🔼The name Jabneel: Summary
- Built Of God
- From (1) the verb בנה (bana), to build, and (2) the word אל ('el), God.
🔼The name Jabneel in the Bible
There are two cities named Jabneel mentioned in the Bible:
- A city that came to mark the north-western border of the territory allotted to the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:11). This Jabneel must have been situated very close to the border with the Philistines, and some scholars believe that this town is the same as the Philistine city called Jabneh in 2 Chronicles 26:6.
- A city that came to mark the (northern?) border of the tribe of Naphtali (Joshua 19:33).
🔼Etymology of the name Jabneel
In names אל ('el) usually refers to אלהים ('elohim), that is Elohim, or God, also known as אלה ('eloah). In English, the words 'God' and 'god' exclusively refer to the deity but in Hebrew the words אל ('l) and אלה ('lh) are far more common and may express approach and negation, acts of wailing and pointing, and may even mean oak or terebinth.
The first part of our name is an active form of the verb בנה (bana), meaning to build:
The verb בנה (bana) means to build, mostly of stone buildings and thus of houses and thus of families and dynasties: hence the association between this verb and the nouns אבן ('eben), stone, and בן (ben), son.
Noun בניה (binya) means a building in the sense of a structure. Noun מבנה (mibneh) means building in the sense of place of building. Noun תבנית (tabnit) means building in the sense of the act of building: a construction, pattern or image.
Noun תבן (teben) means straw (the stems of grains), which was inserted into clay to enhance the structural integrity of the building. We do the same today with carbon fibers.
For a meaning of the name Jabneel, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Built Of God. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes Caused To Be Built Of God. And BDB Theological Dictionary has El Causes To Build.