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Meaning and etymology of the names
Jabal, Jubal and Tubal Cain




Jabal Jabal Jubal Jubal Tubal Cain Tubal Cain


Jabal, Jubal and Tubal Cain are sons of Lamech the First with Adah (Jabal and Jubal) and with Zillah (Tubal Cain) (Genesis 4:20-22). Jabal was the father of those who live in tents and keep livestock. Jubal was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe. It is highly peculiar that these patriarchies survived the deluge (we submit a possible solution in our article on the Chaotic Set Theory), but perhaps it was through the wives of Noah and his sons. We don't know what family they came from and they might have been music-making and tent-living Cainites...
To Tubal Cain, the forger of all implements of bronze and iron, and whose sister was Naamah, no patriarchy is subscribed.

The names Jabal, Jubal and Tubal Cain come from a word rich in meaning. The root is Jabal (yabal) generally meaning bring, carry, lead, conduct. This root gives rise to a substantial amount of derivations. The following derivations are spelled the same as the name Jabal:
Jabal (yabal) means watercourse. This word occurs only in Isaiah 30:25 and 44:4 in plural.
Jabal (yobel (835e) meaning trumpet; curiously enough the same as the name Jabal and not Jubal.

Identical to the name Jubal is the word Jubal (yubal), meaning stream. This word occurs only in Jeremiah 17:8.

Identical to the name-segment Tubal is the word tebel (tebel), meaning world (for the meaning of the name Cain see Cain). This word tebel is one of two regular words for world. The other is eres (eres). Eres is used more frequently and tends to denote substance (earth, ground, land, country), while tebel tends to denote the world of economy and interaction (sometimes including the atmosphere and the heavens).

yebul (yebul) means produce (of the soil).
bul (bul) means produce, outgrowth. Only Job 40:20, and Isaiah 44:19.

The names Jabal, Jubal and Tubal Cain are like the three arms of a clock (hours, minutes, seconds) and their meaning can not be assessed separately. It seems that Jabal and Jubal cover the most basic structure of a human society: artificial shelter and livelihood (Jabal) and musical expression (Jubal). It must be noted that these elements pretty much sum up all elements of the tabernacle and its rituals.
The name Tubal Cain may denote the next step up in complexity of human society: world wide industry and manipulation of metals.

Again we stress the highly peculiar detail that these characteristics survived the flood of Noah. Tubal Cain is the forger of all implements of bronze and iron, and although a very sporadic use of iron goes back as far as 3000 BC, the iron age didn't commence until 1200 BC. And that is roughly half-way the book of Judges.

NOBS Study Bible Name List reads Moving for Jabal and Playing for Jubal, which is a very liberal interpretation. NOBS does not translate Tubal.

Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has Leading, Flowing and River for Jabal, Joyful Sound, Music and Jubilee for Jubal, and Flowing Forth Of Cain for Tubal Cain.






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