Helene Friesen, University of Cologne
The Eleventh International Conference on Jewish Names, Paper Abstract
Academic research into the Israelite female personal names in the Hebrew Bible leaves room for further clarification. In my Master`s thesis I tried to fill this gap and focused on a detailed analysis of female onomastics.
My study concentrates on 103 female Hebrew names, which are discussed in the primary and secondary sources. Each name is analyzed in detail concerning it`s etymology, grammar and source and its different interpretations as based on the understanding of various scholars. The results of the thesis are amongst others the differences of theophorous and profane names and the existence of sentence names, word names and short names. Most of the biblical female names are profane. They can be assigned to categories like fauna, flora, cosmetics, abstract nouns, time of birth, mental and physical characteristics, social position, designation of origin, original toponyms, raw material, pet names, symbolic names, and finally names of inexplicit interpretation. Furthermore, I claim that not all Israelite names, which are proposed by Martin Noth, Johann Stamm and Ran Zadok are unequivocally Hebrew, because of etymological results. The gender of some names is also not distinct, so that variable interpretations exist.
In addition, I will also discuss some female names found in the Talmud.