🔼The name Beth-rehob: Summary
- House Of A Street, House Of Wide Plaza
- From (1) the noun בית (beth), house, and (2) the verb רחב (rahab), to be wide.
🔼The name Beth-rehob in the Bible
The village of Beth-rehob is mentioned twice in the Bible. It was located close to a valley and near the town of Laish. The whole region was wonderful and tranquil until a band of Danites came swooping in, murdered the locals, upset a local priest named Micah by swiping his idols, settled in and renamed Laish Dan (Judges 18:28).
Apparently, at some point after, the Danites were dispossessed by the Arameans. When king Nahash of the Ammonites passed away, king David wanted to reestablish diplomatic relations with his son and successor Hanun. But Hanun mistreated David's ambassadors and mustered an army of Arameans from Beth-rehob and Zobah to be ready for Israel's imminent retaliation (2 Samuel 10:6). The two armies clashed, Hanun's Aramean army was defeated and the Ammonites fled for their lives.
In 2 Samuel 10:8, Beth-rehob is referred to as simply Rehob (see verse 6).
🔼Etymology of the name Beth-rehob
The name Beth-rehob consists of two elements. The first part is identical to the common Hebrew word בית (bayit) 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".
The second part of our name comes from the verb רחב (rahab), meaning to be wide or large:
The verb רחב (rahab) means to be or become large or wide — mostly of territory but also of fame, abilities, courage, trouble and so on.
This verb's derivatives are: the nouns רחב (rahab) and רחב (rohab), width or wideness; adjective רחב (rahab), broad or wide; noun רחוב (rehob), a broad open place or plaza, and noun מרחב (merhab), a broad or roomy place.
For a meaning of the name Beth-rehob, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads House Of A Street. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has House Of Breadth or Region Of Wideness. And BDB Theological Dictionary proposes Place Of A Street or Market?