Friday 17 July 2015

Eat - To break fast

Eid ul-Fitr is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. Eid is an Arabic word meaning "festivity", while Fitr means "to break the fast". 

The main focus point of this holiday is a communal feast. Interestingly Jed (Slavic), Eat (Germanc), Ithe (Irish)...are all words coming from the same ancient Indoeuropean root meaning "to eat"...

Since the time immemorial the focal point of every celebration was the communal feast. This is why I believe that the word "eid" got its meaning "celebrating" from the meaning "eating" or more precisely "eating together". This means that the expression "Eid ul-Fitr" literally means "Eat to break the fast" which is the exact description of what happens during the "Eid ul-Fitr" holiday...

And I thought that Arabic is a Semitic, Afroasiatic language unrelated to Indoeuropean languages...

I already wrote about this linguistic mystery in my post about the "The Christmas trees from the Garden of Eden"? 

Here is the part that talks about the etymology of the word Eden:

If we look at the word Eden we see that the origin and the meaning of the word "Eden" is uncertain. The official etymology says that it comes from Hebrew עדן (eden), perhaps from Sumerian e-den "Steppe, garden".

But I believe that the root of this word is much simpler. In Serbian we have word "jede" which is in the old south Serbian dialect found in a form "ede". This word means eat. It comes from the Proto Indo European root "*h₁ed" meaning to eat from which the English word eat also comes from. In Serbian we have the following words derived from the root "ede, jede":

jelo, jedja, jedivo, jestivo – food
edenje, jedenje, iće - food (south Serbian dialect). Literally means eating and is the direct cognate of the English word eating.
eden, jeden - eaten

The garden of Eden was the garden of edible trees. It was the garden of god given food, of edenje, jedenje, eating. Is this the actual original, simple meaning of the word Eden = Eating, Food? Was the Garden of Eden just the edible forest, the Garden of Jedenje, Eating?

And again how come we have these Indoeuropean words in these ancient Afroasiatic languages???

If we assume that the division on Indoeruopean and Afroasiatic languages is true, and I am beginning to doubt this, then this word predates the linguistic split and is probably one of the oldest surviving words in living languages. But I think that the division into Indoeuropean and Afriasiatic languages needs to be reevaluated. Look at the genetic map of Africa, Europe and Asia. Population is mixed and so are the Languages. Look at all the R1a people in Arabia and R1b in Africa, all the J1 and J2 peopla in Africa, Asia Minor and Europe, all the E1b people in Europe...There is no clean division, there can't be. I believe that this word comes from the old languages spoken in the old 4 river's plateau, the place where we find the old Eden in Asia Minor in Mesolithic....I wrote about it in my post about the Trees from the Garden of Eden. But then this word could have entered the Afroasiatic languages much later as the people continued to mix through the following millenniums. 

What do you think?


  1. The Garden of Eden story is one of many Eneolithic era Sumerian myths makes its way into the Torah (another is the story of baby Moses in the river, and a third is the story of Noah). One of the reasons advanced for the compilation of the Hebrew Bible at all was that this may have been a requirement of Babylonian overlords to have their religion recognized officially while the Hebrews in in exiled in Mesopotamia (formerly Sumeria) - which would put reception of the myth by Hebrew culture not in the Eneolithic, but in the mid- to late-Iron Age. The Garden of Eden was one of several late Retcon into the Hebrew's legendary history from outside sources.

    By that point in time, the Hebrews would have had exposure to Indo-European Hittites (who were the current inhabitants of the place where the Garden was allegedly located), and this geographic placement by Mesopotamian story tellers at the time that the Hebrews received this story could indicate that it was a Hittite myth received via Mesopotamia by the Hebrews in exile.

    The etymology is seductive, but I very much doubt that it has the time depth necessary to be traceable to a common origin of Afro-Asiatic and Indo-European. I also doubt that "Eden" is a word shared by all Afro-Asiatic languages or even one that is shared in common with Arabic. Even in Hebrew, it isn't obvious that the connotation of Eden as a place of eating, as opposed to being merely a proper known, was understood. Rather, this may be a case where Hebrew borrowed the word as a proper noun from its Babylonian use as a proper noun, which in turn was borrowed from a place name that had semantic meaning in Hittite, but its original meaning which was mysterious to the Babylonians and to the Hebrews was lost.

  2. Eden is related to the Nilo-Kushitic word egan, meaning virgin forest. Eden is described in Genesis as a vast well-watered region that extended from the V of the Upper Nile to the V of the Tigris-Euphrates. The V is an archaic pre-alphabet symbol (lexeme) indicating the place where the waters spread out, a fork in the water ways, or something that meanders. It is found as a letter in many Indo-European words: valley, vagina, vale, vagrant, vagabond, etc.

  3. In the Holy Qur'an, in the Surah Ar-Rahman, the Jannah is described as a beautiful garden in which believers will, on a carpet made of golden lines (brokat), eat fruits of all kinds. Just to add to your question about Eden being the garden of God given edible food.