🔼The name Chebar: Summary
- Abundant, Archetype, Delta, Sieve
- From the verb כבר (kabar), to be great or many.
🔼The name Chebar in the Bible
The name Chebar (or Kebar, as some translations have it) belongs to a river in Babylon and is mentioned in the Bible only by the prophet Ezekiel, although the Habor, as mentioned in Kings and Chronicles, may be the same as Ezekiel's Chebar. Some have suggested that the Biblical Chebar is the same as the Khabur River, a tributary to the Euphrates.
Ezekiel's famous visions of the Cherubim-throne came to him while he was in the land of the Chaldeans, among the exiles by the river Chebar (1:1, 1:3, 3:23, 10:15, 10:20, 10:22, 43:3). The Spirit of YHWH appears to have physically removed him (3:14), and after his first vision, Ezekiel returned to the exiles by the Chebar (3:15).
🔼Etymology of the name Chebar
The name Chebar comes from the verb כבר (kabar), meaning to be great, and was pointed by the Masoretes to be identical to the adverb כבר (kebar), meaning already:
The verb כבר (kabar) means to be awe-inspiring great, much or many. Adjective כביר (kabbir) means great, mighty or much. Adverb כבר (kebar) means already in the sense that all events derive from archetypes that were already long established.
It appears that great quantities necessitated tools to sift through them, and this gave rise to a group of words that have to do with sieving and which appear to be derived from our verb כבר (kabar): Noun כברה (kebara) denotes a sieve for sifting grain. Noun מכבר (makber) appears to denote a kind of cloth, probably a coarsely woven net-like fabric. Noun מכבר (mikbar) is an architectural term and appears to describe a grate or lattice that surrounded the main altar of the tabernacle.
For a meaning of the name Chebar, NOBSE Study Bible Name List appears to go with the sieve-element of our verb and translates our name with Joining (apparently taking it to be the Euphrates' tributary). Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes Abundant or Vehement. BDB Theological Dictionary does not offer an interpretation of our name but does list it under כבר (kabar), suggesting that our river was named after its greatness.