Ben-

Ben (prefix) (singular ben, "son of"; plural bene, "sons of" = Aramaic bar): This word is used in the singular or plural to express relationship of almost any kind: (1) to a person; as such it is found as part of many compound names like Benjamin, Benhur, etc. (compare Bar); (2) to a clan; in this connection it is found in the plural only: "children of Israel," "children of Ammon," etc.; (3) to a town; perhaps as place of birth ("son of Jabesh"; 2Ki 15:10 ff); (4) to occupation, state of life, age, character, quality even of things; (5) peculiarly employed in the sense of "scholar disciple" ("son of prophet"), or in phrases like "son of death," etc.; (6) in poetry, "sons of flame" for "sparks" (Job 5:7 margin), etc. The frequent metaphorical use of the word indicates that it was rarely used to express the relation of father to son like the Arabic Ibn. Compare HPN , 64 ff.

A. L. Breslich

 
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