[b-hebrew] "Oak Tree" in Biblical Hebrew

jimstinehart at aol.com jimstinehart at aol.com
Sat Apr 16 01:05:47 EDT 2011


Gesenius says:  “)YLWN {“oak” see )LWN}”.

Another source says regarding Judges 12: 12:  “Elon [)YLWN], the oak, or "the strong one," is buried in Aijalon [)YLWN], the "city of strong ones"….  J.E. Thorold Rogers, “Bible Folklore: A Story in Comparative Mythology” (2003), at p. 95.

If )L-WN is the plene spelling of )L-N, and if )L-WN can have the same meaning as )YL-WN [as asserted by Gesenius], then (i) “Aijalon”/)YL-WN could mean “oak tree city” [in addition to meaning “the city of strong ones”], and (ii) the references at Genesis 13: 18;  14: 13;  18: 1 to )L-N could be a reference to Aijalon/)YL-WN, that is, “oak tree city”, in addition to referencing “oak trees”.

If so, then X-BR-W-N at Genesis 13: 18 is referring to the Aijalon Valley in the Shephelah, not the towering Hebron Mountains in southern hill country.  Prior to post-exilic times, there is nothing in non-biblical sources to connect X-BR-W-N to the city northwest of the Judean Desert that is surrounded by the towering Hebron Mountains.

George Athas wrote:  “Jim, I don't see anything here that you're offering for discussion. You're just pseudo-publishing a theory.”

What I am “offering for discussion” is the Hebrew linguistic question of whether )L-N at Genesis 13: 18 could be a reference to )YL-WN/Aijalon in the Shephelah.  Genesis 12: 9 and Genesis 13: 3 are logically referring to the Shephelah, through which Abram and Lot passed “in stages”.  When Lot shortly thereafter went east of Bethel, Abram logically returned west to where Abram and Lot had just recently traversed “by stages”, namely the rural Aijalon Valley in the Shephelah, which [unlike the towering Hebron Mountains] was an ideal place for sheep and goats.

To me, Genesis 13: 3 and Genesis 13: 18 are both referencing the same place:  the Shephelah.  That’s what Hebrew linguistics is telling us, if    )L-N at Genesis 13: 18 could be a reference to )YL-WN/Aijalon in the Shephelah.

Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois










-----Original Message-----
From: George Athas <George.Athas at moore.edu.au>
To: JimStinehart at aol.com <JimStinehart at aol.com>; B-Hebrew <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Thu, Apr 14, 2011 11:08 pm
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] "Oak Tree" in Biblical Hebrew


Jim, I don't see anything here that you're offering for discussion. You're just 
seudo-publishing a theory. Unless there's a specific issue for engaging, please 
on't treat B-Hebrew like your own journal space.

EORGE ATHAS
oore Theological College (Sydney, Australia)
ww.moore.edu.au

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