[b-hebrew] Names (was: variant pronunciation)

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Tue Apr 20 16:09:28 EDT 2004

----- Original Message -----
From: "Noam Eitan" <noameitan at yahoo.com>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2004 7:46 PM
Subject: [b-hebrew] Names (was: variant pronunciation)

> Dear  Yigal,
> Thanks for your detailed response. I wonder what you think of the
Philistine god's name "Dagon" - can it be understood as "little fish", and
if so, in sarcasm? - or am I projecting from modern Hebrew? "Little fish"
seems like a particularly sarcastic sting at what must have been a statue of
some proportion.

Hi Noam,

As I'm sure you know, we have plenty of evidence for "Dagan" as a major
Canaanite diety. It would make perfect sense for the Philistines to have
adopted him. The particular form "Dagon" is not known outside the biblical
referrences to the Philistine god. Some scholars assume that this is how the
Philistines pronounced "Dagan". It is certainly possible that the biblical
authors purposly perverted his name to make it mean "little fish"; they did
the same to another Philistine god, Ba'al Zevul ("Lord of Glory"), who 2
Kings 1 turned into Baal-zebub ("Lord of the Flies"). But I'm sure that the
biblical author never for a moment thought that the Philistines worshiped
either fish or flies. The rabbis, however, took this literally, and di
ddescribe Dagon as a giant fish.


> Also - any idea where I can find The Rise of Yahwism: the Roots of
Israelite Monotheism. Second and Revised Edition
> by Johannes C. De Moor, E. Peters
> Seems unavailable anywhere.

No idea.

> Thanks
> Noam Eitan from Brooklyn
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