🔼The name Timnath-heres: Summary
- Portion Of The Sun
- From (1) the verb מנה (mana), to count or to assign, and (2) the noun חרס (heres), sun.
🔼The name Timnath-heres in the Bible
The name Timnath-heres occurs once in the Bible, namely in Judges 2:9. It is one of the two names of the place where Joshua, son of Nun, was buried, and was located in the hills of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash. In Joshua 24:30 the same story is told, but Timnath-heres is called Timnath-serah.
🔼Etymology of the name Timnath-heres
The name Timnath-heres obviously consists of two elements. The first part of our name comes from the verb מנה (mana) meaning to count or to assign:
The interrogative pronoun מן (man) means "what?" but the preposition מן (min) means "out of" or "from". The latter is often deployed as prefix, in which only the מ (m) is written. Nouns formed from "מ plus root" commonly describe an "agent" or "place-of" whatever the action of the root describes.
Noun מן (men) describes a harp string and is an Aramaic loan word.
Verb מנה (mana) means to count or assign. Nouns מנה (mana) and מנת (menat) mean portion or part. Noun מנה (maneh) is a unit of weight; the mina. And noun מנה (moneh) means time (not clock time but as in ten "times").
The second part of our name is the word חרס (heres), meaning sun:
Verb חרש (harash I) means to engrave or cut into something, often with the objective of storing information. Noun חרשׁ (harash) means engraver or cutter (of a wide range of materials). Noun חרשׁת (haroshet) means a carving. Noun חרישׁ (harish) means a plowing or plowing time, and nouns מחרשׁה (maharesha) and מחרשׁת (mahareshet) mean ploughshare (and remember the strong Biblical connection between spreading seeds and spreading words).
Perhaps a whole other verb (and perhaps the same one) is חרש (harash II), to be silent or to be deaf. How these two verbs relate isn't clear but perhaps information technology was reckoned as "speech yet silent" and "hearing yet deaf", or else the intersection might lay on the esoteric nature of information technology. Then as today, people who are highly skilled in it may seem like magicians to the rest of us. Adjective חרשׁ (heresh) means deaf and adverb חרשׁ (heresh) means silently or secretly.
Noun חרש (horesh) appears to refer to wooded heights. How that word fits in isn't clear (most scholars assume a 3rd verb: harash III) but it may connect to the rest via the noun חרש (heresh), magic. This rare noun is proposed to come from yet another identical verb, harash IV, but here at Abarim Publications we find this noun to match the previous stock neatly. Particularly when a craft is new and it's not clear what a new technology is supposed to do, scammers of all sorts arise.
Verb חרש (haras) was originally spelled identical to the previous (the difference between שׂ and שׁ originated in the Middle Ages). It means to scratch or lacerate, but instead of storing good information this root emphasizes deletion of bad information (a similar duality exists in the verb זרע, zara', to scatter to sow, and זרה, zara, to scatter to winnow).
Noun חרשׂ (heres) means earthenware or rather a fragment of earthenware. Noun חרס (heres) denotes an eruptive disease characterized by itchy skin irritation (note the alternation between the letters שׂ, sin, and ס, samekh). The feminine plural noun חרסות (harsit) or חרסית (harsit) mean potsherds.
Noun חרס (heres) is an unusual word for the sun and although scholars see no connection with the previous, here at Abarim Publications we surmise that the ancients saw a connection between baked clay and a tanned skin, both protective and both provoked by exposure to a source of heat.
For a meaning of the name Timnath-heres, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Portion Of The Sun and BDB Theological Dictionary has prob.= (sacred) Territory Of The Sun. NOBSE Study Bible Name List, curiously, doesn't interpret this name.