Is a "Levite" another word for a "Levant"?


#1

The topic title says it all - Is a “Levite” another word for a “Levant”?

I came about the question while trying to figure out the meaning of a quote in one of this past week’s old testament readings… from Jeremiah…

“The prophets prophesied by Baal,
and went after useless idols.”

I Googled Baal, and Wikipedia ranked first (as Wikipedia so often does):

Baal (/ˈbeɪəl, ˈbɑːəl/), properly Baʿal, was a title and honorific meaning “lord” in the Northwest Semitic languages spoken in the Levant during antiquity. From its use among people, it came to be applied to gods.

Baal also shows up as one of the seven princes of hell, which seems more to the like what the scripture passage means.

I also looked up “Levant”, and it defined a levant as “a run away, typically leaving unpaid debts.”

It’s 3:40am here, and I’m not focused at all, so I can’t clearly deep-dive into the matter right now… but I just wondered if the Levites and Levants were the same… largely because of St Matthew, who was a Levi, and a tax collector/accountant prior to becoming an apostle…


#2

The Levant is an old name for the region now usually called the Middle East or sometimes the Near East. The origin of the name is the French phrase le soleil levant, meaning “the rising sun”, that is, the East.


#3

Levant from the dictionary, with that meaning, is listed as archaic.

Levant is used because it is east, the direction of the rising of the Sun, and not related to the Levites, descendants of Levi.


#4

A Levite is a member of the tribe of Levi, one of the sons of Jacob. I don’t see how the two could be considered the same thing.

Also, Wikipedia is not always the best source of information.


#5

The dangers of dictionary-based theology. Same with bible alone, as a dictionary (or language study alone) must be used in disputing the meaning of scripture.


#6

Levite refers to a person belonging to the Jewish Tribe of Levi, they performed assistance duties in the Temple of Solomon. They also were the only Jews permitted to carry the Ark of the Covenant. Levant can refer to the land area around the Mediterranean Sea.


#7

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