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Lebo-hamath meaning

לבוא חמת
לבא חמת

Source: http://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Lebo-hamath.html

🔼The name Lebo-hamath in the Bible

Whether Lebo-hamath is actually a name is quite dubious. The phrase לבא חמת occurs in Numbers 13:21 and 34:8 and לבוא חמת happens in Joshua 13:5, Judges 3:3, 1 Kings 8:65, 2 Kings 14:25, 1 Chronicles 13:5, 2 Chronicles 7:8, Ezekiel 47:20 and Amos 6:14, and לבוא־חמת occurs in Ezekiel 48:1.

Yet all translations read "entrance of Hamath" or something similar in Kings, Chronicles and Ezekiel 48:1, and only the New American Standard and the New International Version read Lebo-hamath or Lebo Hamath in all except in Kings and Chronicles. Only the New American Standard reads Lebo-hamath in Ezekiel 48:1.

It appears that the lebo-part is a very common word and should probably be read as part of the narrative and not the name. Hamath was a well attested city, and the lebo-prefix does not create a separate entity, just like the phrases לבוא מצרים and לבא מצרים (lebo-mizraim), which occur together seven times in the Bible, do not create a place in addition to the well known Mizraim.

🔼Etymology of the name Lebo-hamath

Our pseudo-name Lebo-hamath consists of three elements, the first one being the prefix ל (le), meaning to or towards:

The second part of our name comes from the very common verb בוא (bo'), meaning to come:

The third part is the same as the name Hamath, and please see our article on that name for further details.

🔼Lebo-hamath meaning

The phrase Lebo-hamath probably denoted the outer reaches of the land that was controlled by the people of Hamath. There wasn't much in the way of border markings in the ancient world, and the realm of a king stretched as far as his army could, and that probably only demonstrated once every few years or so.

Lebo-hamath was probably a collective term for settlements that still paid taxes to Hamath, or it denoted a unified road system with Hamath at the center. It probably does not mean the "entrance to Hamath," as may translations have but rather a circular limit of influence. It would probably be best translated as the "approach of Hamath" or the "realm of Hamath".