participant theory”  (Like Oswald and Kennedy!) p. 63


The LXX must be wrong since they disagree with Weingreen that the missing directional propotions in “to”.  Check similar cases where the preposition is missing and see if the is a common usage of “to” or “from”!!!!!  To make this all work—to have the ivrim as a foreign element , he places v. 3 after v. 7 , i.e. The Habiru show up and then Saul makes call to them to join follow Yoinatan;s successful attack against the philistine garrison.  (And then he justifies it with “Everyone else is doing it.”)


He cites Kimhi which is very valuable on the Loyal Israilites vs. the shtinkers. 


The citation of the LXX change from יִשְׁמְעוּ הָעִבְרִים  to פשעו works great (ἠθετήκασιν οἱ δοῦλοι) since the indication is that Saul is telling his own people that the shtinkers have unshtunk.  Othewise, it is difficult to say what he asked them to hear.  Although certainly, that he asked them to understand that the defeat of the P garrison was an indication of things to come, and it ius about time they returned to the fold.  The use of the LXX by scholars who want to use those words but put them in the mouth of the P’s (see his f. 10 and Herzberg) seems unfair: how can you use the LXX version, and conlude it is definitive, while at the same time ignoring that the LXX clearly has those words ccoming from Saul: καὶ Σαουλ σάλπιγγι σαλπίζει εἰς πᾶσαν τὴν γῆν λέγων ἠθετήκασιν οἱ δοῦλοι.  Certainly the return of the traitors was seen as a great sign and well woth blowing trumpets.  No doubt that the number was significant, much more so than the Is Yisrael.”  As can be seen be the wholesale submission of Judean forces in turning Samson over to the P’s.   The LXX ἠθετήκασιν certainly avoids the double שָׁמְעוּ from the next verse, which, while not insurmountable is a bit difficult on the tounge.  It’s much more poignant to say that the pun being used by the authors is that the Israelites (or a portain thereof) had become traitors to the ruling body, but the Ruling body was the Israiltes, not the  P’s


There is a desire to make David into a Hebrew  (See LXX on Goliat’s challenge to David.)  Na’aman goes a long way here.  But, again, one need not, in the 11th century establish a known strata in the Diamorphic socip-political millue.  It states became stronger,and  people identified with nationalities, the Egyptian version of the word, which can shift from party to party, need merely be used based on the eye of the beholder, rather than requiring one to said up bonafide Habiru credentials.


Eric Levy

While one can understand Habpiru in the purely social appellative as migrant, indentured whatever, it is the vorlage of the Egyptians of the 13th century, when the name had already gone out of use, but still remained active in Egyptian controlled areas???  (Check??)  Thus it is their usage that seems most apt for the intention of the appellation.


True, Like Anchor says (p. 140, n. 21) “It has become increasingly difficult, however, to defend any connection…”  See end note.  He has something there, but doesn’t realize it.!!


I think that there may be something to be said about the idea of a missing link.  could Jona supply this link?
Lewy, J, Origin and Signification of the Biblical Term 'Hebrew', HUCA
Notes that there is no designation for a Hebrew language.  Note: וַיֹּאמֶר אֶלְיָקִים בֶּן-חִלְקִיָּהוּ וְשֶׁבְנָה וְיוֹאָח אֶל-רַבְשָׁקֵה, דַּבֶּר-נָא אֶל-עֲבָדֶיךָ אֲרָמִית--כִּי שֹׁמְעִים, אֲנָחְנוּ; וְאַל-תְּדַבֵּר עִמָּנוּ, יְהוּדִית, בְּאָזְנֵי הָעָם, אֲשֶׁר עַל-הַחֹמָה
Check Abegg for the use of the term "Hebrew".  Don't forget however about all the epithets.  Also, check Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha
His interpreatation of the Greek in n. 1, as the extra "Uion Israel" may be to clarify Ehaiv, and not Hebrew.  Still if they were one and the same, why bother duplication.
Question: When an enemy speaks outside the hearing of the prophet/narrarator, of of the source he used in creating his prophetc book, are these the actual words, or a contruct placed i the mouth of the enmy to make a point.  Keep in mind that even if we assume that the point is to be made, the narrator or his sourve may not be making up the dialogue, but selecting the dialoge from a larger set, so that the point can best be made.  So when the phillisting recalls the plagues of Egypt, it could be that the narrator is creating that link artificially in order to bind the two stories together, or that a real lexicographical and cultural boond exists between the Egyptians and the P's (Which the author may also be trying to emphasise), and that the language, culture, and history of one is well integreation into the latter.  In other words, is the link merely a literary device, or a represetation of actual/facts on the ground linkage.
CHECK THE YIRMIYAHU SOURCE, Based on Lewys interpreatation thta Eved Ibri can be a Jew.s
Compare Lewy's note on Abraham the Ivri in the LXX (p. 7-8) to Greenberg's note on the issue.

Weipert : The settlement of the Israelite Tribes in Palestine


Are hapiru (in the Mesopotamian milieu and meaning) the same as ‘ivri in the Bible,  and ‘vri the same as Israelite (The is when mnendelhall’s theses is based on ).  (p. 63)


Ha- BI-Ru is definitely Ha-Pi-Ru, and ‘Apiru (Etymoligies from HBR excluded ) (p. 64)  (Eric: I’m not sure that everyone holds this position.  It seems that the Egyptian word may have taklen from track, and the Mesopotamian from another.)


(See Lansberger, Klf 1 1930, Chiera AJSL 49 1933, Lew HUCA 1939.


Likes the Word ‘outlaw’ in an older sense of the word.  As in one who is “outside the acknowledged social system, and thereby dispenses with the legal protection  which the community guarantees to all its members.” (p. 65)


See Mendenhall in BA  25 1960.


Eric: Weippert takes a totally synchronic view to the entire question.  But should we see absolutely no etymological shifts in the meaning of the term over 800+ years that it is in use? And should the usage of the word from an Egyptian be the same as a Mesopotamian?


“The gods of the ‘apiru are not a firmly defined group the members of which were known by name, not a definite pantheon…”  (p. 71)  I wonder how this will all fit into the Exodus narratives.”


There is no Apiru invasion, based on the texts:  p. 71. 


See f. 63 for bibliography on the Hofsi  (p. 72)


Note his comment on dogs (P . 72) (May be room to disagree here, i.e. one who should be a slave but rebels.  See Hutton, Jeremy M. <javascript:open_window(%22http://aleph2.libnet.ac.il:80/F/PV3BUCVTBBA41G9B2QHL8NSGSPGXJS8G8HGL4RJ7KVF4BTLPNV-94161?func=service&doc_number=000422831&line_number=0002&service_type=TAG%22);> , "Abdi-Asirta, the slave, the dog"; self-abasement and invective in the Amarna Letters, the Lachish Letters, and 2 Sam 3:8 <javascript:open_window(%22http://aleph2.libnet.ac.il:80/F/PV3BUCVTBBA41G9B2QHL8NSGSPGXJS8G8HGL4RJ7KVF4BTLPNV-94162?func=service&doc_number=000422831&line_number=0003&service_type=TAG%22);> , Zeitschrift für Althebraistik 15-16 (2002-2003) 2-18)  ((Also Check out Wyatt, Nicolas <javascript:open_window(%22http://aleph2.libnet.ac.il:80/F/PV3BUCVTBBA41G9B2QHL8NSGSPGXJS8G8HGL4RJ7KVF4BTLPNV-96692?func=service&doc_number=000151874&line_number=0002&service_type=TAG%22);>  , Jonathan's adventure and a philological conundrum [1 Sam 14] <javascript:open_window(%22http://aleph2.libnet.ac.il:80/F/PV3BUCVTBBA41G9B2QHL8NSGSPGXJS8G8HGL4RJ7KVF4BTLPNV-96693?func=service&doc_number=000151874&line_number=0003&service_type=TAG%22);> , PEQ 127,1 (1995) 62-69. Palestine Exploration Quarterly. London <javascript:open_window(%22http://aleph2.libnet.ac.il:80/F/PV3BUCVTBBA41G9B2QHL8NSGSPGXJS8G8HGL4RJ7KVF4BTLPNV-96698?func=service&doc_number=000151874&line_number=0012&service_type=TAG%22);> ))


‘Apiru = Rebellion (p. 73)  Weippert still like “traitors” as a natural derivation from ‘outlaws’ which he has previously defined. 


Mendenhall is Habiru is a grassroots rebellion against feaudalism AND Hebrew – hapiru, therefore the Israelite rebellion was a proletariat rebellion to through off the totalitarian and feaudal ways of the city-state rulers.  But how does on get from P to B for ivri?


Elphabet writing can distinguish clearly beween voiceless and non-voiceless stops (i.e. b and p), but sullabig ideaogrrams cannot ???  See Kutscher  JSS 10 1965)


The convincing habira’a which must be a ‘B’ is not talking about the hapiu (p. 75) (What  is a NIsba ending? 


‘pru from Western Semetic, not ackkadian. (p. 81)


If the form is an adjective of the fa’il type, there is a natural tendency to develop into a segholate of the type fa’l and fi’l.


“for that ending [nisba ‘ay’] serves not only  for the formation of gentilic forms in the narrower sense, that is of designations of  belonging to a people, tribe, clan, place,  but also for the expression of belonging to all types of concrete and abstract classes.  This is moreover an exactly parralell form  in the word hofsi as the Hebrew equivalent of the Akkadian hupsu.  (Eric: But with no p->B shift!!)  See Albright Albright, William Foxwell, 1891-1971. <http://yulib001.mc.yu.edu:8000/cgi-bin/gw_42_5/chameleon?host=localhost%201111%20DEFAULT&patronhost=localhost%201111%20DEFAULT&search=SCAN&function=INITREQ&SourceScreen=INITREQ&sessionid=2005080915432282574&skin=portal&conf=.%2fchameleon.conf&lng=en&itemu1=1003&u1=1003&t1=Albright,%20William%20Foxwell,%201891-1971.&elementcount=3&pos=1&prevpos=1&beginsrch=1> , Archaeology and the religion of Israel., Baltimore, Johns Hopkins Press, 1946 [c1942]  (1953?  P. 205 n. IV 43?)