& Meaning •
Meaning and etymology of the Hebrew name Azbuk
The name Azbuk occurs only once in the Bible, in Nehemiah 3:16 where Azbuk is the father of a certain Nehemiah (not the famous one) who makes quite substantial repairs to the temple complex. Either this Nehemiah or his father Azbuk is an official of half the district of Beth-zur.
It's not immediately clear where this name comes from. The renowned scholar Gesenius took it to be a compilation of the words (azab), meaning to leave or forsake; and the word (bwq), meaning to be empty. Hence Gesenius thought the name Azbuk to mean Altogether Desolated.
Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names passes a polite nod to Gesenius, accepts the word (bwq) but then chooses for the first element of the name the fertile verb (azaz), meaning to be strong. Hence Jones reads Strength Emptied, i.e. a strong place depopulated.
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