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Friday, December 30, 2011

Nephilim



N'eh-Ph'ih-L'ee-M / Nepheeleem
Zacharia Sitchin (July 11, 1920 – October 9, 2010)  wrote the "Nephilim" (נְפִילִים) is derived from “nafàl" and means “fall".

The term Nephilim occurs in Genesis 6:1-4, describing the point of time when three things began: men began to increase in number, came into existence the daughters of men , and the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them.

Is the "nephillim" really only a Hebrew word? That question is very subtle, however I think it has been more a limit of thinking for linguists rather than a serious argument.

Let's begin first with the probable meaning the linguists think it is.

We know that the "fall" in every language means moving downward from a higher position involuntarily, usually by an accident, which maybe was the reason why Michael S. Heiser, PhD candidate, Department of Hebrew and Semitic Studies , University of Wisconsin-Madison wrote a letter to Mr. Sitchin, in which he asked the question: Can you explain how your interpretation of the word "nephilim" is at all viable in light of its morphological impossibility?
Michael Heiser argues that the "nephilim" is not derived from "nafàl" ‘fall’ because its vocalization differs from the usual derivations of these sorts of roots in Hebrew. He analyzed also the semantic aspects of two verbs. Between the "fall" and "come down" exists a huge semantic difference. To the “fall” can not be attributed the intentionality of action that the “come down” brings.
Ronald S. Hendel -University of Berkley – got involved saying the "Nephilim" represents the form "qatil" of the verb, and stating that it is a passive form of "ones who have fallen", the adjectival passives root of [nafàl], it is a sort of adjective conjugation.

Where is the truth? Is it in the  “nafàl" meaning?

Let's read also the Albanian bible. 
 1:1 Në fillim Perëndia krijoi qiejt dhe tokën.

Albanian Bible

Zanafilla

  Translated:  Albanian Bible, Genesis:                                                
             1:1 In the beginning God created the 
        skies and the earth.                                                                                                                                                                             
Në fillim  are two Albanian words for "In the beginning"

Let's check the Latin dictionary as well:
FILIUS
Translation:                                    
Son                                                              
Main Forms: Filius, Filii                                                                    
Gender: Masculine                                            


Singular
Plural
Nominative
Filius
Filii
Genitive
Filii
Filiorum
Dative
Filio
Filiis
Accusative
Filium
Filios
Ablative
Filio
Filiis
Vocative
Filii
Filii








For the purpose of investigating word meanings we need to find out the meaning for which the essential of “nephillim” is true.

They are many aspects of the “ne fillim” meaning beyond the surface meaning given by Sitchin. Can we dissociate the Sitchin's meaning from others meanings, which probably may stay beyond as well?

What may be hidden in the "nephilim"?
The original text of the Bible was written with a continuous and uninterrupted succession of consonants. The work was to identify the individual words and to add the vowel sounds to give them a definite meaning.
Did Rabbies identify the individual word right?
A very difficult question. I think that they almost found the the word "nephilim", except the " ם " initial part, which is the preposition for "in":
The Hebrew word for the preposition "in"




It is not part of the word. The "n" is the preposition  and you can see the similarity with the intial part of the word  נְפִילִים 'nephilim'. It is the Hebrew preposition for "in", which regards to the "ne" of Albanian and to a cammon word-concept of ם, which corresponds to a "n" sound. The word is "philim".
The “ph” is the “f” sound. It is “ph” like Φ φ, phi, ph in the ancient Greek language (like 'ph' in 'Philip').On the other side, it is also known the phonetic transformation of [ph],[p],[b] into [f],[v], etc, and I think, it is a rule of vocal chords rather than a different phonetic transformation tendency for different languages. The Hebrew letter is the letter “p” but it’s not a “hard” p – it becomes “ph” like in English “phone”- Michael S. Heiser wrote. 

Is the Albanian word "fillim" 'beginning' related with "philim", or is the Latin word "filius" 'son'?

Has the meaning of “filius” been judged with respect to a concrete existence of a small human being by native Latin speakers in the beginning of their Latin language creation, or in it is the 'beginning'  meaning carried by the Albanian word , an older meaning, which was restricted to one son-child on later stages of language evolution.


Is the "filius" , the Latin word for son based on the Albanian word fillim , which means beginning?
Which one is related to the nephilim ?
Were they "Nephillim" because they existed  in the beginning, or because they were sons of the sons of God?
Albanian has another very, very interesting word. The Albanian word for seedling is "filiz" 'seedling", for 'a young plant that has grown from a seed; a new branch of e tree arisen from the trunk, or from the root of a plant'

 Is in the language something else we are not capable to catch?














References:


I. Newmark, Leonard. 1998. Albanian-English Dictionary. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

II. Michael S. Heiser, An Open Letter to Zecharia Sitchin - Sitchin Is Wrong.
(http://www.sitchiniswrong.com/open_letter.htm)

III.Michael S. Heiser "The Meaning of the Word Nephilim: Fact vs. Fantasy".

IV.Introductory Ancient Greek Language.
(http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Introductory_Ancient_Greek_Language/Lesson_1)

V. Latin alphabet. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_alphabet )

V. Solomon ben Isaac (Rashi de Troyes), "Peshat".
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