Mordecai

tags:  Bible name Esther Semitic hidden ruler pun · name   —   by Gerry · Jul 2019 · 802 words

The Biblical name Mordecai, written מרדכי mrdky, puns with מר-דכי mr-dky, which means “legal master” & “feigning innocence”.

No official explanation

The name Mordecai has no official explanation. If an explanation is attempted, it is most often to a word meaning “bitter”, or the god “Marduk”. Both make no sense, especially since Esther and many other puns in the Book of Esther are admitted.

Instead, Mordecai seems to be a compound term, so there are very many possible puns. More textual analysis of the Book of Esther is needed to determine which one best fits the story. In the literal story, Mordecai is just a regular good guy who gets rightfully rewarded. But that’s not the kind of moral that the cryptocrats are interested in.

One very promising double-pun is therefore that of Semitic מר-דכי mr-dky, which means both “legal master” & “feigning innocence”:

The consonants are exactly the same as in Mordecai, and the “legal master” contrasts very well with Ahasuerus, whose name means “perceived ruler”. In our crypocratic world, the “perceived ruler” is usually not the “legal master” of a nation. I’ll prove below that these puns are possible for Mordecai, but if they are the intended ones remains to be seen.

Semitic mr for “lord” & “master”

מר mr for “master” is mainly attested for Aramaic, but also loaned into Hebrew. It also has the meaning of “ownership”.

Hebrew, Aramaic mr = lord, master, owner

מר mr : master, Mr.; From Aram.-Syr. מר, מרא (= master, sir) — Hebrew (Klein)

מרי mry : master (human, divine); owner; title of respect; sir; chief — Aramaic (CAL)

מרי mry : to have dominion; to lord it over — Aramaic (CAL)

מרוה mrwh : control, subjugation — Aramaic (CAL)

מרוי mrwy : lord — Aramaic (CAL)

מרניו mrnyw : dominion; right of possession; essence, intrinsic nature — Aramaic (CAL)

מרות mrwt : authority, rule — Hebrew (Klein)

Semitic mr for “substituting” & “imitating”

The Semitic root mr is one of several that mean “turning” & “bending”, with many derived meanings such as “trade”, “ruling”, “disguising”. In the case of Mordecai, this mr is explained as “bitter”, a taste that has “turned” bad. But it may really stand for “substitution” & “imitation”: Since Esther means “veil”, i.e. concealing one’s aristocratic heritage, Mordecai may mean something similar, e.g. “emulating” to be someone else.

Hebrew, Aramaic mr = exchange, substitute, imitate, emulate

מר mr : exchange; instead of; as — Hebrew (Jastrow)

מור mwr : to change, exchange; convert — Hebrew (Klein)

מור mwr : change, exchange, alter, barter, dispose of, remove — Old Hebrew (Strong)

תמורה tmwrh : substitution, exchange; thing acquired by exchange; recompense — Hebrew (Klein)

מרי mry : to embitter; to reflect, imitate; to be eager for, long for with zeal; to rebel; to provoke; to quarrel; to imitate, emulate; to contend with; to long for — Aramaic (CAL)

ממרינו mmrynw : imitation, imitating — Aramaic (CAL)

מתמרינו mtmrynw : emulation — Aramaic (CAL)

the Semitic root דך dk has the basic meaning of “being clean”, typically in a legal or financial sense. It even has the meaning of “transfering property”, which is also what modern “clearing houses” do. In some derivations, the root is spelled זך zk. (This D-Z shift occurs very often, particularly with Aramaic spelling.)

In the cryptocracy sense, the root dk / zk can therefore mean both “legal ownership” and “legal innocence” of crimes perpetuated through that ownership. The spooks want to have it both ways: Have their corruption cake, and eat it with impunity.

We can combine this meaning with both מר mr for “master” and מר mr for “imitation”, and get a “legally entitled ruler” who nonetheless “feigns to be innocent” about all the bad policies he is secretly enecting upon his nation. Whether both or either of these is the intended punnery remains to be seen.

Hebrew, Aramaic dk, zk = legally rightful, clean, privileged, entitled

דכי dky : to be deserving, privileged, admitted; to be cleared, acquitted, cleansed from sin — Hebrew (Jastrow)

זכי zky : to be acquitted, be right; to be found worthy of, to be privileged, to succeed; to take possession, have authority; to own; to gain, obtain a privilege; to acquit, to argue or vote for acquittal; to obtain a privilege for, take possession in behalf of; to transfer, make an assignment to — Hebrew (Jastrow)

זכות zkwt : privilege, benefit; legal right, title; favor, advantage; merit, virtue; credit side of an account, asset — Hebrew (Klein)

tags:  Bible name Esther Semitic hidden ruler pun · name