🔼The name Jehosheba: Summary
- Yahu Is An Oath, Yahu Swore
- From (1) יהו (yahu), the shortened name of the Lord, and (2) שבע (sheba'), seven or to swear.
🔼The name Jehosheba in the Bible
Jehosheba is the daughter of king Joram of Judah, and sister of king Ahaziah (2 Kings 11:2). She rescues Joash, the son of Ahaziah, from the murderous spell of queen mother Athaliah by hiding him in the temple for six years. When her husband Jehoiada the priest (2 Chronicles 22:11) retrieves the boy and coronates him, Athaliah is executed.
This brave lady is called יהושבע (Jehosheba) in the book of 2 Kings and יהושבעת (Jehoshabeath) in the parallel text of 2 Chronicles. The added letter taw is common in constructions (Genesis 24:8, Exodus 22:11).
🔼Etymology of the name Jehosheba
The name Jehosheba consists of two elements. The first part is יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which in turn are abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton; the name of the Lord: YHWH.
The second part of the name Jehosheba comes from the noun שבע (sheba'), meaning seven, or the derived verb שבע (sheba'), meaning to swear or bind with an oath:
The root שבע (sb'), which in modern medieval times became pointed as שׁבע (shaba'), has to do with the number seven and the act of binding with an oath (i.e. with a proverbial seven seals or seven bonds).
Nouns שבע (sheba') and שבעה (shib'a) mean 7 and their plural שבעים (shib'im) means 70. The dual form שבעתים (shib'atayim), means sevenfold or seven times. Adjectives שביעית (shebi'it) and שביעי (shebi'i) mean seventh.
The noun שבע (sheba'), meaning seven, became the verb שבע (shaba'), meaning to bind with an oath. Subsequent nouns שבועה (shebu'a) and שבעה (shebu'a) mean oath.
The identical root שבע (sb'), which in modern medieval times became pointed as שׂבע (saba'), means to be sated or satisfied, either with food and such or with any act, deed, quality or phenomenon. Nouns שבע (soba'), שבע (saba'), and שבעה (sab'a or sib'a) mean satiety, fullness, contentment and so on.
As with the similar name Elisheba (= Elizabeth), the sheba part can be interpreted as seven as well as an oath. But for a meaning of the name Jehoshabeath or Jehosheba, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Yahweh Is An Oath and BDB Theological Dictionary has the similar Yah Is An Oath. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes The Lord's Oath.