🔼The name Calneh: Summary
- Center Of The World, Beautifying Everything
- From (1) the noun כל (kol), all or the whole, and (2) the verb נוה (nawa), to be a governmental center.
🔼The name Calneh in the Bible
The Calneh mentioned by the prophet Amos (Amos 6:2) is probably not the same as Nimrod's Calneh, but the city Calno (כלנו, of similar etymology as Calneh) mentioned by the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 10:9) and Canneh mentioned by Ezekiel (Ezekiel 27:23).
🔼Etymology of the name Calneh
It's not clear how the name Calneh is formed. At first glance it looks like a feminine noun derived from a root כלן (kln), but as far as we know, there's no such root. And so, the name Calneh may be a compound but the rules of construction in Hebrew are so loose that Calneh may be seen as a compound of quite a number of elements.
The first part of the name Calneh may come from the beautiful root כלל
The root כלל (kll) deals with limits, and particularly the limit on growth or progression. This limit may be incurred by interment or incarceration, but it may also mark the asymptotic quality of perfection or completion.
Verb כלא (kala') means to shut in or shut up. Nouns כלא (kele'), כלוא (klw') and כליא (keli) mean imprisonment. Noun מכלה (mikla), means enclosure or fold. Verb כול (kul) means to contain or cause to contain.
Verb כלה (kala) denotes the bringing to a completion of some process, and that usually but not always in a negative sense. Noun כלה (kala) mostly describes complete destruction or complete annihilation. Adjective כלה (kaleh) describes a failing with desire and noun כליון (killayon) means either a failing or pining of the eyes or annihilation. Noun מכלה (mikla) means completeness (and is identical to the word meaning enclosure or fold). The noun תכלה (tikla) means perfection. Noun תכלית (taklit) means end or completeness. The very common noun כלי (keli) describes any kind of article that (possibly) took a while to make but is now finished, or a vessel that was designed to hold some finished product; a holding pot.
Verb כלל (kalal) means to complete or make perfect. The very common noun כל (kol) means all or the whole. Adjective כליל (kalil) means entire or whole. Nouns מכלול (miklol) and מכלל (miklal) mean perfection. Noun מכלל (maklul) describes something made perfect.
The noun כלה (kalla) means bride or daughter-in-law, and noun כלולה (kelula) means espousal, which obviously reflects the Bible's expectation that humanity's ultimate perfection makes her a Bride to the Creator.
The second part of the name Calneh may be viewed as coming from the root group נוה:
There are either three separate verbs נוה (nawa), or one that simultaneously means (1) to be high or eminent, (2) to beautify, and (3) to be or be in an abode. If this cluster of assumed roots is indeed just one, it obviously deals with perfect societies, splendid palaces and seats of benevolent government. Particularly the third meaning is associated with shepherding, which relates to the idea of a king as shepherd of his people.
From the first meaning comes the noun נה (noah), eminency or distinction. From the third comes the noun נוה (naweh), abode, pasture, habitation, country or area of residence. This noun used as a verb means to dwell or abide. Used as adjective it means abiding. Noun נוה (nawa) means pasture or meadow.
The verb נאה (na'a) means to be beautiful, and is closely related to the verb נוה (nawa II), to beautify. Its derived adjective נאוה (na'weh) means beautiful.
Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes the etymology above, and translates Calneh with Fortified Dwellings.
NOBSE Study Bible Name List seems to agree with the first part, but sees in the second the name Ana. NOBSE does not explain who Ana is, and reads Fort Of Ana.
BDB Theological Dictionary does not translate.