🔼The name Horeb: Summary
- Arid, Dryness
- From the verb חרב (hareb), to dry up or lay waste.
🔼The name Horeb in the Bible
Horeb (a.k.a. Sinai, and the Mountain of God) is the mountain where Moses fasts for two times forty days back to back, as he receives the Law (Exodus 3:1). Later Elijah the Tishbite also spends forty days fasting on Horeb (1 Kings 19:8), after which he has his famous conversation with God in the cave (1 Kings 19:9-18).
The name Horeb is spelled חורב only in Exodus 33:6.
🔼Etymology of the name Horeb
The name Horeb is the same as the noun חרב (horeb), dryness or desolation, from the verb חרב (hareb):
The verb חרב (hareb) means to dry up, be in ruins, lay waste. Adjective חרב (hareb) means dry or desolate. Noun חרב (horeb) means dryness or desolation. Noun חרבה (horba) means waste or ruins. Noun חרבה (haraba) describes dry land. Noun חרבון (herabon) means drought.
Perhaps a whole second verb, but more probably a specialization of the former, חרב (hareb) also means to fight or slay. Noun חרב (hereb) is the Bible's common word for sword.
The edge of a sword was known by the Bible's common word for mouth, namely פה (peh). The common word for wilderness, מדבר (midbar), comes from the verb דבר (dabar), to speak.
For a meaning of the name Horeb, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Arid. NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Desert.
Another name that means Dry Place is Zion, which is also a mountain.