🔼The name Habor: Summary
- Joined, United
- From the verb חבר (habar), to join.
🔼The name Habor in the Bible
There appears to be only one Habor mentioned in the Bible but it's not clear whether it's a city or a river. In 2 Kings 17:6 we read that in the ninth year of the reign of king Hoshea of Israel, king Shalmaneser V of Assyria defeated Hoshea and deported the people to Halah and Habor, on the river Gozan and in the cities of the Medes. But in 2 Kings 18:11 we read that the king of Assyria put the people in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan. In 1 Chronicles 5:26 we read about the tribes of Reuben and Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh, of which the people were also carried away to Assyria: to Halah, Habor, Hara and to the river of Gozan.
It seems most plausible that the name Habor was applied to a city and its supporting river, or perhaps a confluence with the Euphrates. NOBSE Study Bible Name List doesn't call it either, but defines Habor as "on the river of Gozan," implying it's a city. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names defines Habor as "a Mesopotamian river" and BDB Theological Dictionary declares it to be a river "flowing into Euphrates".
🔼Etymology of the name Habor
The name Habor comes from the verb חבר (habar), meaning to join, which would agree with the idea that Habor is the name of a river that joins the larger Euphrates:
The verb חבר (habar) means to bind, join or team up. Nouns חבר (heber) and חברה (hebra) mean company or association. Adjective or noun חבר (haber) means united or associate. Noun חבר (habbar), meaning business associate.
Noun חברת (haberet) literally means that what is joined (curtains, one's wife). Noun מחברת (mahberet) means a thing joined or place of joining. Noun מחברה (mehabbera) describes a binder or clamp.
Nouns חבורה (habbura), חברה (habbura or habra) and חברברה (habarbura) mean stripe or mark. How these words express binding isn't immediately clear, but perhaps the most ancient symbols arose from people claiming items and locations for themselves or their tribes.
For a meaning of the name Habor, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Joined Together. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes Uniting Together. BDB Theological Dictionary does not interpret our name but does list it under the verb חבר (habar), meaning to join.