🔼The name Shaharaim: Summary
- Double Darkness, Two Eclipses
- From the noun שחר (shahar), solar eclipse.
🔼The name Shaharaim in the Bible
The wonderful name Shaharaim occurs only once in the Bible. Shaharaim of Benjamin had two wives whom he both divorced, Hushim and Baara, but only Hushim appears to have given him children (1 Chronicles 8:8). He went to Moab, married Hodesh and had some more sons.
🔼Etymology of the name Shaharaim
The name Shaharaim is a dual form of a noun taken from the verb שחר (shahar), to be dark:
The verb שחר (shahar) means to be black or dark (mostly of skin, hair and horses). The adjective שחר (shahor) means black, and adjective שחרחר (sheharhor) means blackish. Nouns שחור (shehor) and שחרות (shaharut) mean blackness.
The noun שחר (shahar) is generally thought to mean dawn, but here at Abarim Publications we find that unlikely (for our reasoning, follow the link at the foot of this paragraph, to the full Dictionary article). Instead, we propose that this noun describes a solar eclipse, which occurs when an invisible moon moves in front of the sun and blocks out its light. This causes a brief and unexpected moment of nightly darkness, which in turn makes the stars and planets visible.
An observer can see other people, but she cannot see what they see. This means that the sun she sees is hers alone, and equal to her own ratio. A solar eclipse also eclipses one's own solar ratio and reveals the many ratios of other people. This awakens one's stellar consciousness, or Theory of Mind, which counts as being "born from above" (John 3:3). These events are obviously mimicked in the Biblical accounts of the crucifixion and resurrection.
From the noun שחר (shahar), solar eclipse, derives the denominative verb שחר (shahar), meaning to diligent search for God and wisdom; again qualities of a stellar consciousness.
It's not clear whether the name Shaharaim is supposed to mean Double Blacknesses or Two Eclipses, and it really does both. As we discuss in our full dictionary article on שחר (shahar), at any particular location, a solar eclipse happens only once every 375 years. That means that actually having witnessed one was very rare. Having witnessed two was practically unheard of, and would have surely warranted a new name.
For a meaning of the name Shaharaim, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Double Dawn and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes Two Dawns. BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't translate the name Shaharaim but does list it under שחר II (shahar II), the proposed root of the noun שחר (shahar), that is thought to mean dawn.
As stated above, here at Abarim Publications we propose that the noun שחר (shahar) does not mean dawn but rather solar eclipse. That means that our name Shaharaim would mean Two Eclipses.