GR 1223          ORPHNČ

H 0187            ל פ ר ע

Concept of root : darkness, cloudiness

Hebrew word


English meanings

ל פ ר ע


darkness, thick clouds

Related English words


Comparison between European words and Hebrew




English meanings

Similarity in roots


ל פ ר ע


darkness, thick clouds

‛a r ph


ορφνη ; ορφνος

orphnč; orphnos

darkness; dark, hazy

o r ph



Hebrew e.o. *‛ARAPHEL < Proto-Semitic *ARAP- --- *ORPHNÈ Greek



This entry is related to number E 0954 (Hebrew 0186). The concept seems to be that of darkness, obscurity and haziness caused by clouds, especially low clouds and fog. Greek uses an initial vowel O, while in Hebrew we see an A reinforced by the placing of the "consonant" Ayin in front of it.


This Classic Greek word, with its similarity with Hebrew, has been abandoned during the development into Modern Greek


Hebrew scholars agree that the fourth consonant L in " araphel " has been a later addition, but there is non clear explanation of the why and when . The extension was not used in all languages and may have been absent in Proto-Semitic.


  • Proto-Semitic. The extension of the three consonant root " Ayin R P " into the more exceptional four consonant root " Ayin R P L " is seen in Hebrew, Aramaic and Syriac . This development may have been posterior to Proto-Semitic. It is then useful to note that Akkadian uses the root " Ayin R P " to express the concept of clouds, whereas in Greek it also says " hazy ".


  • Greek scholars see the consonant " N " in "orphnč" as a later addition and link these words not so much to the effect of clouds, but to "darkness" or "hazyness" in general. They see it also as related to the word "ερεβος, erebos = twilight, darkness", that is shown in entry number GR 1170 (Hebrew 0175), with its Hebrew cognate ע ר ב, ‛erev = evening". We suppose that the adding of the "N " had a meaning, like the, different, adding of "L" in Semitic languages. They probably indicate the specific kind of hazyness and darkness caused by fog and clouds. This remains hypothetical.





Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 22/01/2013 at 16.46.23