[b-hebrew] Genesis 20: 1

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Thu Oct 11 14:20:07 EDT 2007


Yigal,

I feel uneasy with the interpretation of the -YAMIN part of the name  
BINYAMIN as the right hand side [namely the YEMENITE]. I tend to  
think that YAMIN = YAH-)AMIN, with YA =YAH being a reference to the  
God of the Hebrews. After all both his father YA-(AKOB and his  
grandfather YI-CXAQ had such a reference in their names, methinks.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Oct 11, 2007, at 1:15 AM, Yigal Levin wrote:

> In fact, and I'm sure that you know this, 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" (not
> including Judah, and without getting into the question of when these
> traditions developed).
>
> 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
> request.
>
> Yigal Levin
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Isaac Fried" <if at math.bu.edu>
> To: "Yaakov Stein" <yaakov_s at rad.com>
> Cc: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Thursday, October 11, 2007 6:58 AM
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Genesis 20: 1
>
>
>> Yaakob,
>>
>> You are saying:
>> "Benjamin is definitely the "son of the south", with south referring
>> to he fact
>> that he is the only son born in Canaan, to the south of Aram  
>> Naharaim."
>> Do you know of any other instance of a person having such a
>> geographically-relativistic name?
>>
>> Isaac Fried, Boston University
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