Jerusalem, neuter plural

peter_kirk at sil.org peter_kirk at sil.org
Fri Sep 10 15:46:00 EDT 1999


Joe Friberg wrote:

Good data.  I have not reviewed all in detail, but note one correction 
at Gen 15.20.

With all the toponyms that you pulled up that follow this pattern, I 
wonder whether these are dual at all.  This could be simply a 
'toponymic' denominative suffix (cf. the 'gentilic' ending /-I/), 
homophonous w/ the dual, but bearing no semantic relation to it 
(except what folk-etymolygies have attributed to it ex post facto).

..

Reply:

An interesting idea, but I am not sure that the evidence supports it. 
Remember that this is a very small selection of all of the toponyms in 
the Hebrew Bible! At least two (Ephraim, Cushanrishathaim) are in fact 
personal names. Others could very easily be natural duals. Especially 
Ashteroth Karnaim can be related to a pair of horns and perhaps Enaim 
to a pair of eyes. But also such dual names as Kiriathaim = two 
villages, double village could just as easily be true duals. We have 
also seen how Mitsraim can be understood as a true dual. I think you 
would need to find more evidence to back up this suggestion.

Peter Kirk




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