🔼The name Nebo: Summary
- Prophet, Spokesman
- From the noun נביא (nabi'), spokesman or prophet.
- From the verb נבה (nabah), to be high or prominent.
🔼The name Nebo in the Bible
Nebo, or Nabu, was the Babylonian deity of wisdom and writing. His function and appearance seems to suggest some similarities to the later Roman god Mercury. Although this Nebo became an important figure in Babylon, it probably originated in the Semitic language area. There are several entities named Nebo in the Bible: The god Nebo is twice mentioned in the Bible: in Isaiah 46:1 and Jeremiah 48:1. Other Biblical Nebo's are:
- A town in Judah (Ezra 2:29)
- Which is possibly the same as the Nebo mentioned in Ezra 10:43, although that Nebo may very well be a man with a lot of sons.
- A town near Jericho (Numbers 32:2), which was near:
- The eponymous Mount Nebo in the Abarim mountain range, probably also known as Pisgah (see Numbers 27:12-14 and Deuteronomy 34:1). Just before Moses died, God showed him the promised land from that mountain.
🔼Etymology of the name Nebo
The name Nebo possibly comes from a Semitic root which in Hebrew survives as the verb נבא (naba'), meaning to prophesy.
Root נבא (nb') means to speak on behalf of, or in the stead of, some authority. Noun נביא (nabi') means spokesman or speaker and is also the Biblical word for prophet. Verb נבא (naba') means to prophesy or speak for some authority. Noun נבואה (nebu'a) means prophecy. Noun נביאה (nebi'a) means prophetess.
The noun that means prophet is identical to the Niphal or 'incomplete passive' form of the verb בוא (bo'), to come or bring.
But our name may also derive from an otherwise unused verb נבה (nabah), meaning to be high or prominent:
The unused verb נבה (nabah) probably meant to be high or prominent (it does so in other languages).
For a meaning of the name Nebo, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Mercury, Interpreter, Foreteller. NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Height, also possibly because Nebo was the name of a mountain.