🔼The name Kiriath-huzoth: Summary
- City Of Streets, Outer City
- From (1) the noun קריה (qiryah), city, and (2) the noun חוץ (hus), street.
🔼The name Kiriath-huzoth in the Bible
The name Kiriath-huzoth occurs only once in the Bible. It's the name of the city to which king Balak of Moab brought Balaam to curse Israel (Numbers 22:39). But as Balaam had already mentioned to Balak, he would speak only the words that God put in his mouth, and he ended up pronouncing four flowery oracles, the last one of which predicted the Messiah (Numbers 24:17).
🔼Etymology of the name Kiriath-huzoth
The name Kiriath-huzoth obviously consists of two elements, the first one being the same as the name Kiriath. And the name Kiriath is an older variant of the Biblical noun קריה (qiryah), meaning city. It derives of the verb קרה (qara), meaning to meet or get together:
Root קרר (qarar) means to cool off in a thermodynamic sense: to go from hot gas to cool liquid to a cold solid. Socially this would describe warring tribes "cooling off" into culturally compatible peoples and liquid trading networks and ultimately the formation of cities and solid nations. Intellectually, diverse viewpoints might congeal into local conventions and ultimately a global standard.
Adjective קר (qar) means cool. Nouns קר (qor) and קרה (qara) mean cold. Noun מקרה (meqera), meaning coolness.
Noun קיר (qir) is one of a few words for wall. It might relate to the root because bricks are congealed mud, and a wall is bricks pieced together (non-standard bricks take some puzzling and pounding). The noun קרקע (qarqa') means floor; earth trampled into a compact state. The verb קרקר (qarqar) means to forcibly compact, to pound down.
Verb קרה (qara), and its by-form קרא (qara'), mean to near, to meet or to happen upon. Noun קורה (qora) describes a rafter or beam; the things that come together to form a roof, and which obviously relate to bricks pieced into a wall. Verb קרה (qara) means to piece beams together and noun מקרה (meqareh) means literally place of beams; beam-work.
Nouns קרה (qareh) and מקרה (miqreh) mean chance or accident, fortune or fate. Noun קרי (qeri) means opposition, contrariness. At a social level, chance meetings and opposition are the very rafters that carry society's roof.
For this same reason, the nouns קריה (qiryah) and קרת (qeret) are the words for city and federation of cities.
Verb קרא (qara'), which is identical to the by-form of the previous, means to call or call near. Adjective קריא (qari') means called or summoned. Noun קריאה (qeri'a) means proclamation. And noun מקרא (miqra') means convocation or called assembly. The noun קרא (qore') describes a partridge; literally "a caller."
The second part of our name comes from the plural of the noun חוץ (hus), meaning the outside or rather the street:
The meaning of unused verb חוץ (hws) is unknown but it probably had to do with being outside as noun חוץ (hus) means the outside (of a tent, camp, house, city, country). This is also the regular word for street (the area "outside" the house). Adjective חיצון (hison) means outer.
For a meaning of the name Kiriath-huzoth, both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names read City Of Streets. BDB Theological Dictionary does not translate this name.