2 Samuel 18:18

Hebrew Bible

16 Then Joab blew the trumpet and the army turned back from chasing Israel, for Joab had called for the army to halt. 17 They took Absalom, threw him into a large pit in the forest, and stacked a huge pile of stones over him. In the meantime all the Israelite soldiers fled to their homes. 18 Before this Absalom had set up a monument and dedicated it to himself in the King’s Valley, reasoning, “I have no son who will carry on my name.” He named the monument after himself, and to this day it is known as the Hand of Absalom*.

Isaiah 57:8

Hebrew Bible

6 Among the smooth stones of the stream are the idols you love; they, they are the object of your devotion. You pour out liquid offerings to them, you make an offering. Because of these things how can I relent from judgment? 7 On every high, elevated hill you prepare your bed; you go up there to offer sacrifices. 8 Behind the door and doorpost you put your symbols. Indeed, you depart from me and go up and invite them into bed with you. You purchase favors from them; you love their bed, and gaze longingly on their naked bodies.

 Notes and References

"... the connection between maleness and memory is not only socially constructed, it is etymological: the words “male” (i.e., זָכָר) and “remember” (i.e., זָכַר) are cognates (both derive from Proto-Semitic dkr). Indeed, in the Bible, it is men who typically remember, who are remembered, who erect memorials, and for whom such memorials are erected ... It is in this light that we should see Absalom’s memorial ... The androcentric conception of memory is made apparent in the very name for the memorial, for the “hand” is a euphemism for the penis. (The word “hand” means “penis” also in Isaiah 57:8; Jeremiah 5:31, 50:15; and in Ugaritic texts (KTU 1.4 iv 38–39, 1.23:30–35). For the Hebrew “hand” as “phallic monument,” see 1 Samuel 15:12 (Saul), 2 Samuel 8:3 (David), Isaiah 56:5 (eunuchs deprived of sons), and Ezekiel 21:24. See M. Delcor, “The Special Meaning of the Word יד in Biblical Hebrew,” JSS 12 (1967): 230–44; Paul, “Sexual Metaphors,” 491; Stefan Schorch, Euphemismen in der Hebräischen Bibel, OBC 12 (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1999), 127–29. In addition to employing the term “hand” for phallus, I note that the word זכרונך (“your monument”) in Isaiah 57:8 is an allusion to “penis/male.” Note similarly that cuneiform lexical traditions show that the root zakāru can mean “penis” in addition to “male,” “memory,” and “image, replica, or concept” ...) ..."

Noegel, Scott B. "Maleness, Memory, and the Matter of Dream Divination" in Hamori, Esther J., and Jonathan Stökl (ed.) Perchance to Dream: Dream Divination in the Bible and the Ancient Near East (pp. 72-73) SBL Press, 2018

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