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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Evidence of the Cousin Bride's Naming Prerogative



Inscribed Phiale, ca. 410 B.C.E. Silver, 7/8 x Diam. 6 1/4 in. (2.3 x 15.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 54.50.34. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 54.50.34_SL1.jpg)


Geshem (Gashmu) the Arabian (450–430 BC) is mentioned in Nehemiah 2:10 and in an Aramaic inscription on a silver libation bowl discovered at the Nile shrine of Tell el-Maskhuta, in the eastern delta. The bowl, dating to the Persion Period, is inscirbed "Ilwhat Qainu son of Geshem, King of Qedar, brought in offering to Han-Ilat" and refers to Qainu, the royal son and apparent heir of King Geshem of Qedar.

See William J. Dumbrell, “The Tell el-Maskhuta Bowls and the ‘Kingdom’ of Qedar in the Persian Period,” BASOR 203 (October 1971): pp. 35–44; OROT, pp. 74–75, 518 n. 26; Raging Torrent, p. 55.

Qedar was a kingdom in northwest Arabia. The royal name Qainu is a variant of Kaynau, Qaynu, Kayan, Qayan, Qaniti, Khan, and Kain. The Qainu bowl is evidence of the continuation of the royal name Kain, which means king. Geshem is named king and apparently his son Qainu (Kain) ascended to his throne (430–410 BC). The rulers of Qedar intermarried with the other royal lines of Arabia, including the houses of Nabataea and Dedan. The cousin brides named their first born sons after their fathers and this explains how royal names such as Kain, Enoch, Lamech, Terah, Nahor, Joktan and Esau appear repeatedly in these royal lineages.




Lamech Segment Analysis
© 1998 Alice C. Linsley


Lamech the Elder had a daughter, Naamah. She married her patrilineal cousin, Methuselah, and named their first born son Lamech, after her father.

The biblical name Geshem is also rendered Gashm or Jasm, and is identified as a son of the Dedanite ruler Shahr. See Frederick V. Winnett and William L. Reed, Ancient Records from North Arabia (University of Toronto Press, 1970), pp. 115–117.

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