[b-hebrew] Kalev and Kelev

Uri Hurwitz uhurwitz at yahoo.com
Thu Sep 15 18:00:10 EDT 2011

   Dear Will,

   My points were strictly linguistic.

   The question of the suitability of a name to the
 person who bears it, is another matter. It is obvious
 that modern sensibility is different from the ancient.

   It also involves the historicity of the individuals
 discussed. This subject is outside the scope of this list.

   Perhaps you can help me:  what is  "k$(D+1lebh" in ordinary transliteration?

    Uri Hurwitz                       Wilmington, VT

--- On Wed, 9/14/11, Will Parsons <wbparsons at alum.mit.edu> wrote:

> Hello Uri,
> On Wed, 14 Sep 2011 09:43:58 -0700 (PDT), Uri Hurwitz
> <uhurwitz at yahoo.com>
> wrote:
> > ,A   The form Kalev most proabaly
> preserves the original pronounciation of the
> > name.  The Segholites prounounciation in the MT
> follows the dialectic
> > changes in the original nouns.
> If one substitutes "reflects" for "preserves", I think so
> too, but the
> original pronunciation of the proper name is likely
> different from the
> original pronunciation of "dog"...
> > ,A  ,A  This is clearly evident in the
> declensions of the Segholites, in our
> > case: "Kalbi" "kalbekha" etc, and in the pulural
> "Klavim" which preserves
> > the ancient plural *KLAB plus the regular Hebrew ms.
> plural ending - ym.
> > 
> > ,A   This is found in Arabic to this
> day: e.g. "kalb" in singular.
> True, both the combining forms of Heb. "k$(D+1lebh" and
> Arabic "kalb" point to an
> earlier form *kalb for the word for "dog".  But
> "Kalebh" doesn't; I would
> expect an earlier form something like *Kalib, certainly
> similar, but not the
> same.
> > ,A   Therefore the biblical personal
> name Kalev is very close to the original
> > pronounciation, except that the original short vowel
> 'a ' lengthened in the
> > MT.
> Close, but not the same.  Due to the high degree of
> regularity in Hebrew of
> having the same root meaning when the consonants are the
> same, the obvious
> comparison with "Kalebh" is "k$(D+1lebh", but this may not
> be enough to state that
> "Kalebh" means "dog".
> In fact, I'm rather sympathetic to Jim's view that "dog"
> would be an unusual
> name to give a man of Caleb's character, considering the
> generally negative
> connotations of "dog" in the Bible.  (I'll not comment
> on any claims that it's
> Hurrian, since I know next to nothing about Hurrian.) 
> Considering a
> completely different culture, that of the Northen Germanic
> (esp. Scandinavian)
> peoples, it seems that giving people the names of animals
> was quite common,
> like "Bear", or "Wolf", or "Otter" (even "Weevil" in the
> case of slaves).  But
> I don't recall anyone being named "Hound", even though I
> don't think there was
> any particular negative connotations associated with dogs.
> So, I think one can somewhat hesitant about accepting the
> meaning of "Caleb"
> as being "dog", despite the obviousness of the comparison.
> -- 
> Will Parsons

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