🔼The name En-gannim: Summary
- Fountained Gardens
- From (1) the noun עין ('ayin), which means both eye and fountain, and (2) the noun גן (gan), garden.
🔼The name En-gannim in the Bible
There are two towns called En-gannim in the Bible. The first one is a town in Judah (Joshua 15:34), the other is a town in Issachar (Joshua 19:21 and 21:29; only in Joshua 19:21 this name is spelled with a maqqep or hyphen).
🔼Etymology of the name En-gannim
The name En-gannim is a compound of two elements:
The first element is the Hebrew word עין (ayin), meaning eye, or spring of water:
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 may a plural form derived of the Hebrew noun גן (gan), meaning garden, from the root גנן (ganan), meaning to defend:
The verb גנן (ganan) means to surround, cover or defend. Nouns גן (gan) and גנה (ganna) mean garden. Noun מגן (magen) means shield and verb מגן (magan) means to shield or deliver.
The name En-gannim means Gardens With Fountains (NOBSE Study Bible Name List) or Fountain Of The Gardens (Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names).
Note that the closely similar phrase מעין גנים occurs in Song of Solomon 4:15.