Sunday, March 2, 2014

Symbols for Abraham in the Sensen Papyrus: The Coil, the Quail and the Lotus, and the Hebrew/Egyptian word Abrek/Abrekh

So, we see the hieroglyphs above, identified by Joseph Smith as signifying “Abraham,” both in the Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar, as well as in Facsimiles #1 and #3 of the Book of Abraham.  In summary of what I will discuss below, the coil or spiral above is read by Joseph Smith as Abra-oam, signifying the name Abraham.  This is the hieratic character equivalent for the quail chick hieroglyph.  The quail chick, in the hieroglyphic version of the Egyptian Alphabet stands for the W.  The quail chick is chennu in Egyptian.  The Akkadian for rope coil is qinnu, cognate of chennu.  The associated Akkadian cognate verb is kananu, which also means to coil up or to bow.  A Hebrew word cognate to these is kana, that means to bow.  The other word in Hebrew, derived from Egyptian, that means to bow the knee is ABREK or ABREKH.  The associated word in Coptic is Abork, to prostrate one's self.  John Gee showed that in one of the magical papyri, the word Abracam was used to refer to Abraham, and it has the hard K sound in that version of the name, just like in the Hebrew word Abrek.  The rope spiral character and the quail do indeed stand for the name Abraham.  Furthermore, the rope coil is the Egyptian hieratic W character, showing that it is an initial for the name Wsir (Osiris).  Abraham was represented as Osiris lying on the lion couch in Facsimile #1.  Indeed, this character stands for Abraham.  I will show the details for this below.


See also this other article, where it is clear that the name Abrek or Abracam is clearly linked to the name of the Gnostic god Abrakas or Abraxas, who in turn is linked to Osiris:

Here is where the character originally appeared on the Sensen Papyrus at the beginning of the "text" on the papyrus (encircled in red):

As you can see in the character comparisons above, the ones from the Facsimiles (the two on the top) are the lotus flowers (Egyptian water lily), specifically identifying Abraham in the Explanations.  As you can see, the lotus flowers, when represented in Egyptian iconography, many times have a stem that hangs low, making a hook-shaped figure.

And the ones from the Sensen Papyrus as well as from the Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar are versions of the hieratic W character, or loop/hook or coil of rope.  Also, we have supplied a swirly version of the heiratic W above for visual comparison.  And again, in the hieroglyphic, this is the quail.  It is clear that these are all are curly like a comma, and therefore are all visually linked to one another.  In Gardiner's sign list, the W character is numbered Z7.  In Hieroglyphic, a similar character that seems to be basically identical visually is numbered as V1 in Gardiner's sign list (this is sometimes used as a determinative for words having to do with ropes, cords, tying, etc.).  It also stands for the number 100. (

And remember that Joseph Smith, according to Ashment, identified “Abraham” as the hieroglyph Wsir-Wr or  “Osiris the Great.” Often, the owner of a papyrus identifies himself as “Osiris so-and-so,” taking upon himself, becoming a ritual incarnation of the God, just as the LDS take upon ourselves the name of Christ.  And Osiris is transliterated as Wsir, and if we want to use the initial of the name Wsir, wouldn't it be W?  This is Acrophony applied to an alphabetic character.  The Lotus Flower is identified in a Hindu connection with the god Brahama, which has all the consonants in the name Abraham.

It should come as no surprise also, that the cartouche is a loop of rope also, and denotes the fact that a NAME of an individual is spelled out using the hieroglyphs that are contained within it.  It is not surprising that the cartouche should stand symbolic of the identity of a person.  Here is an example of a cartouche:


As you can see, these symbols are all contained within the loop of rope.  And this other loop or coil of rope that is the hieratic W figure also stands for someone's identity or name.

Once again, we have not only the acrophonic principle, but also a visual affinity, where the lotus looks like the hook/coil shaped W figure.  The hieroglyphic version of this is the quail:


In Gardiner's Sign List, this is numbered as G43.  Here is Ed Ashment's discussion about this character:

Even the quail hieroglyph has a curved shape.  Also, the Egyptian W denotes masculinity, wile the T denotes femininity.  Usually for words in the singular, there is no W required, but for duality or plurality, there is. Certainly, when representing Abraham, the W is symbolic of a male person. (See

Don't forget that the the lotus blossoms in Egyptian are pronounced or have the vocalization of SENSEN, the very name of our papyrus.  And remember, the name of the Conjunction of the Two Bulls of the Alphabet are Sensen.  Interestingly also, the hieroglyphic sign for a coil of rope which we discussed above, numbered V1 in Gardiner's sign list phonetically represents the sound SN. (

Clearly, all of these signs are tied together in various ways.  Remember that the god in the Sensen Papyrus that is the moon is Khonsu.  In Egyptian, the word for quail chick is chennu, which sounds a lot like Khonsu.  As a personal name in the Ptolemaic period, it was Chennus or Chennos, with the Greek nominative S at the end of the name (see for example  In Akkadian, kananu is to twist or to coil. (Gemination in the Akkadian Verb, By N. J. C. Kouwenberg, p. 157.)  It also means to build a nest. (A Concise Dictionary of the Assyrian Languages, Volume 1, By William Muss-Arnol, p. 407)

 Also, in Akkadian, a reed coil for a bird's nest is either hisu or qinnu. (  See also  And also, the same thing in Sumerian was gigud.  The form of qinnu is very similar phonetically to kananu and chennus Qinnu also somtimes just means nest, not necessarily the reed coil itself.  (A Concise Dictionary of the Assyrian Languages, Volume 1, By William Muss-Arnol, p. 407).  Kananu also means to crouch, cower, or squat. (ibid.)  Or according to another source:

kanānu (vb. a/u ; [OA,OB,MB,NB] )

G. to roll up, wrap up ; to contract (v.i.), curl up ; to tuck up (garment) D = G ; to contract (v.t.) ; stat. : to be curled up Štn. [MA] to bow oneself repeatedly N. to contract oneself  (, emphasis added)

The Hebrew word that is the cognate to this is kana (Strongs, 3665),  means to bend the knee, or to humiliate.  Now, we look at the Egyptian-derived word with the same root meaning of “to bow the knee or kneel” that is found in Hebrew, which is is abrek or abrech (Strongs 36).  In Hebrew there is another cognate to this word, which is barak (Strongs 1288),  which means to kneel.  In Coptic, the word is abork, to prostrate one's self. (  Interestingly, in Assyrian abarakku, means "grand vizier" or "friend of a king." (ibid.).  This is an interesting parallel with Book of Abraham Facsimle #3, where Abraham is sitting on the throne of the Pharoah, by politeness of the king, not to mention the fact that Abraham himself is quite princely and well off in the Bible.

Indeed.  In other words, to summarize ABREK is a valid Semitic reading or representation of the rope coil character in the Sensen Papyrus from the standpoint of the idea in these languages includes the idea to bow or kneel.  Therefore, it is clear that Joseph Smith's phonetic reading in the Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar for the rope coil character as Abra-oam is QUITE VALID.  And the character is quite a good representation of the name ABRAHAM.  It is interesting that John Gee pointed out that in one lion couch scene found in one of the Magical Papyri, the scene is associated with the name or word ABRACAM (with the hard K sound in the name rather than just an H. (  Of course, this source that I have just pointed to here is Ed Ashment's attempt to refute Gee on this point, I simply disagree with Ed Ashment, and agree with Gee here.  There are plenty of other things that I disagree with Gee on, but on this, he is 100% correct.  The magical papyrus in question is indeed pointing to Abraham, and Ashment's criticisms of it are simply just a bunch of quibbling.

Conceptually, the "coil" that a bird would use for his nest is a reed is a significant conceptual tie, since our bird here is a quail, and the previous hieroglyph in the papyrus to the bird/coil was a reed, which, as we saw, translates clearly as Karduniash, the Land of Chaldees.  (

In Greek, the word for quail is ortikia.  In German it is wachtel.  In Sanskrit, the word for quail is vartika, and some Semitic word for Moon is yareakh, or oreakh (Olea).  The Greek goddess Artemis (a name which sounds an awful lot like these words) was the Moon goddess, and was represented by the quail.

Some have tried to trace the derivation of the name Artemis from such things as the Greek word artemes ("safe") or the Greek word artamos ("butcher").  But these are not likely.  However, in the myth of Artemis, it is clear that the themes of both the moon and the quail are evident.  And it is clear from the various Indo-Eurpean and Semitic cognates, the ART or W/VRTKh or ORTKh or YRK (vowel-RTK) pattern is clearly evident.  I have highlighted the matches here in color.  Remember that in Egyptian, the W is basically like a vowel, like the vowel O.  This name is clearly another cognate related to both the moon and to the quail.

Related to this clearly as well, and another possible derivation/relation/origin is the word arktos ("bear"), referring to the Great Bear/Dipper constellation of the North.  Yarek is the constellation of the thigh of the leg (of the Bull), and the Great Bear constellation in some cultures is the same as the Thigh.  Yarek as the word for thigh in Hebrew is directly related to the word for moon, as can be seen.  These cognate words are the origin of our word Arctic, because it is the North.  Remember also, that Artemis was worshiped as part of a bear cult in Attica.  In old Irish, the word art means "bear," "hero" or "warrior."

So, there is an odd connection, mythologically, phonetically and linguistically between the cognate words for quail and the words for moon and thigh, including the name Artemis.  Remember that the W symbol stands for both the W sound and the OO sound.  Some of these derivations from Indo-Eurpoean or Semitic that seem connected start with a W or O sound.

Why is this important?  As Paul Y. Hoskisson writes, when commenting on the location of Ur of the Chaldees:

The physical setting [of Abraham's Ur] becomes particularly important when a scholarly consensus places a scriptural site at a known geographical location. On this basis scholars augment and supplement our body of scriptural knowledge with empirical data made available from previously known facts about the site. For instance, the placing of the Ur of Abraham at the Ur in southern Mesopotamia suggests that Abraham had contact with and was influenced by the dominant cult of that Ur, the cult of the moon god. . . .[B]ecause the Uri(m) in southern Mesopotamia was one of the major sites of the moon god cult, and Haran, where Abraham settled for a time, was also a major moon god cult center, then Abraham could easily have been from the Uri(m) in southern Mesopotamia . . .. . . that since Haran was a major cult site of the moon god, Abraham went there and not another place because he must have come from a major cult site of the moon god. Therefore, as the theory goes, only Uri(m), of all potential sites, comes into question. This theory is based on the assumption that Abraham and his father would have wanted to move to a location where the same cult prevailed. This assumption is not warranted because as we will see below, it was precisely to get away from a cult that Abraham left Ur. That Uri(m) and Haran were major sites of the moon god cult says nothing about the location of Ur. This . . . reason by itself is neither sufficient nor necessary, even if valid, and is totally without merit. (Paul Y. Hoskisson, “Where Was Ur of the Chaldees?” in The Pearl of Great Price: Revelations from God, ed. H. Donl Peterson and Charles D. Tate Jr. (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1989), 119–36.

I totally disagree with Brother Hoskisson.  His critique of the theory here that it is based entirely on the pagan moon god called "Sin," would be correct if that was all that there was to it, because Abraham was trying to get away from paganism, that it is not a valid assumption.  Remember that in Egyptian, the spiral coil hieroglyphic (Gardiner's V1) is pronounced SN, just as the moon god is called Sin.  In fact, the Akkadian word Sin (also Su'en, or in Sumerian SES.KI) isn't all that far from the word Khonsu.  Perhaps to the originators of the theory that he is critiquing, it was because of the pagan religion of the moon god.  But to me, it doesn't take much to make better sense of it.  We have already answered the question of whether Brother Hoskisson's position that the Northern Ur site is correct in a different post about the place name Karduniash, Chalsidonhiash in the Kirtland Egyptian Papers, and the reed symbol in the Sensen Papyrus.  He is absolutely wrong about that.  Our research has shown without a doubt that Joseph Smith was referring to the southern Ur in Karduniash.  Though he notes that it is seemingly anachronistic, the use of the name as Chalsidonhiash obviously was something done by Abraham's descendants post-dates the time of Abraham, just as the Sensen Papyrus post-dates the time of Abraham.  The supposed anachronism is not of substance, because Abraham didn't use the name Chalsidonhiash for his home.  His descendants did.  The people that were originally responsible for the information contained in Joseph Smith's revelations in the Kirtland Egyptian Papers did.

Here Hoskisson's assumption is that the only reason Abraham would be associated with the moon would be because of the Moon cult of the Sumerian god known by the name of "Sin."  Not at all.  Abraham's rejection of the Moon as a god does not imply that he rejects it as a symbol at all.  Allah's origin as a Moon god of the Arab's does not mean that Allah is not a good name for the God of Abraham in Arabic, just like the symbol of the god Min in the Hypocephalus can stand for God revealing the key words of the priesthood to Abraham.  Abraham mentioned the moon in his book as Olea and Floees.  Similarly, Abraham still maintained the symbol as the place of his origin, as did his descendants.  I mean, this whole argument revolves around symbols of Abraham's origin and symbols of Abraham in the Sensen Papyrus after all.  The fact that Khonsu, the god of the Alphabet, is the Moon is an important fact.  Connected with that, so are the symbols the chennus, or the quail and the coil.  This symbol stands for Abraham, because not only is he Osiris and it is the W symbol, but also because he is the man from the city of the Moon.  He is the "bird" that originally "nested" in the Ur, and later, "nested" in Haran.  Similarly, this is the same reason that Khonsu is also associated with Abraham, and that this papyrus is associated with Abraham, and that the Alphabet is associated with Abraham.  The dissecting of Egyptian characters is the essence of the wedjat eye, which is the moon.  It is the essence of what is happening in the Sensen papyrus.  It is all about these symbolic associations.