🔼The name Shilhim: Summary
- Missiles, Armed Men
- From the verb שלח (shalah), to send or let go.
🔼The name Shilhim in the Bible
The name Shilhim occurs only once in the Bible. It's the name of a town or settlement that came to be situated in the territory allotted to the tribe of Judah after the conquest of Canaan (Joshua 15:32).
🔼Etymology of the name Shilhim
The name Shilhim is a plural form of a noun that derives from the verb שלח (shalah):
The verb שלח (shalah) means to send; to send whatever from messengers to arrows. It may even be used to describe a plant's offshoots or branches.
Noun שלח (shelah) refers to some kind of weapon, apparently a kind of missile. Plural noun שלוחים (shilluhim) means a send-off; a sending away or parting gift. Noun שלוחה (sheluha) refers to a shoot or branch. Noun משלח (mishlah) describes an outstretching of one's hand (i.e. an undertaking, or referring to the place where the letting go takes place). Noun משלוח (mishloah) also means an outstretching or a sending. Noun משלחת (mishlahat) describes a discharge from service, or a deputation.
The noun שלחן (shulhan) means table. It may actually stem from a whole other but identical verb that originally described the skinning an animal and stretching the hide out to dry. Possibly helped by the previous verb, this outstretching of a hide became attached to the laying down of a blanket (or indeed a hide) in order to stall goods on it (like the elements of a meal). When someone invented a table on legs the word to describe it was lifted from the old custom of picnicking on a blanket: a stretcher-outer.
For a meaning of the name Shilhim, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Missiles, and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has Armed Men, "i.e. a fortress". BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't translate the name Shilhim but does list it under the verb שלח (shalah), meaning to send or let go.