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I have read somewhere that Balaam could be related to the Aztec and Mayan civilizations... How true could this be?

closed as off-topic by user33515, Bagpipes, Keelan, Nigel J, curiousdannii Mar 3 '18 at 14:40

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  • "Questions about biblical topics but without a specific Bible passage are off-topic as hermeneutical methods cannot be applied when no text is referenced." – user33515, Bagpipes, Keelan, Nigel J, curiousdannii
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    Could you provide a reference or link for "somewhere"? This is clearly very incorrect, since the ANE had no knowledge of the American continent. – Keelan Mar 3 '18 at 12:51
  • Here hope-of-israel.org/copan.htm – Rontabs Mar 3 '18 at 13:31
  • Or, try this Google query google.com.ph/… – Rontabs Mar 3 '18 at 13:32
  • If you read one of the other articles, you will find that balam (not Balaam) means jaguar in Mayan. – user33515 Mar 3 '18 at 18:44
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This is complete nonsense. There is no sensible way that the two could be related.

As for the similarity of the names, the name Balaam in e.g. Num 22:5 is בִּלְעָם bilʕām, with a voiced pharyngal fricative [ʕ], a sound completely foreign to Mayan languages. Also the /i/ is apparently changed to /a/, an unlikely development. Only in the unfortunate English transliteration Balaam there is a similarity.

Once you put enough data together, you're always going to find some correlations. When there is no logical reason the correlation should exist, it must be considered spurious and disregarded.

Note that the same answer goes for your other two recent questions:

- Could Tiras, youngest son of Japheth, be Thor of Norse mythology?
- Is there a connection between the sons of Noah and Zeus and his two brothers?

And please see the help center to see what questions fit on this website. In any case, without giving references or providing a meaningful argument why two things should be related, there is no question to be answered.

  • It could well be that there is a link between Japheth and Jupiter, or at least Iapetus. They were at least from cultures on the same continent! – curiousdannii Mar 3 '18 at 14:39
  • @curiousdannii thanks, I didn't know that. With Greco-Roman mythology links would be less far-fetched so that it's actually possible, indeed :-) Of course then there still needs to be something more than just similarity of the names to argue for a relationship (and I assume you have that 'something more'). – Keelan Mar 3 '18 at 14:41
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    I've read more detailed proposals before, but can't remember the details. It was more than one or two names being similar. For those who take Babel to have been historical, it's not unexpected that memories of their ancestors including Japheth are remembered, and then later deified. – curiousdannii Mar 3 '18 at 14:45

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