🔼The name Mephaath: Summary
- Place Of Radiance
- From the verb יפע (yapa'), to radiate.
🔼The name Mephaath in the Bible
Mephaath is a village on a plain that came to be situated in the territory allotted to the tribe of Reuben (Joshua 13:18). But when the Levites were assigned their cities, Mephaath was given to them (1 Chronicles 6:79). For some reason, when Jeremiah pronounces God's judgment on Moab, he also lashes out against Mephaath and some other cities (Jeremiah 48:21). Perhaps Jeremiah indeed means our Reubenite/Levite town, but perhaps there was another town with the name Mephaath situated in Moab.
Our name is spelled מפעת in Joshua 13:18, מופעת (Mophaat) in Jeremiah 48:21 and מיפעת (Miphaat) in Joshua 21:37 and 1 Chronicles 6:79
🔼Etymology of the name Mephaath
The name Mephaath Our name appears to be constructed from the particle מ (mem), meaning "from.."., or "place of.."., in combination with the verb יפע, meaning to shine or radiate:
The verb יפע (yapa') means to shine or radiate (specifically of theophanies). Noun יפעה (yip'a) means brightness or splendor.
The verb יפה (yapa) means to be beautiful. The adjective יפה (yapeh) means beautiful and the diminutive adjective יפה־פיה (yepeh-piya) means pretty. Noun יפי (yepi) means beauty.
The name Mephaath probably means something like Place Of Radiance or perhaps more precise: Place Of Radiant Theophany. For a meaning of the name Mephaath, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Splendor.
Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names derives our name from יפע as well, but appears to confuse it with יפה and reads Beauty. BDB Theological Dictionary does not interpret our name but does list it under the root יפע.