🔼The name Jotbathah: Summary
- Pleasantness, Goodness
- From the verb יטב (yatab), to be or do good.
🔼The name Jotbathah in the Bible
The name Jotbathah (or Jotbath as some translations have it) occurs three times in the Bible. It's listed in Numbers 33:33-34 as one of the stadia of Israel in the desert during the wandering years. In Deuteronomy 10, Moses reviews how YHWH gave him the stone tablets with the Law on them, and diverts for a few verses to submit a chronological context. He does that by recollecting how Israel's journey took them to Jotbathah, a land of brooks of water (Deuteronomy 10:7). It's not clear whether these two visits to Jotbathah are the same event or not.
🔼Etymology of the name Jotbathah
The name Jotbathah appears to be a feminine construction derived from the verb יטב (yatab) meaning to be or do good:
The verb טוב (tob) means to be good or pleasant, and ultimately to be sustained or sustainable, first relative to society but ultimately to the universe at large. Adjective and noun טוב (tob) means good; noun טוב (tub), describes a good thing or goodness, and noun טובה (toba) denotes welfare.
Closely related verb יטב (yatab) means to be or do good (to do sustainable things). Noun מיטב (metab) means the best.
A proposed root טבב (tabab) may have meant something like to keep forever, to be perpetual, to be stable.
For a meaning of the name Jotbathah, both BDB Theological Dictionary and NOBSE Study Bible Name List read Pleasantness. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes Goodness.