🏷  Bible name Greek Levi Semitic pun · name   —   by Gerry · Nov 2018 · 2161 words

The popularity of the name Levi among ultra-rich aristocrats & banksters can be explained by the fact that the underlying word root לוה lwh also means “banker” & “moneylender”. The name also puns with לעב lˁb for “mocking” & “playing”.

Levi’s puns in a nutshell

So far, i have found 2 puns for the Biblical character לוי lwy Levi:

Official derivation of Levi from lwh for “joining”

The proliferation of the name Levi is officially explained with an ancient caste of priests who are all sons of a single patriarch named Levi. Oddly, there is no story or explanation what was so special about these people, that it would warrant such widespread usage of the name.

According to Strong, the word is “of uncertain derivation”, but it is usually linked to the root לוה lwh which means “to join”, with H and Y being suffixes.

Since V as in Levi can be written with both B & W, the root also occurs in the form לבב lbb.

Hebrew lwy = Levi; lw, lb = joining

לוי lwy Levi : a son of Jacob, also the tribe descended from him — Old Hebrew (Strong)

לויי lwy Levi : Levite, Levites, Levitical, descendant of Levi — Old Hebrew (Strong)

לוה lwh lavah : to join, be joined — Old Hebrew (Strong)

לבב lbb : to join closely; to tie; to be tied around; to join, tie; to encourage; to strengthen — Hebrew (Jastrow)

As an additional hint, the name is introduced with an official pun about “joining” in Genesis 29:34.

And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have born him three sons: therefore was his name called Levi.

ותהר עוד ותלד בן ותאמר עתה הפעם ילוה אישי אלי כי ילדתי לו שלשה בנים על כן קרא שמו לוי

Genesis 29:34

Levi as “moneylender”

One important derivation of the word root לוה lwh for “joining” is the meaning of “moneylending”. The name Levi thus means “moneylender”. It’s not even a pun, but the same word.

Hebrew lwh meaning “moneylending”

However, the meanings of the root לוה lwh include many specific things that are “joined” to a person, among them financial debt. The same spelling לוה lwh can thus also mean debt, loan, borrowing, lending, debtor, creditor. These terms use both suffixes H and Y, so they are often written exactly like the name Levi. The difference could only be guessed from the context in the original consonantal script.

The grammatical difference between debtor & creditor is merely that between passive & causative: “being joined” to a debt-contract vs. “making others join” a debt-contract.

We can get a feeling for the derivation of “lending” from “joining” in English, where people are also bound or tied to a bond or contract.

Hebrew lwy = Levi; lwh = joining

לוה lwh lavah : to borrow, borrowed, borrower becomes the lender’s, borrows, lend, lender like the borrower, lends — Old Hebrew (Strong)

לוי ; לוה lwh; lwy : to join, be connected; to assume an obligation; to borrow; debtor; to follow; to lend; creditor — Hebrew (Jastrow)

לוה lwh : borrow, borrowed; lend, lent — Hebrew (Klein)

לווה ; לוה lwh; lwwh : borrower, debtor — Hebrew (Klein)

מלוה mlwh : lender, creditor; hiph‘il of לוה — Hebrew (Klein)

מלוה mlwh : loan, debt; formed from לוה — Hebrew (Klein)

הלואה hlwˀh : loan; hiph‘il of לוה — Hebrew (Klein)

Semitic & Sumerian lwh for “surrounding” & “twisting”

When we check other Semitic languages, we see that the most basic meaning of the root is “surrounding”, “binding” & “twisting”. All of these are spook concepts, so Levi may include other puns, especially since the “Sons of Levi” are often paired with other concepts.

We can also see that the middle letter was sometimes W, and sometimes B. We can also see that the H or Y are simply grammatical endings of the respective language, and not part of the word root. The word root consonants can thus be found simply as lw & lb.

Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, Akkadian lwh = wind around, twist around, fence around

לוה lwh : to wind, turn, twist; Arabic lawā (= he wound, turned, twisted), Akkadian lamū, lawā (= to surround, encircle — Hebrew (Klein)

לוי lwy : to accompany; company — Aramaic (CAL)

لَوَى lawā : to twist; to turn the ends in opposite directions — Arabic (Wikt)

labû : to go round, to circumvent, to circumambulate, to circle, to get around, to get round, to besiege, to surround, to encircle; to fence in, to wrap up, to veer, to fence, to hedge; besieged, surrounded — Akkadian (AAF)

𒆸𒆸 lawû; labû : to surround, to besiege, to encircle something; to encircle, to besiege (city, enemy), to blockade; to wrap up (in cloth, string); to go round in survey (cult, animals); to walk round the land of someone (witness); to keep company with, to hang around with; to turn / veer round, to change quickly / completely; to continually encircle / to assail / to torment somebody; to repeatedly be wound round; to be wound round each other; is surrounded; to surround, to wrap; to encircle a building with a wall / an ornament / brickwork; to cause to besiege; to make / have someone walk round, to survey a field, to bring by circuitous route; to be besieged; to embrace one another, to hug one another — Akkadian (AAF)

Note that the cuneiform sign 𒆸 LAGAB used to write Akkadian lawû & labû is a symbol of an enclosing fence, supporting the meaning of “surrounding”.

The Akkadians are said to have inherited their cuneiform signs from the Sumerians. When we check how the 𒆸 LAGAB sign was used in Sumerian, we see that it also meant “fence” there, even with a presumed pronunciation close to Levi! But what’s more, we can see that the meaning of “debt contract” already existed in Sumerian, for the same sign & word, similar to Levi!

Sumerian lagab = fencing around, debt-note

𒆸 lagab : rail, fence, side-wall; Akkadian kutlu — Sumerian (ePSD)

𒆸 lagab : debt-note; Akkadian hišû — Sumerian (ePSD)

The ePSD dictionary cites hišû as Akkadian for “debt-note”. The Yale Cuneiform Commentaries Project (headed by a Mr. Levi) states that hišû was also written with the sign 𒆸 LAGAB, as in lawû & labû. So it’s possible the Akkadian readings for “debt-note” were also lawû & labû!

We even find the “financial” Levi in English, though here derived from Latin levo for “lifting”.

English levy = impose tax or fine

levy : to impose (a tax or fine) to collect monies due, or to confiscate property. — English (Wikt)

Biblical occurrences of lwh for “moneylending”

There are many Biblical occurrences for the forms לוה lwh & לוי lwy in the meaning of “borrowing” & “lending”. Some grammar forms even use a Y vowelization, as in Levi. This is seen in Deuteronomy 28:12 as לוית lwy-t for “you lend”, and in Nehemiah 5:4 as לוינו lwy-nw for “we borrowed”.

You’ll also notice that “lender” & “borrower” are easily mixed up in their similar grammar forms. That is why many spooks don’t like to call themselves Levi, but HaLevi. To them, HaLevi does not mean “the Levite”. Rather, it’s the H-prefixed active-causative Hif‘il form, meaning “he who actively causes others borrow”, i.e. the creditor.

Again, it is easy to see that לוי lwy Levi is indeed derived from לוה lwh lavah for “joining” & “debt”.

If you lend money to one of my people among you who is poor, you must not act as a creditor to him; you are not to charge him any interest.

אם כסף תלוה את עמי את העני עמך לא תהיה לו כנשה לא תשימון עליו נשך

Exodus 22:25

The LORD will open the heavens, His abundant storehouse, to send rain to your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations, but borrow from none.

יפתח יהוה לך את אוצרו הטוב את השמים לתת מטר ארצך בעתו ולברך את כל מעשה ידך והלוית גוים רבים ואתה לא תלוה

Deuteronomy 28:12

Still others were saying: We have borrowed money to pay the king’s tax on our fields and vineyards.

ויש אשר אמרים לוינו כסף למדת המלך שדתינו וכרמינו

Nehemiah 5:4

The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.

עשיר ברשים ימשול ועבד לוה לאיש מלוה

Proverbs 22:7

people and priest alike, servant and master, maid and mistress, buyer and seller, lender and borrower, creditor and debtor.

והיה כעם ככהן כעבד כאדניו כשפחה כגברתה כקונה כמוכר כמלוה כלוה כנשה כאשר נשא בו

Isaiah 24:2

Levi as pun with lˁb for “playing” & “mocking”

Levi also puns with the word root לעב lˁb for “playing” & “mocking”.

This “mockery” pun also works in Greek, where the name is close to λωβα loba for “ridicule”, and to λωβευω lobeuo / loveyo for “mockery”. These may even be etymologically related.

This is likely the main meaning in the Biblical story of Simeon & Levi, since Simeon also means “playing”. It also explains Levi’s styling as a “priestly” name and his association with Kohen & Aaron, since those names also seem to be theatrical puns.

This chimes with the general theme of the entire Bible, and spook culture in general. Most other Bible names & spook names also seem to be puns with deception, and less often with finance.

Semitic lˁb = mock, play, jest, joke, toy

לעב lˁb laab : to jest, deride, mock; Syriac ܠܥܒ: mock, delight oneself, be greedy; Arabic لعب: play, sport, jest — Old Hebrew (Strong)

לעב lˁb leˁav : to jest, mock; Aram. לְעַב (= he jested, mocked), Syr. אֶתְלַעַב (= he delighted in, was eager), Arab. la’iba (= he played, sported, jested). — Hebrew (Klein)

לעב lˁb laˁav : mockery, disgrace — Hebrew (Klein)

הלעבה hlˁbh halˁavah : scorn — Hebrew (Klein)

לעב lˁb leˁev : sport, mockery — Hebrew (Jastrow)

לעב lˁb : to mock, talk lasciviously — Hebrew (Jastrow)

לעב lˁb : to be profligate; to behave badly; to misbehave, to mock, laugh at; mockers; to be avid or greedy, to be gluttonous, to enjoy oneself — Aramaic (CAL)

לעיב lˁyb : mockery — Aramaic (CAL)

ܠܵܥܹܒ݂ lˁb laiw : to play, to have fun, to amuse self / to enjoy oneself, to entertain oneself — Syriac (AAF)

ܠܥܵܒ݂ܵܐ lˁbˀ laiwa : to play, to have fun, to amuse self / to enjoy oneself, to entertain oneself — Syriac (AAF)

لَعِبَ lˁb laˁiba : to play; to trick, to cheat — Arabic (Wikt)

لَعْب lˁb laˁb : game; sport, amusement, diversion — Arabic (Wikt)

تَلَعَّبَ tlˁb talaˁˁaba : to play, to act playfully — Arabic (Wikt)

لُعْبَة lˁbʰ luˁba : toy, plaything; doll; butt of a joke, laughingstock — Arabic (Wikt)

لَعْبَة lˁbʰ laˁba : game; trick — Arabic (Wikt)

Greek lobeuo = mockery; loba = ridicule

λωβεύω lobeuo : mock, make a mock of — Ancient Greek (LSJ.gr)

λώβη lobe : outrage, dishonour; a disgrace — Ancient Greek (LSJ.gr)

λώβα loba : slur, ridicule, dishonor, insult — Ancient Greek (LSJ.gr)

Punny symbols for Levi

The name Levi is found in many prominent aristocratic symbols. All are pronounced similar to Levi, and thus like “creditor” & “oppressor”, and also like generally “twisting”, “binding” & “surrounding” everything. There may also be more meanings to the name.

🏷  Bible name Greek Levi Semitic pun · name