GR 1170          EREBOS

H 0175            ב ר ע

Concept : evening, sunset, dusk

Hebrew word


English meanings

ב ר ע


evening, sunset, dusk

Related English words


Comparison between European words and Hebrew




English meanings

Similarity in roots


ע ר ב


evening, sunset, dusk

‛e r . b




twilight , darkness

 e r . b

Old English

earp, eorp

dark, dusky

 (e) r . p



Proto-Semitic *‛EREB --- *EREB Indo-European



A simple straighforward similarity advocates the assumption that a common origin is there. The meaning of the root is "evening, dusk" and if used as a verb "getting evening", which implies the setting of the sun.


Often as the original meaning of this root is seen the concept of " to set, to enter ", with the sun "setting", "entering" into the sea or earth. This is based on Akkadian " erēbu " that is used in fact for "to enter, go in" besides " to go down, set ".


If indeed " to enter" would seem the basic meaning, it would be present also in other languages, like Arabic and Aramaic, besides Hebrew, but it is not . So this idea remains improbable. And one notes that anyhow Akkadian "erē shamshi" means "sunset". Then Old English gives us a hand with a rather clear cognate of Hebrew.


  • Proto-Semitic. We find here the same root that thus continued into Hebrew. It is seen in Aramaic "ע ר ב Ayin R B ,arav, erev" . There are the abovementioned cognates in Akkadian "erev" and "erebu". Then Arabic shows "gharb = place of sunset, West", to which one must remark that Arabic "GH" often corresponds with a Hebrew Ayin. Proto-Semitic probably indicated evening and sunset with the root " *ע ר ב Ayin R B" .


  • Proto-Germanic. The information we have is relatively limited, but important enough. Besides Old English we have Old High German "erpf" = dark and Old Norse "jarp-r = dark brown". There may well have been a Proto-Germanic "*E R P-" with a message of "dusk, dark".


  • Indo-European. On the basis of Greek plus Proto-Germanic one may hypothesize for Indo-European a form "*E R E B" with a message of "dusk, dark". This implies that Germanic sharpened the " B " into an explosive " P " and that Indo-European used two vowels within the root.


    Interesting is that Sanscrit has a word "aruni" that says "dawn" instead of "dusk". This word is perhaps related to Hebrew "or = light".





Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 03/10/2012 at 15.24.12