[b-hebrew] Mishkan

Yigal Levin Yigal.Levin at biu.ac.il
Sat Jun 23 17:58:05 EDT 2012

Dear Jim,


Thanks very much for your answers to my question. Note that no. (3) refers to a tomb, rather than a real place of habitation. The other two are also more symbolic than real. 


Please let's not get into the names thing, which has been discussed before on this list.



Yigal Levin


From: jimstinehart at aol.com [mailto:jimstinehart at aol.com] 
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2012 12:22 AM
To: Yigal.Levin at biu.ac.il; b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Mishkan


Prof. Yigal Levin:


1.  You wrote:  “[D]oes anyone know of any other place in the Bible in which the noun mishkan is used to refer to a human dwelling?”


Per Gesenius:


(1)  “Surely such [are] the dwellings [M$KNWT] of the wicked, and this [is] the place [of him that] knoweth not God.”  Job 18: 21


(2)  “The LORD loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings [MSKNWT] of Jacob.”  Psalms 87: 2


And figuratively here:


(3)  “What hast thou here? and whom hast thou here, that thou hast hewed thee out a sepulchre here, [as] he that heweth him out a sepulchre on high, [and] that graveth an habitation [M$KN] for himself in a rock?”  Isaiah 22: 16


2.  Numbers 16: 24 that you reference features )BYRM, Ab-i-ram, a west Semitic name that is well-attested non-biblically in the ancient world, and that is easy for native Hebrew speakers to say.  By contrast, the famous )BRM of Genesis has a birth name that is rarely attested, if attested at all, as a west Semitic name non-biblically in the ancient world.  And as a west Semitic name, isn’t it a tongue-twister for native Hebrew speakers who cannot pronounce consonant clusters?  Why does Abraham have such an unusual birth name?


Whereas )BYRM is like “Joe Smith” in English, a well-attested west Semitic name that is generic and easy to pronounce, )BRM is like “Joes-Mith” in English:  an unattested tongue-twister as a west Semitic name.


Don’t you find the birth names of Abraham and Sarah ultra-exciting?  In my opinion, they’re utterly redolent of the Bronze Age, being incomprehensible to 1st millennium BCE authors like JEP. 


Jim Stinehart

Evanston, Illinois


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