🔼The name Pethuel in the Bible
The name Pethuel occurs only one time in the Bible. All we know about this man is that he was the father of the prophet Joel (Joel 1:1).
🔼Etymology of the name Pethuel
The name Pethuel consists of two elements, the final one being אל (El), either the prominent Canaanite deity whose name became applied to the God of Israel, or the common abbreviation of Elohim, the genus God:
The first part of our name comes from the curious root-verb פתה (pata), meaning to be spacious:
The name Pethuel is rather difficult to interpret. Perhaps it reflects a certain intellectual tranquility that comes from one's trust in God (Psalm 8:5, Psalm 24:1). Perhaps it expresses the limitlessness of God's reach; perhaps the mouth of one who preaches the gospel loudly.
For a meaning of the name Pethuel, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads God Delivers, for no apparent reason (it really doesn't mean that). Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes the rather generous Ingenuousness Of God, "i.e. great simplicity of mind". BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't interpret our name but does list it under the root פתה.