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Ishpah meaning

ישפה

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

🔼The name Ishpah in the Bible

The name Ishpah (or Ispah or Jishpah according to some translations) occurs only once in the Bible. He is mentioned as one of the sons of Beriah of Benjamin who chased off the inhabitants of Gath (1 Chronicles 8:16).

🔼Etymology of the name Ishpah

The name Ishpah is spelled the same as the Hebrew word for jasper, which in turn looks like it comes from a verb שׁפה (shapa), which appears to have something to do with fire and conspicuousness:

🔼Ishpah meaning

Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names and BDB Theological Dictionary agree that our name derives from שׁפה (shapa I). BDB interprets our verb with to sweep bare but doesn't interpret the name. Jones translates the verb with to be high or eminent (but as such runs in admitted trouble with the reference to Job's bare bones; Job 33:21) and translates our name with He Will Be Eminent.

Here at Abarim Publications we're pretty sure that Ishpah's name commemorates what the prophet Daniel proclaimed about those with insight: they will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever (Daniel 12:3). Ishpah means He Will Shine Conspicuously.

Note that the most formidable men from Gath were Goliath and his kin, among whom Saph, and the name Saph too comes from the group of words treated above.

The Bible isn't too concerned with military battles (it doesn't even mention the famous battle of Qarqar of 853 BC for instance) and much of the Bible's stories about journeys and conflicts with other peoples reflect intellectual battles. The Bible tells the story of the advancement of Yahwism, which is the quest for practical knowledge of creation in order to take care of creation.

Ishpah's father defeated the Gittites, which means that he knew something that the Gittites didn't (and it doesn't matter whether this was a military technique or something else; he out-competed them, which takes skill). Ishpah himself, if his name is any indication, worked to lure the less informed towards the light of insight, and thus peace and prosperity.