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Discover the meanings of English names that cover multiple Hebrew names in Abarim Publications' Biblical Name Vault

Source: http://www.abarim-publications.com/NaLi/2doublers.html

Your name isn't here? Oops; so far we only have about 76% of the ± 3300 Biblical names covered.

🔼English names that are two Hebrew names

We have no sound recordings from Biblical times, so we really have no idea how language sounded back then. But many scholars have done their best to figure out how we could possibly pronounce Biblical names.

Alas for those who prefer certainty and easy correlations, the Hebrew language has two or three letters that were probably pronounced somewhat similar to our letter 's,' namely: ס and ש (the latter of which was in the Middle Ages in turn split into שׂ and שׁ, pronounced as 's' and 'sh'). Then there are two letters that probably sounded like our 't', namely ט and ת, two that sounded like 'z', namely ז and צ, although the latter was probably pronounced more like 'tz', two that were like our 'h', namely ה and ח, two that were like our 'k' and 'q', namely כ and ק, which our commonly transliterated with a 'k' and a 'q' but that's nothing but a convenient deception. And there were two letters that had no sound at all but represented a guttural stop: א and ע.

Then, when the ancient Hebrews began to augment their original consonantal script with representations of vowels, they used symbols that were also already used to represent consonants. The letter י could represent a 'y'-like consonant or an 'i'-sounding vowel. The ה could represent a 'h'-consonant or an 'a'-like sound. And the ו could represent a 'w'-consonant but it could also be a 'u' or an 'o' sound.

But this dual usage counted on readers knowing which one was which. And we moderns sadly don't. So we bravely guess that, for instance, in the name דוד the ו was used as a consonant and this name is David and not Dod, but we could be entirely wrong. Tradition (which is our sole witness to the original) speaks of king David, but the Canaanites also recognized a deity known as Dod or Dodo, whose name was spelled he same.

The Hebrew of the Bible was possibly designed specifically for writing, and speaking or reading it aloud was a mere secondary exercise; a side-effect that came in handy when presenting the writings to illiterate or uninitiated masses.

Ergo, because the Hebrew language expresses nuances for which the English language has no faculties (and vice versa), there are quite a few very different Biblical names that, represented in English, turn into one:

Two Hebrew names for one English one