🔼The name Gur-baal: Summary
- Dwelling Of The Lord, Fear Of The Lord
- From (1) the verb גור (gur), to sojourn or to fear, and (2) the verb בעל (ba'al), to be lord.
🔼The name Gur-baal in the Bible
The name Gur-baal occurs only once in the Bible. It's the name of an Arabian town that apparently gave king Uzziah of Judah trouble. In a paragraph devoted to the victories of king Uzziah it reads that God helped him against the Philistines and against the Arabians who lived in Gur-baal, en the Meunites (2 Chronicles 26:7).
🔼Etymology of the name Gur-baal
The name Gur-baal obviously consists of two elements. The first part is the same as the name Gur, and comes from the following word group:
The verb גרר (garar) means to drag or drag away, mostly in a circular or repetitive motion. Noun גרה (gera) means cud, or food that's dragged back up, chewed again and sent back down. The identical noun גרה (gera) denotes a unit of weight that served as currency. Noun גרגר (gargar) means berry and the plural noun גרגרות (gargerot) means neck, probably after their signature wagging motion.
The verb גרה (gara) means to strive or agitate strife, obviously not by means of one singular assault but rather by repeated provocations and withdrawals. Noun תגרה (tigra) means contention or opposition. Noun גרון (garon) is a second word for neck.
Verb גור (gur) means the same as the previous: to quarrel or stir up strife. Nouns גור (gor) and גור (gur) both denote lion cubs. Perhaps young male lions were named after the verb גור (gur) because they are expelled from the pride and are forced to roam adjacent territories.
The verb גור (gur), namely — or a second and identical verb — is also often used to describe to itinerate or temporary abide. Noun גר (ger) describes an itinerant; a stranger or foreigner. Noun גרות (gerut) may describe a lodging place for foreign travelers but may also be part of the name Geruth Chimham. Noun מגור (magor) means dwelling place or itineration. Nouns מגורה (megura) and ממגרות (mammegurot) describes storehouses, or places were goods were temporarily stored on their way to the market.
Perhaps a third identical verb גור (gur) means to dread, but perhaps it describes dread that is built up over time and from many little threats and suspicions. Nouns מגור (magor) and מגורה (megora) mean fear or terror, but note that the former is identical to the word meaning dwelling place, mentioned above. The verb יגר (yagor) appears to be a by-form of this third verb גור (gur), and also means to dread. The adverb יגור (yagor) means fearing.
The second part of our name is most likely a reference to the Canaanite deity Baal, and comes from the verb בעל (ba'al), meaning to rule over:
The verb בעל (ba'al) means to exercise dominion over; to own, control or be lord over. The ubiquitous noun בעל (ba'al) means lord, master and even husband, and its feminine counterpart בעלה (ba'ala) means mistress or landlady.
God is obviously called 'lord' all over the Bible and the sin of the Baal priests (1 Kings 18:40) was not that they called upon some other deity but rather their incessant howling of the word 'lord' without any further responsibility or effects (see Matthew 7:21 and 11:4-5).
For a meaning of the name Gur-baal, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Sojourn Of Baal. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has Sojourning Of Baal. And BDB Theological Dictionary proposes Dwelling Of Baal.