[b-hebrew] The Name "Simeon"

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Fri Dec 7 11:09:37 EST 2007


Do you see a connection between GAD of Genesis 30:11 and that of  
Isaiah 65:11? Also between A$ER of Genesis 30:13 and the A$ERAH of  
Deuteronomy 16:21?
Do you think that Leah called her first born son R)UBEN for "look, a  
boy, my troubles are over, my husband will really love me now". Or  
LEVI for "now my husband will accompany me"?
Recall also that Rachel stole the household TRAPIM.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Dec 7, 2007, at 10:29 AM, JimStinehart at aol.com wrote:

> Isaac Fried:
> 1.  You wrote:  “I am afraid that your investigations into the  
> meaning of the
> names of the children of Jacob is doomed.  You are in fact falling, I
> believe, into an etymological trap neatly set up for you by the  
> later God fearing
> editors of the narrative.”
> I see no evidence of “later…editors of the narrative” as to any  
> matters of
> substance in the Patriarchal narratives.  Would a later editor  
> allow Sarah to
> be portrayed as being in Abimelech’s bedroom right before she gets  
> pregnant
> with Isaac?  No.  Would a later editor allow Patriarch #2 Isaac to  
> be portrayed
> as being one of the least impressive individuals in the Torah?   
> No.  Would a
> later editor allow Judah, of all people, to be portrayed as siring  
> his main line
> of descendants by his own daughter-in-law, Tamar, who impersonates a
> prostitute?  No.  Would a later editor go to the great effort of  
> painstakingly having
> every firstborn son in the Patriarchal narratives get the shaft,  
> and properly
> so?  No way.  There is no such editing in evidence here.  The  
> entirety of the
> Patriarchal narratives is in fact cut from the same cloth.  Every  
> Patriarch
> has a terrible time siring a son by his favorite main wife, and  
> every firstborn
> son gets the shaft.  That’s the telltale sign of a single, truly  
> ancient
> author, whose work was never edited.
> 2.  You wrote:  “It is possible that all these are originally and  
> essentially
> sacred
>  names of indigenous deities held dear by the foreign born  
> matriarchs and
> their maids, and bestowed upon their children.”
> You mean that in secular history, high-class brides from the far- 
> off upper
> Euphrates River came all the way out to modest, backwards Canaan to  
> marry Hebrew
> shepherds?  And those exotic foreign wives saddled the Hebrews with  
> “sacred
> names of indigenous deities”?
> Isn’t a more realistic scenario here that the author of the  
> Patriarchal
> narratives, in truly ancient times, came up with these names of  
> Jacob’s sons
> himself?
> Note that Biblical Hebrew is a virgin pure west Semitic language, with
> amazingly few foreign loanwords from non-west Semitic languages.   
> So how can you
> postulate any significant influence from “foreign born matriarchs  
> and their maids”
> ?  The virgin pure Biblical Hebrew language of the Patriarchal  
> narratives
> shows no such foreign influences.
> (If you like a west Semitic language with manifest foreign  
> influences from
> non-west Semitic speakers, take a gander at modern Israeli Hebrew.   
> Or for a
> much more egregious example, consider the Akkadian vocabulary and  
> west Semitic
> syntax of the Amarna letters.  There’s nothing like that in the  
> virgin pure
> Biblical Hebrew of the Patriarchal narratives, which shows minimal  
> non-west
> Semitic influence.)
> 3.  You wrote:  “Later editors defaced the names [of Jacob’s sons]….”
> Isn’t the name “Judah” a super-spectacular name?  How can you view  
> that
> magnificent name as having been “defaced”?
> And besides, there were no “later editors” of the Patriarchal  
> narratives to
> do any such “defacing” of names anyway, as noted in item #1 above.   
> What you
> see in the received text of the Patriarchal narratives is exactly  
> what was put
> there, by a single author, in truly ancient times.  In particular, all
> important Hebrew names would have been written down from day #1,  
> and would not vary
> at all.
> Although you and Yitzhak Sapir usually do not agree about much,  
> note how each
> of you is trying to claim that the names of Jacob’s sons in the  
> Patriarchal
> narratives are not accurate.  But they are accurate -- accurate to  
> a fault.
> What you see is what you get, when it comes to important Hebrew  
> names in the
> Patriarchal narratives.  Nobody ever tampered with any of those names.
> 4.  You wrote:  “The playful and obviously nonsensical etymologies  
> attached
> to ‘explain’ the names are but a subtle message not to take them  
> too seriously.
> We have seen 6 great puns so far, and we’ve only looked at the  
> names “Reuben”
>  and “Simeon”.  How can the pun on Reuben’s name regarding  
> “affliction”,
> and the pun on Simeon’s name regarding “hatred”, be called  
> “playful”?  And
> rather than being “nonsensical etymologies”, we are seeing one  
> masterful Hebrew
> pun after another in these names.  And we’re just getting started.   
> (As to the
> issue of etymology, I am going to post something on that in  
> response to Pere
> Porta.)
> The names of Jacob’s 12 sons are not “names of indigenous deities”  
> that were
> “bestowed upon their children” by “foreign born matriarchs and  
> their maids”
> , with such names then having been “defaced” by “later editors”.   
> No way.
> All of these names are the real thing, coming directly out of the  
> mid-2nd
> millennium BCE Patriarchal Age.  These names were never edited by  
> anybody.
> The puns we are seeing on these names are truly spectacular.  This  
> is clever
> Hebrew wordplay at its finest.
> You just can’t beat the pulsating excitement of the Patriarchal  
> narratives.
> Jim Stinehart
> Evanston, Illinois
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