By M. Bittner
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Meaning “to swear, take an oath”; it suggests, however, some connection with the Common Semitic numeral šeba! ” Within the Elohist narrative Gen 21:22–34, there is a double aetiological explanation of the name Beer-sheba: the etymological explanation “Therefore that place was called Beer-sheba; because there both of them swore an oath” at v. 31 relates the name to the double covenant between Abimelech and Abraham mentioned at v. 27 and v. 32; according to vv. 29–30, Beer-sheba refers to “seven ewe lambs” who witnessed 1 1.
Cf. GKC, §90 k. 11. , La Bible d’Alexandrie: La Genèse (Paris: Cerf, 1994), 244. 1 26 The Transformation of Biblical Proper Names the two divergent spellings calls for a critical assessment. 12 At the end of the predominantly Yahwist narrative about Jacob’s meeting with Esau (Gen 33) there is an aetiological explanation for the place name Succoth. After a peaceful separation from his brother, Esau sets out for Seir. In v. ” This aetiological formula of the place mentioned at the end of Jacob’s itinerary (Gen 25–33) acquires special signi¿cance because it reÀects the original form of the ¿xed settlement and also signals that Jacob and their descendants have settled permanently in the Promised Land.
This means that the transliterated form Saba is based on the etymology of the name Beer-sheba and on the pause reading of the second word, rather than on the normal reading of the noun ĞƗbƗ! “satiety”; so we may assume also here dependence on the form Bersabee found in the Vg for the name Beer-sheba. 7. Etymological Translation of the Place Name Adonai-jireh The narrative of the great temptation at Gen 22:1–19 describes the reaction of Abraham when God retracted his demand that Abraham sacri¿ce his only son in the land of Moriah.