Word for Word: Episode 40

וְאֵ֖ת הַכֹּוכָבִֽים

And the stars

Though the moon was a "lesser" light, even in its smallest manifestion it greatly outshined the stars ( כּוֹכָב kocab ). The word probably is derived from the verb כָּוָה (kavah, to burn, but originally to to prick or penetrate), though it may be related to כַּבּוֹן, kabon, from an unused root meaning to heap up.

Though these points of light meant very little by themselves, their relative positions formed patterns in the sky, which made navigation at night possible. Certain patterns followed the apparent path of the moon and marked the seasons much like the moon marked the months.


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