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Minas Tirith Forums » Languages of Arda » Hebraic interpretations of Tolkien languages (Page 1)
Author Topic: Hebraic interpretations of Tolkien languages
eldon
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Greetings to lovers of Middle Earth gathered here in Minas Tirith, nice place!

The following transliteration/interpretations are based on Strong's Hebrew Lexicon-- the standard reference work for students of Biblical Hebrew.

These are ~approximate~ translations --not absolutely exact-word-for-word or letter-by-letter-- but they are faithful to reflect the same sounds inherent in Professor Tolkien's written languages.

Shared here for your interest, edification, scholarly analysis, constructive criticism, or orcish derision, as you may so please.



A Strong Word against this perverse generation!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Song of Galadriel from "Farewell to Lorien", chapter 8, book two, The Fellowship of the Ring

Ai! laurie lantar lassi surinen!
Yeni unotime ve ramar aldarion,
yeni ve linte yuldar vanier
mi oromardi lisse-miruvoreva
Andune pella Vardo tellumar
nu luini yassen tintilar i eleni
o maryo airetari-lirinen

Si man i yulma nin enquantuva?

An si Tintalle Varda Oiolosseo
ve fanyar maryat Elentari ortane,
ar sindanoriello caita mornie
i falmalinnar imbe met ar hisie
untupa Calaciryo miri oiale.
Si vanwa na, Romello vanwa, Valimar

Namarie! Nai hiruvalye Valimar.
Nai elye hiruva. Namarie!

Galadriel being a personification of the Holy Spirit in Tolkien's work (from a Christian perspective), the interpretation of this song is a strong and timely rebuke to this wicked generation:

Ruin! No water for cleansing these degenerate sorcerers!
The proud, sexually unclean and those in wicked nakedness are abhorred by the Most High.

Proud and obstinate, astray and howling generation.
O when these cunning wanderers,
these mockers content beholding drunkeness,
are brought to judgement:

marvellously brought down,
the enemies' oppression broken,
a dunghill made of the dragon-built city among the oaks.

Yah increase watchful worshippers that they flourish. What excellancy benefits the children whose eye is zealous awe!

With what excellancy the dragon-built is brought down in the gleaning-time storm and the face of the enemy is made bald, the oak grove putrefying as dragon skin.

The enemies of Yah have fear, ruin, and pining sickness for their food; the assembly of men- judges of the altar- hitherto consulting together thus remove lamentation.

Oh, of a truth such a Fire will rain upon the enemies the full measure of woe.

As for thee, mind of man: refrain from boiling up rebellion grieving the Almighty.

By the excellancy of meekness, I beseech you, ascend on high in humility, the Eternal City flows with pleasantness!

Be moved by Yah to conceive good for the Eternal City.
Be moved by the Most High Yah, conceive in accord with the flowing of pleasantness!

Strong's word numbers:
5857,3809,7377,3860,2891,3890/1976,5494,6049
3238,5772,2930,2051,7451,4626,5920,1860,
3238,2051,3885,3213,1755,6063/5289,
4310,6175,716,3887,7207,7302,
1779,6382,3381,2928,1755,
5122,3319,8565,8510,6144,440,
6014,3050,6147,6282,3863,7847,
7863,3984,3276,5209,575,7065,8429.

575,7863,8565,8510,3381,5955,5584,
2051,6440,6145,4803,438,2961,5785,8565,
6145,5512,1835,741,3542,3272,4171,5204,
6422,5135,518/994,4305,1958,5429,
607,6310,3607,5518,4805,188,410,
7863,2057/6037,4994,7315,5927,2057/6037,5769/2057,
5277,7377,5274,2029,3276,3050,5769/2057,
5274,5920/3050,2029,2969,5277,7377.


From the Ents ...and Gondor!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Book III chapter 4 "Treebeard"

The words of Bregalad (Quickbeam):

O Orofarne, Lassemista, Carnimirie!

interpretation from Hebrew:

"O Watchful Heaven, a feast of speaking in a foreign tongue, a shining pasture!"

Strong's words # 6183,6198,3937,4960,7160,4829

----------------------------------------------------

Book VI chapter 6 "Many Partings"

Words spoken by Treebeard:

A vanimar, vanimalion nostari!

interpretation from Hebrew:

"Ah city of two fountains, two fountains of the Most High pleasant for purification!"

Strong's words# 6046,5892,6046,5945,4998,2893

(The words of the Ents here can be taken as further confirmation of Tolkien's inspiration and of the edification given to the saints through tongues and interpretation.

The "two fountains" are referring to the pouring out of the Spirit upon all flesh AND the fountain of living water flowing out of the innermost being of those who believe.)

------------------------------------------------------

Gondor in Hebrew means "dwelling of majesty", and was the kingdom of the last true men of the West in the LOTR triology.

Osgiliath was the chief city of Gondor, but was besieged, taken, and ruined by the enemy. Thereafter, the men of Gondor fell back to Minas Tirith, which was but an outpost of Osgiliath.

Osgiliath in Hebrew means "the place of rejoicing".

Strong's words # 227 & 1525

Minas Tirith means "the gate of retreat".

Strong's words # 4498 & 8654

Ever does the enemy seek to make us flee from the place of rejoicing to the place of retreat... Therefore let us rather obey the words of the apostle and rejoice evermore, giving no place to the devil!

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eldon
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Interpretation of Tongues from The Lord of the Rings!

Near the end of The Two Towers, when Sam Gamgee is trying to ward off the monstrous spider Shelob, a remarkably Scriptural event takes place: he speaks in tongues!

"And then his tongue was loosed and his voice cried in a language which he did not know:

A Elbereth Gilthoniel
o menel palan-diriel,
le nallon si di'nguruthos!
A tiro nin, Fanuilos!"

(chapter 10, ~ paragraph 10, The Two Towers)

I've been curious for awhile as to the sound of the languages used in Professor Tolkien's writings, particularly so as to the frequent occurence of El, a Hebraic term usually used in reference to the Most High. Accordingly, I checked the meaning of the language above with Strong's Hebrew lexicon...

Here is the meaning those words of Sam convey in Hebrew:

Ah the Covenant of the Most High, His Joy and Sorrow.
O His kindred Saints with His Pearl of Liberty,
Wherein abides the completion of excellancy that illuminates His friends' foundation!
The Crown of His Son, the Face of the Most High!

Here are the words as spelled in Hebrew along with the Strong's numbers keyed to their meanings:

El(410) bryth(1285) Glyth(1525) oni(1126/205) El(410)

O myn(4327) El(410) Plwny(6397/6423) - drwr(1859/1865) El(410)

lyn(3885) nlh(5239) sya(7863) dy(176) ngh(5050) rwth(7327) os(787)

atrh(5850) nyn(5209) Phnyal(6439) os(787)

To more closely compare the phonetic value of the language as written by Tolkien and as given by Strong's, here is a line-by-line comparison:

A Elbereth Gilthoniel
A Ale bereeth gheelath-onee-Ale

o menel palan-diriel
o meen Ale pelonee-derore-Ale

le nallon si di'nguruthos!
leen nawlaw(n) see dee' nawgah rooth ohsh!

A tiro nin, Fanuilos!
Atawraw neen, PhenooAle ohsh!

I hold that the remarkable similarity of the languages and edification value of this rudimentary interpretation are further proofs of Professor Tolkien's Source of Inspiration.

May all lovers of Middle Earth take heed and partake of the same Inspiration!

Additionally, the Hebraic meaning of Galadriel [the seeress, gift-giving Elf queen in The Lord of the Rings] is "a spring of water/ heap of testimony, PASTURE of the Most High". See Strong's words # 1530/1567, 7471,410: Galade rehee Ale!

As such, for those who can receive it, in the trilogy she is a clear personification of the Holy Spirit, the Spring of Living Water, witness-bearer, Guide and Giver of gifts, whose Law (of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus) makes us free from the law of sin and death!

-----------------------------------------------
In the previous chapter, "Shelob's Lair", Frodo also speaks in tongues:

"Aiya Earendil Elenion Ancalima! he cried, and knew not what he had spoken; for it seemed that another voice spoke through his, clear, untroubled by the foul air of the pit." ~ paragraph 20

'ay-Yah er-anad-al Al-inyan ayin-chel-emah are the equivalent words in Hebrew, meaning

"Where Yah is the watchful tie above: the Most High covering, whence is the army of fright!"

That is a battle cry equivalent to "Yah is my Salvation, of whom should I be afraid!"

(Strong's words #335, 3050, 6197, 6029, 5921, 5920, 6049, 370, 2426, & 367 respectively)

The Ring of Power

Written upon the Ring are these words:

Ash nazg durbatuluk, ash nazg gimbatul,
ash nazg thrakatuluk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul!

The translation of these words given in The Fellowship of the Ring is:

One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them,
one ring to bring them all and in the Darkness bind them!

Now see how the Hebrew meaning of these words reflects and enhances Professor Tolkien's translation:

ash(784) nzq(5142) dwr(1754) bdlch(914/916)

fire consuming circle dividing in pieces

ash(784) nzq(5142) gm(1571) bdl(914)

fire consuming gathering division

ash(784) nzq(5142) thrch(8646) tlch(8520)

fire consuming delayer breach

uwg(5746) bwr(952) zmm(2162)-ishi(376) chrm(2764) ptl(6617)

round trying plot - against man shutting in a net entwining

Remember, that though the ring appeared as only a small band of gold, in Frodo's mind as he bore it, it was revealed as a wheel of fire blotting out all else!

Thus, one ring to rule them all = circle of fire dividing men, elves, & dwarves.

One ring to find them = consuming fire gathering those divided.

One ring to bring them all = fire consuming their breach by delay.

And in the Darkness bind them = round fiery trial to ensnare mankind.

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Dingalen
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And your point is?
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eldon
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Prophetic warning/exhortation



Book VI, chapter 5, ~2/3 point of chapter

Then Aragorn took the crown and held it up and said: Et Earello Endorenna utulien. Sinome maruvan ar Hildinyar tenn' Ambar-metta!

And those were the words that Elendil spoke when he came up out of the sea on the wings of the wind: "Out of the Great Sea to Middle Earth I am come. In this place I will abide, and my heirs, unto the ending of the world."

approximate translation from Hebrew:

The pen over the altar of the Temple, the fountain of dwelling bearing witness:

consent to abide in strength. Though China lash out as an enemy,

judgement shall be far away from the forest-shelter close woven to purify the people.

Strong's numbers (respectively):
5842 739/740 5924 5874 6030 225 193 3885 5515 4754/8112 6145 1973 1780 3293 2935 5971 1429 4291

Song from The Grey Havens



In the last chapter of The Return of the King, at the last riding of the High Kindred, this song is sung:

A! Elbereth Gilthoniel!
silivren penna miriel
o menel aglar elenath
Gilthoniel, A! Elbereth!
We still remember, we who dwell
in this far land beneath the trees
The starlight on the Western Seas.

From the clearest Hebrew words equivalent to the first four lines above, here is the translation:

Ah! The Most High Covenant, His joy/sorrow!
the careless' song shall turn to the curse of the Highest.
O His kindred, when the enemy surrounds, His answer is His joy/sorrow,
Ah! the Covenant of the Most High!

Strong's words #5921,1285,1525,1126/205,5921,
7961,7438,6437,3994,5920,
4327,5920,5696,5920,6067,
1525,1126/205,5920,5920,1285, respectively.

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eldon
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From ~the last page of chapter one, Book Two of The Fellowship of the Ring

A Elbereth Gilthoniel,

silivren penna miriel

o menel aglar elenath!

Na-chaered palan-diriel

o galadhremmin ennorath,

Fanuilos, le linnathon

nef aear, si nef aeron!

interpretation:

Ah the Most High's Covenant, His joy and sorrow.

Careless song shall turn into the curse of the Highest

Oh, His kindred, when the enemy surrounds, this is His answer:

I beseech you Fear the Holy Arm of the Highest.

O exalt the heap of testimony, the fountain shaken-out,

the Face of the Most High is foundation belonging to lengthen His curse upon the adulterous city,

that is the measure of the adulterous strong city! (Revelation 19:2!)



Strong's words # 5920,1285,1525,1126/205,5920,

4327,5920,5696,5920,6067,

4994,2729,6397,1872,5920,

1567,7426/7416,5869,5296,

6439,787,3815,3939,8565,

5003,5892,5429,5003,5894,202, respectively

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eldon
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Here is the point:

From Tolkien: A Biography

Some have puzzled over the relation between Tolkien's stories and his Christianity, and have found it difficult to understand how a devout
Roman Catholic could write with such conviction about a world where God is not worshipped. But there is no mystery.

The Silmarillion is the work of a profoundly religious man. It does not contradict Christianity but complements it. There is in the legends no worship of God, yet God is indeed there, more explicitly in The Silmarillion than in the work that grew out of it, The Lord of the Rings.

Tolkien's universe is ruled over by God, 'The One'. Beneath Him in the hierarchy are 'The Valar', the guardians of the world, who are not gods but angelic powers, themselves holy and subject to God; and at one terrible moment in the story they surrender their power into His hands.

Tolkien cast his mythology in this form because he wanted it to be remote and strange, and yet at the same time not to be a lie. He wanted the mythological and legendary stories to express his own moral view of the universe; and as a Christian he could not place his view in a cosmos without the God he worshipped.

At the same time, to set his stories 'realistically' in the known world,
where religious beliefs were explicitly Christian, would deprive them of imaginative colour. So while God is present in Tolkien's universe, He remains unseen.

When he wrote The Silmarillion Tolkien believed that in one sense he was writing the truth. He did not suppose that precisely such peoples as he
described, 'elves', 'dwarves', and malevolent 'orcs', had walked the earth and done the deeds that he recorded. But he did feel, or hope, that his stories were in some sense an embodiment of a profound truth.

This is not to say that he was writing an allegory: far from it. Time and again he expressed his distaste for that form of literature. 'I dislike allegory wherever I smell it,' he once said, and similiar phrases echo
through his letters to readers of his books. So in what sense did he suppose The Silmarillion to be true?

Something of the answer can be found in his essay On Fairy-Stories and in his story Leaf by Niggle, both of which suggest that a man may be given by God the gift of recording 'a sudden glimpse of the underlying reality or truth'. Certainly while writing The Silmarillion Tolkien believed that he was doing more than inventing a story.

He wrote of the tales that make up the book: 'They arose in my mind as
"given" things, and as they came, separately, so too the links grew. An absorbing, though continually interrupted labour (especially, even apart from the necessities of life, since the mind would wing to the other pole and spread itself on the linguistics): yet always I had the sense of recording what was already "there", somewhere: not of inventing".'

from pages 91-92 of Tolkien: A Biography

(As evidenced by the last paragraph above, it is my own belief that Mr. Tolkien's mind was used by the Spirit of Truth-- with the gifts of tongues and interpretation-- in order to present to the world The Lord of the Rings an epic adventure of 3
Christ-like main characters richly interwoven with Biblical themes and ideals.

Consider Frodo, called by duty out of his comfortable life in Bag End to deny himself even to the point of death to save the world from the power of darkness.

Also consider Gandalf, Master of lore and ancient wisdom who laid down his life for his friends and received it again in Triumph.

Finally consider Aragorn, lowly king of the wilds with healing hands who braved the paths of the dead to win the throne of his kingdom.

In LOTR, people of faith can find parallels to themselves in the elves, hobbits, and even the dwarves, but my favorite portrayal of true
believers is the Ents! They live far separated from the world, but are stirred to action by their hatred of Saruman and his lust for power in
compromise of the Truth.

Leaving it to other folk to overthrow Beast Sauron, they risk their all to thwart False Prophet Saruman in order to renew their beloved land in the regrowth of peace and quiet.

Even the "backslidden" Huorns stir
themselves to rid their pastures of the despicable orcs and pull down the
base power of Isengard.

Hopefully that foretells the renewal of many in the worldly church, redeeming their ministry before the End.

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Thorin
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Eldon, welcome to Minas Tirith. If you haven't already, I suggest you go read the Frequently Asked Questions.

If you are interested in J.R.R. Tolkien's linguistic background for the Lord of the Rings, I recommend the appendix of the Silmarillion and the appendix of the Lord of the Rings, as well as some of the History of Middle Earth books, if you haven't perused them already.

Very interesting Hebrew interpretation. It is easy to see that you did a lot of homework and thinking about this.

It is plain that you are very passionate, and I congratulate you on that. However, I may caution that there are Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jews, Agnostics, and probably other religions practiced by the persons at this site. We all come together at this site by our love of J.R.R. Tolkien and his works. You will find many people eager to discuss the Professor's inspiration for ideas and languages. You will also find many who may take offense at the line:

"Hopefully that foretells the renewal of many in the worldly church, redeeming their ministry before the End."

I can only speak for myself, but I consider this a site for lovers of J.R.R. Tolkien's works, and not a site for demagoges. You had very interesting posts concerning the Professor's inspiration, but I would suggest that "preaching" be kept to an absolute minimum.

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Roll of Honor bombadil
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Amen, Thorin.
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Imbëar
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Excellent work, Eldon!
You and I have much to say to one another.
In a recent post, I declared Tolkien a mystic writer. And I meant it.

I have been studying the power of Naming in Hebrew legend, and particularly the concept of the animated Goylem. Last night I re-read The Faithful Stone, and was amazed.

In addition, the Light is a topical theme in Tolkien's writings. It may be only chance that the symbols of G*d's Name - Y H V H, or Yahweh, - hint directly at four emanations of the Endless Light from the Creator-source.

As I say, we have much to discuss.
Under the aspect of eternity,

Imbëar

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eldon
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Thanks for the welcome and forthright exhortation, Thorin! (and Bombadil as well)

No offense intended towards anyone. I get along with most people pretty well and don't have any goal to make this a religious discussion board... that is, not beyond the spirituality already inherent in Mr. Tolkien's work.

I have a Biblical perspective, but get along with Muslims particularly well, and as much as is within me, I try to be at peace with ALL men... even with ALL women for that matter!

NICE to meet you, Imbëar! Looking forward to good discussions with you. I also love the Name of Yahweh/YHVH.

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Roll of Honor Neytari Took-Baggins
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Great post!!! Can I share some of it with a friend of mine who believes that Tolkien's writings are tools of the devil?
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Roll of Honor Eowyn of Edoras
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Those are really beautiful in Hebrew!
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Telperion
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Hello there eldon. Welcome to MT.
I've been reading your posts and I must say the quotes you give are not similar to any Hebrew word. There are some that are somewhat similar if you twist and warp them, but nothing other than that. For example you said:

quote:
Osgiliath in Hebrew means "the place of rejoicing".
Simply not true. The only possible connection that I see is the 3 letters 'gil' that in Hebrew mean "joy".
And this is one of the best fits.
The attempt to translate complete songs to Hebrew was a farce. No match at all.
(I apologise if this sounds too harsh, It looks like this analysis took considerable time, but I can't see the similarities you speak of).
The Elvish langauges were, as far as I know, inspired by Finnish and Welsh.
The language of the dwarves was inspired by Hebrew and there you can find some similarities, but mainly in terms of grammer and not vocabulary.

Actually when I read LOTR in english the only 2 similarities that I found to Hebrew were:
  1. The use of 'Rohirrim' as a plural. 'im' is a plural in Hebrew too. However 'im' is a plural for a large amount of people (a small nation) in ancient English as well, and that was where JRRT got the idea.
  2. The names 'Amon Hen' and 'Amon Lau' (sp? I'm quoting from memory). In Hebrew 'Hen' is 'yes' and 'Lau' is 'no'.
Personally, I don't think Tolkien was a mystic writer though he did see a religious meaning to what he was doing, as is evident in his "Mythopoeia" poem.

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
The one had leaves of dark green that beneath were as shining silver, and from each of his countless flowers a dew of silver light was ever falling, and the earth beneath was dappled with the shadow of his fluttering leaves. Telperion the one was called in Valinor, and Silpion, and Ninquelótë, and many other names;
The Silmarillion, "Of the Beginning of Days"

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Albion
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Eldon: You might find the letter that Tolkien wrote about the folly of using the sounds of words in his invented languages to try to "discover" thier supposed origins in other languages. The letter I refer to is number 297 in the book The Letters of JRR Tolkien. It is a long letter, and fascinating to anyone sincerely interested in his work.

Tolkien himself in his books and in his letters gives English translations of many phrases in his invented languages. These translations obviously make sense and it is easy to learn from them the meaning of individual words and phrases. I maintain that it would be impossible to compose sentences and whole poems which would make sense in two languages (English and Hebrew) but have different meanings in each one. Since Tolkien plainly tells us what the meaning of these writings are in English, it is very difficult for me to believe that the Hebrew translations you provide are valid.

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Albion
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A quotation from Tolkien's letter 297 from the Letters of JRR Tolkien:

"But I remain puzzled , and indeed sometimes irritated, by mamy of the guesses at the "sources" of the nomenclature, and theories or fancies concerning hidden meaning. These seem to me no more than private amusements ...though, they are, I think, valueless for the elucidation of interpretation of my fiction. ... I do object to them, when (as they usually do) they appear to be unauthentic embroideries on my work, throwing light only on the state of mind of thier contrivers, not on me or on my actual intention and procedures"

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eldon
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Hello there eldon. Welcome to MT.

******* thanks, Telperion!
(I reworked this message as per your request)

quote:
I've been reading your posts and I must say the quotes you give are not similar to any Hebrew word. There are some that are somewhat similar if you twist and warp them, but nothing other than that.
******* it's pretty hard to twist and warp one syllable words! the sounds of Professor Tolkien's words are in the Hebrew lexicon words, mostly in very close if not exact order.

I appreciate your input as a speaker of modern Hebrew (I assume), but please reference the words in the Strong's Concordance by means of the numbers given, if you want to make a full comparison.

You know there are some deliberate changes made in Hebrew renderings since the "days of old". One of the most telling changes is the false rendering "Jehovah" for the Name of YHVH, in which the vowel points for another word were inserted in the Hebrew text so as to keep people from knowing the true name of the MOST HIGH.

The whole scheme of vowel pointing is a relatively modern invention, as compared to the times of antiquity in which the Scriptures were written, where no vowel points were used.

The "editors" were less than honest in the most important translation they made, so how can they be trusted to accurately represent words of lesser importance?

I've had a few others say the same basic thing that you wrote: ~no Hebrew words there~ but surely even the most basic student of Hebrew is familiar with "EL", a title of the MOST HIGH.

That is the word that started me combing the lexicon to see if any coherent messages could be found there while faithfully representing the sounds of Professor Tolkien's language.

I saw the quote above from Tolkien himself, dismissing any who try such things, yet the coherancy of the interpretations are a witness of the Hidden Hand at work, beyond Mr. Tolkien's planning.

quote:
For example you said:

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Osgiliath in Hebrew means "the place of rejoicing".
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Simply not true. The only possible connection that I see is the 3 letters 'gil' that in Hebrew mean "joy".
And this is one of the best fits.

******* here are those words from Strong's:

Strong's # 227 & 1525
Osgiliath
âz-giylath-[feminine form of giyl(joy)]

Are you saying that there is no longer a feminine form of 'gil' in modern Hebrew?

quote:
The attempt to translate complete songs to Hebrew was a farce. No match at all.
******* well the Hebrew words whose numbers are posted ARE representative of the same sounds in the song, and are in the same basic order as Tolkien's text without dissecting the words as you did in comparison below . I don't have time at present to type the lexicon's words all out for you, but I don't expect you to just take my word for it either!

quote:
(I apologise if this sounds too harsh, It looks like this analysis took considerable time, but I can't see the similarities you speak of).
******* no problem, kind sir! I'm sure some of the interpretations I posted were awful harsh as well, and you are being most gentle in comparison to them.

(I doubt that anyone familiar with modern Hebrew could remember or recognize every word from the Biblical Hebrew lexicon that is represented here in any case. Thus, I suggest that anyone interested in doing so compare the words directly from the lexicon to the text to see if there is a reasonable facsimile there or not.)

quote:
Actually when I read LOTR in english the only 2 similarities that I found to Hebrew were:

The use of 'Rohirrim' as a plural. 'im' is a plural in Hebrew too. However 'im' is a plural for a large amount of people (a small nation) in ancient English as well, and that was where JRRT got the idea.
The names 'Amon Hen' and 'Amon Lau' (sp? I'm quoting from memory). In Hebrew 'Hen' is 'yes' and 'Lau' is 'no'.

******* that is interesting. I do not discount the possibility that a Hebrew meaning is inherant in many English words because of ancient Hebrew being such a major source language.

quote:
Personally, I don't think Tolkien was a mystic writer though he did see a religious meaning to what he was doing, as is evident in his "Mythopoeia" poem.
******* I don't think he was an intentional mystic either, it's just that there is a great degree of "mysticism" built-in to Life itself, and Mr. Tolkien was an excellant representative of Life through his writings.

I concur with the quote from Tolkien: A Biography as to his religious views of his work.

[ 04-28-2002, 08:33 AM: Message edited by: eldon ]

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Imbëar
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I believe Tolkien makes mention of the fracturing of the Endless Light, of which we are shards seeking to re-unite. Ein Soph?

Tolkien "spoke in Tongues," how much more mystic can you get? Whether in a gnostic trance or a study of years, his crown was touched by the light - or, should I say, a star shone upon the hour of his meeting.

Imbëar

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Telperion
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Hello eldon.
Please use the 'quote' UBB code in your next post, because it's hard to see where your quotes start and end.

Please don't teach me Hebrew. I've read the bible in your so called 'ancient Hebrew' when I was 10 years old.
The difference between modern and ancient Hebrew is marginal.
Indeed you can cut any long text in any language in a way such that words from other languages will appear. You have indeed found such words (although, again, warped) in the text, but they do not comprise complete sentences and are not in a gramatically correct order. They are just warped words. The sentences you made of them are interpolations.

It's like looking at the two words "duck" and "pond" and interpolating the sentance "the duck swimming in the pond".

And a more interesting example. Here is a random sentance from my English "mechanics of fluids" course book (by Irvin H. Shames, third edition):

quote:
Since dr was arbitrary in direction, there was no directional restriction.

Now let's "cut" the sentance in a different way:

--
since drwas arbit ra ryi ndir e-ction, therew as nod ir ec tion al res trict ion.
--

Every word here is a word in Hebrew, either a perfect or a twisted one. The respective meanings of these words:

since ~ sinuc = jump
drwas ~ daruwsh = needed
arbit = arabic
ra = bad
ryi = mirror
ndir ~ nadir = rare, not common
e-ction ~ e-cetion = not-half, not-semester
therew ~ the'erow = to vouch, to promise
as = then
nod = move (and also a dirty word [] )
ir = city
ec = how
tion = tea bag
al = on, above
res-trict ~ re-tricat = slamming-again
ion = browsing

and you can then interpolate out of these words any sentence you wish such as:

"A bad jump in Arabic is needed through a rare mirror before the end of the semester, than how can we vouch for the movement of the city in a tea bag after slamming it again and browsing through it."

And that's just off the top of my head.

Point is, you can do with letters whatever you wish, and you can always find somewhere in a long text what you are looking for.

Again, I don't see how "âz-giylath" is "place of rejoicing". Or how "Gondor" is "dwelling of majesty", for that matter. The same goes for about 90% of your interpretations.

Imbear:

quote:
I believe Tolkien makes mention of the fracturing of the Endless Light, of which we are shards seeking to re-unite.
Do you mean this quote from 'mythopoeia':

quote:
Though now long estranged,
man is not wholly lost nor wholly changed.
Dis-graced he may be, yet is not dethroned,
and keeps the rags of lordship once he owned,
his world-dominion by creative act:
not his to worship the great Artefact,
man, sub-creator, the refracted light
through whom is splintered from a single White
to many hues, and endlessly combined
in living shapes that move from mind to mind.

The meaning here is that man, through his use of language and in general, gives meaning to god's creation. It has nothing to do with "ein-soph" (infinity).
'Estranged' here refers to estrangement of people in the modern world, which is one of the general ideas of this poem.

PS. I am a 'sir'.

[ 04-26-2002, 04:57 PM: Message edited by: Telperion ]

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Imbëar
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Thank you, Telperion! I had never seen that quote before.
I was thinking of a prose mention, perhaps it will show up yet.
In any event, your expertise is refreshing. I appreciate your attention, and intimate knowledge.

Imbëar

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eldon
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quote:
Please don't teach me Hebrew. I've read the bible in your so called 'ancient Hebrew' when I was 10 years old.
******* then why don't you recognize and acknowledge the legitimate Hebrew words from the lexicon? Do you wish to contend that your knowledge of Hebrew supercedes the lexicon?

quote:
The difference between modern and ancient Hebrew is marginal.
******* so the promoters of modern Hebrew would have us believe.

Yet Ancient Hebrew letters were pictographic in character, with each letter having meaning such that the meaning of the entire word was established --not just by an arbitrary definition ascribed to it by the scribes or priests-- but by the meaning inherent in the letters themselves. Modern Hebrew does not have this feature.

That begins to describe the "scholastic drift" the written language has suffered from since the "lying pen of the scribes" began to work against the Truth.

Additionally, ever since the Jews were carried captive into Babylon, "Hebrew" has been polluted with Babylonian influences, especially through the proliferation of the Babylonian Talmud.

quote:
Indeed you can cut any long text in any language in a way such that words from other languages will appear. You have indeed found such words (although, again, warped) in the text, but they do not comprise complete sentences and are not in a gramatically correct order. They are just warped words. The sentences you made of them are interpolations.
******* However, I didn't "cut" the words in Mr. Tolkien's text in any such manner as you present in your example above. Nor are the words as warped as you suggest.

I found the nearest equivalent to each Elvish word that I could find in the Hebrew lexicon, strung them together in the same basic order, then presented the simplest interpretation in English in accord with the Hebrew dictionary.

quote:
It's like looking at the two words "duck" and "pond" and interpolating the sentance "the duck swimming in the pond".
******* a duck in a pond would certainly be swimming! (among other things, presuming it's not a dead duck) In any case, I didn't fabricate or interject verbs into the text, but only sought the clearest meaning of the words already present.

quote:
And a more interesting example. Here is a random sentance from my English "mechanics of fluids" course book (by Irvin H. Shames, third edition):

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Since dr was arbitrary in direction, there was no directional restriction.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now let's "cut" the sentance in a different way:

--
since drwas arbit ra ryi ndir e-ction, therew as nod ir ec tion al res trict ion.
--

******* that is a mischaracterization of what I have done with the Elvish texts, but if you can live with it, I suppose I can withstand it as well.

quote:
Again, I don't see how "âz-giylath" is "place of rejoicing". Or how "Gondor" is "dwelling of majesty", for that matter. The same goes for about 90% of your interpretations.
******* and that confirms to me that you have neither investigated them carefully nor open-mindedly considered them.

Though you may consider yourself expert in Hebrew, your witness does not overturn the Lexicon of James Strong, which has been a standard Hebrew reference work for over a hundred years.

However, criticisms based on analysis of the lexicon's words will be justly considered, since I realize I am no expert therein myself.

I suspect that the icon with the shifting eyebrows that you used to denote a "dirty word" could tell us more as to your objections to the interpretations.

Nevertheless, Telperion, I wish you well.

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Roll of Honor Thorin
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Eldon, I have no idea how many languages you speak, but I'm sure you know the inherent difficulties in translation. If you have ever done any, you know that translation is more an art than a science. Anyone who has attempted to translate a sentence with a foreign language dictionary is in for a big surprise. I'm getting the impression that you used the sounds of Tolkien's language with the sounds of Hebrew to do your translation. (The famous Nova GM car fiasco comes to mind.) If I'm getting the right impression, this is a difficult task you have set for yourself. I'm in no place to say your translations are near or far from the mark, since I know absolutely no Hebrew, but I know the difficulties I have had trying to translate Italian into English and vice versa. A dictionary can give you the gist of it, but can't give you the feel of it. I think the real feel, the real meaning, is what Telperion is basing his opinion upon. And I am at an utter loss to see why a century-year-old book is a better source than a fluent speaker in the Hebrew language. Why is Stong a better source than a fluent speaker? Am I missing something?
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eldon
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Thank you, Thorin, for your comments there.

I am aware of the difficulty(s) of translating languages by dictionary, and of the debates among even studied persons as to exact translations.

It's just that I know and trust the Hebrew lexicon and question more "modern Hebrew" when it sure seems to be disregarding some evidence from a book I trust.

I hope Telperion can forgive, if not excuse, my ignorance, if it is only my ignorance that is the problem here. Thanks again for your reconciling tone and intent.

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Roll of Honor Thorin
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It just seems such a difficult job what you have done, Eldon. If I'm following this correctly, you have taken the sounds of elvish as the sounds of Hebrew, and translated those Hebrew words into English. As an example, in Italian "ciao" means "hello." To someone who knows, "ciao" is pronounced like "chow", and this sound in English can mean a) a slang noun for "food", b) a slang verb for "to eat", or c) a breed of dog! Now, if someone doesn't know how "ciao" is pronounced, he or she may prounounce it as "see-io" or "k-ao." So from a mispronunciation, "ciao" may turn into "See Io," meaning "See the old Roman (or Greek, I can't remember which) goddess Io," or "Cow," meaning "a domestic animal that produces milk and beef!" So to do what you have done, you need to: 1) have the correct Elvish pronounciation, 2) find the correct Hebrew word according to that pronounciation, and 3) correctly translate that word into English. One slight mistake in any of those steps would throw everything out the window.
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Telperion
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Thanks Thorin.

Hello Eldon.
I don't think I understand how it is possible to translate a text based on a dictionary (as opposed to based on your own linguistic knowledge).
I am fluent in both 'ancient' Hebrew and 'modern' Hebrew. I can tell you that the differences are not as big as you think, actually there are very little differences. A 3000 year old Hebrew text is closer to modern hebrew than a 800 year old english text is to modern english.

quote:
Ancient Hebrew letters were pictographic in character, with each letter having meaning such that the meaning of the entire word was established --not just by an arbitrary definition ascribed to it by the scribes or priests-- but by the meaning inherent in the letters themselves. Modern Hebrew does not have this feature.

I'm not sure what you mean. The letters of Hebrew have not changed since biblical times. We still write with the exact same letters (Aleph, Bet, Gimel and so on).

quote:
"The difference between modern and ancient Hebrew is marginal."
so the promoters of modern Hebrew would have us believe.

Promoters ??? Would have us believe ???
What are you talking about?

I never said the Lexicon is wrong, I said I didn't understand what you concluded from it.
If it's not too much trouble, please use the 'image' UBB code to insert an image file with one of the lines you translated, say "O Orofarne, Lassemista, Carnimirie!" (treebeared). Below insert the 'cutting' of the words so that I can easily see the Hebrew words. Below that (and that's why it should be an image) write the same IN HEBREW.
Maybe that will help.

Have a good evening (from my side of the world anyway [] ).

Telperion.

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Roll of Honor Swift Asfaloth
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I've read Eldon's posts and it's clear he has put a lot of work and thought into his interpretations. I could be offended by his preachy self-righteousness, but I choose to ignore that. If I remember correctly from linguistics classes, very few writing systems are truly pictographic. Even ancient Egyptian and Mayan are not truly pictographic, and Hebrew is certainly not. However, my experience has been that the human brain looks for patterns in everything, including clouds, tortillas, and stains on old walls and pieces of cloth, and searches for meaning where it can. If these patterns and interpretations bring comfort and solace to you, that's great. I find enough delight and interest simply reading Tolkien's works, discussing them in this forum, and marveling at the complexity of the mythos and languages he created.

Telperion: You are a voice of reason. Peace be with you.

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