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Category: Research

The Photo and the Question

By , October 2, 2007 11:06 am

One of my readers left a comment in the feedback section, so I though that I would share with you this information. There were 2 questions involved.

1- Why a dagger in the site’s logo? Is there a story behind it?

Actually, this is not a dagger, it is a sword. I have always been fascinated with the weapons of ancient civilization, and there is a lot of research on what a roman sword looks like, a Greek sword, a Japanese sword, etc…

This one is a Canaanite sword, one of very rare finds in this domain that I could find.

2- The second question is about the difference between Phoenicians and Canaanites.

There are many theories out there:

1- They are one and the same people (And that is my belief)
2- The sea people settled in Lebanon after their invasion, intermarried with the existing Canaanites and these are the Phoenicians.
3- The sea people landed in Palestine and they became the Palestinians and had no effect of the Canaanite/Phoenician population.
4- And probably many others

In all my linguistic research, I have not found any single inscription where the Canaanites refer to themselves as Phoenicians. It simply does not exist. The people who lives in Byblos, Beirut, Saida, Sour, etc…, call themselves Canaanites in all their inscriptions.

Therefore, the language they spoke is actually Canaanite. The Greeks referred to these people as “Phoenicians” in all their records, and there are historical events recorded in Canaan as “Canaanites”, and at the same time, recorded in Greece as “Phoenician”. This is an evidence that these are one and the same people.

As for the sea people, there is even doubt that they existed at all. The only surviving inscriptions are to be found in Egypt, and only in Egypt, which leads many historians to believe that it was a “made up” account by the Pharaoh, to leave a document of great achievement.

In my opinion, the Canaanites called themselves Canaanites, and the Greeks and the west called them Phoenicians.

Maroun Kassab

By the way!

By , September 22, 2007 5:51 pm

Another term we use in Lebanon is something that could be translated as “By the way”.
The term is Mḣa’a”, “محأئى”.

The original word comes from the Phoenician term “𐤌𐤇𐤒“, meaning “to erase”. So, in an interjection, you can say Mḣa’a”, “محأئى”, meaning “erased”, a word that is used to change the subject. It means some sort of “erase what we have been talking about, this is a new subject”.

يي شحاري

By , September 13, 2007 12:16 pm

𐤔𐤇𐤓: Pronounced “CḢR”, “Ceḣar”, “شحار”, and meaning “god of the dawn”.

In the South of Lebanon, we have a saying when a certain grave event occurs, a person would shout “Yii Cḣaare” ,  “يي شحاري”. Many people do not know the origin of this term, but it is Phoenician which would literally mean: “Oh my god Ceḣar”. Sort of calling out or invoking of the god.

This term has survived from the Phoenician times into our modern days, and it represents calling the name of the god “Ceḣar” in the time of need, in the same way we call upon Christian and Muslim divinities in our modern times.

Update: September 17, 2007

I have been wondering about the reason why this name is called upon in times of grave events. Ceḣar is the god of dawn in the Phoenician mythology. In Hebrew, he is identified with Lucifer. This is an indication as if it is the god’s making who caused the grave event, an evil event. Lucifer has been also referred to as “the morning star” in Hebrew, which is in direct relation with the Phoenician tradition. A useful link here.

“How art thou fallen from heaven
O day-star, son of the morning! (Helel ben Shahar)
How art thou cast down to the ground,
That didst cast lots over the nations!
And thou saidst in thy heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
Above the stars of God (El)
Will I exalt my throne;
And I will sit upon the mount of meeting,
In the uttermost parts of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will be like the Most High (Elyon).’
Yet thou shalt be brought down to the nether-world,
To the uttermost parts of the pit.”

Isaiah 14:12-15

The Aleph and the Taw

By , August 16, 2007 7:26 am

I have been wondering about this for a while, and I wanted to share some thoughts with you, maybe you can give further information. In the Bible, Jesus is referred to as the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. The Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, and the Omega is the last letter.

Jesus was not Greek though, and the writer of the bible was a Jew as well, speaking the language of Christ: The Aramaic.

So, if we take the first Aramaic letter, derived from the Canaanite and resembles it, the Aleph, meaning Ox, what does that tell us? The Ox was the largest sacrifice that you could offer to God in the Jewish religion. This is what God asked of Moses:

وَإِنْ أَخْطَأَ شَعْبُ إِسْرَائِيلَ كُلُّهُ سَهْواً، وَاقْتَرَفُوا إِحْدَى نَوَاهِي الرَّبِّ الَّتِي لاَ يَنْبَغِي اقْتِرَافُهَا، وَأَثِمُوا، وَكَانَ الْمَجْمَعُ غَافِلاً عَنِ الأَمْرِ،

14 ثُمَّ اكْتَشَفَ الْمَجْمَعُ الْخَطِيئَةَ الْمُرْتَكَبَةَ، عِنْدَئِذٍ يُقَرِّبُ الْمَجْمَعُ ثَوْراً ذَبِيحَةَ خَطِيئَةٍ، يُحْضِرُونَهُ أَمَامَ الرَّبِّ عِنْدَ خَيْمَةِ الاجْتِمَاعِ.

15 وَيَضَعُ شُيُوخُ الشَّعْبِ أَيْدِيَهُمْ عَلَى رَأْسِ الثَّوْرِ فِي حَضْرَةِ الرَّبِّ، وَيَذْبَحُونَهُ هُنَاكَ،

16 وَيَأْخُذُ الْكَاهِنُ الْمَمْسُوحُ مِنْ دَمِ الثَّوْرِ وَيَدْخُلُ بِهِ إِلَى خَيْمَةِ الاجْتِمَاعِ،

17 ثُمَّ يَغْمِسُ إِصْبَعَهُ فِي الدَّمِ وَيَرُشُّ مِنْهُ سَبْعَ مَرَّاتٍ أَمَامَ الرَّبِّ عِنْدَ حِجَابِ «الْقُدْسِ»

18 وَكَذَلِكَ يَضَعُ بَعْضَ الدَّمِ عَلَى قُرُونِ مَذْبَحِ الْبَخُورِ الْعَطِرِ الَّذِي فِي دَاخِلِ «الْقُدْسِ» فِي حَضْرَةِ الرَّبِّ. أَمَّا بَقِيَّةُ الدَّمِ فَيَصُبُّهُ عِنْدَ قَاعِدَةِ مَذْبَحِ الْمُحْرَقَةِ الْقَائِمِ عِنْدَ مَدْخَلِ خَيْمَةِ الاجْتِمَاعِ.

19 وَيَنْزِعُ الْكَاهِنُ جَمِيعَ شَحْمِهِ وَيُحْرِقُهُ عَلَى الْمَذْبَحِ.

20 وَيَفْعَلُ بِالثَّوْرِ كَمَا فَعَلَ بِثَوْرِ الْخَطِيئَةِ، فَيُكَفِّرُ عَنْهُمُ الْكَاهِنُ وَيَغْفِرُ اللهُ لَهُمْ.

21 ثُمَّ يَحْمِلُ بَقِيَّةَ الثَّوْرِ إِلَى خَارِجِ الْمُخَيَّمِ وَيُحْرِقُهُ كَمَا أَحْرَقَ الثَّوْرَ الأَوَّلَ، فَيَكُونُ ذَبِيحَةَ خَطِيئَةٍ عَنْ كُلِّ الشَّعْبِ.

13 ” ‘If the whole Israelite community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD’s commands, even though the community is unaware of the matter, they are guilty. 14 When they become aware of the sin they committed, the assembly must bring a young bull as a sin offering and present it before the Tent of Meeting. 15 The elders of the community are to lay their hands on the bull’s head before the LORD, and the bull shall be slaughtered before the LORD. 16 Then the anointed priest is to take some of the bull’s blood into the Tent of Meeting. 17 He shall dip his finger into the blood and sprinkle it before the LORD seven times in front of the curtain. 18 He is to put some of the blood on the horns of the altar that is before the LORD in the Tent of Meeting. The rest of the blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar of burnt offering at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. 19 He shall remove all the fat from it and burn it on the altar, 20 and do with this bull just as he did with the bull for the sin offering. In this way the priest will make atonement for them, and they will be forgiven. 21 Then he shall take the bull outside the camp and burn it as he burned the first bull. This is the sin offering for the community.

So, the Ox, is the offering for the sins of the people of Israel. It is a striking resemblence to the description of Christ as dying for our sins, right?

The second symbol is the Taw, meaning the Mark. I am not sure how these two concepts connect together other than that symbol looks like a cross, the mark, the symbol of the Christian faith. That is why I am sharing this, so, either you can say that this is a long shot theory, or, there is some sense to it.

In the Kitchen

By , August 2, 2007 7:51 am

One of the finest examples of the way the Phoenician language differs in its outlook to the world than other cultures is its use of the word “Kitchen”.

The word “Kitchen” in Phoenician is “𐤌𐤈𐤁𐤇“, Pronounced ” Maṫbaḣ, “مطبح”. In Arabic, the word used is very close: “Maṫbaḱ”, “مطبخ”, in Aramaic/Syriac “beyt ṭbāḥā”

So, in what ways do these 2 term differ? It is in 2 other words found in the Phoenician language: “Ṫabaḣ”, “طبح” and “Ṫobbaḣ” “طباح”, written the same in Phoenician “𐤈𐤁𐤇“.

So what do these 2 words mean in Phoenician? Ṫabaḣ means to slaughter, and Ṫubbaḣ mean butcher.

These 2 terms in Arabic would be “ذبح” for slaughter, and “لحام” for butcher, In Syriac would be “ṭbḥ” for slaughter and “ṭabāḥā” for butcher, whereas the term “db” would have been used for “sacrifice specifically” as in the Phoenician “ZBḢ” “𐤆𐤁𐤇“.

So in Phoenician: Ṫabaḣ, Ṫubbaḣ, Maṫbaḣ
In Arabic: Zabaḣ, Laḣḣaam, Maṫbaḱ

You now can see the consistency within the Phoenician language in terms of words in accordance with the term to the butcher. So it is sort of “to butcher” “the butcher” “the place where the animal is “butchered”. On another note, If we want to follow the same sequence in Arabic, Ṫabaḱ, Ṫabbaḱ, Maṫbaḱ, it is also consistent, but the meaning is totally different, and these words would mean: “To Cook”, “The Cook” and “where the food is cooked”.

The voyage of Hanno

By , July 30, 2007 1:29 pm

I have been putting together an interactive map of the voyage of Hanno around Africa. I will keep updating this code as I get new Information, but you can follow it for now step by step, with regards to satellite images on google maps.

You can view a better map on the resources page here.

The online Phoenician keyboard

By , July 27, 2007 11:55 am

I have created a google page for the Phoenician online keyboard, in case the website goes down for any reason. This is the permanent link for the keyboard online.

Microsoft Support Professional reply

By , July 19, 2007 3:36 pm

I called a Microsoft Support Professional. They said that they cannot help me because my software was provided by DELL and not by them, and that I should contact DELL support. After much explanation, I told them that even if I called DELL, they cannot help because they “did not design the software”. This is a software installed by DELL, but provided by Microsoft. The professional then said that she can forward me to an expert for a fee of $59.

Then, I had to to explain to the professional that . OK, Not to bother you with details.
Long story short I go to a point where I got the number for the corporate office:

I’ll call. Maybe someone will eventually listen.

Reply from Microsoft

This is the reply that I received from Microsoft regarding the letter I sent them:

Hello Maroun,
Thank you for contacting Microsoft Online Customer Service.
I understand that you are unable to use the Phoenician font in your explorer and would like to know is there any fix for the issue.
As a Customer Service Representative, I can direct you to the appropriate support group. I would like to inform you that this issue requires the technical expertise of a Support Professional. Hence, I request you to work on this issue with the Microsoft Support Professional by contacting them at (800) 936-5700, Monday – Friday 5:00 A.M. – 9:00 P.M. Pacific time Saturday – Sunday 6:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M. Pacific time.

I hope your issue is resolved soon. Please feel free to contact us for further assistance.

Thank you for using Microsoft products and services.

Microsoft Online Customer Service Representative


So, I will call the number provided to me today. I will update you with the information I get.

Letter to Microsoft

By , July 16, 2007 5:48 pm

In the effort to push the matter for displaying the Phoenician characters on Explorer 6.0 or 7.0, since apparently they are not supported yet, I have sent Microsoft this letter today. I will keep you updated on the results of their reply.

If you want to see the Phoenician letters, you have to use firefox for now. Microsoft promised that they will be get back to me within 24 hours.

Below is the letter I sent out:

I have developed my website, dictionary, and online keyboard for the Phoenician language, In explorer, I am unable to see the characters for the Phoenician letters.

Before you are able to see the characters, you will need to install a unicode 5.0 compatible font. You can find the font here:

Once you install this font, you will be able to see the fonts in your browser, or, if you are using internet explorer, you will not be able to. You can see these characters in firefox, but not in explorer.

The test page for the encoding for the Phoenician letters could be seen here:

I would like to know if there is going to be fix for this in explorer, or if there is a certain setting that I must install!

I would appreciate the response for this question, and whether you are going to address it anytime soon.

Thank you for your time,

Best Regards,

Maroun Kassab

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