🔼The name Ijon: Summary
- Heap, Ruin
- From the noun the noun עי ('i), ruin, from the verb עוה ('awa), to bend or twist.
🔼The name Ijon in the Bible
The town of Ijon appears to be a fortified city or else a storage city of note in or very near the territory of the tribe of Naphtali. It's mentioned two or three times in the Bible.
When kings Asa of Judah and Baasha of Israel were at each other's throats, Asa took whatever treasures were left in the house of YHWH and donated them to Ben-hadad, the king of Aram, in order to acquire his military services. Ben-hadad took the bait, and attacked Israel from the north, which means that he overran Naphtali first. Thus fell Ijon, Dan, Abel-beth-maacah, Chinneroth and all the land of Naphtali (2 Kings 15:20, 2 Chronicles 16:4).
Much later, namely in the days of king Pekah of Israel, king Tiglath-pileser III of Assyria also came from the north and waltzed into Israel, again hitting Naphtali first and sacking among other the city of Ijon (2 Kings 15:29). This time all inhabitants were deported to Assyria — this event became known as the first deportation; the second deportation happened under king Shalmaneser the Fifth.
🔼Etymology of the name Ijon
The name Ijon appears to derive from the noun עי ('i), meaning ruin or heap of ruins:
The verb עוה ('awa) means to bend or twist, usually with a bottom line or ruin or perversion. Noun עון ('awon) means iniquity or guilt. Verb עוה ('awa) means to commit iniquity of do wrong. Nouns עוה ('awwa), עי ('i) and מעי (me'i) mean distortion or ruin. Plural noun עועים ('iw'im) means a distorting or warping.
The ון upon which our name ends may serve here as an intensifier.
For a meaning of the name Ijon, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Heap and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has A Great Heap. BDB Theological Dictionary does not offer an interpretation of this name.