Sunday sermonets: name days

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No, it doesn’t mean what you probably think it means, whatever it may be. It is the study of proper names. The Tanakh / Old Testament is the source of most of the popular names for Christian and Jewish babies. I have not done any kind of study, my observations are purely impressionist, but it is interesting to think about which names are popular and which are not. Of course, fashions change and it depends on time, place and culture.

The amount of male names is much wider, since most of the stories focus on male endeavors and many women are never mentioned – just So-and-So’s wife or concubine. So most of the girls names are used, from Eve to Sarah to Rachel and Leah, Miriam, Deborah, Naomi, Ruth. .. Hagar is unknown, I suppose due to her humble status as a concubine, although God shows her favor. One commentator informed us that Zipporah is common in Israel, although it is virtually unknown in the English-speaking world. Maybe why the nickname should be Zippy? It doesn’t look that bad, actually. Although Rahab is a heroine, it is easy to see that her profession is disqualifying. However, Dalila is not uncommon, although she is a paradigm of evil – a manipulative and traitor seductress. For the most part I think of parents just like the sound of a name, without thinking or even knowing the story behind it.

As for male names, there’s a lot more that could be said, and maybe I’ll get to that. For now, I’ll just say that I wonder why Boaz never caught on. He is an attractive figure, both good-hearted and wealthy. On the other hand, Saul is quite a popular Hebrew name, but Saul is very much in God’s bed, and in fact in the next chapter things will get even worse. Saul is also the original name of the founder of Christianity, before he changed it to Paul.

Okay, in chapter 21, David is on the run for his life, he does what he has to do, including lying to a priest and getting consecrated bread under false pretenses. As we will see, the consequences for the priest are ultimately fatal. I can’t really blame him under the circumstances, but I suppose this chapter is fodder for many moral exegeses.

 

21a]”>[a]David went to Nob, to the priest Ahimelech. Ahimelek trembled when she met him and asked him: ‘Why are you alone? Why is nobody with you? “

2David replied to Ahimelech the priest: “The king sent me on a mission and said to me: ‘Nobody should know anything about the mission for which I am sending you.’ As for my men, I told them to meet me in a certain place. 3So what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you can find. “

4thBut the priest answered David, ‘I have no common bread in my hand; However, there is consecrated bread here, provided the men kept away from women

Commentators have tried to link this concept of consecrated bread to Exodus 19:15 where Moses tells men to abstain from sex before Yahweh appears on Mount Sinai, but this has nothing to do with bread. Indeed this is a de novo ritual, has no connection with the previous text.

5David replied, “Indeed, women have been kept away from us, as usual every timeb]”>[b] I left. The bodies of men are holy even in missions that are not holy. How much more today! “ 6thThen the priest gave him the consecrated bread, because there was no bread there but the bread of the Presence which had been taken away from the Gentleman and replaced by hot bread the day it was taken away.

7thNow on that day there was one of Saul’s servants there, held in front of the … Gentleman; was Doeg the Domite, Saul’s chief shepherd.

8thDavid asked Ahimelek: “Don’t you have a spear or a sword here? I didn’t bring my sword or other weapons, because the king’s mission was urgent. “

9The priest replied: ‘The sword of Goliath the Philistine, which you killed in the valley of Ela, is here; it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you want it, get it; there is no sword here except that. “

Again, the word ephod comes up with no explanation of what it is.

David said, “There is no one like it; give it to me. “

David in Gath

10That day David fled from Saul and went to Achish king of Gath. 11

(My principal’s name, BTW.)

But Achish’s servants said to him, “Isn’t this David the king of the land?” He is not the one they sing about in their dances:

“’Saul has killed his thousand,
    and David his tens of thousands? “

12 °David took these words to heart and was very afraid of Achish king of Gath. 13

It is not clear why this frightens David, unless he thinks that Achis will harm him out of loyalty to Saul. But then how does pretending to be crazy improve his situation?

So he pretended to be mad in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, marking the doors of the door and letting the saliva run down his beard.

14Achis said to his servants: ‘Look at the man! He is crazy! Why bring it to me? 15 °Am I so short of insane you gotta bring this guy here to get on like this in front of me? Does this man have to enter my house? “

Footnotes

  1. 1 Samuel 21: 1 In the Hebrew texts 21: 1-15 it is numbered 21: 2-16.
  2. 1 Samuel 21: 5 or from us in the past few days from

 

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