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Meaning and etymology of the Hebrew name Ekron

Ekron Ekron

There's only one Ekron is the Bible. It's the name of one of the cities of the Philistines, also known as the Five cities of the Philistines (in a fleeting moment of flippancy BDB Theological Dictionary even talks about the Famous Five).

These Famous Five are listed in Joshua 13:3: Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath, Ekron and Ava, and that's six of them. It's curious that here are six cities mentioned but only five lords (also see Judges 3:3), but perhaps two cities were simply run by one regent.

Ekron is also the infamous home of Baal Zebub (2 Kings 1:2) but possibly even more renowned as the final station of the Ark of the Covenant during it's illicit Palestine excursion.

When the Philistines swipe the Ark of the Covenant they send it on a tour of destruction through their country. When it reaches Ekron the Philistines finally get the message and send the Ark back to Israel (1 Samuel 5).

The name Ekron comes from the cluster of words that are all spelled like aqar ('aqar 1681-1682):

• The verb aqar (1681), meaning pluck or root up (Eccl 3:2, Zeph 2:4; notice Ekron as the subject of the verb uproot).
• The meaning of derivative aqar (1681a) is unclear but probably means member or offshoot (used once in Leviticus 25:47).
• The verb aqar (1682), meaning to hamstring (2 Samuel 8:4, 1 Chronicles 18:4), and derivative aqar, meaning barren (Deuteronomy 7:14, Exodus 23:26).

The NOBS Study Bible Name List apparently goes with a general, underlying meaning of the root aqar and reads Extermination. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names sticks to the meaning of to uproot and interprets it: Uprooting, Emigration.



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