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Ziphion meaning

צפיון

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

🔼The name Ziphion in the Bible

The name Ziphion occurs only once in the Bible. In Genesis 46:16 Ziphion is listed as the first of the seven sons of Gad, the seventh son of Jacob and the first of Zilpah, which makes Ziphion one of the sixty-six proto-Israelites who moved to Goshen in Egypt.

By the time of the second census of Israel, Ziphion was remembered as צפון, Zephon, and his progeny was collectively known as צפוני, the Zephonites (Numbers 26:15).

Note that the name Zephon is spelled the same as the second part of the name Baal-zephon (please revert to that name for a discussion of a possible meaning).

🔼Etymology of the name Ziphion

The name Ziphion appears to be drawn from the verb צפה I (sapa I), meaning to look out or watch:

The waw-nun upon which our name ends is a common way to quantify a verb; to express a discrete portion of whatever the verb does.

🔼Ziphion meaning

BDB Theological Dictionary lists Ziphion under the verb צפה I (sapa I) and interprets it as Gaze (but also adds a question mark).

NOBSE Study Bible Name List does not interpret the name Ziphion but reads Watching for Zephon, which means that NOBSE sees Zephon as an inconsequential adaptation of Ziphion and not a whole other name. That's debatable.

Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) insists that the waw-nun upon which our name ends really functions as an intensifier, takes the broader Semitic meaning of the verb צפה I (sapa I) and translates the name Ziphion with Earnest Expectation or Intense Longing.