🔼The name Dibri: Summary
- Loquacious, Wordy
- From the verb דבר (dabar), to pronounce or formalize.
🔼The name Dibri in the Bible
The name Dibri occurs only one time in the Bible, in the harrowing story of the boy who cursed the Name (Leviticus 24:11).
The unnamed son of an Egyptian man and Shelomith, an Israelite woman, daughter of a Danite named Dibri, cursed the Name (of the Lord: YHWH) and was placed in custody. The Lord himself passed judgment on this boy: he was to be taken out of the camp and whoever had heard him curse the Name had to lay their hands on his head (which is usually a sign of blessing) and then stone him to death.
Cursing the Name is of course a violation of the stipulation made in the Ten Commandments not to do so (Exodus 20:7). Also note that cursing the Name is pretty much equated with murdering another human being (Leviticus 24:17).
🔼Etymology of the name Dibri
The name Dibri comes from the verb דבר (dabar), meaning to speak or pronounce a message:
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 י (yod) upon which our name ends, may either create an adjective (wordy or belonging to the word), a possessive form (my word), or may be a remnant of יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which in turn are abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton יהוה, YHWH, or Yahweh.
For a meaning of the name Dibri, most scholars take the final י (yod) to be an adjective-maker. NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Loquacious, Wordy, and the renowned theologian Gesenius proposed Eloquent. Still, where the word "eloquent" might evoke associations with the gift of gab, the verb דבר (dabar) emphasizes human convention, whether in shared language or shared scientific knowledge or even a shared sense of art.
Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) takes our name from דבר as well but interprets this verb rather liberally with to promise. In the final י (yod) Jones sees a "sign of the Divine name". Hence Jones translates our name with Promise, and adds "of the Lord".
BDB Theological Dictionary does not interpret this name.