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

Noam Eitan noameitan at yahoo.com
Sat Apr 24 09:45:54 EDT 2004

Another example is how references in the text to the “Queen of Heaven” (mele'kheth ha-shamayim, or maybe even malkat ha-shamayim) were corrupted by the punctuation to “the host of heaven” (melekheth ha-shamayim). (Jeremiah 7:18; 44:17-19,25)



(Regarding meanings of the sons’ names in the Book of Ruth, in my very humble opinion, or my feeling of that text, the reading of Mahlon and Kilion as Sickness and Death is pretty straightforward, not contrived like other rabbinical name-midrashim, which, as Yigal points out, were meant to be taken with a grain of salt. Orpah is a borderline case.)


Noam Eitan, Brooklyn, NY


>Dear Yigal:


>I suspect your answer #2 below is more important than you originally 



>>For example, I was taught that the false god Molech was given the 

>points he has in Tanakh to deride him, but in Biblical times the name >may 

>have been pronounced as Melech or Malech. Similarly I suspect the 

>Philistine god Dagon was connected with harvest, hence his name, not >fish.


>In the book of Ruth, the meanings of the sons’ names is very likely 

>rabbinical, not original. Machlon may have been connected with >softness or 

>gentleness, while Kilion with completeness in the sense of perfection, 

>and Orpah very likely connected with firmness or strength, turning her 

>back on Naomi having nothing to do with the name.


>Karl W. Randolph.


----- Original Message -----

From: "Yigal Levin" <leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il>

> Dear Noam,


> 1. Of course (some of) the biblical authors employed humor and word 


> Have a look at Gary Rendsburg's article in Puns and Pundits - Word 

Play in


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