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Josheb-basshebeth meaning

ישב בשבת
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🔼The name Josheb-basshebeth in the Bible

The name Josheb-basshebeth occurs only once in the Bible, or seems to. In 2 Samuel 23:8 we read about this Josheb-basshebeth, who was a Tachmonite, a.k.a Adino the Eznite, chief of the captains of the mighty-men, who killed 800 men in one time. But in the parallel text of 1 Chronicles 11:11, the list of might men is headed by Jashobeam the Hachmonite, who killed 300 in one time.

Hence there's some question on whether the curious name Josheb-basshebeth is actually a name. The most popular modern translations (NAS, NIV, Green, ASV, Darby, ) think so, but Webster and the revised Webster, the Old King James and the revised KJV21 version, Young and some others, cling to translating this not-name into a part of the narrative.

The Dutch NBG (1951) solves the problem by making Josheb-basshebeth an inhabitant of an unknown town called Sebet, which is curious because the much older Statenvertaling lists our boy Josheb-basshebeth, same as the German translations of Elberfelder (1905) and Schlachter (1951). The Luther translations dubiously omit the troublesome Josheb-basshebeth and insert the name of Jashobeam.

🔼Etymology of the name Josheb-basshebeth

The name Josheb-basshebeth is a repetition in the tradition of "swarmers that swarm" and "creepers that creep" (Genesis 1:21, 24) and comes from the verb ישב (yashab), meaning to sit, remain or dwell:

In between these two expressions of the same verb sits the particle ב (be), meaning in or by:

🔼Josheb-basshebeth meaning

Our name is constructed from the verb ישב (yashab), meaning to sit + the particle ב (be), meaning in or by + and the noun שבת (shebet), meaning seat, and translates to something like He Who Sits On The Seat.

The Bible translations mentioned above, which translate ישב בשבת as part of the narrative, read things like, "Sitting in his seat is the Tachmonite, head of the captains" (Young), or, "The Tachmonite that sat in the seat" (Webster), or even more daring, "The Tachmonite who sat in the chief seat among the captains" (KJV21).

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