🔼The name En-dor: Summary
- Fountain Of Habitation, Dwelling Place By The Fountain, Where The Eye Lingers
- From (1) the noun עין ('ayin), fountain or eye, and (2) the verb דור (dur), to dwell.
🔼The name En-dor in the Bible
En-dor is a village in the territory of either Issachar or Asher but belonging to Manasseh (Joshua 17:11, spelled עין־דר). It's close to its semi-namesake Dor, but also to the river Kishon (Psalm 83:10, spelled עין־דאר). En-dor is most famously remembered for being the home of the witch of En-dor, who was consulted by king Saul and who managed to bring the late prophet Samuel "up from the earth" (1 Samuel 28:7-13, spelled עין דור).
By the time Saul visited the witch at En-dor, he had already lost control over the kingdom due to his persistent transgressing of God's Law. On his last day on earth, Saul violated the law that forbids practicing or consulting a spiritual medium (Deuteronomy 18:10-11).
🔼Etymology of the name En-dor
The name En-dor obviously consists of two elements. The first part is equal to the noun עין ('ayin), meaning either fountain or eye:
The noun עין ('ayin) means both eye and fountain, well or spring. This might be explained by noting that the eye produces water in the form of tears, but perhaps more so in that water and light were considered deeply akin (see our article on the verb נהר, nahar, both meaning to shine and to flow). In that sense, the eye was considered a fountain that watered the outward face with water and the internal mind with light. Verb עין ('in) means to eye or regard. Noun מעין (ma'yan) describes a place with a spring.
The second part of our name comes from the root דור:
The verb דרר (darar) means to flow freely. Noun דרור (deror) means freedom.
The verb נדר (nadar) means to vow, and noun נדר (neder) means a vow.
The verb דור (dur) means to heap or pile, also in the sense of concentrating one's activities, and thus: to dwell. Noun דור (dur) means circle, ball or heap. Noun דור (dor) or דר (dor) means period, age, generation or habitation. Noun מדורה (medura) means pile.
For a meaning of the name En-dor, both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names read Fountain Of Habitation. BDB Theological Dictionary does not offer a translation.