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Is the root meaning of NTR/Natjir (God) - wonder, shake, force, power, rise, tremble, animate?

Discussion in 'Egyptian Mythology' started by Rakovsky, Aug 19, 2016.

  1. Rakovsky

    Rakovsky Active Member

    Jun 11, 2015
    Eastern Orthodox
    After considering in my last message whether NTR is related to heaven (Nut) and the celestial waters (Nunet), I looked for words in other languages in the Afro-Asiatic family that could show a common root meaning.

    First, I looked at Budge's dictionary and noted that it mentions among other words:
    • Netr - strength, force;
    • Netrer - power, divinity
    SOURCE: An Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary, Volume 1 By Sir Ernest Alfred Wallis Budge

    I note that Budge said that NTR could be pronounced either as Neter or as Nether. And on page 408 he puts Nether as a separate entry
    Nether - Natron,
    Scholars commonly propose that NTR is related to the word Natron. Natron was the cleansing agent used in embalming. The Greeks referred to Nektar at one point in the Greek language as a chemical poured into the nose of a hero or deity, referring perhaps to embalming in Egypt.

    Here is the sign for Natron, which uses the flag sign for a divine being and puts it in a linen bag:

    Next, I looked at dictionaries for the other major language groups in the Afroasiatic family (Cush-ite, Berber, Chadic, Semitic). I also looked for words with K and L, not just T and R, because at some point Egyptians changed pronunciation sometimes from K to T and L to R from the phonetics of their ancestors. Let's begin with Semitic words:

    Among Arabic words I found:
    • Nakr- river
    • Nathara – scatter
    • Natron – (the chemical Sodium Bicarbonate)
    • Natt - jump/jumping
    Let's note in passing that Nakr, or river, is in effect moving water.

    Turning to Hebrew words:

    I note that some scholars consider the Hebrew Nakir ("foreign, strange, unknown") as the root word for NTR. Nakir comes from Nakar, which means to look intently at something, perceive, know, care for, regard with suspicion, scrutinize. (Source: Strong's Dictionary)

    Another word though seems closer - Nathar.
    • Nathar; naw-thar' a primitive root; to jump, i.e. be violently agitated; causatively, to terrify, shake off, untie:--drive asunder, leap, (let) loose, X make, move, undo.
    • Nther; neth-ar' (Aramaic) corresponding to 'nathar' (5425):--shake off.
    • Nether; neh'-ther from 'nathar' (5425); mineral potash (so called from effervescing with acid):--nitre.
    Strong's Dictionary here gives the explanation that the word Nether (Natron) comes from the concept of Nathar, jumping, agitating, shaking, moving, because that it the effect caused with an Acid (like vinegar).


    Next, let's turn to Ge'ez/Amharic:

    The scholar Gabor Takacz mentioned to me that nEkur (E = schwa) means: "uncommon, marvellous, admirable, wonderful, astonishing, glorified" .

    I also found:
    • nekul - giddy, tottering, staggering
    SOURCE: Comparative Dictionary of Geez
    • ankara - causitive, regard as strange, marvel, admire, bewildered
    • nakara - wonder, miracle, astonishing thing, admiration
    • nakir, strange, foreign, stranger, alien, other, different, .... wonder, marvelous
    Concise Dictionary of Gecez
    • nattara - pulsate, throb, circulate; be excellent, pure; be strong, be sour, be boated, inflated, taut;
    • natara - thing which throbs, pulsates; natra - cinnamon bark; container for liquids;
    • nattaqa – rise up
    SOURCE: Amharic – English Dictionary
    • Nehka I - groan, sigh, feel for, be agitated, be tormented; nehka II - be attentive, scrutinize, reflect
    • natra- be hot, be burning, be strong (beer, stew), be acid. Natrium - furnaces
    • natara (Ist meaning), natra - scintillate, sparkle, glare, shimmer, flash, be seen. natr, netr - gleam, sparkle, splendor, glimmer, flash, lightning. (netra mabraq - flash of lightning). Arabic nadura - be brilliant, be radiant. Ethiopic . Te. natra sparkle, scintillate. Tna. natara spurt out. Natara (IInd meaning) - be clarified, be purified, be melted. Antara - clarify, purify, melt. netr - melted, purified, gleam, flarh. Antari - metalworker, who melts metal.
    • natara - jump,
    • natran – natron
    SOURCE: Comparative dictionary of Geez

    But it's not just enough perhaps to look at one language family. Let's also consider Berber languages, where I found:

    Tamazight language
    • nkr - to rise; to stand; to wake up;
    • nqr to trip
    SOURCE: https://www.livelingua.com/peace-corps/Tamazight/Tamazight-English-Dictionary-2007.pdf

    • Nkr - rise, get up, wake up;
    http://friendsofmorocco.org/Docs/Tashlheet/Tash. Language Materials/Tash Dictionary/tashlheetdictionary2011.pdf

    In Cush-ite languages, the connection is not as clear.

    Prof. Takacs pointed out to me that QWARA ENKERAA means love, live, demon in Agaw

    nekwi - pregnant, to be

    Mai Mai
    Nah- to startle, show care

    With Chadic languages, possibly related terms were tougher still to find. But I can tell you that in Bura, "Nyeku" means press, pat. In Hausa, Nuka means ripen. In Kirya, Nkwara means attempt, probability. In Kera, Nakte means shout.

    In his own essay on the meaning of Neter, E.A. Budge notes:


    Budge then turns to the Book of the Dead in order to propose his own answer, that it means living:
    Budge looks at passages from the 18th and 19th dynasties that use netri as an adjective: "Boy netri, heir of eternity, begetting and giving" and "God netri, self-produced, primeval matter." He concludes that in this context the adjective netri means self-produced and having a power to renew life indefinitely. This conclusion is basically a reiteration of how he described M.Pierret's view in passing.

    Although his dictionary noted power and strength as meanings of Netr and Netrer Budge disputes that it can be reliably shown that Neter has those meanings:
    Budge's counterargument was that it wasn't clear from Egyptian texts whether it actually meant this. For example, if the text spoke of an arm that was "neteri", the choice between the two proposed meanings was not clear an arm that was divine could also be strong and vice verse.

    Let me add in conclusion that if one finds a proposal for an etymology of NTR(god) to be related to the terms of astonish, marvel, or wonderful, consider that a similar association has occurred in Russian.

    The original proto-IndoEuropean word for God was Dyeus. It seems that this word has developed into the Sanskrit word Deva (god) and into the Old Slavonic word Div (Дивъ -astonishment, wonder). In modern Russian, Divo (wonder, miracle), udivlenie (удивление) astonishment, amazement, surprise, wonder
    Диво https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/диво
    Дивный, https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/дивный#Russian
    #1 Rakovsky, Aug 19, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2016