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OT Biblical Hebrew names Re: A question and introduction

From:Peter Clark <peter-clark@...>
Date:Tuesday, June 11, 2002, 17:29
On Tuesday 11 June 2002 08:15 am, Steg Belsky wrote:
> Biblical Hebrew names are generally pretty transparent in meaning, and even > when they aren't, with important figures the text a lot of times gives an > explanation of the name. I don't remember that happening in the Scroll > of Ruth, though.
Sometimes the names can be potentially important; for instance, Gideon's son. In Judges 8, the Israelites want to make Gideon king, but he refuses. However, he has a son, whom he names Abimelech, or, "My father is king." Hmm... Unfortunately, there's no indication by the text that "Abimelech" was an inappropriate name. The only other Abimelechs mentioned are two kings of Gerar (Gn. 20:1-18 and Gn. 26:1-33), a superscription to Ps. 34 in which the name Abimelech is given to Achish king of Gath, and a priest mentioned in 1 Ch. 18:16, but this last one may be a scribal error for Ahimelech ("my brother is king") (cf. 2 Sa. 8:17). So, in sum, there's no indication that Gideon named his son deliberately "My father is king," no more than we might name a child Michael ("Who is like God?"). Still, considering that the text takes a dim view of Gideon's later years, it may be that the name gives some indication as to Gideon's leanings. :Peter