🔼The name Casluhim: Summary
- Unclear, but perhaps: Orionites, Fools
- From the verb כסל (kasal), to be a mental invertebrate.
🔼The name Casluhim in the Bible
The Casluhim are listed among the descendants of Mizraim, son of Ham, son of Noah (Genesis 10:14, 1 Chronicles 1:2). They are also named as the ancestors of the Philistines and the Caphtorim but elsewhere is explained that the Caphtorim came first and the Philistines followed from them.
🔼Etymology and meaning of the name Casluhim
The etymology of this name is uncertain. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names cites Jerome and reads Their Boundary Protected. Fuerst's Hebrew & Chaldee lexicon to the Old Testament assumes relations with cognate words ks meaning mountain, and lh meaning to lighten burn, shine, make dry. The whole name would mean Dry, Barren Mountain. Both the NOBSE Study Bible Name List and BDB Theological Dictionary remain quiet about a possible meaning.
To a Hebrew audience, however, the dominant segment כסל, which comprises the initial part of the name, looks a lot like the verb כסל (kasal), meaning to be foolish:
The verb כסל (kasal) means to have no skeletal strength or engage in pareidolia (falsely recognizing images in random patterns, such as Mickey Mouse in a cloud). It describes muscle- and boneless body parts, or a "belief" in the systematic link between uncorrelated events. It typically describes stellar constellations, which are obviously as fantastic as useless.
Nouns כסל (kesel) and כסלה (kisla) mean stupidity or (misplaced) confidence. The former may also describe a body part, probably the loin or lower belly (or blubber butt). The feminine noun כסילות (kesilut) means stupidity.
Noun כסיל (kesil) means fool or dunce; someone who "sees" structure in uncorrelated events. This is also the word for stellar constellations in general, and more specific the constellation Orion.
Since all other meanings are deeply hidden, to a Hebrew audience the name Casluhim must have sounded similar to either Orionites or Bunch Of Morons.
And if that isn't bad enough, the segment סלח (salah) is a common verb that means to forgive or pardon; this verb always describes God's forgiving of man. Together with the particle כ (ke), as if, like, the name would also mean As If They Forgive, or As If They Were Forgiven, which seems to express a doubt and doesn't sound very positive; the Casluhim are the Fools.
Another name that may have to do with the constellation Orion is that of the mysterious race of the Nephilim.