🔼The name Rehob in the Bible
There are two men and one to four cities named Rehob in the Bible. The cities named Rehob are:
- A city first mentioned in the story of the twelve spies who scouted out Canaan as far as Rehob at Lebo-hamath, which was north of Israel (Numbers 13:21).
- When the land was divided, it appears that two cities named Rehob came to be situated in the territory allotted to the tribe of Asher (Joshua 19:28 and 19:30), but Asher gave at least one of them to the Gershonite Levites (Joshua 21:31, 1 Chronicles 6:75). It's not clear if the Gershonites derived much pleasure from owning their Rehob, because Asher never drove out the indigenous Canaanites (Judges 1:31).
- In 2 Samuel 10:6 we read about four separate armies, namely that of Beth-rehob, Zobah, Maacah and Tob. In 10:8 the same four armies are mentioned, except that Beth-rehob is now called Rehob. Beth-rehob was situated in the far north and it's certainly possible that this Rehob is the same as the first one.
The men named Rehob are:
- The father of king Hadadezer of Zobah, whom David defeated (2 Samuel 8:3). Some commentators (Alfred Jones in his Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) say that the Rehob mentioned in 2 Samuel 10:8 is not the same as the Beth-rehob of verse 6, but rather the Zobahite king-father Rehob mentioned in 2 Samuel 8:3. This is conjecture, and although there's no proof either way, the rhythm of the text seems to favor Beth-rehob's identity of the northern city Rehob.
- A Levite who was among the signers of Nehemiah's Sealed Document (Nehemiah 10:11).
🔼Etymology of the name Rehob
The name Rehob comes from the verb רחב (rahab), meaning to be wide:
For a meaning of the name Rehob, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Open Place and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has Open Space.
BDB Theological Dictionary does not translate Rehob but refers to Beth-rehob which BDB translates with Place Of A Street or Market.