YERUSHALEM

Shai Heijmans shaih at post.tau.ac.il
Tue Dec 31 14:42:34 EST 2002


Dear Chris,

you wrote:

> Dear Kevin thankyou for your helpful comments - this is in what I was
> looking for, I do haowever have one qustion: Where did you get 'YERU' from
> to mean 'Establish'? I looked in Shoshan's concordance and found no
> pointers in this direction.

The view that "Yeru" = "establish" comes from the west-semitic root YRH
(actually YRY), in the bible it is used twice: Gen 31:51, Job 38:6. See KB,
p. 436a.

As far as I know, the accepted etymomlogy of Yerushalayim is indeed "founded
by the god Shalem", as Ian and others said. To the bibliography mentioned in
KB, p. 437b, you sohuld add Lewy's article in JBL of 1940, which deals with
the god Shalim/Shalman, and its connection to Jerusalem.

As for the -ay-, it cannot be the dual: If it were the dual, we would expect
to see the representation of the diphtong by the letter Y in the old
evidence - the execration text, el-Amarna - when the dual was still used. On
the contrary: the gemination of the "m" in the Sanaherib inscription show
that the vowel was short. (See also Boree, p. 54, cited in KB.)

Therefore, it is usually accepted to see here a late diphtongization
process: long "e" > "ay". So Bauer-Leander, p. 519, who explain this
diphtongization as a hyper-correction: the speakers knew that long "e"
sometimes represents a vanished diphtong, so when they wanted to make a word
sound archaic they shoved a diphtong instead of the "e", even when
historically this was incorrect (like here). Anyhow, this diphtongization is
late (probably not earlier than 2nd-3rd cent. BCE), and therefore cannot
represent the old dual.

Hope this helps.
Gelukkig nieuw jaar,

Shai Heijmans
Tel Aviv University






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