Abarim Publications' online Biblical Hebrew Dictionary
The root לבא (lb') isn't used as verb in the Bible and its meaning is unknown, but it obviously has to do with a kind of behavior lions were known for as all extant derivations describe lions. Gesenius was wholly convinced that this root is onomatopoetic and imitates the sound of a lion's roar. The following derivations may even have sounded as if they had something to do with the noun לב (leb), literally meaning heart and figuratively courage or willfulness:
- The masculine or feminine noun לבי (lebi), meaning lion or lioness. It occurs only in plural (Psalm 57:4 and Nahum 2:13 only). Note that this word is spelled the same as an adjective derived from לב (leb), which would mean courageous.
- The feminine noun לביא (lebiya'), meaning lioness. This noun only occurs in Ezekiel 19:2, where it symbolizes the mother of Israel.
- The masculine or feminine noun לביא (labi'), meaning either lion or lioness (Genesis 49:9, Job 4:11, Isaiah 30:6).
For other words meaning lion, see the verb ארה ('arah) for the lion as gatherer, גור (gur II) for the lion as quarreler, כפר ( kpr), which seems to depict the lion as an animal which has earned its own freedom, or ליש (lysh), which may depict the lion as being strong.