Jehu, horses, camels, and job: The meaning of šip‘at

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The common noun šip‘at occurs six times in the Hebrew Bible (2Kgs 9:17[x2]; Isa 60:6; Ezek 26:10; Job 22:11; 38:24). Its nearly universal interpretation as»abundance« or»flood«, obviously induced by the meanings that the root šp‘carries in Middle Aramaic and Mishnaic Hebrew, is rejected. It is argued instead that the word means»dust-cloud« in all occurrences, is cognate with Akkadian terms that pertain to darkness and obscuration, and has nothing to do with abundance or flooding. The related biblical common noun šœpa‘(Deut 33:19) is explained in like manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-286
Number of pages8
JournalZeitschrift fur die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft
Issue number2
StatePublished - 27 May 2019

Bibliographical note

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© 2019 De Gruyter. All rights reserved.


  • Abundance
  • Darkness
  • Flood
  • Obscuration
  • šip’at


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