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A body refigured: the meaning and history of Hebrew BDN.

In memory of Moshe Weinfeld


Two different corpora of ancient Hebrew display distinct usages of a noun spelled. [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] In Biblical Hebrew (= BH) it appears twice as a proper name, vocalized as [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (1 Sam. 12:11; 1 Chr. 7:17). By contrast, in Qumran Hebrew (= QH) it appears several times as a common noun, both in the War Scroll (1QM 5:6,9,14) and in various passages of the Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice. (1) For lexicographers of both corpora, this word has eluded full explanation in terms of its origin and range of meaning, and it is left as a disturbing crux in the various dictionaries and lexical treatments. The purpose of the present discussion is to offer a solution that would fit all usages in their respective contexts, and will also take into account considerations drawn from the realm of comparative Semitics.

For practical reasons it is preferable to begin with the late corpus (QH), rather than the early one (BH). Admittedly, this procedure may look as strange at first glance, since the Dead Sea scrolls are evidently later than the Hebrew Bible, having their linguistic background in the Greco-Roman period. Sometimes, however, QH sheds light on earlier strata, (2) and the word discussed constitutes an example of that.


The basic meaning of [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in QH can be established by contextual analysis. It was well defined by Johannes van der Ploeg in his commentary on the War Scroll, (3) and his conclusions were later corroborated by Carol Newsom in her edition of the Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice. (4) By examining the actual usage of the word in various contexts, both scholars ognized that [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] must mean something like 'form, figure, pattern', (5) since it is synonymous with [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. (6) The semantic equivalence of these two words is particularly evident when comparing parallel expressions within practically identical formulations in the same column of the War Scroll: (7)

(a) "The shield (shall be) surrounded with a border patterned like a cord, with the design of a joint, a skillful work, in gold and silver, and bronze welded together, and precious stones, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (8) the work of a skillful craftsman" (1QM 5:5-6).

(b) "On the socket (shall be) three chiseled rings, with a border patterned like a cord, in gold, silver, and bronze welded together, as when patterned in a skillful design, and a joint; the d[e]sign shall be on both parts of the ring, around precious stones, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], the work of a skillful craftsman ..." (1QM 5:7-9).

(c) "The hilt of the sword (shall be) a selected horn, a skillful work, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in gold and silver, and precious stones" (1QM 5:14).

Comparable usages of the two lexemes are found also in the Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice, although not in the same context (as in the War Scroll). The appositive [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] "works of wondrous embroideries, figures of living divine beings" in Song IX (4Q405 G 21 [= frg. 14 6']) can be compared to [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] "[sh]apes of living divine beings" in Song XI (4Q405 I 20 [= frg. 19d 4']), which is explained later on in the text as [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] "[spirits of] embroidery, (9) [fi]gures of the shapes of divine beings" (ibid., 21 [= frg. 19c-d 5']).

This passage from Song XI furnishes yet another kind of evidence for the semantic equivalence of [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. Since the two terms are synonymous, they can be coupled as a construct phrase. In such a case the order of components may invert without affecting the meaning of the entire phrase (10) and indeed we find both possibilities attested in the Songs, i.e., both [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (line 21 [= 5']) and [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (line 23 [= 7']), which are semanti-cally equivalent. (11)


While the general meaning of the term was fairly clearly outlined, its etymon was not identified in a satisfying way. Previously, commentators on the War Scroll sought to explain it with the help of secondary meanings of Arabic [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. Yigael Yadin was the first to follow this path, (12) and other such suggestions were surveyed by van der Ploeg, (13) who rejected them all, observing correctly that it is methodologically unreasonable to interpret a Hebrew word by applying to it meanings which are clearly inner-Arabic semantic developments. (14) Alternatively, Shaul Shaked made the suggestion that the term in question is a Persian loanword. (15) But this explanation also is not necessitated by the evidence, since the word demonstrates no apparent deviation from Hebrew morphology and phonology, unlike the other items discussed by Shaked, whose Iranian origin is indeed evident (the names [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], and the common nouns [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. Perhaps the strangest hypothesis suggested thus far is the extremely forced assertion of Baruch Margalit that [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] is derived from the verbal root b-d-y in the sense 'invent, fabricate', (l6) which is obviously untenable.

Surprisingly, no consideration was given to a much simpler explanation, namely, that Hebrew [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] is related to the fundamental denotation of Arabic [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], (17) or more specifically, the 'torso'. (18) Cognate words are attested in Ethiopic and Modern South Arabian dialects. (19) An even earlier cognate may be found in Akkadian padattum, (20) 'form, figure (of a man)', attested already in Old Babylonian. (21) It is therefore reasonable to assume that the mysterious word in question is actually a Common Semitic lexeme that originally had a concrete denotation--the body, or a certain part of it--but in Hebrew its usage was broadened by way of abstraction to denote 'form' or 'figure' in general.

If this etymon and its semantic development are correctly identified, the vocalization of the Hebrew form can be reconstructed as [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (realized as [bodon] in the Tiberian oral tradition), since the Proto-Semitic nominal pattern *qatal is preserved as such in Arabic, but both vowels were lengthened in its Hebrew reflex qatal. (22)


The semantic relation between 'body' (as reflected in Arabic) and 'form, figure' (as found in QH) is self-evident. Parallel cases in QH may nevertheless support this line of reasoning, as Hebrew [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] can be compared with other anatomical terms that shifted to the spatial or even architectural realm and vice versa.

(a) One such example is the lexeme [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] which occurs in the Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice: "high places of knowledge [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and at His footstool [...]" (4Q403 lii 2; Song VII). While not directly dependent on any specific biblical prooftext, this passage makes figurative use of a term denoting sacred 'high places', which is widely attested in BH. (23) This sense, however, is an abstraction of a more concrete one: 'back (of an animal or a person)'. (24) The original meaning persisted well into the Second Temple period, as testified by a parallelism in the War Scroll, which portrays God as a mighty and victorious warrior: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] "Put Your hand on the neck of Your enemies, and Your foot upon the backs of the slain" (1QM 12:11). (25)

(b) The reverse semantic development may be demonstrated by the word [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. On the one hand, in the Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice it denotes the physical structure of the heavenly temple, occurring next to other architectural terms such as [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] column' and [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 'corner' in Song VII: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]"the uplifting pillars of the exalted (abode) of the highest heaven, and all the corners of its structure" (4Q403 li 41), and probably also in Song XIII [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] "corn]ers of its structure, and for all ex[alted (abodes)...]" (11Q17 X [= frg. 24] 8). (26) This is in line with the fact that it is derived from the verbal root b-n-y 'to build'. Tellingly, in Song VIII [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] seems to be used as a synonym of [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. (27)

On the other hand, in the Thanksgiving Scroll the word [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] is used in a metaphorical description of the speaker's shaking and shivering body: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]" and all the foundations of my figure broke, (28) and my bones separated from one another" (lQHa 15:7). (29) Note, in passing, that this passages uses similarly the architectural term IP'S 'foundation (of a building etc.)', (30) applied here metaphorically to the fundamental and innermost parts of the human body, as demonstrated by the parallelism with "my bones."

(c) Similar semantic development can be traced in the history of Hebrew with respect to other lexemes. It is most prominent in the scientific terminology employed in medieval treatises dealing with mathematics and geometry. But these cases are somewhat different from the one discussed here, since they often reflect the influence of another language, viz., Arabic. For instance, the basic meaning of the lexeme [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] which was borrowed into Hebrew from Aramaic) is the 'body' of a human or an animal, but in the Middle Ages it was also used to denote the geometric notion of a 'solid figure'. This is probably a caique of [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] which in medieval Arabic has both the concrete meaning of 'body' and the abstract sense of a geometric figure. (31)

(b) Finally, the semantic relation between the concrete 'body' or 'torso' (specifically of animate being, humans or animals) and the abstract 'form, figure' (also of inanimate objects) is amply attested in various languages. Within the Semitic family one may adduce the Akkadian noun lanu, which covers both ends of this semantic spectrum. (32) An Indo-European example is furnished by the root *kwrep- (or *krep-)which yields Avestan lehrp- and Latin corpus ('body') on the one hand, (33) and Sanskrit kfp- ('form, appearance, beauty') on the other. (34)


If [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] is indeed a reflex of a Common Semitic noun, as argued above, one must ask whether it is an inner-Semitic loan into QH (e.g., from Nabatean Arabic), which could indeed have happened in the Greco-Roman period, or it should be regarded as part of Hebrew lexis from its very beginning, even though its actual attestation is found only in relatively late sources.

The second option seems to fit better the case under review here, since it is corroborated by BH. Despite the fact that the root b-d-n is not otherwise found in Hebrew as a verb or a common noun, it is difficult to deny the apparent relation between the QH substantive [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and the biblical proper name [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], which applies to two different personalities:

(a) an otherwise unknown "judge" or deliverer of Israel: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], "Then'the LORD sent Jerub- baal and Bedan and Jephthah and Samuel, and delivered you from the hands of your enemies all around, so that you lived in security" (1 Sam. 12:11);

(b) an offspring of Machir, mentioned in a Gileadite genealogy: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], "The sons of Manasseh: Asriel, whom his Aramean concubine bore; she bore Machir the father of Gilead. And Machir took a wife for Huppim and for Shuppim. And the name of his sister was Maacah. And the name of the second was Zelophehad; and Zelophehad had daughters. And Maacah the wife of Machir bore a son, and she named him Peresh; the name of his brother was Sheresh; and his sons were Ulam and Rekem. And the sons of Ulam: Bedan. These are the sons of Gilead, son of Machir, son of Manasseh" (1 Chr. 7:17).

Notwithstanding that the first attestation is highly debated, (35) the second occurrence makes it clear that the name [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] was part and parcel of the Hebrew onomasticon. (36)

Various attempts were made to clarify the etymology and meaning of this name, but they did not gain consensus among scholars. Martin Noth suggested that it is related to bd, an element well known in Phoenician names, but was very hesitant in doing so. (37) The standard dictionaries often derive it from b-d-d--either from, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 'portion, part' (38) or [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 'stave, shoot' (39) -- but in such a case one would expect a gemination of the d (as found in the plural forms of both lexemes: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] baddim), which is absent from [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] badan.

It was also suggested to identify Bedan with "ba-da-nu" mentioned in the Akkadian Ta'anach Tablet 4v:13, (40) which is sometimes taken as a non-Semitic proper name. (41) However, the reading of the cuneiform signs is in fact so insecure--"B[A?-D]A?-na" according to the latest edition (42)--that no conclusion may be drawn on the basis of this text.

It seems much preferable to identify the biblical name with the substantive [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. This proposal has the merit of escaping all the above-mentioned problems. Furthermore, a seman-tically equivalent case may be adduced from the biblical onomasticon. One of Nehemiah's opponents is called [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] "Geshem the Arab" (Neh. 2:19; 6:1,2); his Arabian ethnicity is linguistically confirmed by the fact that his name appears once as [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Neh. 6:6), which is indeed a typical Nabatean name. (43) This name should therefore be interpreted according to the Arabic onomasticon, namely, as a cognate of Arabic [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and Aramaic (??) (cf. Syriac [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), which all literally mean 'body'. (44) As a proper name, though, it is perhaps better to translate both [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] as 'bulky'. (45)

Admittedly, there is a difference between the nominal patterns of the nouns in question. As argued above, the common noun in QH can be reconstructed on the basis of comparative considerations as having two full vowels (badan < PS *badari). By contrast, the biblical proper name has an Aramaic-like appearance due to the reduction of the vowel in the first syllable (badan). However, a scrutiny of BH reveals that the nominal pattern qdtal is common to proper names, e.g., [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Aram), [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (the land of Gerar), [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Nebath, Jeroboam's parent), [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Anath, Shamgar's parent), [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (the city of Arad), [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (the Euphrates River), [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Kohath, son of Levi), etc. Many such names derive from roots and/or lexemes that are otherwise rare or unproductive in BH, sometimes because of their foreign origin. This explains why they are cast into a nominal pattern that has an Aramaic--rather than Hebrew--flavor. This explanation obviously fits the case of [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] as well, since this lexeme is otherwise unattested in BH.

In any case, it is noteworthy that the distribution of the (possible) derivatives of b-d-n is restricted in BH to proper names alone. This restricted distribution is indicative: it serves as an independent argument in favor of the conclusion that the noun [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] indeed belongs to an archaic stratum of Hebrew, for the phenomenon in which proper names preserve obsolete lexemes is widely attested cross-linguistically.


The historical conclusion, namely, that [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] is not a lexical innovation of QH but rather an old lexeme that goes back to archaic Hebrew, still has to face one more difficulty. It does not seem to be compatible with the fact that BH never uses [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] as a common noun; by contrast, BH employs several alternative terms for expressing the notion of 'body', such as [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in classical BH (e.g., Gen. 47:18; cf. Ezek, 1:11,23), which is replaced by [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in late BH (compare 1 Sam. 31:12 with 1 Chr. 10:12). (46) This peculiar situation requires clarification, for it is improbable that the substantive in question is only accidentally unattested in the biblical and epigraphic evidence.

It would seem that this difficulty is best solved by the hypothesis that as far as the lexeme [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] is concerned, QH stems from a dialect of Hebrew not directly descending from classical BH. According to this hypothesis, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] is a genuinely old Hebrew lexeme that fell out of use in classical BH, while it was preserved in another, contemporaneous Hebrew dialect, and eventually resurfaced in a late phase of this dialect, namely QH.

It is beyond the confines of the present study to pursue in detail the full implications of this hypothesis. Suffice is to say that it is supported by two general considerations:

(a) From a methodological point of view, one must work on the basis of the assumption that the (relative) linguistic uniformity characteristic of the literary sources that comprise the Bible does not represent adequately the dialectal varieties that must have existed in ancient Hebrew in both biblical and post-biblical times. It is thus only to be expected that the more epigraphic finds and authentic texts are unearthed and analyzed, the more evidence for dialectal heterogeneity will be discovered.

(b) Admittedly, numerous studies have amply demonstrated that all the literary works found at Qumran evidently reflect linguistic innovations shared by other corpora of the Second Temple period (such as late BH on the one hand and Mishnaic Hebrew on the other) as well as direct dependence on--and borrowing of--biblical language and style. But this need not exclude the possibility that the Hebrew vernacular of the authors was indeed stemming from a dialect not necessarily identical with the one represented in BH. Indeed, dialectal traits are manifested in several important morphological categories of QH, which reflect a typologically earlier state of affairs than their counterparts in BH. (47) The case discussed here thus adds another piece of evidence--this time from the lexical realm--to the growing body of examples demonstrating the existence of dialects in ancient Hebrew.


The word [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] badan is a Hebrew reflex of the Common Semitic lexeme *badan, a primary noun meaning 'body', with cognates in all the branches of Semitic. The actual usage of the noun in QH represents a semantic development by having the more abstract sense of 'figure, form'. This etymological explanation is compatible with a contextual analysis of the attestations of the word in the Dead Sea scrolls, and it can also be paralleled with other lexemes that exhibit a similar semantic development.

If so, unlike its synonym [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], which became part of the Hebrew lexicon only in the (post-)exilic period, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] should not be regarded as an innovation of--or a borrowing made during--the Second Temple period, even though it is documented (at least thus far) only in relatively late sources. Rather, it is one of the cases in which the language of the Dead Sea scrolls sheds light on earlier strata of ancient Hebrew. This conclusion is corroborated by the existence of the proper name Badan in BH, which most probably derives from the substantive badan discussed here. At the same time, this conclusion has some implications for the ongoing debate about the nature of QH as stemming from an independent dialect of Hebrew.

(1.) Song I (4Q400 IV [= frg. 3ii+5] 3); Song V (4Q402 3i 5'); Song VII (4Q403 lii 9); Song IX (4Q405 G 20-22 [=frg. l4-15i5'-7']); Song XI (4Q405H 19 [= frg. 163']; 11Q17 V [= frg. 9-12] 5,9); song XI (4Q405 I 18. 21. 23 [= frg. 19a-d 2', 5', 7']; 11Q17 VI [= frg. 12-15] 3. 7); Song XIII (11Q17 X [= frg. 24] 5); unidentified fragments (4Q401 33 2'; 4Q405 38 2').

(2.) E. Qimron, "The Biblical Lexicon in Light of the Dead Sea Scrolls," DSD 2 (1995). 295-329.

(3.) J. van der Ploeg. Le rouleau de la guerre (Leiden: Brill. 1959), 93-94.

(4.) C. A. Newsom, Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice: A Critical Edition, HSS 27 (Atlanta, Ga.: Scholars Press, 1985), 283-85; ead., "405. 4QShirot 'Olat HaShabbatf," in Qumran Cave 4, VI: Poetical and Liturgical Texts. Part I, DJD 11 (Oxford: Clarendon. 1998), 333-34.

(5.) Cf. D. J. A. Clines, ed., The Dictionary of Classical Hebrew (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1993-), 2:96 s.v. [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] II.

(6.) Note that the noun nTO is a lexical innovation of the (post-)exilic period, as demonstrated by A. Hurvitz, A Linguistic Study of the Relationship between the Priestly Source and the Book of Ezekiel (Paris: Gabalda, 1982), 82-84.

(7.) The English translation utilized here is that of J. Duhaime in J. H. Charlesworth, ed.. The Dead Sea Scrolls: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek Texts with English Translation, vol. 2: Damascus Document, War Scroll, and Related Documents (Tubingen: Mohr-Siebeck, 1995). 106-9, but 1 have refrained from translating the crucial words. The word for 'embroidery', read as [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in many editions (following Biblical Hebrew [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] should in fact be read as [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. As a rule, short / is not marked by yod in QH. while round vowels--o and [much less than], be they short or long--are commonly represented by waw. Hence, unlike BH in its Tiberian vocalization, in which this noun goes back to the *qitl nominal pattern, in QH it belongs to the *qutl pattern. See E. Qimron, The Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Atlanta, Ga.: Scholars Press, 1986), 19 [section]100.32, n. 5; 65 [section] 330.1a.

(8.) The prosthetic aleph in [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] is a reflex of the preposition [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]; see Z. Ben Hayyim, "Traditions in the Hebrew Language, with Special Reference to the Dead Sea Scrolls," in Aspects of the Dead Sea Scrolls, ed. C. Rabin and Y. Yadin (Jerusalem: Magnes, 1958), 205.

(9.) The scribe originally wrote the plural form [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], but it was later corrected to the singular [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].

(10.) Many examples of.such construct phrases were culled by Y. Avishur, Stylistic Studies of Word-Pairs in Biblical and Ancient Semitic Literatures (Kevelaer: Butzon & Bercker, 1984), 153-211.

(11.) See Newsom, "4QShirot," 333.

(12.) Yadin, The Scroll of the War, 280: "The only possible cognate known to me is Arabic badan 'short, sleeveless coat', which Saadiah uses to translate hoshen [...]."

(13.) See above, n. 3.

(14.) H. F. Lutz ("A Note Regarding the Garment Called [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and Its Etymology," JAOS 42 [1922]: 207) argued (hat badan, 'body* and badan2 'short, sleeveless garment' are etymologically unrelated homonyms (rather than two meanings of a single, polysemic lexeme). According to Lutz, the former is a Semitic word, cognate of Hebrew [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], while the latter is an Egyptian loanword. But this assertion is very questionable. Furthermore, an etymological relation between Arabic [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and Hebrew [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] does not seem to be likely, for two reasons: (a) Hebrew [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] belly, womb' has secured cognates in other branches of Central Semitic, namely, Arabic [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] belly, abdomen*) and Aramaic (e.g., Syriac [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 'conception, pregnancy'), and it is attested in Northwest Semitic as early as the mid second millennium b.c.e. by the Canaanite gloss batnu in the El Amarna tablets (ba-at-nu-ma, EA 232:10); (b) there is no apparent reason why (de)emphatization (i.e., d > t or vice versa) would have occurred in this word. Thus, although an etymological relation between *badan 'body' and *batn 'belly' in a remote phase of Proto-Semitic cannot be totally excluded, such an assumption is not required by the available evidence.

(15.) S. Shaked, "Qumran: Some Iranian Connections," in Solving Riddles and Untying Knots: Biblical, Epi-graphic, and Semitic Studies in Honor of Jonas C. Greenfield, ed. Z. Zevit, S. Gittin. and M. Sokoloff (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 1995), 277-81, esp. 279.

(16.) B. Margalit, "Two Hebrew Cruxes" ZAH 3 (1990): 96-97.

(17.) See for instance the Sura of Yunus (= Jonah): "But today we shall save only your body [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]" (Qur'an 10:92). The word is also well attested in pre-Islamic Arabic poetry.

(18.) E. W. Lane, An Arabic-English Lexicon (London and Edinburgh: Williams & Norgate, 1863-93), 1:169a, s.v. [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]: "the body, without the head and arms and legs." The semantic fluctuation between these two meanings -- the whole body or merely the trunk--is attested cross-linguistically; it is found, for instance, in Indo-European languages as well. See C. D. Buck, A Dictionary of Selected Synonyms in the Principal Indo-European Languages (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1949), 197-99 [section] 4.11.

(19.) A. Militarev and L. Kogan, Semitic Etymological Dictionary, vol. I: Anatomy of Man and Animals (Minister: Ugarit-Verlag, 2000), 30-31 nos. 31-32. Cf. W. Leslau, "The Pans of the Body in the Modern South Arabic-Languages," Language 21 (1945): 237.

(20.) If padattum < * padantum < * badan-t-um. For the change of b > p in the vicinity of n in Akkadian see W. von Soden, Grundriss der akkadischen Grammatik, 3rd ed. (Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1995), 33 [section] 27d. To be sure, this lexeme is unrelated to the Akkadian noun padanu 'way, path'.

(21.) AHw, 808; CAD. P, 5. Mr. Guy Ron-Gilboa (personal communication) suggested to me that this lexeme may be further traced in Akkadian, if one assumes an etymological relation between it and the Akkadian (denominative?) verb patanu 'to eat' and 'to become/make strong' (AHw 847, s.v. patanu I and II respectively; CAD, P, 272-73, s.v. patanu A and B). Compare the Arabic verb [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 'be(come) big, bulky, fat* (Lane, Arabic-English Lexicon, 1:169a), which is derived from [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 'body'. Note that according to this hypothesis both voiced consonants of this root underwent devoicing in Akkadian (h > p and d > t).

(22.) J. Fox, Semitic Noun Patterns (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 2003), 157-64. A different reconstruction is implied by Qimron (Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls, 66 [section] 330.1c), who prefers to classify [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] under the qdtal pattern, which originates in Aramaic. Surprisingly, he does not mention explicitly the biblical proper name Bedan, which certainly belongs to this pattern (see further below).

(23.) See, e.g., HALOT 136-37, s.v. [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], esp. [section] 4.

(24.) This meaning is recorded in Ugaritic; see G. del Olmo Lete and J. Sanmartin, A Dictionary of the Ugaritic Language in the Alphabetic Tradition* 2nd ed. (Leiden: Brill, 2004), 1:224 s.v. b/nt. Similarly, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] may refer in BH to the 'body' or 'back' of animate beings (e.g., Ezek. 10:12), but also to an inanimate 'mound' (Ezek. 16:23, 31, 39; juxtaposed with [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]). A similar semantic development from 'back' (of human beings and animals) to 'steppe-land' and even 'ritual place' is also offered by Akkadian seru; see [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 1093-95; CAD S, 139 [section] la and 146, [section] 3h.

(25.) See H. Yalon, Studies in the Dead Sea Scrolls: Philological Essays (1949-1952) (Jerusalem: Shrine of the Book. 1967), 31-32 (Hebrew). In the poetic diction of BH, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in this ancient and concrete sense is usually collocated with the verb [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 'to tread' (Deut. 33:29; 1 Sam. 22:34 II Ps. 18:34; Hab. 3:19), as the picture portrayed by this collocation is that of a warrior treading upon his slain enemies. Interestingly, the construct plural form [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] is doubly marked (with-ot as well as-e) which may be indicative of the linguistic antiquity of this form within Hebrew tradition.

(26) The form [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] shares this sense with [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], both forms being derived from the same verbal root. Compare the analogous couple of [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], both denoting 'the interest on a loan of victuals', as shown by S. E. Loewenstamm. "[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]," JUL 88.1 (1969): 78-80.

(27.) 4Q405 G 21-22 [= frg. I4-15i 6-7']. The phrase [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], "the structure of the [mo]st holy [sanctuary] in the inner sanctums of the King," parallels [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], "figures of living divine beings, [... in the in]ner sanctums of Glory."

(28.) The most recent edition of the Thanksgiving Scroll reads the verb as [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 'they groan' rather than [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 'they broke'; see H. Stegemann, E. Schuller, and C. Newsom, IQHodayot(a), DJD 40 (Oxford: Clarendon, 2009), 201 on 1. 7. But the parallelism with the second stich (for which cf. Ps. 22:15) testifies to [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] as the correct reading (cf. Isa. 24:19).

(29.) See Yalon, Studies, 45 n. 16; M. Kister, "Some Observations on Vocabulary and Style in the Dead Sea Scrolls," in Diggers at the Well, STDJ 36, ed. T. Muraoka and J. F. Elwolde (Leiden: Brill, 2000), 163-64. Equivalent cases can be found in various other languages, such as the English noun build, which may be applied to the figure of a person. Similarly, the Homeric Greek noun [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], originally denotes 'the living body' (and eventually also the 'corpse'), while the verbal root [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] means 'to build' and more generally 'to construct, prepare'.

(30.) The lexeme 'os (plural 'uss-) was borrowed into Hebrew from Aramaic (Ezra 4:12; 5:16; cf. Targum Jonathan to 1 Kgs. 6:15; Mic. 1:6). It goes back to Akkadian uSsu, whose ultimate source is probably Sumerian. See W. Baumgartner, "Untersuchungen zu den akkadischen Bauausdriicken," ZA 36 (1925): 236-37; S. A. Kaufman, The Akkadian Influences on Aramaic (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1974), 110 n. 397.

(31.) G. B. Sarfatti, Mathematical Terminology in Hebrew Scientific Literature of the Middle Ages (Jerusalem: Magnes, 1968), 117 [section] 162 (Hebrew). Note the revealing statement of the medieval Jewish translator, Samuel Ibn Tibbon, quoted ibid., 179 [section] 233.

(32.) See AHw, 534; CAD L, 78-80, esp. [section]a and [section] c. Cf. also zumru, for which see AHw, 1537; CAD Z, 157-60, esp. [section]a.l'-3'and [section] c.

(33.) Akin also to English midriff 'the front of the body between the chest and the waist' < Old English mid 'middle' + An/'belly*; the latter being derived from Germanic * hrefiz-, ultimately coming from the suffixed form * [k.sup.w]rep-es-. See OED and C. Watkins, The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots, 2nd ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000), 46, s.v. [k.sup.w]rep-.

(34.) J. Pokorny, Indogermanisches etymologisches Wbrterbuch (Bern: Francke, 1951-69), 1:620, s.v. krep-.

(35.) See most recently S. Frolov, "Bedan: A Riddle in Context," JBL 126 (2007): 164, and the literature cited ibid., nn. 1-5. The debate concerns not only the identification of this judge or deliverer, but also the very reliability of the Hebrew Masoretic Text at this point.

(36.) Mention may also be made in this context of the Mishnaic toponym [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], the name of a village known for its famous pomegranates (m. 'OrL 3:7; Kel. 17:5), which may in fact be related to [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] of 1 Chr. 7:17. It is therefore of interest that the vocalization of this place name in Mishnaic, Samaritan, and Arabic sources (down to the present day) is indeed Baddn. See Y. Elitzur, Ancient Place Names in the Holy Land: Preservation and History (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 2004), 299. For a geographical identification of the village see Y. Tsafrir, L. Di Segni, and J. Green, Tabula Imperii Romani: ludaea, Palestina - Eretz Israel in the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine Periods (Jerusalem: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 1994), 73. For the relation of a place name to a substantive denoting a part of the body compare the biblical town of Beten (Josh. 19:25), whose name is identical with the common noun [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 'belly'.

(37.) M. Noth, Die israelitischen Personennaynen im Rahmen der gemeinsemitischen Nemengebung (Stuttgart; Kohlhammer, 1928), 149-50, 238 nos. 244-46.

(38.) HALOT, 110, s.v. [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. Alternative derivations are [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] < [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] by way of syncopation of the initial 'ayin (cf. BDB, 96), and [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] < [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in which the first n assimilated to the preceding b. However, both proposals are unlikely, as one would hardly expect a pharyngeal to be dropped in a text reflecting classical BH such as 1 Sam. 12:11, and the assimilation of n to d would normally result in gemination (ben dan > * hidddn, not bdddri).

(39.) W. Gesenius, Hebrdisches und aramdisches Handworterbuch liber das Alte Testament, 18th ed., ed. U Rutersworden, R. Meyer, and H. Donner (Berlin: Springer, 1987), 1:126, s.v.[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].

(40.) F. Hrozny in E. Sellin, Tell Ta'annek (Vienna: C Gerald's sohn, 1904), 121.

(41.) A. Gustavs, "Die Personennamen in den Tontafeln von Tell Ta'annek," ZDPV51 (1928): 175.

(42.) W. Horowitz, T Oshima, and S. Sanders, Cuneiform in Canaan: Cuneiform Sources from the Land of Israel in Ancient Times (Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 2006), 138 (transcription), 219 (hand-copy), 236 (photograph).

(43.) J. Cantineau, Le Nabateen (Paris: Leroux, 1930-32), 2:80, 164-69. Cf. A. Negev, Personal Names in the Nahatean Realm (Jerusalem: Hebrew University Institute of Archaeology, 1991). 20 no. 259 (this book, however, should be used very cautiously, as demonstrated by M. C A. MacDonald, "Personal Names in the Nabataean Realm: A Review Article," JSS 44 11999]: 251-89). These scholars observed that the Nabatean name spelled [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] may be akin to the Arabic names JuSam and Jusam (compare its Greek representation by Toaanoc;). Nevertheless, the form witnessed by the Tiberian vocalization of MT must go back to a different, monosyllabic nominal pattern, i.e., * gahn (cf. the following note).

(44.) Interestingly, the forms attested in these dialects reflect the full range of possible realizations of the underlying Proto-Semitic * qVtl pattern: qitl in Arabic (jism), qatl in BH ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]/gasmu < * gasm), and qutl in Syriac (gusma). The qitl pattern is also attested in Biblical Aramaic (as gism) within suffixed forms: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Dan. 4:30; 5:21) and [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Dan.7:ll).

(45.) This interpretation was foreseen by E Bottcher (Neue exegetische-kritische Aehrenlese zum Alten Testa- mente [Leipzig: Barth, 1863-65], 1:116 [section] 201 (1)), who translated Bedan as "corpulentus" (that is, 'corpulent, bulky'). A similar line of interpretation was suggested with regard to another. South Semitic language: the Sefaitic name Bdn was similarly interpreted as vetre gros* by G. Ryckmans, Les noms propres sud-semitiques (Louvain: Bureaux du Museon, 1934-35), 1:49. One may note in passing that a proper name Bdn is also attested in Ugaritic, but unfortunately its etymology and meaning are disputed; see del Olmo Lete and Sanmarti'n, Dictionary, 1:218 s.v. bdn, and the literature cited there.

(46.) For a full survey of such terms and expressions, see E. Dhorme, L'emploi metaphorique des noms de parties du corps en hihreu et en akkadien (Paris: Geuthner, 1963), 4-19 (originally published in 1923).

(47.) See E. Qimron, "Observations on the History of Early Hebrew (1000 B.C.E.-200 c.E.) in the Light of the Dead Sea Scrolls," in The Dead Sea Scrolls: Forty Years of Research, ed. D. Dimant and U Rappaport (Leiden: Brill, 1992), 349-61; id., "The Nature of DSS Hebrew and Its Relation to BH and MH," in Diggers at the Well (above, n. 29), 232-44.

Author's note: Thanks are due to Dr. Na'ama Pat-El of the University of Texas at Austin and the anonymous JAOS reviewers for their helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper. Needless to say, I alone should be held responsible for any fault or error to be found in it.

Noam Mizrahi Hebrew University of Jerusalem Georg-August-Universitat Gottingen
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Author:Mizrahi, Noam
Publication:The Journal of the American Oriental Society
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:7ISRA
Date:Oct 1, 2010
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