[b-hebrew] Genesis 20: 1
uhurwitz at yahoo.com
Thu Oct 11 09:36:19 EDT 2007
Yigal Levin wrote:
".... in 18th century BCE Mari there
were two tribes that lived near the city: those who lived to its north were
called "Bene Samaal", and those you lived to its south were "Bene Yamin". If
you assume that the eponymous ancestors of the tribes were not "real"
people, but rather representative figures, then "Son of the South" would be
an apt name for the ancestor of the southernmost tribe of "Israel"..."
Yes, and this may well be just one of several indications
for the existence of an early northern Israel/Yacob federation m (UH)
"On the other hand, Gen. 35:18 gives another explaination for the name
"Benjamin": as Rachel was dying in childbirth, she called her child "Ben
Oni". This can mean either "Son of my sorrow" or "Son of my strength".
"Yamin", meaning the right hand, also means "strength", so Jacob, by calling
him "Binyamin", preserved the more positive meaning of his dead wife's
The above biblical explanations of the name are of literary nature added by
biblical editors who had recieved various names through tradition. This was
quite common. Compare the wrong Hebrew etymolgy given the Egyptian
The name Jacob appears more than a dozen times in Mari with various
theophoric suffixes and prefixes.It appears also in a name of a Hyksos king
in Egypt, and elsewhere. The verb's original meaning was was' to protect'.
The original full Hebrew or NWS name was something like '* Ya'aqob-el' --
may the deity protect.
The form preserved in Genesis is a hypcorosticon.
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