The name Eber in the Bible
There are five Ebers mentioned in the Bible:
- The father of Peleg and the son of Shelah, son of Arpachshad, third son of Shem, son of Noah (Genesis 10:24). In the Lucan genealogy of Christ he is called Eber (Εβερ) in Greek (Luke 3:35), but some translations transliterate this as Heber, which has nothing to do with the name Heber in Hebrew.
- A Gadite chief (1 Chronicles 5:13).
- A son of Elpaal of Benjamin (1 Chronicles 8:12).
- A son of Shashak of Benjamin (1 Chronicles 8:22).
- The chief of the Levitical family of Amok when Joiakim was high priest in post-exilic Israel (Nehemiah 12:20).
The first Eber marks an important point in the Biblical genealogies, as of Shem it was said that he was the father of 'all the children of Eber'. And in the days of Peleg, the son of Eber, 'the earth was divided' (Genesis 10:25).
The sons of Joktan, Peleg's brother, are the last mentioned Shemite generation before the tower of Babel was built. Peleg became the ancestor of Abraham, who was the first to be called Hebrew, a word that is highly similar to the name Eber.
Etymology of the name Eber
The name Eber comes from the verb אבר (abar) meaning to pass through:
For a meaning of this magnificent name, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads The Region Beyond; BDB Theological Dictionary renders One From Beyond, From The Other Side; and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads He Who Passed Over.
The name Eber celebrates the wading through of the world's great waters — the Abas of Persia's beliefs, the Sea of Reeds of Egypt and the Jordan of Canaan — and ultimately the arrival upon the dry land of truth (Genesis 1:9).