Hebrew in Jane Siberry's "Begat, Begat"

"Begat, Begat"

Mahalaliel shushan shibboleth
Tarshish shadrak vashtish jared
Shebadiah shebaniah shushan
Mahalaleel shekaniah amariah

Mahalaliel means “Blessed God” or “Praise of God”, Shushan — “Lily”, was also the palace where the entire drama of Esther took place, in Persia (and was also the location for Nehemiah and the ruler/prophet Daniel (famous for his dream interpretation)), Shibboleth — either an “ear of Corn” or ”stream current” (the word Shibboleth got used once in the Bible in a very serious way (a massacre), a signifier in a sense of sorting the wheat from the tares, internal strife among the people of God, the dividing word). Tarshish was an island city and naval power, and considered a possible future portent for the future rise of Britain (complex and more so); Shadrach, a companion figure along with Daniel (both men who took martyr stands for God in Persia for refusing to worship any other deity and miraculously survived), however it was a foreign name conferred when he was exiled and is considered to literally mean “command of Aku” –a Babylonian Moon god. Vashtish->Vashti-> Persian for “Beautiful One” (was basically the divorced Persian Queen in the Bible succeeded by Esther); Jared – “to descend” or “descendant”; Shebadiah –> Zebadiah –meaning “gift of God” or “God has given”; Shebaniah –one whom Jehovah hides, or has made to grow up; Shekhinah (a word in the Hebrew feminine, “held by some to represent the feminine attributes of the presence of God” and sometimes representative of the Holy Spirit in Jewish tradition) is a Talmudic variation on the verb “to dwell”, also asserted here as a development of the Hebrew word ”kavod”, “the glory of the Lord” (both these references saying the term does not actually appear in the Bible), and means “the dwelling or settling of the Divine presence”, which can be connoted as a vision of heavenly light, God descending. According to the Talmud, the Shekhinah is the creative Divine inspiration that caused the prophets to prophesy and King David to compose his Psalms. There is also the existing tradition of the Shekhinah as the Sabbath (Shabbat) Bride. And actually, the more you go further afield, the more prospectively loaded it gets; it has been proposed or considered as a feminine name for God, its prime obstacle mentioned as the currency it has already gained. Amariah –“the Lord has said”, a common Levite name (being the descendants of Levi were the branch of the priesthood and the priest branch of musicians), Anathoth, the name of a city of refuge in the tribe of Benjamin, which had retained its original Canaanite name and was thereby a reference to the goddess Anat, a warrior goddess in counterpart to Baal (he of Jezebel’s adherence and Elijah’s deity confrontation, a real head to header, guess who lost). Anat was also a probable root from where would then spring the Moon/huntress goddess Artemis, who was also symbolized by the bee. She was also a three in one feminine trinity (meaning Baal was her male counterpart form which could have trickled down to Pan). More tellingly perhaps the word is also cited as meaning, “an echo”, likely because of its usage in Isaiah. In other words, Jane adds a very interesting context of spiritual companionship to this song.