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The Torah refers to Yehoshua as Yehoshua Bin Nun. (See here for an example).

Why Bin Nun and not Ben Nun?

Are there any places in Tanach where he is referred to as Ben Nun?

Is there anyone else in Tanach who is referred to as Bin instead of Ben?

  • 3
    "Is there anyone else in Tanach who is referred to as Bin Nun?" Wouldn't that have to be one of his siblings? There are other things in תנ"ך referred to as bin other things, such as the kikayon plant in Sefer Yona (4:10) and the evildoer punished by lashes in Jewish court in D'varim (25:2). – WAF Jun 19 '11 at 3:54
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  • Yehoshua is always referred to in Tanach as Bin Nun. In Nechemia 8:17 he is referred to as יֵשׁוּעַ בִּן-נוּן.

    The only other case in Tanach where a person is called Bin is in Mishlei 30:1 דִּבְרֵי אָגוּר בִּן יָקֶה. However Rashi cites the Midrash that Shlomo is called Agur, meaning the one who gathered this information, "Bin" meaning not son here but that Solomon understood this wisdom, and Yakeh because he then "spit it out" for others.

  • The Chasam Sofer in Toras Moshe says that since the added Yud needed a Sheva underneath it the two dots were taken away from Ben and made it into Bin.

  • The Ramban Shemos 33:11 says that Yehoshua was known as Bin Nun to show him honor, as the word Bin Nun come from the word Navon - to show that there was no one greater than him in Chochmo and understanding.

  • See this link for additional reasons http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/533436/jewish/Why-is-Joshua-referred-to-as-bin-Nun.htm

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According to Radak (Yehoshua 1:1), this is grammatically proper for "ben" to become "bin" when it and the following word are small and connected together in speech.

Other examples where "ben" becomes "bin":

  • דִּבְרֵי אָגוּר בִּן יָקֶה הַמַּשָּׂא (Mishlei 30:1)
  • וְהָיָה אִם בִּן הַכּוֹת הָרָשָׁע (Devarim 25:2)
  • שֶׁבִּן לַיְלָה הָיָה וּבִן לַיְלָה אָבָד (Yonah 4:10)
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    According to your answer from the radak, why is it Uri Ben Chur - should it not be Uri Bin Chur? And what about Shaul Ben Kush, why is it not Shaul Bin Kush? – Gershon Gold Jun 19 '11 at 16:55
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    @GershonGold, I've thought about this and I don't think I can give you a straight answer. It seems like something that would be relative to what people connect together when they speak. Yehoshua bin Nun is perhaps easier to say than Yehoshua ben Nun, maybe because of the back-to-back 'nun's, but not so for ben-Chur or ben-Kish. But then, one must explain for Agur bin Yakeh, etc. It seems like something without exact technical rules, but rather employed on a case-by-case basis. – jake Jun 19 '11 at 17:08
  • Rashi cites the Midrash that Shlomo is called Agur, meaning the one who gathered this information, "Bin" meaning not son here but that Solomon understood this wisdom, and Yakeh because he then "spit it out" for others. - That would leave only Yehoshua with the name Bin. – Gershon Gold Jun 19 '11 at 17:20
  • @GershonGold, I believe standard p'shat there is that this was actually someone's name. The fact that Rashi is swayed by midrash is nothing new. IIRC, we do not have Radak's commentary on Mishlei, so not sure what he thinks; maybe he refers to it elsewhere. – jake Jun 19 '11 at 17:56
  • I agree with you that standard Peshat is that it is a name. However based on Rashi the only one with a name Bin would be Yehoshua. And even if Agur bin Yakeh is the second person with the name Bin the Radak is hard to understand based on my first comment. – Gershon Gold Jun 19 '11 at 18:09
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Speaking purely linguistically, Semitic languages originally had only 3 vowels: a, u, i which is still the case in standard Arabic. Again, speaking purely linguistically, Torah has many examples of grammar and words more ancient that most of its text. 'Bin' may be an example of such older pronunciation that remained in his family, or in the tribe of Ephraim. Or the specific phonetic environment preserved 'i' in 'binnun', 'binyake', 'binyamin'

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when we read bin nun together - binun - it means constructor, from de world בְּנִיָה - binyah, that tell us he would be the constructor of Israel.

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    please include the source for this. – sabbahillel Aug 13 '17 at 15:38
  • What does it mean he would be the constructor of Israel. The people? The land? – robev Aug 13 '17 at 20:21

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