🔼The name Josheb-basshebeth: Summary
- He Who Sits On The Seat
- From (1) twice the verb ישב (yashab), to sit or dwell, and (2) the prefix ב (be), in.
🔼The name Josheb-basshebeth in the Bible
The name Josheb-basshebeth occurs only once in the Bible, or seems to. In 2 Samuel 23:8 we read about this Josheb-basshebeth, who was a Tachmonite, a.k.a. Adino the Eznite, chief of the captains of the mighty-men, who killed 800 men in one time. But in the parallel text of 1 Chronicles 11:11, the list of might men is headed by Jashobeam the Hachmonite, who killed 300 in one time.
Hence there's some question on whether the curious name Josheb-basshebeth is actually a name. The most popular modern translations (NAS, NIV, Green, ASV, Darby, ) think so, but Webster and the revised Webster, the Old King James and the revised KJV21 version, Young and some others, cling to translating this not-name into a part of the narrative.
The Dutch NBG (1951) solves the problem by making Josheb-basshebeth an inhabitant of an unknown town called Sebet, which is curious because the much older Statenvertaling lists our boy Josheb-basshebeth, same as the German translations of Elberfelder (1905) and Schlachter (1951). The Luther translations dubiously omit the troublesome Josheb-basshebeth and insert the name of Jashobeam.
🔼Etymology of the name Josheb-basshebeth
The name Josheb-basshebeth is a repetition in the tradition of "swarmers that swarm" and "creepers that creep" (Genesis 1:21, 1:24) and comes from the verb ישב (yashab), meaning to sit, remain or dwell:
The verb שוב (shub) tells of a reversal in motion; the point where an upward motion becomes a downward one, or vice versa, or a westward motion an eastward one, and so on. This very frequently occurring verb is mostly translated with to turn or return, and is often used to mean to convert or return to a more fruitful way of life, and hence to restore, to retrieve or even to abstain, to reply and to repeat. Noun שובה (shuba) means withdrawal; noun שיבה (shiba) means restoration, and noun תשובה (teshuba) means answer. Adjectives שובב (shobab), שובב (shobeb) and משובה (meshuba) mean backsliding, or transitioning from a positive to a negative way of life.
Verb ישב (yashab) means to sit (the act which occurs precisely in between a person's descent and ascent) or to remain or dwell (in between traveling to and from some place). Nouns שבת (shebet) and מושב (moshab) mean both seat or dwelling place. Noun תושב (toshab) means sojourner.
The verb שבת (shabbat) means to rest or cease activity, and the familiar noun שבת (shabbat) means a rest or stoppage. Noun שבת (shebbet) means cessation and is closely similar to the noun שבת (shebet), meaning seat, mentioned above. Noun משבת (mishbat) also means cessation. Denominative verb שבת (shabat) means to keep the Sabbath and the noun שבתון (shabbaton) denotes a sabbatical observance.
Verb שבה (shaba) means to take captive, or to put a halt to someone's preferred trajectory and coerce them to go somewhere else. Nouns שבי (shebi) and שביה (shibya) mean captivity or captives collectively, but with the emphasis on being moved somewhere rather than the static condition of being imprisoned. Likewise, the noun שביה (shebiya) means captive. Noun שבית (shebit) or שבות (shebut) means captivity but since the parent verb speaks of a sudden change of destiny rather than a particular destination, this noun may also be used to mean restoration. The noun שבו (shebo) describes some sort of gem, apparently a real "head-turner."
In between these two expressions of the same verb sits the particle ב (be), meaning in or by:
Prefix ב (be) means in, within or by means of.
Our name is constructed from the verb ישב (yashab), meaning to sit + the particle ב (be), meaning in or by + and the noun שבת (shebet), meaning seat, and translates to something like He Who Sits On The Seat.
The Bible translations mentioned above, which translate ישב בשבת as part of the narrative, read things like, "Sitting in his seat is the Tachmonite, head of the captains" (Young), or, "The Tachmonite that sat in the seat" (Webster), or even more daring, "The Tachmonite who sat in the chief seat among the captains" (KJV21).