Plowing through History from the Aleph to the Tav

Topics About the Language

Edenics: Origins of language

By Jeff A. Benner

Animal Names from Eden
The ABCs of Creation


"I will restore to the peoples a pure language, that they may call upon the name of the Lord to serve him with one consent." - Zephaniah 3:9

If the link between the ear and the sense of balance is a relatively recent medical discovery, why is it that the ancient Hebrew language has the same linguistic root for both words? Science fiction, or science fact? Is Hebrew the first human language?

Only Hebrew language dynamics with its built-in synonym and antonym system explains why LeaF and FoLio (LF=FL) mean the same, or why a person who knows Hebrew well can fully understand English, Basque or Swahili.

The majesty of Hebrew is only faintly visible in its offspring. Yet, some continue to maintain that most words are random, meaningless symbols which evolved from your basic caveman grunting.

Hebrew, with its right brain/left brain neurological keyboard demonstrates that Greek and Latin are merely grandparents, while Hebrew is the common ancestor, the original computing language of our biological random access memory, which was scrambled during the output stage by the Master Prog rammer (Tower of Babel story in Genesis).

Don't worry if you have never heard a word in Hebrew or read anything on language, you will soon find out that you have never heard a word that wasn't Hebrew.

While the spelling of biblical words is highly significant, much meaning is lost to those who ignore the sound-alike letter substitution -- one aspect of the divine music that remains unattainable to those who rely solely on available translations. One special aspect of biblical craft remains lost in translation to Greek, Latin, or English.

The language disk in our brain is formatted for language. A unique neurological disturbance may be involved in a phenomenon which allows patients with multiple personalities and people who "speak in tongues" a mysterious facility with unlearned languages.

To uncover the true miracle of language and understanding, we must go on an archeological dig. We must remove the sands of millenia and put away the dictionaries with their quaint myths of standaraized spelling and pronunciation.

The Hebrew etymon breaks the cherished icons of the high priests of voodoo linguistics and secular humanism -- as exemplified in the polygensis theory of language origin, that languages evolved independently. Why do peoples with divergent grammars, the Maya, the Chinese, the Persians and the Greco-Romans, have variations of the Bible's Tower of Babel account or The Flood? Hebrew's extensively related synonyms and antonyms, along with its modular, reversible two-letter roots, represents a profound system of language that resembles the organicism of natural science rather than the product of human development.

Through the primal Hebrew root hidden behind every English word, a whole new world of order and meaning unfolds.

I shall be providing for this column samples of words from many languages, not just English (where I have 23,000 examples), to reveal their ultimate origin in the language of our first ancestors, Adam and Eve. I call this original language Edenic, combining Proto-Semitic roots defined in Biblical Hebrew and other Semitic languages. Besides the usual skepticism from Eurocentrics, more intelligent opponents correctly cite that many coincidences result from there being so few different sounds in the human mouth. True, one may say there only seven basic letters, since all vowels, lip letters (plosives b,f, p, v, w), gutturals (hard c, g, h, j, k, q, x), tooth letters (dentals d, t), liquids (l,r), nasals (m,n) The trouble with this mathematical objection to my findings (say, linking SKUNK to TSaKHaN, stinker) is that there are a billion billion things/meanings in the universe and I am not linking SKUNK to a word that means giraffe, cupboard, them or heavy.

I want to land a major blow before going several rounds and taking you through lists of common or exotic words and introducing you to their long-lost ancestors (lost since the big bang at Babel, though language corruption continues today, ask anyone in the inner city.) A great deal of work has been done tracing the thousand of languages back to only a dozen superfamilies. For example, Stanford professor JosephH. Greenberg proved that there were only three major American Indian languages, and that the hundreds of "languages" counted in 1985 were merely dialects. Greenberg's work involved comparative vocabulary, like my own. He was furiously attacked by historical linguists until genetic studies with DNA (similar to the work that proved all homo sapiens derive from one initial "Eve") precisely corroborated his findings both on Native American and African languages.

In Merritt Ruhlen's 1994 book, The Origin of Language (Wiley, NY) there is a chart (page 103) of the best preserved/reconstructed words from a dozen of the planet's language families. I will attempt to demonstrate that Edenic words provide the clearest origin for these terms, and should not merely be classified as one branch of the Afro-Asiatic family -- which includes Semitic. Letters A, B, and C refer to the African language families called Khosian, Nilo-Saharan and Niger-Kordofanian. D, being Afro-Asiatic and including Hebrew, is the only family where a Semitic source should fit. Language family E is Kartevilian and F is Dravidian (India). G is Eurasiatic (includes Latinate, Germanic and Slavic), H is Dene-Caucasian (includes Chinese). Further from Europe is I (Austric), J (Indo-Pacific), K (Australian) and L (Amerind). In one example, only families B and F do not have an M-vowel or M-N word for "what?" Four of the groups have MA for "what?" In other words Hebrew Ma (what) is the most popular form of "what?" on the planet. Four other families have an M-N term, like the manna of Exodus 16:15 "for they said to one another 'What is it?'" M-N "what?" terms exist in Amorite and Old Arabic; Aramaic has a similar word meaning "who?" The above example may have disappointed you for not having an English term offering the shock of the familiar. It disappointed me, because the Edenic fit too easily, as if dispersed mankind clearly remembered the word from Eden rather than used Edenic roots to form a new word slightly "confused" (BiLBaiL since being BaLLed up in the linguistic mixing BowL of Babel) version.

The next example is all about BiLBaiL (confusion). Eight of the twelve language families have a B-L (P-L or B-R) word for "two," since two infers the ambiguous, confusing challenge of multiple alternatives. (As opposed to one; more than two is already a quantity, not a dilemma.) Two, twain, twin, German zwei or Latin duo are familiar, but they do get reconstructed to the most common Euriasiatic "two" - which is ALA. The Edenic sources for these familiar "two" words include TeoM (twin) and Du- (two, a Hebrew prefix from Aramaic). Besides BaLaL (to mix up), there is BaLooL (blended), the BL root suffixed to IRBaiL (to mix, cause to whirl, confuse) or the words for casting lots: HiPeeL PuR (Esther 3:7). Now you know why REVOLVING BALLS or pelotas (Spanish), blended BALLET movements, choosing by BULLET or BALLOT is as much a BL/BR term of confusion as is the incoherent BABBLE of BARBARIANS (as heard by Latin speakers). You probably don't know that two is mbili in Swahili, and so you'd still like to see a primordial Eurasiatic term that you could recognize in English.

The next Eurasiatic word in Ruhlen's chart of the oldest and most common words in every corner of Earth is "ak(w)a" (water) - which you will recognize in words like AQUATIC. The first time lower water appears in Genesis (1:9) it is [Ye]KaVoo haMaYiM (the waters gather). A MiKVA is a pool of water because water finds its level, and the two-letter root KV or QV means a line or measuring line. People waiting on a British QUE (line), living near the EQUATOR or waiting to live with EQUALITY aspire to the linear quality of Edenic water. Seven of the twelve language families have some form of Kuf-Vav term for water. The reconstructed terms for water in those groups that do not use the Edenic root for AQUA- words, prefer other Edenic roots, like those found in MaYiM (water), NaHaR (river) and RaToV (wet). If you could taste WET, WATER and VODKA in the Resh-Tet (R/WR-T/D) of this last Edenic word than you should be helping with the research.

The remaining examples are of less interest to those who want to hear Edenic echoes in English. To fly through them, the world's dominant Dental-Guttural term for "one" or "finger" (seen in DIGIT) is KhaD (the Aramaic one, like EKHaD, one, which should be read backwards), the world's most popular word for "arm" links up to KaNeH (source of CANE and used for the arm of a lampstand), the top (and related to SUMMIT) "hair" term is traceable to ZeMeR (wool, animal hair), "smell" words are scented from the S-M root of Edenic words for spices and incense, and, lastly, one has to pluck the PR root of the Edenic bird (ZiPPOR is the source of SPARROW), the flea, the butterfly and the word for departing, fleeing and scattering to catch the PR term of flight that most world languages share. Many decades before this immense research was available, linguists knew that words like MAMA, PAPA and SACK were nearly universal. Rather than turning to their biblical EMA or ABBA (mom and pop), the anti-Semiticists put their heads in a SaQ (sack), cried "coincidence" or concocted theories.

Animal Names from Eden

"..And Adam called out names to for all the beasts, for the birds of the sky and all the living things of the field..." Genesis 2:20

The bible places a profound emphasis on the naming of every person, place or thing. What's in a name? Everything, apparently. Semites are named for the son of Noah named SHeM (name). The name is the essence of the thing, its SHAY-Ma or reputation. Commentaries have much to say about each unknown person in a list of begats and begots or each unknown, one cametotown on the journey to somewhere else. Reputation -- or name -is something to live for or die for to a Semite. No less than the supreme deity is referred to by the Jews as HaShem, The Name. The name of an animal is therefore far more than an echoic device for identification. If the chinese call a cat something like a meow (it sounds much like it) and if we've named a bird a Chickadee (after its call) --these are sure signs that the creature was not named at Eden by our first human ancestors.

None of the animals are so specialized that a sub-species is named in the bible. All primordial animal names are generic: Bird or Raven, and even the "children of the raven" (Psalms ) --but never Crow, Blackbird or Grackle. Gen 2:19-20 Seals in Middle East? SEECATCH. Otherwise, general terms like /TSAKHAN so the Algonquin Indians could name their stinker (the skunk).

"Who Named the Animals?" Where did animal names come from? According to the bow-wow theory, all words are echoic, some grunting caveman's attempt to capture the essence of a thing by it's sound. Among the many thousands of animal names, however, only a few creatures like the chickadee have an echoic name. Even in Chinese, where the cat word sounds like "meow meow," echoic names are the exception. A larger set of animal names are clearly descriptive, like the grasshopper or hippopotamus (Greek for river horse). Most of the older, more generic animal names have unknown origins, suggesting that the bow-wow theory is for the dogs. Now the world's oldest etymological text is the last place that an academic would look, but Genesis 2:20 relates that "Adam called out names for all the beasts, for the birds of the sky and all the living things of the field..." Let us see if Biblical Hebrew offers any insights into animal names of unknown origin and meaning.

The carrion-eating BUZZARD is traced only as far back as Old French busart, a word without apparent cognate or meaning. In Hebrew, BuZ means a hawk and BeeZa spoils (of war). BoZeZ would mean the plunderer or looter, while a BuZiaR is a falconer. Unlike the EAGLE (from oKHeL, to eat or destroy), the BUZZARD is merely a scavenger who emBeZZles WaSte or BooTy. (These BZ, BT and W-ST words are related to our Bet-Zayin family of words of plunder).

The Kiowa plains Indians named this same bird a bosen for good reason. If you think the GIRAFFE is a strange animal, check out its wierd (given) etymology. French girafe and Italian giraffa is aid to be a corruption of Arabic zirafah, although the term is meaningless is Arabic too and a G from a Z corruption is unnatural.. Using Emetology instead of etymology, one could suppose that zirafah is a common jumble (called metathesis in linguistics and relat! ed to the neurological disorder called dyslexia) of Hebrew [T]ZaVaR (neck). While Adam or any ancient human would do well to call the GIRAFFE a "neck" creature, the Hebrew term stresses the throat or front of the neck rather than the GIRAFFE's prominent back or scruff of the neck. The Hebrew for this part of the anatomy is OReF, more correctly pronounced by Sephardim as KHoReF or GHoReF. Now we've got the perfect sound and sense for GIRAFFE, since GHoReF means the scruff of the neck. Like SCARF, SCRUF is a neck word whose initial S is non-historic.

Any word with more than 3 root letters in Hebrew or any language is carrying extra baggage around the root or roots. These CRF neck words come from Biblical Hebrew KHoReF (neck) just like the CRAVat (necktie). A related Gimel-Resh term, GaRoN (throat, neck) gives us other long-necked animals, like the CRANE, EGRET and HERON, along with neckwear like the GORGEOUS GORGET, the throaty GROAN of a CROONer and the GARGLING of a GOURMET GARGOYLE.

Returning to animals and addressing the interchangeable C/G/H/K sounds above, both the Hebrew Ayin and the Gimel are gutturals that can harden to make the hard C of Latin corvus (raven) and French corbeau (raven) or soften to make the soft H of Anglo-Saxon hraefn (raven). Do these disparate Indo-European cousins meet when linked to a common Semitic ancestor? The Hebrew raven is an OReV or KHoReBH (Ayin-Resh-Bet). Etymologists don't have to dig far to get true word origins, but they refuse to consider Hebrew. The prolific digger among American rodents (and net surfers) is the GOPHER. The given guess in our dictionaries is an attribution to French gaufre (a honeycomb or waffle). Those who dig for a true source will consider Hebrew KHoPHeR (digger).

Now a HORSE is a horse of course, and of course there is no known meaning for this term. It doesn't relate to the German horse (Pferd, a knock-off of the Hebrew PHeReD or mule) or the Latin equs (an echo of Hebrew AQeV--heel or HooF). The mystery unraveled when I noticed the similarity of HORSE and HEARSE (a funeral wagon named for an elaborate plow). Unlike their Continental forbears, the British plowed with horses instead of oxen. The horse was the plower, and plower in Hebrew is HoReS[H]. The Americans continued the awkward tradition of plowing with a horse, which needs blinders and constant attention. The God-given plowing animal is clearly the SHoRe (ox), witch innately knows how to plow a SHuRa [Ya]SHaR (straight row or SuRe SeRies). True, the ox doesn't sound like the ShoRe at all, but Aramaic constantly corrupted the Hebrew Shin to a T, later giving us the Latin taurus (bull) and Spanish toro. Reject the bull and discover a world of meaning-- with the majesty and science of! Hebrew.

The ABCs of Creation

In my 20 year-project on words, I am confirming that sound is sense, and that human vocabulary (all variants of the original Edenic - Hebrew plus proto-Semitic roots) is from the same creator of physics and chemistry. I was taught otherwise in graduate English studies, that words derived from the evolved grunting of cavemen. I did learn that all spelling is a late and arbitrary convention, although most skeptics and agnostics seem to think that dictionaries were carved in stone and any creative variations are a sacrilege.

My thesis is as old as Genesis 11, yet my work remains radical (pun intended). As a root doctor, I seek sub-roots, and follow the shifts in sound and space of each root letter. I mostly listen to phonemes, the sound of two root letters combined. Anything longer than two letters is a combination of meaning elements, just as anything including H2O has been added to water. I have not done much with the history or shape of the Torah's alphabet/Aleph-Bet. There are books on the mystical symbolism and meaning of each letter, and I defer and refer you to them. They are largely homiletic, symbolic, or kabalistic. I have been challenged to consider questions about the origin of writing and of the design of the Torah's Aleph-Bet from a more scientific perspective.

The earliest Hebrews spoke Hebrew, but we may never know if the patriarchs had the Torah's Aleph-Bet, which bears little resemblance to the ancient hieroglyph alphabets of the Middle East. The Semitic 8th Century B.C. alphabet is far more evident in the English and Greek alphabets (the Z or L is identical), while sometimes the glyph must be rotated (the glyph for an ox or aleph is an A fallen to the left). These Aleph-bets were so common that most (non-clerical)Israelites used the wavy line of mayim (water) seen in the English letter M. That the hieroglyphic letters did not evolve to the Torah letters is evident, for example, from the ancient B (the English b turned on its head) not resembling the Bet. The Ktav Ashurit of the Torah was only standardized by Ezra in the 2nd Temple period, when the Semitic aleph-bet was in decline and Hebrew might otherwise be recorded in Greek letters. Non-scribes would have surely forgotten the sacred Aleph-bet, as happened to venerable alphabets in India and Japan.

Unique among ancient writing systems, the Torah's Aleph-Bet, or Ktav Ashurit, depicts the shape of the human mouth and air flow necessary to pronounce each letter.

Bet, like Pey, is a graphic of the human lips, or what linguists call a bilabial plosive. What is the only difference between the similar looking Bet and Pay?

The Pay indicates muscular stress on the upper lip - precisely that which differentiates a P sound from a B. Mem and Nun in Ktav Ashurit are not graphics snakes or water. They do both have the backward L graphic of a nose. (O.K., not a little Dutch nose; we are talking Semitic.) If these two nasals (in linguistics) are noses, why is there the whole C-like or Bet-like structure to the right of the Mem? Unlike N, one needs a closed mouth behind the nasal to make the M sound. M is a nasal, but it also uses the nearly closed lips.

Liquids (L and R) are interchangeable in linguistics (ask any Asian), and so the Lamed and Resh nearly look alike. Both letters show the tongue curled upward in an open mouth. The crucial difference between them is the Lamed's upward extension, indicating the tip-of-tongue stress on the roof of the mouth. Daled and Tet are another good pair, of interchangeable sounds called Dentals. In both the tongue is stiffly vertical to the teeth ridge. The difference between D and T is the solid engagement of the top, indicated by the Daled's T-like axis, and the slight gap and quicker, lighter engagement of the teeth ridge by the (ironically) D-like Tet.

Gutturals Het, Kof and Kuf indicate air being forced out harshly. The Hey and Het are most identical and are easiest to sound out the difference between a similar sound with air expelled openly and with ease or closed to make that guttural noise. Pull the leg of the Hey and you get a Kuf. Go deeper in the throat to pronounce the deeper guttural. What about the whistling sibilants like Zayin, Samech and Shin? The tongue is positioned for Zayin almost like a Dalet; the two similar letters are linked in some languages, so that AUDIENCE , an ADN term, came from AZN, OzeN,the Hebrew ear. The tongue closes a circle for the Samech, while air streams out from both sides of the upraised tongue for the Shin and Sin. Thus the graphic resembling two air streams split by the upraised tongue in the middle of the mouth.

The unique alphabet that diagrams the movements in the human mouth spells out words in the one language where synonyms and antonyms sound alike because they were engineered as matter and anti-matter. (A poor strategy for words to evolve by humans for mere semantic utility.) For example: While Samech-Vav-Resh , SVR, SooR means to stray from the straight and narrow (source of SWERVE), Shin-Vav-Resh-Hey, SH-V-R-H, ShooRaH means a row or straight line (source of SERIES). Like-sounding synonyms include YaSHaR, straight (source of SHEER).

Once a two-letter root or phoneme is isolated with a meaning, one can even play with the sub-root on the Aleph-bet keyboard. For example, Bet-Lamed meansintertwined, as in BaLaL (to mix or BALL up), Babel and BABBLE. Let's build on BL, just as one can make water by adding oxygen atoms to hydrogen. We'll go up the piano scale of intensity as we add gutturals to Bet-Lamed. (1) GeBHel is a plait or braid, (2) HeBHeL is a string or rope, and (3) KeBHeL is a very strong rope or cable (Yes, of course it's the source of CABLE). We went up the keyboard of gutterals, Gimmel to Khet to Khuf, just as we intensified the interweaving threads of the semantics.

Granted, then, Hebrew may be the most venerable and unique language we currently know, and, together with data showing how it links to all human vocabularies better that Indo-European roots, Nostratic or other laboratory concoctions, it may be a leading candidate for the language of creation. Even if one speculates that Adam and Eve were programmed with Hebrew as their computing language, and that this Urshprache got scrambled into superfamilies in a Big Bang at Babel (which de-evolved over the millennia to thousands of dialects), how did the first Hebrew get Hebrew? Was not the language of Eden and the Aleph-Bet lost in the mixing BOWL (another BL term of confusion)? In fact, isn't it true that Abraham's family spoke a Mesopotamian language that was not Hebrew? These are good questions that I have been forced to ponder.

I will dispense with legends about angels teaching Abraham Hebrew, and presume that the Hebrews were literate well before phrases were carved in stone for them at Sinai. Joseph, for instance, was invaluable to his bosses for the same reason that Jews were the accountants of pre-Europe Europe. They had the magic of counting and spelling in letters. Only Hebrew has letters that are numbers. PhDs in Biblical literature who are unfamiliar with the numerical values of key phrases are only skimming the surface of the Hebrew text. That's why a shpiel, even a good shpiel like the Go-SPELL, is from SaPHeR (to count). That's why an accounting (retelling) is like counting. Perhaps literacy knew the first Cro-Magnon from Adam. My data shows that Adam's names for even distant animals seem to have stuck. (SKUNK only means stinker in Hebrew; many more at my web site.) The first language and perhaps this biologically correct alphabet should have made it to the deluge.

The flood survivors were not likely to forget their language, and may even have had some writings equivalent to the alphabet-learning cuneiform shards found in the ancient Near East. It is conjectured that Shem (the first Semite) taught the antediluvian language to Abraham. They shared fifty years of life, and I visited the Galilee cave where this learning is thought to have taken place. Abraham did not need to learn just any language, but he might be taught readin', writin' and 'rithmatic with the Ktav Ashurit if it were something special and worth preserving.

It would not matter if carbon 14 dating of Sumerian shards are earlier than Abraham's Late Bronze Age. Hieroglyphic systems are certainly older than any widespread use of Ktav Ashurit, but it may be that the Aleph-Bet was quietly passed down the generations, from Adam to Shem, from Abraham to a baby crying in a Tel Aviv street. The proof is in the pudding. There is far too much intelligent architectonics in Hebrew and its Aleph-Bet for it to produced by humans. If one is uncomfortable with the concept of a superhuman who created Mother Nature, this natural alphabet and language, then at least consider an extraterrestrial designer. I suspect that those who still believe that language is the evolved grunting of cavemen may need to step out into the light and study the topic a bit deeper.

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