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Beth-ashbea meaning

בית אשבע

Source: http://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Beth-ashbea.html

🔼The name Beth-ashbea in the Bible

The name Beth-ashbea occurs only one time in the Bible, in the genealogy of Judah. 1 Chronicles 4:21 tells of "the families of the house of the linen workers לבית אשבע ..". The letter ל means here "at" and בית (beth) means house.

There's a bit of a dispute on whether Beth-ashbea is the name of a place, or whether Ashbea is the name of a man of Judah, who ran a linen factory. In case of the latter, the sentence would become a bit awkward: "the families in the house of the linen workers at the house of Ashbea," but the Vulgate opted for this, and so do some later translations (KJV, Darby, JSP1917, ASV, Young), while others don't and read Beth-ashbea (NAS) or Beth Ashbea (NIV).

🔼Etymology of the name Beth-ashbea

The name Beth-asheba obviously consists of two parts. The first part is the familiar word בית (bayit or beth in compounds), meaning house:

The second part of our name comes from the verb שבע (shaba'), meaning to swear or take an oath:

🔼Beth-ashbea meaning

NOBSE Study Bible Name List (which is based on the NAS) features an entry for Beth-ashbea but nevertheless blatantly ignores the beth-part, and reads Let Me Call As Witness for a meaning of Beth-ashbea. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names is old-school, treats Ashbea as a personal name, and reads I Adjure for its meaning.

BDB Theological Dictionary — also old-school — appears to make a typo, but it's not clear where the error lies. On page 78a it reads "אשׁבע v. שׁבע. p. 959f," but on page 959 begins BDB's discussion of the letter שׂ, with at half a column in, the root-verb שׂבע. Our name אשׁבע is neither mentioned on page 959-and-on, nor does it occur on page 987-and-on, where BDB discusses the verb שׂבע.