🔼The name Resen in the Bible
Resen is a city in Assyria built by Nimrod (Genesis 10:12). Nimrod's empire began with his building Babel in Shinar (or Sumer) and culminated in Resen, the "Great City," which was situated between Nineveh and Calah. A city named Babel (if we assume it to be the same as Bab-ilim) obviously truly existed and Nineveh as well, but Calah and Resen aren't mentioned by extra-Biblical texts. That is peculiar to say the least, if Resen and not Babel was indeed worthy of the epithet "Great City".
If the story of Nimrod is meant as a piece of straight-forward journalism, it would be the first in the Bible. All previous stories (and many of which follow) are strongly poetic, and use the commonly accepted symbolic jargon of the ancients in combination with observable reality to aid the discussion of what humanity is, where we came from and what our function might be in the grand scheme of things. Hints to what the Great City of Resen might actually represent might follow from the meaning of its name:
🔼Etymology of the name Resen
According to BDB Theological Dictionary, the name Resen is probably a transliteration of the Assyrian name Res Eni, meaning Head Of A Spring. Transliterated to Hebrew, however, the name Resen becomes identical to the word רסן (resen) meaning jaw or halter:
For a meaning of the name Resen, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Bridle. NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Fortress, and calls Resen a city built by Asshur, which is incorrect on both accounts.
The name Resen means Jaw or Halter, and that's highly significant because in order to control a creature, all one needs to do is control its jaw. Even when human beings are considered, if one can control another person's jaw, one controls what that person says and ultimately what he or she believes. Here at Abarim Publications, we're guessing that Nimrod's story reflects the rise of civilization (possibly using names of known heroes and prominent ancient cities), with ultimately the development of a complex government that controls the empire like the brain controls a person: administration, legislation, manipulation and propaganda and enforcement (also see Romans 13:1).
See for a name that's formed from another word for jaw our article on the name Lehi.