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Abarim Publications' Biblical Dictionary: The Hebrew word: סבב
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Abarim Publications' online Biblical Hebrew Dictionary

סבב

The root-verb סבב (sabab) denotes a turning around or else a circular motion or existence in circular way. Our verb may mean to turn about or towards (1 Samuel 15:12, Song of Solomon 2:17). It may mean to march around something (Numbers 21:4, Joshua 6:3), or surround something (Genesis 37:7). It may also mean to change or turn into something else (2 Samuel 14:20, Zechariah 14:10), or turn on someone aggressively (Genesis 19:4).

The derivatives of this verb are:

  • The feminine noun סבה (sibba), denoting a turn of affairs (1 Kings 12:15).
  • In the parallel text of 2 Chronicles 10:15 the previous noun occurs as the feminine noun נסבה (nesibba), meaning the same.
  • The adverb סביב (sabib), meaning surrounding, circuit or round about (Genesis 23:17, Ezekiel 16:33, 1 Chronicles 11:8).
  • The masculine noun מסב (mesab), denoting that which surrounds (2 Kings 23:5, Job 37:12).
  • The masculine noun מוסב (musab), possibly meaning encompassing or surrounding. It's only used in Ezekiel 41:7. HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament reckons this word simply as a secondary variant of the noun סבה (sibba), but BDB Theological Dictionary lists it separate and deems its meaning "wholly obscure".

Associated Biblical names

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