🔼The name Atroth-beth-joab: Summary
- Crowns Of The Family Of Joab, Crowns Of The House Of Him To Whom Yah Is Father
- From (1) the noun עטרה (atarah), crown, (2) the noun בית (beth), house, and (3) the name Joab, or: (3a) the divine name יה (yah), and (3b) the noun אב ('ab), father.
🔼The name Atroth-beth-joab in the Bible
The name Atroth-beth-joab occurs just once in the Bible. In 1 Chronicles 2:54 he is listed among the "sons" of Salma of Judah. The other "sons" of Salma (also see 1 Chronicles 2:51) are all cities and peoples, and it seems likely that Atroth-beth-joab is not a personal name but a town either ran by Salma or else peopled by his descendants.
🔼Etymology of the name Atroth-beth-joab
The name Atroth-beth-joab obviously consists of three parts. The first part is a plural form of the noun עטרה (atarah), meaning crown:
The verb עטר ('atar) means to surround. Noun עטרה (atarah) means crown and denominative verb עטר ('atar) means to coronate.
The second part of our name is the familiar word בית (bayit or beth in compounds), meaning house:
The noun בית (bayit) means house. It sometimes merely denotes a domestic building, but mostly it denotes the realm of authority of the house-father, or אב (ab). This ab is commonly the living alpha male of a household, but may very well be a founding ancestor (as in the familiar term the "house of Israel"). The אב (ab) may also be a deity, in which case the בית (bayit) is that which we know as a temple.
In the larger economy, a house interacts with other houses. These interactions are governed by the אב (ab), or "father" and executed by the בנים (benim), or "sons": those people living in the house, irrespective of any biological relation with the אב (ab). The "sons" combined add up to אם ('em), which means both "mother" and "tribe".
And the third part of our name is equal to the name Joab, which in turn consists of:
- The appellative יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu); abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton יהוה, YHWH, or Yahweh.
- The word אב ('ab), meaning father:
The noun אב ('ab) means father, but describes primarily a social relationship rather than a biological one. That social fatherhood was the defining quality of the community's alpha male, the one around whom all economy revolved and from whom emanated all instructions by which the 'sons' (בן, ben) operated. It's unclear where this word אב ('ab) comes from but the verb abu means to decide.
For a meaning of the name Atroth-beth-joab, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Crowns Of The Family Of Joab or even more complete: Crowns Of The Family Of Him To Whom Jehovah Is Father.
Neither NOBSE Study Bible Name List nor BDB Theological Dictionary discusses this name.