[b-hebrew] meaning of XWT

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Fri Oct 31 17:02:38 EST 2003

Dear Noam:

Halot claims that XWT (construct form? absolute XWH ?) means military camp. Why? What are his reasons?

HWT Y)YR is listed among cities which, as far as I understand, in Biblical times referred to groups of houses surrounded by a defensive wall. Could this refer to garrison town with fortificatons, or a type of fortification?

Job 38:14, in the context of verses preceding and following, needs a lot of eisegesis to get a picture of the sky, however if the verse is referring to the wicked, continuing from verse 13, then a meaning of “their defense” easily fits the context. Similarly with Job 41:7(15) the teeth are like tight defensive works.

Are there any clues from cognate languages?

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: Noam Eitan <noameitan at yahoo.com>

> >However, when looking at the context of the nouns, the two occurances in Job and the >one in Numbers 32:41 refers to the same thing, 
> Job 38:14 uses xwtm (chotam), and the context is that with daylight the earth is like the material for a seal or for a signet ring (basically wax) - it takes a new form; In 41:15 it is the same xwtm (chotam), and the context is that the Leviathan's (crocodile?) scales overlap and fit together like a seal (like a sealed letter). Neither has anything to do with XWT, it has nothing to do with what Numbers 32:41 refers to.
> >while I’ll agree upon more careful checking the context that the other two come from >“seal(ring)”. In all three cases, the noun has a third person plural suffix and in the case >in Numbers the noun is plural as well.
> Ezekiel 28:12,  Haggai 2:23, Job 38:14, 41:15 all are in simple noun form, they do not have a third person plural suffix. Numbers 32:41 is the only one that does have a third person plural suffix. 
> >When I look at the contexts of the name “XWT Y)YR” I noticed that they were listed as >cities, not just encampments. Is this a holdover from an older name, sort of like “Fort >Laramy” and other such names in the U.S., or does it refer to something more than just >a military encampment?
> I don't know if there is a clear answer. It is not strickly a military encampment, it can be any small settlement. I would like to speculate that it comes from the root xwh because it refers to any settlement with livestock (xwh - the root for life, Eve was the mother of all living) - FWIW in modern Hebrew xwh means a farm.
> Regards
> Noam
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