🔼The name En-shemesh: Summary
- Eye Of The Sun, Fountain Of The Sun
- From (1) the noun עין ('ayin), eye or fountain, and (2) the noun שמש (shemesh), sun.
🔼The name En-shemesh in the Bible
The name En-shemesh occurs twice in the Bible. It's the name of a place that came to serve as a border marker between the territories allotted to the tribes of Judah and Benjamin (Joshua 15:7 and 18:17).
🔼Etymology of the name En-shemesh
The name En-shemesh obviously consists of two elements. The first part comes from the noun עין (ayin), meaning either fountain or spring, 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 regular Hebrew word for sun, שמש (shemesh):
The noun שמש (shemesh) is the Biblical word for sun. Many ancient societies recognized that the sun rules life on earth, but few understood that even the sun is a mere creature, also firmly subjected to the laws of nature and ultimately the unchallenged sovereignty of the Creator. Hence to many societies the sun became the symbol of divine supremacy and the divinity of human kings, and to few it became the symbol of satanic grand delusion and existential deceit. Pretty much all great empires identified in some way or form with the sun, but the periods of humanity's deepest darkness were triggered by folks who imagined the sun to be supreme.
For a meaning of the name En-shemesh, both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names read Fountain Of The Sun. BDB Theological Dictionary does not translate or interpret this name.