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Meaning and etymology of the name Jochebed

Jochebed Jochebed

Jochebed is the mother of Miriam, Aaron and Moses. She is also a daughter of Levi, sister of Gershon, Kohath and Merari (Exodus 6:16). Because her husband Amram is a son of Kohath, their children are both grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Levi.

The name Jochebed is a combination of two elements:
The first part is jah, which is the commonly accepted abbreviated form of YHWH, which is YHWH, the Name of the Lord. This very short abbreviation of YHWH also occurs in the names Joab and Jonathan.

The second part of the name Jochebed comes from the marvelous verb kabed (kabed), basically meaning to be heavy or weighty. Of the few hundred occurrences in the Bible only very few are in the literal sense of being heavy, and that mostly in the book of Samuel (1 Sam 4:18, where Eli is called heavy, and 14:26 where Absalom's hair is called heavy).

The verb kabed (kabed) may denote a heaviness of sin (Genesis 18:20), a hardness of heart (Exodus 7:14), dullness of ears (Isaiah 6:10) or eyes (Genesis 48:10) or slowness of speech (Exodus 4:10). Abraham was "heavily" wealthy (Genesis 13:2), Balaam's comrogues enjoyed "heavy" esteem (Numbers 22:15), and the Ten Commandments state that parents are to be "heavied." It seems that most of the occurrences of this verb denote glory or glorification.

For a meaning of the name Jochebed, NOBS Study Bible Name List reads Yahweh Is Glory. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Lord Of Glory, Glory Of The Lord.

A related name is Ichabod.



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