ע
ABARIM
Publications
Discover the meanings of thousands of Biblical names in Abarim Publications' Biblical Name Vault

Caphtor meaning

כפתור

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

🔼The name Caphtor in the Bible

Caphtor is the ancient name of the island where the Philistines came to Palestine (Jeremiah 47:4). Nowadays it's called Crete. Most commentaries state that in classical times its name was Cappadocia, but BDB Theological Dictionary, stern as ever, roars, "certainly wrong"!

🔼Etymology of the name Caphtor

The name Caphtor is most likely a loan word to indicate the Cretans. Consequentially, this word, כפתור (kaptor), came to indicate the capital on top of a pillar, named after Crete as the place from which they were first imported (Amos 9:1) or knob of bulb as seen on the Menorah in the tabernacle (Exodus 25:33 and on).

But, because the Caphtorim appear so early in the Book of Genesis (namely in Genesis 10:4), the name should also have some Hebrew connection. Hence some commentators recognize the root group כפר (kapar I, II, III & IV):

The problem with reading כפר into our name comes with the appearance of the dominant letter ת (taw), which is rarely inserted half-way a root.

The renowned theologian Gesenius solved this by proposing that the name Caphtor could be seen as the superimposition of two three-letter roots, namely כפר (kapar) and כתר (katar), meaning to surround:

Some other words of interest are: כף (kep), rock, or the much more applied כף (kap), outstretched hand or any item that resembles it, such as a cup or dish. The final part of the name bears strong resemblance to the word תור (tur), seek, spy out, and derivation תור (tor), dove.

🔼Caphtor meaning

For a meaning of the name Caphtor, NOBSE Study Bible Name List probably goes with כפור, meaning bowl, and reads Cup.

Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names goes with the noun כפתור (kaptor), meaning knob or top of a pillar, and reads Crown.