🔼The name Hebron: Summary
- Place Of Joining, Alliance
- From the verb חבר (habar), to join.
🔼The name Hebron in the Bible
There are three different Hebrons in the Bible; one city and two men:
- The most famous Hebron is a city in Canaan, which was originally named Kiriath-arba (Genesis 23:2). Abraham lives in its vicinity and he buys a cave there from the sons of Heth to bury Sarah (Genesis 23). Moses sends spies to check out Hebron's defenses (Numbers 13:22), Joshua conquers it (Joshua 10), expels the enigmatic Anakim from it (Joshua 14:12), gives it to Caleb (Joshua 14:14), pronounces it to be in the territory of Judah and assigns it to the Kohathite Levites (Joshua 21:11). Later God himself gives Hebron to king David as the capital of his kingdom (2 Samuel 2:1).
- A son of Kohath, son of Levi (Exodus 6:18). He became the patriarch of the חברוני (Hebronites; Numbers 3:27) who would later become a distinct faction of temple workers (1 Chronicles 26:23), and were also charged with the affairs of Israel, the works of YHWH and the service of the king, west of the Jordan (1 Chronicles 26:30).
- A man from Judah (1 Chronicles 2:43).
🔼Etymology of the name Hebron
The name Hebron comes from the verb חבר (habar), meaning to join:
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.
The on-part of the name Hebron comes from the standard waw-nun extension that personifies or localizes the idea or action of a root.
For a meaning of the name Hebron, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes Confederation. BDB Theological Dictionary suggests Association or League. NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Alliance.