views updated


JESHURUN (Heb. יְשֻׁרוּן), poetic name of Israel, which occurs four times in the Bible (Deut. 32:15; 33:5, 26; Isa. 44:2; cf. Ecclus. 37:29, Heb. version). Its form and meaning are not clear. The Septuagint takes it as an adjective meaning "beloved," as does the Vulgate, in Deuteronomy 32:15. Elsewhere, however, the Vulgate translated it as rectissimus, "the most righteous." Aquila, Theodotion, and Symmachus render it as euthús, "straight, direct," suggesting the root ישר, "straight, righteous."

Many early and modern scholars follow this etymology. According to W. Bacher, the name Jeshurun is formed on the pattern of Zebulun and is intended to express the uprightness of Israel, in contrast to the appellation Jacob, which hints at his deceitfulness. The analogy to Zebulun has been abandoned, because the appearance of Jeshurun in Deuteronomy 32–33 means that it cannot be considered as a late artificial form of Israel.

The theophorus element išar is common in Akkadian names, and occurs also with s in Amorite names (isar). Jeshurun can then be compared to names such as I-šar-be-li, I-šar-li-im, I-ša-rum, and Ya-sa-rum (cf. Gadd, and Huffmon in bibl.).


W. Bacher, in: zaw, 5 (1885), 161–3; M. Naor, ibid., 49 (1931), 318; J.C. Gadd, in: Iraq, 7 (1940), 38–39; J.S. Licht, in: em, 3 (1958), 937–8; H.B. Huffmon, Amorite Personal Names in the Mari Texts (1965), 212, 216. add. bibliography: S. Jeansonne, in: abd, 3, 771–72.

More From