Re: Petra - from the Greek Petros? meaning stone #general


Judith Romney Wegner
 

A few clarifications are in order in response to Nachum Tuchman's message.
First, Nachum wrote:

That Petra stone is red, is another matter. Edom (another name for Esau)
means red in Hebrew. Esau got this name
due to his Reddish complexion.
** Yes, that is indeed the folk-etymology as given in the biblical text.
However, it is well known that folk-etymologies do not normally reflect
historical facts, and in any case the settlement of the territory of Edom
by the Edomites pre-dates the settlement of the Israelites in Canaan, --
as well as predating the writing down of the biblical narrative by many
centuries; so historically speaking it remains far more likely that the
region was originally named for the color of its rocks.

Nachum further wrote:
By the way, for our Cape Town friends, there's an Aramaic word in the
Gemmara [sic = Gemara] Kipis or Kipos, which also means
stone. When I first saw this word I thought of Cape Town, and Table
Mountain. Perhaps the English word Cape derives
from this Aramaic word, and the Cape Town forefathers may have known of its
original meaning.
**Actually the New Testament gives Peter's name as Kepha or Kephas (the
actual Aramaic word is Kepha -- not Kipis or Kipos, which is a lateer,
corrupted form of the word).

**Actually, Cape Town is named for its proximity to the Cape of Good
Hope. As any good dictionary will confirm, the term "Cape" has a
particular geographic meaning, namely a "headland" and the term comes from
Latin caput, meaning "head" -- and has no connection with any Aramaic
word.

Judith Romney Wegner

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