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Kiriath-sepher meaning

קרית־ספר

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

🔼The name Kiriath-sepher in the Bible

Kiriath-sepher was the original name of a city later called Debir (Joshua 15:15), and apparently it was also known as Kiriath-sannah (Joshua 15:49). When the boundaries of the land of Judah were established, Caleb son of Jephunneh received his own territory, and Debir (or Kiriath-sepher) was in it.

Caleb proclaimed that whoever would capture Kiriath-sepher would receive his daughter Achsah for a wife. Caleb's nephew Othniel, son of Kenaz, rose up to the challenge, captured the city and became Caleb's son in law (Joshua 15:17, Judges 1:12). While Othniel had his mind set on warring and bedding, Achsah opted for settling down, and asked her father Caleb for a field with springs, which she promptly received (Joshua 15:19, Judges 1:15).

It's probably no coincidence that the author of the story depicts the man who conquers the "city of learning" as one who retires from combat and begins to listen to his wife. Othniel became Israel's first judge. He successfully battled the oppressing king Cushan-rishathaim of Aram-naharaim and governed the land for forty peaceful years (Judges 3:9).

🔼Etymology of the name Kiriath-sepher

The name Kiriath-sepher consists of two elements. The first part is the same as the name Kiriath, which is an older variant of the Biblical noun קריה (qiryah), meaning city. It derives of the verb קרה (qara), meaning to meet or get together:

The second part of our name comes from the word group that formed around the noun ספר (seper), meaning book:

🔼Kiriath-sepher meaning

For a meaning of the name Kiriath-sepher, both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names read City Of Books. Although the word sepher is not technically a plural form, in this case "books" is the proper translation.

BDB Theological Dictionary proposes "perhaps" Scribe Town for a meaning of Kiriath-sepher. And the Septuagint doesn't transliterate this name but translates it as Πολις γραμματων (Polis Grammaton; City Of Writing).