🔼The name Ishpan: Summary
- He Will Hide
- From the verb שפן (shapan), to hide.
🔼The name Ishpan in the Bible
The name Ishpan occurs only once in the Bible. He is mentioned in a genealogy of Benjamin as one of the eleven sons of Shashak (1 Chronicles 8:22).
🔼Etymology of the name Ishpan
The name Ishpan is an active form of either the identical verb שפן (shapan), to hide, or else the slightly different verb צפן (sapan), to hide:
Verb צפה (sapa) speaks of covering, whether a literal covering of an item with an overlay like gold or the figurative covering of watchman's surroundings by his watchful gaze. In cognate languages this verb also means to hope.
Noun צפיה (sippiya) means lookout post and noun מצפה (mispeh) means watchtower. Noun צפוי (sippuy) means plating, noun צפית (sapit) means rug or carpet, and noun צפת (sepet) refers to the plated capital of a pillar.
Verb צוף (sup) means to flow or float on top of something else. Noun צוף (sup) describes a honeycomb, or rather the structure of hexagonal cells upon which honey floats. Verb צפה (sapa) means outflow.
Verb צפן (sapan) means to hide or store up. Nouns צפין (sapin) and מצפון (maspon) describe a mass of predominantly static wealth. Noun צפון (sapon) means north, as for unexplained reasons the Bible considers the north a place of gathering. Noun or adjective צפוני (seponi) means northern or northern one.
Verb שפן (shapan) isn't used in the Bible but in cognate languages it means to hide. Noun שפן (shapan) describes a kind of cud-chewing, rock-dwelling animal with no divided hoofs, commonly (rather oddly) interpreted as rock-badger or coney.
For a meaning of the name Ishpan, both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names figure it to come from צפן (sapan), and both translate this name with He Will Hide. BDB Theological Dictionary does not offer an interpretation but does list it under the root שפן (shapan).