🔼The name Holon: Summary
- Strong Place, Sandy
- From the verb חול (hul), to whirl or be strong.
🔼The name Holon in the Bible
There are two towns named Holon in the Bible:
- A city in the territory of Judah, close to Debir, which was given to the sons of Aaron (Joshua 15:51 and 21:15; both times spelled חלן), and which is probably the same as the city named Hilen, also in Judah, also close to Debir and also given to the priests of Israel (1 Chronicles 6:58).
- A city of Moab, mentioned by the prophet Jeremiah in a long discourse on the gloomy fate Moab (Jeremiah 48:21, spelled חלון).
🔼Etymology of the name Holon
The name Holon comes either from the masculine noun חול (hol), meaning sand, from the verb חול I (hul I), meaning to writhe or whirl, or it comes from the common noun חיל (hayil), meaning might, from the verb חול II (hul II), meaning to endure or be strong:
- 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.
The waw-nun couple upon which our name ends is a common way to localize or personify a root idea. The name Holon would thus mean Sandy Place and Mighty Place.
For a meaning of the name Holon, NOBSE Study Bible Name List appears to go with the noun חיל (hayil), meaning might and reads Strong Place. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names sees more in the noun חול (hol), meaning sand and proposes Sandy. BDB Theological Dictionary does not translate our name but does list it under the verb חול I (hul I), which would favor the interpretation of Alfred Jones.