Saturday, November 28, 2015

Remy engages in discussion about the similarities between Igbo and Hebrew

Van Riper can actually talk about the Igbos, because he has been studying the Igbos from many important angles for years. Alongside Professor Isaac Mozeson, the author of The Origin of Speeches-Intelligent Design In Language, Igbo-American Sampson Hannuka, and myself, Van Riper has been working to find Igbo words that are as he said, ‘clearly related to ancient Hebrew’. I can say that some important progress has been made in this project, but that more astonishing finds and revelations will come up when more Igbos that know Hebrew and similar languages like Aramaic, and Arabic join the effort. And while we are at it, it will be good to conduct a little demonstration about how close the Igbo and the Hebrew languages are to each other. Among the Igbos, when a man pre-deceases the father, by Igbo customs and traditions something that is note-worthy, and very important has happened. The position of the first son is very important in the Igbo family. Among other things the first son (di okpara) takes over from the father as the priest of the family, and gets a larger share of the inheritance. If the individual who died while the father was still alive was the first son, and had married and gotten a son or sons, his own son would not get the rights of the first son of the family, even though his father was the first son. The rights would go to the younger brother of the deceased (the uncle of the son of the deceased), because the deceased ‘nwuru na ihu nna ya’, (he died in the presence of the father). Curiously, what do we find in Genesis 11: 28?- “And Haran died in the presence of his father Terah…….” The writer of Genesis could have written that Haran died when/while the father was still alive. The writer could also have written that Haran died before….or pre-deceased the father. Both statements are standard constructions in English language. But he could not have, because he was translating from Hebrew to English, and had to try as much as possible to present what he saw. And what he saw in the Hebrew language is what is found in the Igbo language-that the way to present the death of a son when the father is still alive, is ‘that he died in the presence of the father.’ This somewhat confirms what G. T. Basden, the Welsh-Anglican missionary and anthropologist who lived  among the Igbos for many years, observed so many years ago in his book  Niger Ibos:1966-that “Igbo language runs an interesting parallel with Hebrew idiom.” More detailed studies of the similarities between the Igbo and the Hebrew languages can be conducted by reading the relevant sections of The Igbos And Israel: An Inter-cultural Study of the Largest Jewish Diaspora, and www.edenic/

No comments:

Post a Comment