🔼The name Lo-debar: Summary
- No Word, Without A Place To Feed
- From (1) לא (lo'), "no", and (2) the verb דבר (dabar), to pronounce or formalize.
🔼The name Lo-debar in the Bible
Lo-debar is the name of a town in the area called Gilead in Manasseh. It's mentioned twice in the Bible; once as the hiding place of Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul (2 Samuel 9:4,5 — spelled לו דבר), and once as the origin of Machir who supplies David and his people when they are on the run from Absalom (2 Samuel 17:27 — spelled לא דבר).
🔼Etymology of the name Lo-debar
The name Lo-debar obviously consists of two parts. The lo-part is a common particle of negation: no:
The particle לא (lo') or לוא (lo') is the primary particle of prohibition. It's used in prohibitive commands (thou shalt not), and is non-negotiable. It also serves as a particle of exclusion, which absolutely negates whatever follows: "not my people" means "absolutely totally not my people".
The particle לו (lu) or לוא (lu') is a minor particle of entreaty, and means "if only it were."
The Debar-part is of the fruitful and much applied dabar-stock:
The verb דבר (dabar) means to formalize: to deliberately establish and pronounce something's name or definition. This causes the thing to become "real" in the mind of whoever understands this word, name or definition, and this in turn explains why all of creation was spoken into being, and Man in turn "named" all the animals by their name and finally his Wife by hers (Genesis 2:19-23). This principle sits at the base of nominal reasoning and thus human awareness and ultimately Information Technology.
Noun דבר (dabar) means word. It also means "thing" since the naming of a thing causes the experienced reality of the thing. All thus created "things" together form the whole of experienceable reality, which in turn is called the Word of God.
Noun דבר (deber) describes any deadly pestilence, which is a "word" that breaks unstable compounds apart. In nature this occurs via the Weak Nuclear Force. The ability of unstable compounds to break apart sits at the heart of all progress and thus all reality.
The rare noun דבר (dober), refers to a pasture; probably a well-defined fenced-in field upon which sheep graze. Figuratively this word obviously refers to some specific Holy Book from which a community feeds (the books of the Bible originated as separate works, with their separate adherers). Noun דברה (dibra) means matter or issue, and the similar noun דבורה (deborah) describes the bee (this probably because bees make honey, and "milk and honey" denote essential sustenance). The noun דביר (debir) was a nickname for the Holy of Holies and means "place of the word".
The noun מדבר (midbar) literally means "place of wording" and is used once to mean mouth and 270 times to mean wilderness, and because a wilderness is a place without cultivation, any cultivation needs to spring up in a wilderness. And anybody serious about the quest for true insight needs to leave the culture (or religion) of his heritage behind and spend a stint in the uncharted wild. All major players in the Bible did so.
Perhaps the name Lo-debar means Without Pasture (as is proposed by Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) but perhaps it means No Word, a derogatory name denoting lack of enlightenment or stupidity.