The name Oholibamah in the Bible
There are two or three individuals named Oholibamah (some translations say Aholibamah) in the Bible, although not all scholars would see it that way. See for a discussion on who is who our articles on the names Anah and Horite. The Oholibamahs of the Bible are:
- The daughter of Anah and granddaughter of Zibeon the Hivite (Genesis 36:2). She married Esau, the son of Isaac and Rebekah and brother of Jacob, the patriarch of Israel.
- The daughter of Anah and granddaughter of Zibeon the Horite (Genesis 36:25). This Oholibamah's great aunt was called Timna, the daughter of Seir the Horite and sister of Zibeon (Genesis 36:22). Timna was also the name of the concubine of Eliphaz, the son of Esau (Genesis 36:12).
- A chief of Edom, the nation that sprang from Esau (Genesis 36:41). It is by no means certain that this chief Oholibamah was not the same as the wife of Esau. One would expect the Bible to strenuously stress this fact if Edom indeed had its female chiefs, but perhaps the Bible does. There's also a chief Timna (Genesis 36:40).
Etymology of the name Oholibamah
The name Oholibamah consists of two elements. The first part is the noun אהל ('ohel), meaning tent:
The second part of the name Oholibamah comes from the noun במה (bama), meaning a ridge or height:
For a meaning of the name Oholibamah, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names, NOBSE Study Bible Name List and BDB Theological Dictionary read in rare agreement Tent Of The High Place.