אֶפְרָיִם Gen. 41:50-52

For discussions which focus upon specific words, their origin, meaning, relationship to other ANE languages.
Forum rules
Members will observe the rules for respectful discourse at all times!
Please sign all posts with your first and last (family) name.
Isaac Fried
Posts: 1556
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:32 pm

אֶפְרָיִם Gen. 41:50-52

Postby Isaac Fried » Sat Dec 28, 2019 7:11 pm

We read there
וּלְיוֹסֵף יֻלַּד שְׁנֵי בָנִים בְּטֶרֶם תָּבוֹא שְׁנַת הָרָעָב אֲשֶׁר יָלְדָה לּוֹ אָסְנַת בַּת פּוֹטִי פֶרַע כֹּהֵן אוֹן וַיִּקְרָא יוֹסֵף אֶת שֵׁם הַבְּכוֹר מְנַשֶּׁה כִּי נַשַּׁנִי אֱלֹהִים אֶת כָּל עֲמָלִי וְאֵת כָּל בֵּית אָבִי וְאֵת שֵׁם הַשֵּׁנִי קָרָא אֶפְרָיִם כִּי הִפְרַנִי אֱלֹהִים בְּאֶרֶץ עָנְיִי
NIV: " Before the years of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household. The second son he named Ephraim and said, It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering"
Possibly, אֶפְרָיִם is actually from אֵפֶר, 'ashes, soot', because he was dark skinned (like his mother?), with the ending יִם for emphasis and doubling the significance.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

Isaac Fried
Posts: 1556
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:32 pm

Re: אֶפְרָיִם Gen. 41:50-52

Postby Isaac Fried » Wed Jan 01, 2020 8:29 pm

As for his descendants, we read in Nu. 2:12
וְנָשִׂיא לִבְנֵי אֶפְרַיִם אֱלִישָׁמָע בֶּן עַמִּיהוּד
of which, I think,
אֱלִישָׁמָע = אל-היא-שמע
with the letter ע added to create a semblance for the verb שמע, as in the earlier names of יִשְמָעֵאל (Gen. 16:11), and שִמְעוֹן (Gen. 29:33).
I suspect that this שמע is but one with the still earlier name שֵׁם of Gen. 5:32
וַיּוֹלֶד נֹחַ אֶת שֵׁם אֶת חָם וְאֶת יָפֶת
in which שׁם is 'mighty'.
The name of the father, עַמִּיהוּד I propose to parse as
עַמִּיהוּד = עם-היא-הוּא-עד
with היא-הוּא referring to the Ultimate.

Isaac Fried, Boston University


Return to “Etymological & Lexicographic Approaches to the Hebrew Bible”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests