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Meaning and etymology of the name Havilah

Havilah Havilah

The name Havilah occurs three times in the Bible. It is first mentioned as a land that contains both gold and the river Pishon, one of four rivers of Eden (Genesis 2:11). This land is probably named in retrospect, as the territory of one of the two human Havilahs: one is a son of Cush, son of Ham, son of Noah (Genesis 10:7); the other is a son of Joktan, the son of Eber (Genesis 10:29).

The name Havilah comes from

the root group hul (hul I & II) and can be interpreted in many ways.
The verb hul (hul I) basically denotes a circular or writhing motion; dance, pain or agony. A derivative of this verb is the noun hol (hol) meaning sand.

The similar verb hul (hul II), means be firm, endure. Its derivative hayil (hayil 624a) means might, which charges the name Havilah with an additional meaning of Strength.

Other names derived of the root group hull are Abihail, Ben-hail, Aharel, Helam, Helon, Hilen, Holon and Hull.

There is a difficulty, however. When the letter waw is a consonant (as it is in the name Havilah) it is a completely different letter than when it is a vowel (as in the verb hul), and there must be a very good reason why a vowel changes to a consonant (the same problem occurs with the name David). Perhaps it is to deliberately point at some other words, namely the verb Eve (hwh I, II & III) and laha (laha).

The root group Eve (hwh) yields the following meanings:
Eve (hwh I), is an unused root which, in Arabic, means collect or gather; circle of tents (BDB Theological Dictionary). It is the root of Eve (hawwa), tent, village.
Eve (hawa II) means show, tell, make known.
Eve (hawa III) means to prostrate oneself; worship.
The word laha (laha) means languish or faint (Genesis 47:13).

Following these leads gives Havilah the additional meaning of Languishing Village, or Exhausted Revelation, and connects it to the name Eve.



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