🏷  Bible name Semitic hidden ruler pun · name   —   by Gerry · Mar 2019 · 390 words

The Biblical name Ashkenaz, written אשכנז ˀšknz may be derived from gnz or knz, with 2 meanings as “hidden” or “finance”. The prefix puns with איש ˀyš ish for “man” & “lord”, so we have a “hidden ruler” pun.

ˀyš as “man” & “lord”

Most analyses interpret Ashkenaz אשכנז ˀšknz as a compound word, with the word break before the K as אש-כנז ˀš-knz, and I would agree so far. But most sources then interpret the first part ˀš as “fire”. I don’t think that’s the spook meaning. The spook aristocrats are obsessed about themselves, so the preferred meaning of the first part would be איש ˀyš ish as “man” or “person”.

Much like the word baal, the word ish can be used in everyday language, but can also denote a special high standing: both words mean “husband”, for example. It’s also a bit like English lord, where not everyone greeted as milord is a literal aristocrat.

Hebrew, Aramaic ˀyš = man, person, lord

איש ˀyš : man, he, him, husband, mankind — Old Hebrew (Strong)

איש ˀyš : person, someone, anyone — Aramaic (CAL)

איש ˀyš : being, man; husband; lord — Hebrew (Jastrow)

knz, gnz as “hidden” or “treasure”

The term gnz or knz or kns for “treasure” or “collecting” can be found in the Bible, but only with inconsistent spellings and derived meanings. It may thus originate in other languages, perhaps Persian or unknown older ones.

Hebrew gnz, kns = treasury, wrapped up

גנז gnz : treasury, perhaps chests — Old Hebrew (Strong)

גנזך gnzk : treasury, storehouses — Old Hebrew (Strong)

כנס kns : to gather, collect, wrap — Old Hebrew (Strong)

מכנס mkns : an undergarment — Old Hebrew (Strong)

Aramaic knz, gnz = treasury, hidden, concealed

Many more derivations are attested for Aramaic, where the spelling varies between knz and gnz. Here, the “treasure” meaning seems derived from being “hidden” or acting in “secret”. The vocabulary reads like a list of all things spooky.

כנז knz : to hide something; to hide; to mislead — Aramaic (CAL)

כניזה knyzh : treasure; secret plan — Aramaic (CAL)

גנז gnz : treasure, library or book of sacred literature, hidden place, as an adverb: much — Aramaic (CAL)

גנז gnz : to hide, to have hidden, to become hidden — Aramaic (CAL)

גניז gnyz : hidden, concealed, unknown — Aramaic (CAL)

גניזו gnyzw : hiding; secret nature — Aramaic (CAL)

גנזי gnzy : treasurer — Aramaic (CAL)

גנזור gnzwr : treasury guard; an ecclesiastical rank; guard of the treasury — Aramaic (CAL)

🏷  Bible name Semitic hidden ruler pun · name