סלם SULAM, Gen. 28:12

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

סלם SULAM, Gen. 28:12

Post by Isaac Fried »

We read there
וַיַּחֲלֹם וְהִנֵּה סֻלָּם מֻצָּב אַרְצָה וְרֹאשׁוֹ מַגִּיעַ הַשָּׁמָיְמָה וְהִנֵּה מַלְאֲכֵי אֱלֹהִים עֹלִים וְיֹרְדִים בּוֹ
KJV: "And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it"
NIV: "He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it"
It seems that the common wisdom concerning this name is that it is from the root סלל, with the closing ם being non-radical.
I don't fully understand the reluctance in seeing SULAM as being of the root סלם, related to the Hebrew family of roots
סלם, צלם, שלם, תלם
and even further to
אלם, בלם, גלם, הלם, חלם, כלם, עלם
As I see it, in this root סלם the first ס radical shortly stands for the fuller סעה, סאה, נסע ,נשא of 'extension', the second ל radical shortly stands for the fuller עלה, לאה of 'elevation', and the third ם radical shortly stands for the fuller מאה of 'being massive'.
Thus, סוּלָם is not only תָּלוּל but also prodigious.

Isaac Fried, Boston University
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