[b-hebrew] Benjamin

Dora Smith villandra at austin.rr.com
Fri Jul 2 11:22:14 EDT 2004

The Banu-yamin were actually a large confederation of tribes that would have
ranged through the entire transjordan from the Euphrates region to the
Negev.   Some group of them could easily have been allied with the groups
that formed Israel.

Dora Smith
Austin, Texas
villandra at austin.rr.com
----- Original Message -----
From: "Yigal Levin" <leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il>
To: "b-hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Friday, July 02, 2004 10:10 AM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Benjamin

> At the risk of repeating some of the things already said in the thread on
> "Judah", certainly both meanings are used in different contexts. On one
> hand, Ben-Yamin was the most "southern-born" of all of Jacob's sons, since
> all the others were born in Haran. Assuming this story to be somewhat
> aetiological, the Benei Yamin were the southernmost of all the tribes of
> origial "Israel" (that is, excluding Judah), sitting at the southern edge
> Mount Ephraim (18th century Mari, by the way, supplies us with another
> called "Benei Yamin", who lived south of the city). The "pre-monarchal"
> stories emphasize Benjamin's status as "Joseph's younger brother". And, as
> said, at least some of the references to the Benjaminites' "left
> seem to me to be puns.
> On the other hand, the etymolgy given in Gen. 35:18 is quite clear: his
> mother called him Ben-oni and his father called him Ben-yamin. "On" means
> "strength", usually sexual: look at Jacob's blessing for Reuben: "you are
> firstborn, my might (KoXiY) and the begining of my strength (ONi)".
> Yigal
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Stoney Breyer" <stoneyb at touchwood.net>
> To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Friday, July 02, 2004 3:39 PM
> Subject: RE: [b-hebrew] The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune --
> 1Chron
> > GFS:It does, however, refer to the south.
> >
> > SB: Does it? In light of their consistent characterization mightn't the
> > b'nei Yamin be banditti calling themselves something like 'Sons of the
> > Strongarm' - and denoting their elite as something like the Masonic
> > 'handfast'?
> >
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