ע
ABARIM
Publications
Abarim Publications' Biblical Dictionary: The Hebrew word: אזן

Source: http://www.abarim-publications.com/Dictionary/a/a-z-nfin.html

Abarim Publications' online Biblical Hebrew Dictionary

אזן

There are two root-verbs of the form אזן ('zn), which are most likely of separate origin. But still, it seems likely that Hebrew poets recognized their similarity and perhaps allowed these identical roots to explain each other to some extent:


אזן I

The root אזן ('zn) isn't used as verb and it's unclear what it may have meant. BDB Theological Dictionary suggests that the original meaning may have had to do with being pointy or sharp. Its derivatives are:

  • The feminine noun אזן ('ozen), meaning ear (Genesis 35:4, Deuteronomy 29:3, 1 Samuel 20:2).
  • The denominative verb אזן ('azan), meaning to hear or rather to give ear to (Deuteronomy 32:1, Isaiah 64:3, Psalm 80:1). This verb differs from another verb that means to hear, namely שמע (shama'), to hear, or rather to listen to, hearken or obey - see the names Ishmael and Simeon).
  • The masculine noun אזן ('azen), collectively denoting tools or implements. BDB Theological Dictionary proposes that this word refers to pointy or sharp tools and weapons.
אזן II

The root-verb אזן ('azan) occurs just once, in Ecclesiastes 12:9, in the sense of to weigh or test. More frequently occurring is the derived masculine noun מאזן (m'zn), meaning balance or scale. This word occurs always in the dual form - מאזנים (mo'zenayim) - to denote a pair of scales.

Scholars insist that these two root-verbs should be viewed completely separated, but artists liberally recognize their similarity. It's probably one reason why Star Trek's race of traders called the Ferengi are endowed with enormous ears.


Associated Biblical names