THREAD: 'Shins' in PNs and MPs

There's a long section at the beginning of 1 Chronicles that contains a wealth of genealogies and names. Sometimes it can feel tedious reading these, but great payoffs are to be found by studying these passages in detail.
In this thread, I'd like to highlight interesting etymological aspects of select names (PNs) and their Masoretic notes (MPs). The details are often fascinating, and sometimes quite significant.
The beginning of chapter 7 features a familiar name: Issachar (יִשָׂשכָ֗ר). You may have remembered that this name belongs with one of a select few words (along with the Tetragrammaton, the third person pronouns in the Pentateuch, and the word for Jerusalem).
These all feature the so-called qere perpetuum (also a very fancy term). These are true ketiv/qere variants which are ubiquitous in the text and therefore are not mentioned in the Masorah Parva. In this case, ‘Issachar’ is always to be read יִשָּׂכָר.
The name, as you will recall, was given in Genesis 30:18:

“Leah said, ‘God has given me my wages (שְׂכָרִ֔י) because I gave my servant to my husband.’ So she called his name Issachar (יִשָּׂשכָֽר).”
It’s a bit unclear what the exact etymology of this form is. Some scholars have seen in the ketiv either אִישׁ ‘man (who is hired)’ or יֵשׁ ‘there are (wages)’.
Alternatively this could be an old yiqtol form, possibly to a causative š-stem (which is connected historically to the more familiar hiphil stems).
Sometimes the Masorah Parva notes provide fascinating tidbits about various names. The penultimate note at 1 Chronicles 7:35 (for the name שֵׁלֶשׁ) states the following:

MP (1 Chron 7;35): לׄ שם אנש
‘Hapax legomenon for a man’s name’
The form of the name שֵׁלֶשׁ is a transparent i-class segolate (*šilš-u-). As for an etymology, HALOT notes a possible comparison with Arabic salis ‘obedient, pliable’, in which case the root would be *s-l-s.
However, another, more obvious option (preferred by Noth) is a connection with the numeral ‘three’ (e.g., something like ‘third child born’). The Masoretes appear to have been interested in this name possibly because they noticed how similar it looked to the numeral ‘three’.
The Proto-Semitic word reconstructed for שָׁלוֹשׁ is *ṯalāṯum—quite a different looking name. The sound developments to Hebrew, however, are entirely regular.
• *ṯ (which sounded like the ‘th’ in ‘think) developed into š in Ancient Hebrew (it is retained in some other Semitic languages, like Ugaritic ṯlṯ and Arabic thalāthun)

• Short *a was lengthened in an open syllable to ā
• Long *ā underwent the famous Canaanite shift and became ō.

• Final ‘mimation’ was first lost, after which the exposed short case vowel *u was also dropped.
Finally, for good measure, I’d like to add a name (חֹדֶשׁ) in chapter 8, with a similar Masoretic note:

MP (1 Chron 8:9): ׄלׄ שם אית
‘Hapax legomenon for a woman’s name’

The Masoretic abbreviation איתׄ is short for the Aramaic word איתתא ‘woman, wife’.
The etymological link between our familiar אִשָּׁה and the Aramaic cognate happens to involve the same sound reconstructed for the numeral ‘three’. Proto-Semitic *ʔanṯatum ‘woman, wife’ first became *ʔaṯṯatum by assimilation.
We know there was originally a *n because of the corresponding plurals אֲנָשִׁים and נָשִׁים. Incidentally, however, the semantically related word אֱנוֹשׁ (which we saw in the previous MP note) is etymologically unrelated to these forms.
This is clear since other cognate languages reveal that it had an original sibilant. By now you may have figured out that *s and *ṯ both fell together in Hebrew to become שׁ.
As a consequence, we require other Semitic languages in order to determine which Proto-Semitic consonant to reconstruct for each occurrence of Hebrew shin.

The regular reflex of Proto-Semitic *ṯ in Aramaic is tau (ת), hence Aramaic איתתא 'woman' < *ʔaṯṯat-.
A bit more on the name חֹדֶשׁ. This name, similar to the previous one (שֵׁלֶשׁ), was likely interesting to the Masoretes because of its outward similarity to the word חֹדֶשׁ ‘month, new moon’. In the context of the verse, it is clearly a woman’s name.
A plausible naming scenario is easy to find: the baby was likely born at the time of the new moon.

An etymologically identical name occurs in the Ugaritic corpus. One such occurrence is in KTU 2.281, which is a long list of personal names, as in our Chronicles passage.
The tablet features a certain bn . ḥdṯ ‘son of Ḥudṯu’ (highlighted in red)

And, as you may have guessed by now, the Proto-Semitic reflex of the shin in the חדשׁ ‘new’ root is *ṯ!

/ END

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