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Mehetabel meaning

מהיטבאל
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🔼The name Mehetabel in the Bible

The name Mehetabel is assigned to two people in the Bible, one woman and one man:

  • The woman named Mehetabel is the daughter of Matred and the wife of king Hadar of Edom (Genesis 36:39 — named Hadad in 1 Chronicles 1:50).
  • The man named Mehetabel is the father of Delaiah, who is the father of Shemaiah, a false prophet in the days of Nehemiah (Nehemiah 6:10).

🔼Etymology of the name Mehetabel

The name Mehetabel consists of two parts. The final bit is אל (El), the common abbreviated form of Elohim, the genus God:

The first part of the name comes from the verb יטב (yatab), meaning to be good or pleasing:

🔼Mehetabel meaning

The name Mehetabel is constructed by forming the verb after the active causative form (that's where the he comes from, or so sayeth Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names), and then turning it back into the noun meaning the best (hence the mem), hence rendering the name Mehetabel the meaning of God Will Cause To Be Best. But perhaps there were creative minds among the Hebrew audience who saw the interrogative pronoun מה (me): what? Or who? That way the name Mehetabel would mean Who Pleases God?

For a meaning of the name Mehetabel, both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and BDB Theological Dictionary read God Benefits. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Benefited of God.

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