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Rizpah meaning

רצפה

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

🔼The name Rizpah in the Bible

Rizpah is the daughter of Aiah and the unfortunate concubine of king Saul. Rizpah's two sons Armoni and Mephibosheth are hanged by the men of Gibeon, along with the five sons of Saul's daughter Merab (2 Samuel 21:8). Merab's response to this horrible event isn't recorded but Rizpah stays with the corpses of her sons and guards them for a whole season, and guards them day and night from being violated by animals.

Rizpah is also briefly mentioned in the events leading up to the assassination of general Abner, where Saul's son Ish-bosheth accuses Abner of having had intercourse with her. Abner neither denies nor confirms but gets angry about Ish-bosheth's insolent inquiry. Saul had already died when this was supposed to have happened (2 Samuel 3:7).

🔼Etymology of the name Rizpah

The name Rizpah comes from the root group רצף (rasap I & II):

The name Rizpah is identical to either of the two nouns רצפה, but for undisclosed reasons, scholars assume that Rizpah was named after a cooking stone and not after a pavement. The word רצפה meaning cooking stone or coal is used in the famous scene in which Isaiah sees the Seraphim and kisses the coal (Isaiah 6:6). The other occurrence of this word is when Elijah the Tishbite suffers his breakdown and is awoken by an angel who has his breakfast sizzling on a hot stone (1 Kings 19:6). After that Elijah has his famous theophany at Horeb (19:9-14).

🔼Rizpah meaning

The word רצפה may mean a cooking stone or glowing coal. The two have in common that they are very hot, and that's probably the core idea of both the word and the name: Rizpah means Sizzle. For a meaning of the name Rizpah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Glowing Coal. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has A Baking Stone.