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Ezion-geber meaning

עציון גבר
עצין גבר
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🔼The name Ezion-geber in the Bible

Ezion-geber is a town in the region of Seir or Edom, on the shore of the Red Sea. We hear first of Ezion-geber as Israel camps there on the journey through the wilderness (Numbers 33:35-36). When Israel is instructed to not provoke the sons of Esau, who live in Seir, they pass beyond them and away from the Arabah road, Elath and Ezion-geber, and onto Moab (Deuteronomy 2:8; only here spelled עצין גבר).

Much later, king Solomon has a fleet of merchant ships built at Ezion-geber, which sets of for Ophir to obtain gold (1 Kings 9:26, 2 Chronicles 8:17, only here spelled with a maqqep: עציון־גבר). Later still, the mostly-good king Jehoshaphat allies himself with the wicked king Ahaziah of Israel, and tries to reproduce Solomon's fleet at Ezion-geber in order to trade with Tarshish (1 Kings 22:48, 2 Chronicles 20:36). But the prophet Eliezer, the son of Dodavahu of Mareshah, informs Jehoshaphat that his alliance with Ahaziah made YHWH decide to destroy the fleet. And so the ships "were broken and could not go to Tarshish".

🔼Etymology of the name Ezion-geber

The name Ezion-geber obviously consists of two elements. The first part is a noun derived from any of the roots עצה:

The waw-nun extension is a common way to create a noun from a verb that actually represents an object (rather than a concept).

The second part of our name is identical to the name Geber, and to the noun גבר (geber), meaning man:

🔼Ezion-geber meaning

For a meaning of the name Ezion-geber, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads a rather unnecessary Backbone Of A Giant and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has The Backbone Of A Man. BDB Theological Dictionary does not translate our name and lists it under a wholly separate root עצה that's dedicated solely to our name. Then BDB invites a comparison to an Arabic name or word which denotes a land abounding with a certain tree.

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