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Meaning and etymology of the name Joshbekashah

Joshbekashah Joshbekashah

There's only one man in the Bible who carries the enormous name Joshbekashah. He is a Levite—one of fourteen sons of Heman, who also has three unnamed daughters—who is to prophesy with lyre, harp and cymbals and exalt king David according to the words of God (1 Chronicles 25:4).

The complete etymology of the name Joshbekashah is disputed, although the various sources agree that the final part has to do with the root group qasha (qasha) I & II. The verb qasha (qasha) I means to be hard or severe, and is most often deployed in conjunction with the yoke carried by oxen. This came to symbolize any hard or oppressive task or burden, and is even referred to by Jesus in His famous saying, "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me [...] for My yoke is easy and my load is light" (Matthew 11:28-30). The derived adjective qasheh (qasheh) means hard or cruel, and the noun qeshi (qeshi) means stubbornness.

Root qasha (qasha) II is unused but the derived noun miqsha (miqsha) means hammered (or turned metal) work, and the noun miqsheh (miqsheh) may denote a artistic coiffure (the word occurs only once, in Isaiah 3:24 and we don't quite know what to do with it).

About the first part of the name Joshbekashah, Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) proposes it comes from the verb yashab (yashab), meaning to sit, remain or dwell. This verb comes with a few derivatives (with obvious meanings like seat, dwelling, to sojourn), but these derivatives all loose the letter yod, which is signature for our name Joshbekashah. According to Jones, the letter beth of the name Joshbekashah, doesn't come from our verb (or rather, has been omitted in the name Joshbekashah) but is the particle beth, meaning in or by.

Altogether, Jones translates the name Joshbekashah with the curious A Seat In A Hard Place.

NOBS Study Bible Name List doesn't agree with Jones and sees more in the verb shub (shub), meaning to turn or to return. Hence NOBS reads a rather forged He Returns A Hard Fate.

Perhaps the name Joshbekashah is meant as a play on words and means He Turns Turned Metal. Or perhaps he was the local barber, known as Curling Iron. And then, of course, it's possible he was a bit of a Hard Ass. Who knows?

Other names that come from the verb shub are Eliashib, Jashub, Jashubi-lehem, Jashobeam, Jushab-hesed, Meshobab, Shear-jashub, Shebuel, Shobab, Shobach and Shubael.

Other names that contain the verb yashab are Ishbi-benob, Jeshebeab. Josheb-basshebeth and Joshibiah. A name that looks like it comes from yashab, but probably doesn't is Ishbah.

Another name that comes from the verb qasha is Kishion.



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