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Shihor-libnath meaning

שיחור לבנת

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

🔼The name Shihor-libnath in the Bible

The name Shihor-libnath occurs only once in the Bible but we don't exactly know whether it's a city or a river. But whatever it is, it marked the border of the territory of the tribe of Asher, and should be somewhere close to mount Carmel (present day Haifa).

Most commentaries state that Shihor-libnath was a river but there's nothing in the text that makes that clear, or where that river is supposed to be. The only river close to mount Carmel is the Kishon, which still drains into Haifa bay to this day.

🔼Etymology of the name Shihor-libnath

The name Shihor-libnath consists of two elements that seem each other's opposites. The first part appears to come from either of the two roots שחר:

The second part of our name is an older variant spelling of the common form לבנה, which covers several different nouns, which all come from the verb לבן (laben), meaning to be or become white:

🔼Shihor-libnath meaning

The wonderful name Shihor-libnath can mean all kinds of things: Black-White or Darkness Of The Moon or Bright Dawn.

For a meaning of the name Shihor-libnath, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Turbid Stream Of Libnath, which apparently assumes a town called Libnath, which could be a namesake of Libnah (again, of an older spelling).

Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names cites the famous German theologian Johann David Michaelis who figured that the elusive verb שחר II (shahar II) could very well have meant "breaking forth" and boldly applied it to the behavior of rivers. Then he evenly boldly assumed that the verb לבן (laben) may very well also have meant to be transparent, and could have described the glass that Phoenicians made from sand found on the beach. And thus Michaelis translated our name with River Of Glass. The difficulty with all this is that in the Bible dawn is never experienced as breaking forth, or being river-like, and the verb לבן (laben) never reflects whatever little concept of transparency the Hebrews had.

BDB Theological Dictionary neither interprets this name nor lists it under either of the roots cited above. BDB lists this name beneath the name Shihor, but expresses doubt that either name technically arose from either of the above roots.