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Tel-abib meaning

תל אביב

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

🔼The name Tel-abib in the Bible

The name Tel-abib (or Tel Aviv in the modern spelling) occurs only once in the Bible, and that's not so strange since the modern town of Tel Aviv was (a) created early in the 20th century, and (b) named after and not the same as the Biblical Tel-abib.

The famous modern Israeli city of Tel Aviv was founded in 1909 by Russian immigrants as a suburb of Jaffa, and named a year later. Several names had been proposed but for reasons we'll try to guess at below, the name Tel-abib was selected (and transliterated according to the modern convention of pronouncing the classical letter ב, beth, as a v; hence Tel Aviv in stead of Tel-abib).

Biblical Tel-abib was a place somewhere in Babylon, near the river Chebar, where exiled Jews were made to reside and the prophet Ezekiel visited them (Ezekiel 3:15).

🔼Etymology of the name Tel-abib

The name Tel-abib obviously consists of two elements. The first part is the noun תל (tel), which denotes the kind of ruinous mount that arises from multiple destructions and subsequent coverings over and rebuilding of the destroyed site:

The second part of our name comes from the noun אביב ('abib) meaning barely or ears of barley:

🔼Tel-abib meaning

The name Tel-abib is usually reported to mean Hill Of Grain (NOBSE Study Bible Name List) or Hill Of Ears Of Corn (Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) but that obviously doesn't cut it.

The noun אביב ('abib) signifies the beginning of the agricultural year, and combined with the noun תל (tel) it denotes both the willful destruction and burial of an entire crop, and a hopeful continuation on that same ruinous location.

By calling their new city Tel Aviv, the early immigrants to Palestine expressed their determination to rebuild the harvest YHWH intended Israel to produce, and which millennia of diaspora had tried to burry.