[b-hebrew] The Name "Simeon"

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Fri Dec 7 10:18:36 EST 2007


Pere,

You are saying:

"The end syllable -ON is a quite usual end in biblical Hebrew and in  
today
Israeli Hebrew as well. It is that of several masculine nouns that  
usually
mean the fulfilment of the key concept of the word they come from."

But, do you find any difference between RA(AB, 'hunger', as say in  
Genesis 12:10, and R(AB-ON of Psalms 37:19? Or for that matter, RA 
(AD, 'trembling', of Exodus 15:15 and R(ADAH of Isaiah 33:14?
It is my understanding that what you mean in "the fulfilment of the  
key concept of the word they come from" is that it turns a root into  
a noun or a "thing". If so, then you are near agreeing with me that  
it is a (compound) personal pronoun.
in spoken Hebrew the "suffix" -ON is also occasionally used to  
suggest lesser size, for example GAG, 'roof', GAGON, 'a roofling, a  
rack', as over the entrance to the house or the car port. Also the  
"suffix" -IT [in my opinion the compound HI)-AT. Females are smaller  
than males?] is occasionally used for this purpose, for instance,  
KOS, 'drinking glass', KOS-IT, 'small liquor glass', as in We lifted  
a KOSIT for the new year.
The "suffix" -AN is reference to an agent [as the English -er is] as  
in GAN-AN, 'gardner'.

Isaac Fried, Boston University
On Dec 7, 2007, at 12:36 AM, <pporta at oham.net> <pporta at oham.net> wrote:

> Dear Jim,
>
> With a quite constructive mind and with no intention of denying you  
> may be
> right in some sense, I would argue this against your analysis:
>
> 1. The word "Shim'on" lacks the aleph of "sana'", to hate. It  
> consists only
> of the very consonants of "shama'", to hear, plus a final -ON.
> If you theory is true and sure... should not this aleph be part of  
> the name
> "Shim'on"?
>
> 2. The end syllable -ON is a quite usual end in biblical Hebrew and  
> in today
> Israeli Hebrew as well. It is that of several masculine nouns that  
> usually
> mean the fulfilment of the key concept of the word they come from.  
> In no way
> I see it is the N of "saNa'", to hate
> _________
>
> Now, in a little more detail:
>
> About 1. How do you explain that the aleph of "sana'", to hate,  
> does not
> appear in the name "Shim'on"?
> About 2.
> a. YitrON, profit, outcome (Ecc 2:11), of "yatar" (this form not  
> found in
> the Bible but many other forms of this verb are found...), to  
> remain over.
> b. (K')pitrON, (as) interpretation (Gn 40:5), of "patar" (Gn  
> 40:22), to
> interpret
> c. (w')xesrON, (and) lacking (Ecc 1:15), of  "xaser", to lack (1Ki  
> 17:16)
> d. zikarON, memorial (Ex 17:14), of "zakhar", to remember (Ec 9:15)
> And in modern Hebrew:
> e. shiltON, government
> f. gizrON, etimology
> g. kisharON, skill....
> h. and....... many others.
>
> What can you say as a replay to these main two points that defy your
> analysis?
>
> Pere Porta
> Barcelona (Spain)
>
>> Most of this clever Hebrew wordplay is missed if one simply says,  
>> as do
>> the
>> scholarly books I have consulted, that “Simeon” is a play on the word
>> shama’/“
>> heard”.  Yes, that is in part true, but it misses the most exciting
>> aspects
>> of what the author is doing with the name “Simeon” here.  S-M- 
>> N/“Simeon”
>> reflects both S-M/shama’/“heard” and S-N/sana’/“hated”.  S-M + S-N =
>> S-M-N.
>> The word “heard”, standing alone, tells us almost nothing about  
>> Simeon.
>> But
>> the words “heard, hated” deftly summarize Simeon’s future life.   
>> Simeon
>> HEARD
>> that his full-sister Dinah had been with young Shechem, and Simeon  
>> HATED
>> the
>> men of Shechem for that.  Simeon HEARD Joseph’s dreams, which  
>> seemed to
>> foretell
>> that Joseph would rule over his older half-brothers, and Simeon HATED
>> Joseph
>> for that.  In both cases, it is precisely Simeon who is the  
>> ringleader in
>> killing the men of Shechem, and in almost murdering young Joseph.   
>> “Heard,
>> hated.”
>>
>> As we are beginning to see, the sophisticated multiple puns on the  
>> names
>> of
>> Jacob’s 12 sons deftly foreshadow what these sons then do in the  
>> rest of
>> the
>> text.
>>
>> The key here is to focus on the true Hebrew consonants, and the  
>> precise
>> order
>> of these key consonants.  It is also important to realize that  
>> sometimes
>> similar, rather than identical, consonants are used in the punning  
>> done by
>> the
>> author of the Patriarchal narratives.
>>
>> To view “Simeon” as merely being a play on the word shama’/“heard”,
>> nothing
>> else, is to miss much of the brilliant Hebrew wordplay in the  
>> Patriarchal
>> narratives.  ShaMa’ + SaNa’ = SiMeoN.  S-M + S-N = S-M-N.  It’s right
>> there, if
>> we will simply look at the key consonants that appear, and the  
>> precise
>> order
>> in which they appear, in the text of Genesis 29: 33.  That’s the  
>> way the
>> author
>> of the Patriarchal narratives does puns.  It’s a vital key to
>> understanding
>> what the author is trying to tell us in the Patriarchal narratives.
>
>> Jim Stinehart
>
>
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