🔼The name Jareb: Summary
- He Will Contend
- He Will Increase
- From the verb ריב (rib), to contend.
- From the verb רבב (rabab), to be great or many.
🔼The name Jareb in the Bible
The name Jareb is probably not a personal name but an epithet for an Assyrian king, perhaps not unlike the Philistine epithet Abimelech. It occurs only in the book of Hosea (Hosea 5:13 and 10:6), both times in the compound "king Jareb". It is assumed that this epithet "King Jareb" covers kings Pul, Tiglath-pileser III and Shalmaneser V.
🔼Etymology of the name Jareb
According to the consulted sources, the name Jareb comes from the verb ריב (rib), meaning to contend:
The very common verb ריב (rib) means to strive or contend and ranges from a mere bickering to full scale combat. Noun ריב (rib) means strife, dispute or plea. Noun יריב (yarib) denotes an opponent or adversary. Noun מריבה (meriba) refers to a place or agent of strife or contention.
The name Jareb could be regarded as constructed from the root rib pre-fixed with the letter yod, which makes it active: he will rib. However, this name omits the central yod. This might be acceptable because the yod serves here as a vowel, but perhaps the yod wasn't omitted and this name comes instead from the root cluster רבב ־ רבה:
The verb רבב (rabab) means to be or become many. Adjective רב (rab) means much, many or great, and the identical noun רב (rab) means chief or captain; hence too the familiar noun ραββι (rabbi), meaning Rabbi. Noun רב (rob) means multitude or abundance. Nouns רבבה (rebaba), רבו (ribo) and רבוא (ribo') mean ten-thousand or myriad. Noun רביבים (rebibim) denotes copious showers.
Noun רבב (rabab), describes a smear of viscous fat, an obvious sign that someone was well off. That same noun was spelled רבד (rabad), which may have helped the formation of the word ραβδος (rabdos), staff, rod or scepter.
Possibly a second yet identical verb רבב (rabab) means to shoot, particularly of arrows. This may very well be a specified usage of our verb since arrows are customarily shot en masse by many archers. Noun רב (rab) means archer, and is identical to the adjective meaning many.
The slightly more common verb רבה (raba) is obviously a by-form of רבב (rabab) and means to be or become great, many, much or numerous. Noun מרבה (marbeh) means increase or abundance. Noun מרבה (mirbah) means much. Nouns מרבית (marbit) and תרבות (tarbut) mean increase, greatness, multitude. Noun תרבית (tarbit) means increment or usury. Fittingly, noun ארבה (arbeh) denotes a kind of locust.
Possibly a second yet identical verb רבה (raba) means to shoot.
None of the consulted sources proposes a possible relation between the name Jareb and the verbs רבב and רבה, but it takes no great leap to read a meaning of He Will Increase into this name.
For a meaning of the name Jareb, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads He Will Contend. Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) torts and twists until he's grafted the meaning of to argue and thus to plead onto this verb, and reads a rather forced He Will Plead. BDB Theological Dictionary proposes Let Him Contend or One Who Contends.