🔼The name Daberath: Summary
- You Spoke, You Formalized
- From the verb דבר (dabar), to pronounce or formalize.
🔼The name Daberath in the Bible
Daberath is the name of a Levitical city in Issachar, at the foot of Mount Tabor. When the land of Israel was divided, this town came to be within the borders of Issachar. Later it was assigned to the Levitical caste of the Gershomites (1 Chronicles 6:72).
🔼Etymology of the name Daberath
The first occurrence of this name in the Bible is in Joshua 19:12, and there the town's name is preceded by the definite article (the Daberath) suggesting that the name was generally considered to be with a very specific meaning. What that meaning is we don't really know, except that it comes from the highly fertile Hebrew root דבר (dabar), to speak:
The verb דבר (dabar) means to formalize: to deliberately establish and pronounce something's name or definition. This causes the thing to become "real" in the mind of whoever understands this word, name or definition, and this in turn explains why all of creation was spoken into being, and Man in turn "named" all the animals by their name and finally his Wife by hers (Genesis 2:19-23). This principle sits at the base of nominal reasoning and thus human awareness and ultimately Information Technology.
Noun דבר (dabar) means word. It also means "thing" since the naming of a thing causes the experienced reality of the thing. All thus created "things" together form the whole of experienceable reality, which in turn is called the Word of God.
Noun דבר (deber) describes any deadly pestilence, which is a "word" that breaks unstable compounds apart. In nature this occurs via the Weak Nuclear Force. The ability of unstable compounds to break apart sits at the heart of all progress and thus all reality.
The rare noun דבר (dober), refers to a pasture; probably a well-defined fenced-in field upon which sheep graze. Figuratively this word obviously refers to some specific Holy Book from which a community feeds (the books of the Bible originated as separate works, with their separate adherers). Noun דברה (dibra) means matter or issue, and the similar noun דבורה (deborah) describes the bee (this probably because bees make honey, and "milk and honey" denote essential sustenance). The noun דביר (debir) was a nickname for the Holy of Holies and means "place of the word".
The noun מדבר (midbar) literally means "place of wording" and is used once to mean mouth and 270 times to mean wilderness, and because a wilderness is a place without cultivation, any cultivation needs to spring up in a wilderness. And anybody serious about the quest for true insight needs to leave the culture (or religion) of his heritage behind and spend a stint in the uncharted wild. All major players in the Bible did so.
The letter ת (taw) upon which our name ends may be due to a simple perfect, second person singular: You Spoke (recently), or You Have Spoken.
The NOBSE Study Bible Name List takes this name from the noun דבר (dober) and translates it with Pasture. For its treatment of the name Daberath, the otherwise impeccable Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names of Alfred Jones urges the reader to look under Dabarath, but then fails to make an entry for Dabarath. BDB Theological Dictionary has nothing more to say about this town than that nowadays it's known as Deburije, and that it's still at the foot of mount Tabor.