Why is "the son of" in Joshua's name punctuated "bin" rather than the usual "ben"?
Nachmanides (on Ex. 33:11) suggests that the "bin" in Joshua's name is an
allusion to his great wisdom (binah). Another explanation is as follows:
The Talmud (Sanhedrin 107a) says that when the letter "yud" was taken away
from the name of Sarai, in order to change it to Sarah (spelled with a "he"),
the "yud" was given to Yehoshua, whose name had originally been "Hoshea"
(without the initial "yud"). It has been pointed out that the "yud" that
was taken from "Sarai" had no punctuation, but the "yud" that was given to
Yehoshua needed to have a "sheva" (two dots) under it. Two dots were therefore
taken from the "segol" in the word "ben" in Yehoshua's name; that left only
one dot, i.e. the "segol" became a "chirik", so the "ben" in Yehoshua's name
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