Saturday, July 26, 2008


Word number four in the Hebrew Bible: Shamayim, translated "heavens."

From a root meaning lofty.

In the Satires of Juvenal, a Roman work of the 1st Century AD, Juvenal speaks of Jews worshipping the numen of the heavens. In the footnote to my edition of the Satires, by Dr. Peter Green, numen is suggested as the translation of shamayim, and Dr. Green suggests that shemayim is one of the alternate names of God in Jewish tradition, to avoid pronouncing His actual name.

Is shamayim then a synonym for Great Mind or did Dr. Green confuse the term with HaShem, another alternate name for God?

I have put the question to a Jewish webgroup of which I am a member and have not yet received a response.


Joyce Ellen Davis said...

I'm still enjoying reading your insightful and interesting posts. Thanks!

Clifford said...

Thank you, Joyce, I appreciate that.