🏷  Bible name Samson Semitic hidden ruler pun · name   —   by Gerry · Apr 2020 · 1103 words

The name Samson, written šmšwn, is explained as meaning “sun”, but that has nothing to do with the story. It’s more likely a pun with ṣmṣm for “locks” & “veiling”, and ˁṣm for “strength”. This fits much better, because Samson’s story is about locks & strength, and the spooky version beneath is about veiling.

Samson’s puns in a nutshell

That Samson should mean “sun” makes no sense, because there’s no relation to that in the story. But because Samson’s riddle has “hidden leaders” for an answer, we can assume Samson’s name means something like that as well.

In the literal story, Samson’s superhuman strength comes from his locks. Real-life locks don’t give you strength, so the 2 may be linked through a pun. In Samson’s story, the word used for “locks” is ḥlp for “twisted around” (think “caliph”). The word used for “strength” is kḥ for “power” (think “Koch brothers”).

But there’s also the letter combo ṣm (not used in the story), which has both meanings “strength” & “locks”, and is also similar to Samson:

Hebrew / Aramaic ṣm for “locks” & “veil”, ˁṣm for “strength”

The punny similarity is strongest in Hebrew & Aramaic: Both ˁṣm for “strength” & “power” and ṣm for “locks” & “veil” are spelled with ṣm.

(Interestingly, Klein derives ṣmṣm for “veil” from ṣmm for “pressing” & “drawing together”. So, in an archaic sense it may even be loosely related to ˁṣm for “power” & “force”. We’ll also find some evidence for that in Egyptian.)

Hebrew, Aramaic ṣm = restrict, veil, veiling, braids, locks

צמה ṣmh : veil, woman’s veil, locks — Old Hebrew (Strong)

צמה ṣmh : pigtail, braid, plait — Hebrew (Wikt)

צמה ṣmh : lock, plait; woman’s veil — Hebrew (Klein)

צמצם ṣmṣm : to press, reduce, contract; restricted, reduced, limited, minimized; drew together, tied up, veiled — Hebrew (Klein)

צמצם ṣmṣm : to squeeze in, confine; to restrain the hair from flying, to tie up, veil; to veil one’s self — Hebrew (Jastrow)

צמצם ṣmṣm : to make tight, to confine, restrict, to veil tightly; to define exactly, observe closely; to be severely limited; to veil oneself — Aramaic (CAL)

Hebrew, Aramaic ˁṣm = strength, force, power, might

עצמה ˁṣmh : might, power, abundance, strength — Old Hebrew (Strong)

עצמה ˁṣmh : force, might, power — Hebrew (Klein)

עצום ˁṣwm : great, numerous, mighty, mighty men, strong — Old Hebrew (Strong)

עצם ˁṣm : to constrain, force; to make a binding agreement; to litigate; to urge; to urge; to prevent; to make necessary; to be forced; to quarrel — Aramaic (CAL)

עצומה ˁṣwmh : force — Aramaic (CAL)

עצים ˁṣym : violent — Aramaic (CAL)

Arabic ḍmd for “bandage” & “patch”, ˁẓm for “power” & “aristocracy”

In Arabic, the 2 roots seem to surface as ˁẓm for “power” & “aristocracy”, and ḍmd for “bandage” & “patch”. This is in tune with Daniel’s “mighty men”, and Klein’s derivation from “pressure”. The homonymity is mostly gone though, because Arabic differentiates more phonemes than Hebrew.

Arabic ḍmd = bandage, patch

ضَمَدَ ḍmd ḍamada : to bandage, to patch, to dress, to bind, to pad, to poultice, to yoke — Arabic (Wikt)

ضِمَاد ḍmd ḍimād : bandage, dressing, gauze, fillet, cast — Arabic (Wikt)

Arabic ˁẓm = power, greatness, aristocracy

عِظَم ˁiẓam : greatness, magnitude, power; pomp; bulk, extent, thickness; importance; pride; crowd multitude — Arabic (Wikt)

عِظَامِيّ‎ ˁiẓāmiyy : of noble descent, aristocrat — Arabic (Wikt)

Egyptian ṯȝm for “cloak” & “veil”, ṯmȝ for “strength”

The word roots of Samson’s pun also exist in Egyptian, where they are also very alike. They are also still somewhat similar to the Semitic forms.

Egyptian ṯȝm = veil, bandage, cloak, cover

𓅷𓄿𓅓𓂡 ṯȝm : veil, cover over — Egyptian (Vygus)

𓅷𓄿𓅓𓋳 ṯȝm : to cloak (oneself); to cover over (of a wound with skin) — Egyptian (TLA)

𓅷𓄿𓅓𓋳 ṯȝm : veil — Egyptian (AED)

𓅷𓄿𓅓𓍱 ṯȝm : cloak; swaddling clothes; bandages — Egyptian (TLA)

𓅓𓅷𓄿𓅓𓋳 mṯȝm : a woman’s garment, veil — Egyptian (Vygus)

𓅷𓄿𓅓𓏏𓋳𓂡𓏥 tham-t : coverings, face-cloths — Egyptian (Budge)

Egyptian ṯmȝ = strong, mighty

𓍿𓌳 ṯmȝ : to be strong; to be mighty; (always of body parts, often the arm) — Egyptian (TLA)

𓍿𓌳𓂝 ṯmȝˤwy : strong-armed — Egyptian (AED)

𓍿𓌳𓂝 ṯmȝ-ˤ : he with the strong arm — Egyptian (TLA)

𓍿𓌳𓂋𓏤 ṯmȝ-r : strong of mouth — Egyptian (TLA)

Samson’s name as a compound

Samson’s name can be read as a compound, either as צמצן ṣmṣ-n for “veiled one”, or as צם שן ṣm-šn for “veil of disguise”. Both are likely intended spook meanings.

The -n suffix in Samson is likely just the regular Hebrew agent noun suffix. Like English -er (but not used as often), it means “person who is X”.

However, the spook authors opted to disguide Samson’s name as “sun”, written with Shin. That is the spelling of the number 2, which also means “disguise”. The name Samson can thus also be interpreted as צם שן ṣm-šn, with the following pun meanings:

(Interestingly, šmš for “sun” is also the spelling of šmš for “servant” (the Yiddish Shammes), derived from Egyptian šms. But since the spooks think of themselves as “leaders”, not “servants”, I don’t think that’s the intended pun.)

Sampson with P from ṣˁp for “veil”

The name Samson is often written as Sampson or Simpson, with a P. That is not found in the Biblical Hebrew spelling. It is, however, found in the pun: In Hebrew, both צם ṣm and צעף ṣˁp mean “veil”, the latter derived from “doubling”. The spooks like to invent new name variants to conceal the fact that they’re all from the same mesh of families, so it seems some mixed the M and the P synonyms here, into Sampson.

Hebrew ṣˁp = double, veil, mask

צעף ṣˁp : to double, fold — Hebrew (Klein)

צעיף ṣˁyp : veil, cover — Hebrew (Jastrow)

צעיף ṣˁyp : veil; mask; scarf — Hebrew (Klein)

צעף ṣˁp : to veil; he veiled; was veiled; he veiled himself — Hebrew (Klein)

🏷  Bible name Samson Semitic hidden ruler pun · name