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Hazar-enan meaning

חצר עינון
חצר עינן

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🔼The name Hazar-enan in the Bible

The name Hazar-enan occurs four times in two different scenes in the Bible, but with two slightly differing spellings. In Numbers 34:9-10, YHWH informs Moses about the borders of the promised land. The northern border will extend from the Great (= Mediterranean) Sea and end in Hazar-enan (חצר עינן), where it will go south along the eastern border. The author of Numbers spells Hazar-enan both times with two consecutive nuns.

When, may years later, the prophet Ezekiel sees his vision pertaining to the restoration of the Temple and of Israel at large, his angelic host conveys the words of the Lord and lays out the boundaries of the land. The northern border, again, stretches from the Great Sea to Hazar-enan (Ezekiel 47:17). In this instance our name is spelled חצר עינון, with the letter waw preceding the final nun. But in Ezekiel 48:1, introducing the chapter where the areas of the tribes are specified, our names appears again, but this time spelled like the author of Numbers spelled it: nun-nun.

It's not clear why these two separate spellings exist, but one possibility is that the name Hazar-enan was applied to that town long before people started inserting the letter waw into words to represent a vowel (which was roughly around the start of the post-exilic period). Since the Hebrew language was not standardized, people wrote words phonetically, and so sometimes different spellings of one word made it into the Bible. But why two different spellings appear in such close proximity (separated by a mere six verses) remains unclear.

🔼Etymology of the name Hazar-enan

The name Hazar-enan obviously consists of two elements. The first part comes from any of the roots חצר (hsr):

The second part of our name comes from the noun עין (ayin), meaning either fountain or eye:

How exactly to interpret the final nun or the waw-nun couple isn't clear. The waw-nun may indicate that this is a noun derived of some root עין, that also gave rise to the noun עין, meaning eye or spring (perhaps meaning to be wet or to flow or something like that). Gesenius has suggested that this final nun comes from an irregular plural, but this plural does not occur elsewhere in the Bible. Still, commentators appear to find this explanation most appealing.

Another name that consists of the same two roots is En-hazor.

🔼Hazar-enan meaning

The name Hazar-enan can be construed to be a combination of any of the above, from Narrow Eye to Fountain Village. For a meaning of our name, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Village Of Springs and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has Village Of Fountains. BDB Theological Dictionary does not translate this name.