🔼The name Shebuel in the Bible
There are two men named Shebuel (also known as Shubael) in the Bible:
- A distant descendant of Gershom, son of Moses (1 Chronicles 23:16; spelled שבואל). He was assigned priestly duties during the time of king David (1 Chronicles 24:20; spelled שובאל), and became officer over the treasuries of the temple of YHWH (1 Chronicles 26:24; spelled שבאל).
- One of the fourteen singing sons of Heman the renowned musician in service of king David (1 Chronicles 25:4; spelled שבואל). But singing and playing cymbals, harps and lyres were not the only duties of the sons of Heman. To divide the secondary duties (we don't know what those entailed) lots were cast, and Shebuel and twelve of his relatives caught the thirteenth lot (1 Chronicles 25:20; spelled שובאל).
🔼Etymology of the name Shebuel
The name Shebuel consists of two elements, the final one being אל (El), the prominent Canaanite deity, whose name became applied to the God of Israel, or the common abbreviation of Elohim, the genus God:
The second part of our varyingly spelled name either comes from the verb שבה (shaba) meaning to take captive, or the verb שוב (shub), meaning to return or restore:
For a meaning of the name Shebuel, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads a rather curious God Is Renown. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes Captive Of God for שבואל and Restored Of God for שובאל. BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't interpret this name but does list all versions of it under the verb שבה (shaba) meaning to take captive.