Friday, March 16, 2018

Red is both the color of dawn and the name of the first human

Red is the color of dawn and the beginning of civilization

Perhaps by coincidence and perhaps not, the דום root-cluster contains roots that all seem to have to do with stillness or productivity, with a clear nod to the color red.

Red is the color of dawn and is also the first color a human baby learns to see. It seems plausible that to the Hebrews the color red signified the rudiments or principal beginnings of civilization, which of course is a mere manifestation of the beginning of a wisdom tradition, or as we would call it today, the preservation of information (in a cultural expression). That would link the beginning of wisdom to typical red items such as wine (Noah's vineyard: Genesis 9:20) and blood (hence the covenant of blood: Exodus 24:8), and since the art of understanding is metaphorized in a standing on dry land (Noah again), a partial understanding would be similar to mud and mire (in which Noah's dove couldn't find a foothold; Genesis 8:9).

A strikingly similar relationship between tranquility, muddy substances and the color red is demonstrated by the root-group חמר (hamar; see the name Homer), and perhaps even by the root group יון (ywn; see the name Javan, which is the Biblical word for Greece).

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