[b-hebrew] : .. benjaminites before there was a benjamin

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Sat Jun 24 18:21:41 EDT 2006

On 6/24/06, "j anna" wrote:

>     J     Anna....     _c60605 at aol.com_ (mailto:c60605 at aol.com)  ... in my
> internet ramblings,  i'm getting snippets of data re  existence of a ''tribe  of
>   benjamin''  before benjamin  { or jacob ) ever lived.    Do  ''we'' give
> any credence to this concept ?

I don't understand what you mean by "purported script" etc.  However,
Benjamin is actually a compound word ben-yamin.  "ben" could even be
a term for "district" such as (perhaps) in Jer 48:45 (compare to Num
21:28, from which it appears that byn is a synonym for qryh - city).  The
word "yamin" (literaly, "right") is a common Semitic term for South, since
the ancients used to orient themselves towards the east, where the sun
rose.  That way, "sm)l" ("left") was a term for "north", and "qdm" ("front")
for east.  This idea is found today in the name of the country Yemen, in
the southern tip of the Arabian peninsula, and I think even in the term
"to orient onself".  Together, then, "benjamin" means "southern district"
(if "ben" is indeed something akin to "district") but definitely refers to
"south."  It is definitely the southernmost area of the Israelite territory
even though it is north of Judah.  The term "bney" ("sons", not
necessarily the same as the "ben" in "benjamin") is commonly used as
a term for tribal associations.  Thus, we have "bney yisrael" "bney
(ammon", and it is even used in some of the nomadic Bedouin tribes
today.  In ancient stages of Semitic, Hebrew "bney" was "bni:" (long i)
or "bini:" (short i, then long i) so the "bini jaminu" you may have read
about could easily refer to another tribe who just happened to be south
of someone else.  It was a generic Semitic term for a tribal entity that
resided in the "south."

Oh, and please sign your full name in your posts at the end of your
post :)

Yitzhak Sapir

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