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Meaning and etymology of the name Keren-happuch

Keren-happuch Keren-happuch

Keren-happuch is the youngest of three daughters who are born to Job after his ten children die in consequence of the difficult to understand trial that God allows satan to visit him (Job 42:14). Keren-happuch's two sisters are called Jemimah and Keziah. The book of Job informs us that "in all the land no women were found so fair as Job's daughters" - Job 42:15.

The name Keren-happuch consists of two parts. The first part is identical to the word qaran (qaran), either meaning to shine or be radiant, or to grow or have horns. This verb is a bit of a mystery. Although there's an obvious imaginary overlap between being radiant and having horns, in cognate languages this root only means to have horns. But we know that the Hebrews used this verb in the meaning of to shine because it was applied to Moses when he came down the mountain after his meeting with God (Exodus 34:29). The Vulgate had Moses grow horns in this passage, and that's why Michelangelo's famous statue of Moses shows him with horns.

This verb comes with a noun, namely qeren (qeren), meaning horn, and that's peculiar too. Why is there a noun that means horn, and not a noun that means ray? HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament thinks that the verb was derived of the noun, while BDB Theological Dictionary says that the verb and the noun were both derived of an even more fundamental root, but the meaning of this most fundamental root is even more obscure. What's sure is that the first part of the name Keren-happuch is identical to the noun that means horn.

The second part of the name is identical to the word puk (puk), perhaps a foreign loan word (suggests BDB), meaning antimony or stibium; a black mineral powder used for eye make-up. In the Bible this word occurs a few times: Jeremiah 4:30, Isaiah 54:11, 1 Chronicles 29:2. The ha that this second part starts with comes from the letter he, which usually serves as the definite article.

All together the name Keren-happuch can have a few meanings. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names goes with the meaning of shine for qeren and reads Splendour Of Colour. NOBS Study Bible Name List reads Horn Of Eye Paint. BDB Theological Dictionary reads Horn Of Antomony, i.e. beautifier



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