Friday, May 04, 2007

El Shadday: Mountains and Breasts...

El Shadday

Tim over at SansBlogue has a fascinating post on the divine name אֵל שַׁדַּי, El Shaddai. You should check out the comments including Tim's responses. He argues that although etymologically speaking, the name is not connected to the similar-sounding Hebrew word "breast" that at least in a few passages, a word-play on "breasts" is present. To see the post, click here.
The BDB lexicon actually has the אֵל שַׁדַּי entry under the "breast" main-heading. However, BDB does list several possible meanings for the name, including the possible tie to the Akkadian term "mountain." I agree with the newer HAL lexicon that this is probably the correct etymology. El Shaddai means "the One of the [Cosmic] Mountain." El (God) is the one who dwells atop the world on the mythopoetic mountain that joins heaven and earth (cf., e.g., Ezekiel 28:14, "the Holy Mountain of God").

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