kwrandolph at gmail.com
Thu Sep 27 13:10:56 EDT 2012
On Thu, Sep 27, 2012 at 2:36 AM, George Athas <George.Athas at moore.edu.au>wrote:
> Hi Karl!
> Genesis 31.51 and Job 38.6 show that ירה can be used as a verb
> indicating the construction of something, so the suggestion that the
> element -ירו is from ירה is not a far-fetched theory.
>From the form, that is a distinct possibility. But is it original to the
name? Genesis 14:18 indicates that it was added later, not the original
name of the city.
But another question is how to make the definition of construction of
something fit with the use of ירה where the action indicated by its other
contexts is that of thrusting out as in pointing a finger in indicating,
pointing out, pointing to, and thrusting out as in shooting a projectile?
In both contexts of Genesis 31:51 and Job 38:6, the understanding of
pointing to, indicating fits.
> In terms of the element שׁלם, it's also not far-fetched to propose that
> it was named after the deity Shalem. Many towns were originally named in
> honour of gods, as I'm sure you know. We hardly have any foundation
> documents, but it's easy to make plausible hypotheses in this case. Shalem
> was a well-known deity in the Levant, especially in the Bronze Age. He
> appears in Ugaritic texts. Do you have an alternative suggestion?
That is another question I have: do we have any indications of a god named
Shalem from the early bronze age? Ugarit appears to be iron age, ca. ninth
to seventh centuries BC, with its destruction shortly after the destruction
of Jerusalem under Nebuchadnezzar, so its record comes from a millennium
after Abraham when the city of Salem is first mentioned. Do we have earlier
records of such a god? Indications are that Salem was later renamed to
Jerusalem, so it appears that we are dealing with the same city.
There are several possibilities as to why Salem was named Salem, that it
was named after a god is only one of several possibilities. We don’t have
records as to why the city was name Salem. Therefore any speculation,
including the speculation that it was named after a minor god, is more
likely to be wrong than right.
> *GEORGE ATHAS*
> *Dean of Research,*
> *Moore Theological College *(moore.edu.au)
> *Sydney, Australia*
Karl W. Randolph.
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