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More on Daniʾil’s Kingship

October 16, 2008

In a previous post, I stated that either mt rpi or mt hrmny could be construed as a royal epithet, that either could indicate that Daniʾil was a king. Look at these epithets more closely, I’m now not as sure. Certainly, if mt rpi is taken as “man of GN [Geographical Name]” then it is indeed a royal epithet. However, the same is not true for mt hrmny.

As is quite evident, the second term (mt hrmny) is a gentilic. While “man of GN” is a shorthand for “king” throughout the Levant and beyond in the Late Bronze Age and the Iron Age, the same is not the case for “man of [gentilic]”. Examples for this more general use of this epithet for non-royal folk can be seen in the Hebrew Bible examples of איש עברי [“a Hebrew man”] and איש יהדי [“a Judahite/Judean man”].

In my earlier discussion, I concluded that either mt rpi or mt hrmny can refer to a geographical locale, but it is impossible for both to do so at the same time. This is still the case, but now it appears that the choice affects no only Daniʾil’s place of origin but his social status as well.

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