🔼The name Bakbuk: Summary
- Flask, Emptied
- From the verb בקק (baqaq), to be empty.
🔼The name Bakbuk in the Bible
The name Bakbuk is mentioned twice in the Bible, but twice in the same context. Both Ezra and Nehemiah mention the sons of Bakbuk in the long list of newly appointed temple servants, right after the return from Babylon (Ezra 2:51, Nehemiah 7:53).
🔼Etymology of the name Bakbuk
The name Bakbuk comes from the verb בקק (baqaq) to be or become empty:
Verbs בקק (baqaq) and בוק (boq) mean to be or become empty (of items, lands, etc). Nouns בוקה (buqa) and מבוקה (mebuqa) both mean emptiness. Noun בקבק (baqbuq) means flask.
A second verb בקק (baqaq) means to be luxuriant and may either be imported from a cognate language or else refer to a proverbial wealth of bottles to empty.
There was probably also a verb בקה (baqa) that meant to search, scout out or examine, with a similarly spelled noun meaning gnat. Perhaps the link with the previous was accidental but perhaps the erratic flight of the gnat reminded observers of vainly criss-crossing an emptied land in search of something that was no longer there. Or perhaps the gnat was proverbial for something that required careful straining (see Matthew 23:24).
For a meaning of the name Bakbuk, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads A Flask and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has A Bottle, "i.e. emptied of everything". BDB Theological Dictionary does not translate this name but does confirm that it comes from בקק.
The name בקבוק (Bakbuk) is indeed nearly identical to the word בקבק (baqbuq), meaning flask, but this name was probably interpreted in the same way as the flask: A Little Bit Of A Whole Lot, as a grateful expression of abundance.