David, an Old South Arabian Name

Abdul Al-Dahir

The name David was foreign loan word from Dadantic to biblical Hebrew. The root ‘wd’, meaning to love, does not appear in any biblical text. The root ‘wd’ is common in OSA languages as well as Arabic. A Minaic inscription dating to the 6th Century BCE with the name Dwd clearly inscribed in Dadanitic (a Minaic language). Here is the inscription: http://mnamon.sns.it/index.php?page=Esempi&id=66&lang=en


JS Lih 49
1 ?bdwd
2?fkl W-
3 d w-bn-h
4 S¹lm w-Z-
5 dwd hw-
6 dqw h-?-
7 lm S¹lm h-
8 [m]?lt l-
9 ?-?bt
10 f-r?y
11 [… …]

1 ?bdwd

2 priest of Wadd
3 and his sons
4 S¹lm and Z-
5 dwd
6 offered this
7 three year-old (?)
8 young boy S¹lm
9 ?-?bt;
10 and may ?-?bt satisfy
11 [… …]

Inscription in relief on a stone block from Khirbet al-Khurayba but reemployed as a lintel of a door in the village of al-?Ul? (Saudi Arabia). The text is read from right to left and has word dividers in the shape of two short strokes drawn on the top and bottom of the line. The script is characterised by perpendicular vertical strokes of the squared letters (?, b, k etc.), rhomboid shape of the rounded letters (?, w, y), m with closed triangles.
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The transliteration is not exact as line 4 which reads S¹lm w-Z- should read Shlm w – dh (th as in that) as the Minaic letter dhalet is equivalent to the Arabic dh which is often pronounced dialectically as a ‘z’. Line 5 reads DWD – hw or David in English followed by the beginning of the word hwdqw meaning ‘offered’. So, the sons of the Priest (afkl) AbdWadd (slave of the god Wadd) are Shlm or Shalim (god of the Dusk/Evening Star or Venus & the origin of the name Shlomo or Solomon in English) and Dh(w)Dwd or ‘devoted to the god Dwd’. The word dhu is a preposition in Arabic and means, in this case, belonging to Dwd or devoted to Dwd. It appears that the name Dwd (David) is a Minaean or Shasu name and is another name for the god Wadd. Wadd means ‘love’ and Dwd means ‘loved’ or ‘beloved’ in Hebrew. However, the root is never used as a verb in biblical texts. It may be that the authors were deliberately avoiding the word ‘wdd’ in order to disassociate Dwd (David) from the god Wadd.

According to Dr. James A. Montgomery, the religion of Yhwh was borrowed from the Minaeans, most likely thru the Midianites. Dwd was a Ya’udi or Judean of Aramaic ancestry according to biblical texts. However, the evidence of Shasu (Minaean/Midianite) influence is very evident in every aspect of the Judean religion and rituals including their Levite priesthood which in Minaic were the Lawiat or Levites. Dwd also means ‘uncle’ in Hebrew or Amm in Qataban. Amm or Uncle is the name of the chief god of the Qatabans.

Also, the name Yisrael has Minaean origins as the name Yisrabaal was found in Minaean inscription at Al Ula or Mada’in Salah in the Arabian Peninsula. So, it appears that the Aramean clan of Ya’udi (Judah in Hebrew) were fully integrated into the Shasu/Edomite confederation and adopted their religion and their rituals. They appear to have adopted Moses too as well as the history of the Shasu under Egyptian hegemony.

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