1 Chronicles 1:38 English Standard Version

The sons of Seir: Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan.

וְדִישֹׁ֥ן (wə·ḏî·šōn)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1787: Dishon -- two Edomites

What is the proper translation for וְדִישֹׁ֥ן here?

and Dishan.
וְדִישָֽׁן׃ (wə·ḏî·šān)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1789: Dishan -- an Edomite

Since the original Hebrew does not contain vowels, how do they decide to translate Dishon and Dishan?

  • the original Hebrew does not contain vowels - But it does contain semivowels, such as w and y.
    – Lucian
    Nov 5, 2020 at 9:30

1 Answer 1


It is not quite true that the original Hebrew was originally bereft of vowels. Some of the letters acted as vowels in some circumstances, and these are termed, "Matres Lectionis". This verse in 1 Chron 1:38 is a perfect example of this. Note the slight differences in the Hebrew spelling:

  • דִּישׁוֹן (Dishon) Note that there are five letters here, the fourth is a "waw" with a dot on top. The same name also appears in Gen 36:21, 25, 30, 1 Chron 1:41, 42.
  • דִּישָׁן (Dishan) Note there are only four letters here - there is no "waw" this time but it has been replaced with a little mark below the "shin" that looks like a "T" which is the "a" sound. The same name also occurs in Gen 36:21, 26, 28, 30.

Thus, even before the addition of the Masoretic vowel pointings (in the 9th cent AD), these two words/names were readily distinguished.

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