(c) 2000 Dr Hendel; 1st appeared in Torah Forum (c) Project Genesis

Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000 23:07:17 -0500 (EST)
From: Russell Hendel <  rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu>
Subject: Re: Yehoshua

QUESTION: Why is Joshua called Joshua
BIN Nun Vs Ben Nun.

I have written on this in several other email groups (BaitTefillah,
Heblang) Here is a small summary.

According to the Mesorah (The commentary on the Bible that records minute
differences between current and other texts) there are 7 verses in the
Bible with BIN. At least 4 of these clearly mean TO UNDERSTAND (See Dan9-2,
Dan10-1,Prv 23-1, Dan9-23)

It therefore is EXTREMELY reasonable that the other occurences of BIN are
also a VERB form (Like SHIR (Song) from the VERB SHIR (To sing)). So BIN
would either mean UNDERSTANDING (Root BIN) or CONSTRUCTION (BNH)

Thus Jonah 4:10 would be translated (See Rashi) You had mercy on the
plant-shade which was only an overnight CONSTRUCTION (BN LYLAH).. how much
more so should I have mercy on the city of Ninveh

Similarly Dt 25:2 would be translated If the person is EXAMINED(BIN
literally 'understood') for lashes then you will give him 40 lashes)

(The remaining verse Prv30-1 describes Mishnaic learning as GATHERING
UNDERSTANDING AND REGURGITATING IT (Similar to the English metaphors)

But then JOSHUA BIN NUN means JOSHUA THE VERY WISE (BIN) with NUN denoting
intensity (VERY) (a frequent occurence of NUN in tnach--see R Hirsch on
Ex21:18). This would correspond to the verse And Joshua was FILLED with

I think this is also important from the point of view of Jewish philosophy.
Prophecy according to Judaism is not an emotional experience but rather
an intellectual experience...the prophet MUST be totally versed in all
details of Jewish law--he must be WISE.

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA;
Moderator Rashi is SImple; http://www.shamash.org/rashi/