Page 1 of 1

Etymological roots of זֵכֶר and נָקַב and their relationship

Posted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 5:33 am
by Moses Gummadi
Exodus 3:15 זֶה־ שְּׁמִי לְעֹלָם וְזֶה זִכְרִי לְדֹר דֹּֽר
KJV: this is my memorial unto all generations

Leviticus 24:16 וְנֹקֵב שֵׁם־יְהוָה מוֹת יוּמָת רָגוֹם
KJV: And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death.

Genesis 1:27 זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה בָּרָא אֹתָֽם
KJV: male and female created he them

I find it very interesting that the verbs used above (זֵכֶר and נָקַב) appear to be etymologically connected to the sexes (זָכָר and נְקֵבָה).

Whilst both זֵכֶר and נָקַב seem to be connected to the idea of "mentioning" or "naming" (Proverbs 10:7; Numbers 1:17), זֵכֶר is used as "memory" in the perpetuation of the seed (biological "imprint", Esther 9:28), but נָקַב is used in the sense of "boring" or "piercing" (2 Kings 12:9; Job 41:2). I see a clear allusion to the sexes.

That brings another question, what is the significance of נָקַב 's usage in Numbers 1:17; 1 Chr 12:31; 16:41, etc.

Your comments and insights will be appreciated. Thank you.