אֶפְרָיִם Gen. 41:50-52

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Isaac Fried
Posts: 1771
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:32 pm

אֶפְרָיִם Gen. 41:50-52

Post by Isaac Fried »

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: 1771
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:32 pm

Re: אֶפְרָיִם Gen. 41:50-52

Post by Isaac Fried »

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
Isaac Fried
Posts: 1771
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:32 pm

Re: אֶפְרָיִם Gen. 41:50-52

Post by Isaac Fried »

The name עתן-היא-אל = עָתְנִיאֵל of Jos. 15:17 is intriguing inasmuch as the letter ע appears placed to disguise an א and
אָתְנִיאֵל -> אָדְנִיאֵל -> דָנִיאֵל

Isaac Fried, Boston University
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