David

🏷  Bible name Semitic hidden ruler pun · name   —   by Gerry · Dec 2020 · 1676 words

David is one of the most prominent Bible characters, and a very popular name among cryptocrats & commoners alike. Like all Biblical characters, his stories are constructed on puns with his name. The central pun is hard to find though, because it puns with Davey, not David. The clue is David’s battle with Goliath: Since Goliath puns with “heaped up” & “revealed”, we can conclude that David, as Davey, must pun with dwy deway for “weak”, and with ṭwy ṭawiy for “concealed”. To the spooks, concealing always wins over revealing!!!

David’s puns in a nutshell

David is written as דוד dwd, and in a few instances as דויד dwyd. The “strong” letters in David are the 2 Ds. The Waw is here used for a V phoneme, so it’s “semi-strong”. Overall, the name is very “fuzzy”, so we have to rely on the story to find the David puns. It seems there are 2 categories:

  1. Most David puns consist of words that are written with two Ds like David, plus “weak” letters.
  2. However, quite a few puns only have a single D, or a Ṭet, plus the V written with Waw or Bet (B-V-W puns). You could say these are all Davey puns, as the 2nd D is missing. They can still be confirmed though, because they all perfectly match elements in David’s story. (Plus, you could always slap on a grammar T suffix.)

These are the puns:

David as pun with dwy for “weak”

David & Goliath are one of the most famous Biblical stories. Their epic battle has been depicted in countless works of art. The 2 very obviously form an opposing pair: David is small & weak, Goliath is large & strong. On the surface, this tells us that the little guy can win, which is nice. For the ancient spook authors, it must have been a pun though. But which one?

Since the contrast between the small David and the huge Goliath is so central to the story, we would expect that the authors of the parable would give them punny names, e.g. “Mr. Small” & “Mr. Big”. And indeed the authors did just that, but with a twist: The names David & Goliath pun with the words דוי dwy deway for “weak” & “sick”, and גל gl gal for “heap”. But these are rather obscure words, which don’t fit the story too well: dwy only means “weak” in the sense of “weakened” & “sick”, not being weaker because you are smaller. And gl only means generally being “great” & “bulky” in Arabic, as jl. In Hebrew, the corresponding word gl only means “heap” & “pile”, not used for persons.

Hebrew, Aramaic dwy = weak, miserable, sick

דוי dwy : to be weak; to be weak or miserable;to feel sorry for; to weaken, to tire someone out; to afflict; to be miserable or weakened — Aramaic (CAL)

דוי dwy : illness, sickness — Hebrew (Klein)

דוי dwy : to drip, melt away; to mourn, repine; to be afflicted; to afflict — Hebrew (Jastrow)

דוי dwy : sad, depressed — Hebrew (Jastrow)

דוי dwy : grief, affliction — Hebrew (Jastrow)

דויאית dwyˀyt : wretchedly — Aramaic (CAL)

Arabic, Hebrew jl, gl = great, bulk, heap

جَلّ jl jall : great; bulky; outstanding — Arabic (Wikt)

גל gl gal : heap, wave, billow, rock pile, ruins; From galal: something rolled, i.e. a heap of stone or dung — Old Hebrew (Strong)

David as pun with ṭwy for “rolled-in” & “concealed”

…but both these curious name choices for David & Goliath are clues:

This leads us to the spooky puns used in the veiled parable underneath:

As a confirmation that we found the right puns, we got a perfect contrast: Not only are the meanings “revealing” & “concealing” perfect antonyms, and both central to spookery. But both are also derived from “rolling”, so they are even antonyms in their literal meanings.

Arabic ṭwy = roll up, fold, conceal, disappear

طَوِيَ ṭwy ṭawiya : to be folded, to be rolled up — Arabic (Wikt)

طَوِيّة ṭwyʰ ṭawiyya : fold, crease; (figurative) inner, place where one tucks away aught, conscience — Arabic (Wikt)

طِيَّة ṭyʰ ṭiyya : mode of folding, manner of creasing; intention, plan; destination, whither one intends to go — Arabic (Wikt)

طَوَى ṭwˀ ṭawā : to fold, to roll up, to crease; to conclude, to finish, to seal; to cache, to put away, to conceal; to intend, to be destined to, to be committed towards; to persevere in, to suffer, to resign oneself to — Arabic (Wikt)

اِنْطَوَى ˀnṭwˀ inṭawā : to be folded, to be rolled up; to be concealed, to be cached; to vanish, to disappear; to involve, to integrate, to entail, to pose, to conceive in itself; to be withdrawn, to be shut-in, to be a loner, to keep to oneself; to be reserved; to be introverted, to be an autist — Arabic (Wikt)

Hebrew, Aramaic gl = roll, roll back, unfold, uncover, discover, reveal

גלל gll : to roll; rolled, rolled away; wrapped; rolled up; unrolled, unfolded; removed — Hebrew (Klein)

גלי gly : to uncover; to open; to show, reveal; to bring to light; to declare; to reveal (secrets, revelations); to uncover; to be visible; to be naked — Aramaic (CAL)

David as pun with ṭwy for “spider”

One non-Biblical story pairs David with a spider: The spider spins its web over a cave entrance and helps to hide David from Saul’s soldiers.

But the Hebrew root for “spinning” & “spider” is ṭwy — exactly the same spelling as Arabic ṭwy for “rolled-in”, just using a different alphabet. The words are even officially related: Obviously, humans “spin” a thread by “rolling” it. That’s more confirmation that ṭwy is the intended pun for the David & Goliath story.

Hebrew, Aramaic ṭwy = spinning, spider

טוי ṭwy : spinning, that which is spun — Hebrew (Jastrow)

טויא ṭwyˀ : spinning animals, spiders — Hebrew (Jastrow)

טוה ṭwh : to spin, spun; Akkadian tāmu (= to spin), Arabic tawa(y) (= he folded, wound), Aramaic מַטְוַיְתָא (= spider), Ethiopic ṭawaya (= he turned, twisted). — Hebrew (Klein)

מטווה mṭwwh : spider, i.e. “spinner” — Aramaic (CAL)

David as pun with dwy for “spying”

In 2 instances David sneaks up to his arch-nemesis Saul, without Saul noticing, and snatches items off his body as proof. This happens in 1 Samuel 24:4 and 1 Samuel 26:12. This is an obvious repetition. I think the ancient spook authors liked the idea, because they felt that David puns with dwy for “spying”.

Hebrew, Aramaic dwy = look, spy

דוי dwy : to look out for, espy — Hebrew (Jastrow)

דוי dwy : to look out — Aramaic (CAL)

David as pun with ydwy for “hurling”

One reason that David uses a slingshot in the story is a pun with ידוי ydwy for “throwing” & “hurling”. (This word isn’t used though, the used word qlˁ may be a contextual pun.)

Hebrew, Aramaic ydy = throw, hurl, cast

ידוי ydwy : throwing, hurling — Hebrew (Klein)

ידה ydh : to throw, hurl, cast — Hebrew (Klein)

בנת אידא bnt ˀydˀ : sling-stones — Aramaic (CAL)

🏷  Bible name Semitic hidden ruler pun · name