In the history of ancient Anatolia, Adah is an illustrious female name (KPN 46-47, § 15-1; Adiego Lajara 2007 [1]: 349; Matthews & Fraser 1987 [2]: 7; Blümel 1992 [3]), brought by the daughter of King Hecatomnus (Hornblower 1982 [4]) and then by that of the satrap Pixodarus (Arrian, Anabasis, 1.23.7-8; Diodorus 16.69.2, 74.2; 17.24.2; Plutarch, Alex., 22.7; Maddoli 2006 [5]). The first is queen of Caria until 341/40 a. C. and the second is his niece (Sears 2014 [6]). The Carian language belongs to the Luwic family and invites to consider the link between Lamech's wife and Anatolia, mainly focusing on the names of her two sons, Jabal (yābāl) and Jubal (yûbāl) (Freedman 1952 [7]). Already the absence in the Masoretic text of the so-called dageš, i. e. the pointing distinguishing /b/ from /v/, let us think of a pronunciation of the two plosives closer to Hittite glides, such as yāvāl or yāβāl. Besides, this approach would be consistent with the real spelling of the sign beth in the history of Hebrew language (GBH 28-29; Devens 1992 [8]: 15): 'Taking an analysis from Mishnaic Hebrew, we see that words normally written with the letter bēt rāpeh are sometimes written with the letter wāw. Kutscher takes this to mean that either [w] (the pronunciation he assumes for wāw) became [v] (the pronunciation he assumes for bēt rāpeh), or vice versa. One must then consider either the loss of phoneme /w/ and the resulting phonemicization of /v/, or a restructuring of our understanding of the phoneme /b/. Either being difficult, it might be better to take the perfectly logical view that bēt rāpeh was pronounced as a bilabial fricative [β], and that the closest symbol to represent this was the letter wāw, making our phonological analysis much easier»; see also (Kutscher & Kutscher 1982 [9]: 121). Bearing in mind these remarks on the real pronunciation of the two names, we can go further noticing that they are almost identical, they have in common the suffix ‑al, which in the Hittite language forms nomina instrumenti from verbs (Rieken 1999 [10]: 429ff.; Starke 1990 [11]: 300ff.; GrHL 54, § 52.19). Since they are personal names, we'd better consider them nomina agentis (Sasseville 2014-2015), which are formed out of names with the suffix -ala- (Dardano 2014 [12]; Melchert 2014 [13])As far as the first child is concerned, we have short but accurate information: Adah gave birth to Jabal, father of nomadic cattle breeders (Gn 4:20). In the Hittite language, a verb is at hand in this semantic field: ya-, "go, march" (EDHIL 380, s.v. ie/a-; Tjerkstra 1999 [14]: 23ff.) and it needs just a little stretch to build a nomen agentis (GrHL 55, § 52.20) from a name we know of, yawa(r)- "march" (Melchert 1988 [15]: 220-221; Prins 1997 [16]: 38-40; Kimball 1999 [17]: 353; Yoshida 1990 [18]: 110; CHD L/2 165, s.v. maniyaḫḫ-), so that *yaw-ala- would be "the one who makes the sheep march". *Yawala- is not attested in the available sources, but at least is consistent with Hittite morphology and also with semantics, because iyant-, a participle of the verb ya-, is the Hittite for "flock", that is something "going" (EDHIL 379, s.v. UDUiiant-), as in the case of transhumance. Ada's second son is called Jubal and is "the father of all harp and flute players" (Gn 4:21). His name might derive from Luwian iyauwa-, an exclamation (KUB 39.104 + iv 10; cf. Melchert 1984 [19]: 15; Torri 2003 [20]: 82–83; Melchert 1983 [21]: 138; Francia 2004 [22]). Some scholars would think of an IE root *yu-, to be found in Latin ioiubilo and Greek iuzo (EDG 605-606, s.v. ἰύζω; Fernández Fernández 2015 [23]), to build a another virtual nomen agentis*yuwala-: "the man who utters laments". In Hittite texts we find people who accomplish the duty of LÚ.MEŠŠA.NE.ŠA4, "lamenter" (CTH 716.1 § 25), a sibling of the Akkadian unnīnu (Fuscagni 2012 [24]; HZL 237). The role of professional lamenter (Rutherford 2008 [25]) could be functional to different social situations and considered that in Genesis Jubal is the inventor of an instrument, the kinnor (Braun 2002 [26]), both elements go well together, because we know of lamenters playing the harp in neo-Assyrian text, for example (Serventi & Alfonsi [27], et. al. 1953: 259). Moreover, Cilicia is deeply connected to the island of Cyprus through king Kinyras, the mythical founder of the Cilician Kelenderis and the Greek verb kinyrizō,"complain, moan" (Franceschetti 2007 [28]: 316; Baurain 1980 [29]; Ribichini 1982 [30]; Grottanelli 1983 [31]; Franklin 2014 [32]), goes back to the kinnor, the instrument invented by Jubal. From these first partial linguistic remarks, we can infer the will to adhere to a remote time of humanity when unruly ancestors had functional names reminiscent of the Hittite or Luwian language. Jabal and Jubal are founding "fathers" of two important activities: herding cattle and playing music. The Cilicians were excellent in both of them and Achilles "had to" fight, win and sack these "artists" to show his prowess. A lyre, a horse and a lump of iron were his Cilician spoils. These are the instruments for the "magic" that only the Cainites can work in the beginnings of humanity. To have a complete picture of this "false start" according to Genesis, we still have to interrogate the children of Zillah, Tubal-Cain and Naamah.

Originally Published: April 5, 2021

Last Updated: May 1, 2021

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