🔼The name Gob: Summary
- Pit, Trench, Cistern
- From the verb גבב (gabab), to be hollow, or the verb גוב (gub), to dig.
🔼The name Gob in the Bible
There's only one town named Gob in the Bible, and it's mentioned twice, both times in the context of David's army fighting the Philistine giants of Gath, the four sons of the famous Goliath: Ishbi-benob, Saph, Goliath the Second and their unnamed brother.
In the parallel text of 1 Chronicles 20:4, our town is called גזר (Gezer).
🔼Etymology of the name Gob
The name Gob either comes from the verb גבב (gabab), meaning to be hollow, or the verb גוב (gub), meaning to dig:
The verb גבב (gabab) doesn't occur in the Bible but it appears to have meant to be concave or convex; to be bulbous or hollow. Noun גב (gab) denotes anything that is bulbous (hills, buttocks).
The verb גוב (gub) means to dig. Noun גב (geb) means pit or ditch. This verb appears to be associated with the verb יגב (yagab), meaning to till (what a farmer does). Noun יגב (yaqeb) probably refers to the field where the farmer tills.
Noun גבא (gebe') appears to describe a hollow in which water collects and is commonly translated with cistern, pool or marsh.
Verb גבה (gaba) means to collect. Nouns גב (geb), גוב (gob), גבי (gobay) and גובי (gobay) refer to locusts. Possibly a whole other verb גבה (gabah) means to be high, exalted or lofty, although this verb could actually describe a person who collected a heap, or who plunders a society like a swarm of locusts. In the Talmud the word for tax collector was derived from this verb. Adjective גבה (gaboah) means high or haughty. Noun גבה (gobah) means height or haughtiness. And noun גבהות (gabhut) means haughtiness.
Verb גבע (gabay) appears to mean the same as גבב (gabab), to be concave or convex. The very common noun גבעה (gib'a) means hill.
The unused verb גבן (gaban) probably meant to be curved, contracted or coagulated. Adjective גבן (giben) means humpbacked. Noun גבינה (gebina) means curd or cheese. Noun גבנן (gabnon) means peak or rounded summit.
A certain grammatical construction that creates a sort of continuous tense of the verb גבב (gabab) is formed from prefixing a נ (nun) and making the double ב (beth) a single one. The result, a verb נגב (nagab) would mean to undulate, to wave, to have shifting dunes. That verb doesn't exist, but a mysterious noun נגב (negeb) does. This noun would thus denote a region with rolling hills, and came to be synonymous with "south".
For a meaning of the name Gob, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads A Pit.
Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) derives our name from the verb גוב meaning to dig and reads Pit.
BDB Theological Dictionary does not offer an interpretation of the name Gob but lists it under the root גבב and states that it is comparable to words in Aramaic, meaning den, and other cognate language where it means well or cistern.