🔼The name Ezem: Summary
- Bone, Supporting, Strength
- From the verb עצם ('asam), to have a skeleton.
🔼The name Ezem in the Bible
Ezem is a city in Judah (Joshua 15:29), which is assigned to Simeon, whose territory was to be among Judah (Joshua 19:3, see 19:1 and Genesis 49:7). Apart from it being assigned to Simeon and Judah, we don't hear anything about this town.
🔼Etymology of the name Ezem
The name Ezem comes from the עצם ('asam), to have a skeleton:
Verb עצם ('asam) speaks of a skeletal structure that (a) lies hidden beneath an obvious surface, and (b) provides the invisible inner strength that keeps the whole in shape. Noun עצם ('osem) means might or skeleton. Noun עצמה ('osma) means strength. Noun עצם ('esem) means bone but may also be used to refer to one's whole body. Adjective עצום ('asum) means mighty or numerous. Noun תעצמה (ta'asuma) is a plural and intensive form meaning might but a whole lot of it.
Our verb may also mean to shut or close, predominantly of eyes, and presumably in order to review one's inner mental structures. Noun עצמות ('asumot) appears to refer to the "bones" of one's reason, the certainties upon which all creativities are grafted.
Like the previous, the verb עצה ('asa) also means to shut and its sole Biblical occurrence also speaks of closing one's eyes in order to hatch plans in one's heart: to review or form one's inner and structural strength. The very common noun עץ ('es) means tree (whose fruits proverbially show its "heart"). Collectively, trees are known as עצה ('esa). The similar noun עצה ('aseh) describes the backbone of an animal.
Obviously, the Bible is not concerned with the history of political power and solely with the evolution of the wisdom tradition and thus information technology (from cave paintings to the alphabet to blockchain). That means that very few references to wood and trees in the Bible — from the trees of Paradise to Noah's ark, Abraham's oaks, the cedars of Tyre and even the cross of Christ — should be expected to actually be about trees.
Probably a by-form of the previous, the verb עוץ ('us) means to counsel or regard with deep inner contemplation.
For a meaning of the name Ezem, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Bone. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Strength, or Bone.