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Ancient Signs

Ancient Signs

The Alphabet & the Origins of Writing


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AVEBURY 7 HYDRA STONE
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 RUACH RCH LexiLine? Logo RĪKLE Pharynx
LexiLine - A Renaissance in Learning


The Breath of Voice
in the Throat
Pharynx

Lexical similarities
between Hebrew
and Indo-European
on the basis of archaic Latvian

Hebrew RUACH "voice (of God), wind"
Latvian RĪKLE "throat, pharynx"
Latvian RŪC- "thunder, roar" Latvian RU-na "speech"


The "fundamental" meaning of ruach is both "wind" and "breath", to which compare Latvian rīkle "throat, pharynx". Ruach is not as something "present" but the "power" at the base of breath and wind, and - in particular (my translation from the German):

"The second fundamental meaning of ruach is "breath", but not as something lasting, but rather as the power expressed in expending a breath of air...not normal breathing, but the special process of breath, in which the dynamic vitality of humans finds expression."

Here we have the Latvian comparables:

rija, rīkle "throat, pharynx, voice"
whence runa "speech"
rūc-, rūk- "roar, thunder"

The sense of "dynamic" movement attributed to ruach
is also found in
Latvian ross or rošs "active"
Slavic ruch- "movement"
and  Swedish rusa "storming forth".
The "fundamental" concept is similar.

Interesting in this regard is that the Latvian
shows that many Old Testament passages
disputed by the scholars
(wind vs. breath)
are in fact not to be read
as "the breath" or "the wind" of God or Jahwe
but rather "the voice, thunder" (i.e. the spirit) of God,
i.e. ruach Jahwe - the voice of God -
(many repetitions in the Old Testament).

When the Queen of Sheba sees Solomon's wealth for the first time
(1 Kings 10,5) -
her ruach was no longer in her - "she held her breath", or "it knocked the wind out of her"
or, more likely,  "she was speechless".

Moreover, Hebrew ruach is an interesting word
since it is found
only in the so-called Western Semitic languages
as ruach or rch "spirit", or ruach "wind"
(Aramaic rwch) and Arabic ruch "breath of life"
and rich "wind".

The word is lacking in this form entirely
in the so-called Eastern Semitic languages
where Akkadian sharu "breath of life, wind" are attested.

The Akkadian form sharu may see
a similar prefixing as in Latvian garu "of the spirit".

The Hebrew verbal form for ruch attests only "smell"
(as in German Ge-ruch "smell")
to which the substantive reach "smell"
is applied as a "specialization" of the root word.
Note also the similarity t
 German Rauch "smoke" as a form of "wind".





 

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CARNAC, FRANCE
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Studying Ancient Britain
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B.A. University of Nebraska; J.D. Stanford University Law School
Former Lecturer in Anglo-American Law, FFA, Trier Law School
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