🔼The name En-mishpat: Summary
- Eye Of Judgment, Fountain of Governance
- From (1) the noun עין ('ayin), eye or fountain, and (2) the noun משפט (mishpat), a ruling, from the verb שפט (shapat), to judge or govern.
🔼The name En-mishpat in the Bible
The name En-mishpat occurs only once in the Bible, in the story of Four Against Five Kings, where En-mishpat is also equated with the more familiar town of Kadesh (Genesis 14:7).
Chedorlaomer and his three royal buddies Amraphel, Arioch and Tidal responded to the uprising of five Canaanite kings by sweeping across their lands and defeating whoever they found. When they turned to En-mishpat, they defeated all the Amalekites there, as well as the Amorites living in Hazazon-tamar.
🔼Etymology of the name En-mishpat
The name En-mishpat consists of two elements. The first part comes from the noun עין (ayin), meaning either spring/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 is the noun משפט (mishpat), denoting a ruling, from the verb שפט (shapat), meaning to judge or govern:
The verb שפט (shapat) means to judge or govern. Nouns שפט (shepet) and שפוט (shepot) mean judgment in the penal sense. Noun משפט (mishpat) denotes a ruling in a general sense; an ordinance or even custom or manner.
For a meaning of the name En-mishpat, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Fountain Of Judgment. Neither NOBSE Study Bible Name List nor BDB Theological Dictionary offers an explanation of this name.