🔼The name Halhul: Summary
- Contorted, Trembling
- From the verb חול (hul), to whirl.
🔼The name Halhul in the Bible
The name Halhul occurs only once in the Bible. Halhul is a village north of Hebron, which came to be situated in the territory allotted to the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:58). This town plays no further role in the Bible but it remarkably survived and is still known today as Halhul (says BDB Theological Dictionary; Hahhul, says Alfred Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names).
🔼Etymology of the name Halhul
The name Halhul is obviously derived from the verb חול (hul), meaning to whirl or writhe:
- Verb חול (hul I) denotes a whirling in circular motions. It comes with quite a cluster of derivatives, most notably the noun חל (hol), meaning sand; the noun חל (hil), meaning pain so bad that it makes one writhe (specifically childbirth); the noun חל (hel), which denotes a (circular) rampart, and the nouns מחול (mahol) and מחולה (mehola), which describe (whirling) dances.
- Verb חול (hul II) means to be strong, and the important derived noun חיל (hayil) means might.
- A by-form of the previous: the verb חלם (halam I) means to be strong.
- Verb חלם (halam II) means to dream, and its derived noun חלום (halom) means a dream.
These curious parallels suggests that the Hebrews saw dreaming as something cyclic; see our full dictionary article on these words for a closer look at dreams in the Bible. Also note the similarities in form with the חלל (halal) cluster.
For a meaning of the name Halhul, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Contorted. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes Trepidation or Trembling "arising from pain or fear". BDB Theological Dictionary does not interpret this name.