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Mahanaim meaning

מחנים
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🔼The name Mahanaim in the Bible

Mahanaim is the name of a region that is mentioned from Genesis to 1 Kings. The site was named by Jacob, on his journey from Paddan-aram back to Canaan (Genesis 32:2). Later it was assigned to the Levites, specifically the family of Merari (Joshua 21:34-42). Mahanaim was briefly the capital of Israel during the momentary royalty of Ish-bosheth, the son of Saul (2 Samuel 2:8).

🔼Etymology of the name Mahanaim

The name Mahanaim is a multiple form (or rather, a multiple form that means 'two of') of the word מחנה (mananeh), meaning camp. And that word comes from the verb חנה (hana), meaning to decline, bend down, or settle:

Right before Jacob names the region Mahanaim, he is met by angels of God. That motivates him to say, מחנה אלהים וה ("This is God's camp"), using the word מחנה (mananeh).

🔼Mahanaim meaning

BDB Theological Dictionary, NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names agree: the name Mahanaim means Two Camps. Jones adds Two Hosts, apparently assuming that a camp is full of people.

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