🔼The name Oholibah: Summary
- My Tent Is In Her
- From (1) the noun אהל ('ohel), tent, (2) the prefix ב (be), in, and (3) the feminine pronominal suffix ה (he), her.
🔼The name Oholibah in the Bible
The name Oholibah (or Aholibah, according to some translations) occurs only in the story of the two wayward daughters, as recorded by the prophet Ezekiel. In Ezekiel 23, the Lord dictates Ezekiel his parable in which he compares Oholah, the oldest of two daughters, with Samaria and Oholibah with Jerusalem.
The two women, who are betrothed to YHWH, first play the harlot with Egypt, but rapidly incline their lewd attentions to their lovers Assyria and Babylon. The Lord, being a jealous God, promises to arouse her lovers against them to ravish them, so that they will know that he is their God.
🔼Etymology of the name Oholibah
The name Oholibah consists of four separate elements. The first part comes from the noun אהל ('ohel), meaning tent:
The unused verb אהל ('ahal) appears to have described the formation of a deliberate and artificial societal hub for the explicit purpose of exchanging thoughts and forming language and cultural expressions.
In such hubs, minds could both be honed and made to merge into great synergic entities such as widespread standardized language. The ancients created massive hubs such as the one found at Göbekli Tepe long before the agricultural revolution took place. The obvious purpose of those centers was to create shared wisdom.
This synergetic effect is deeply essential to the way the universe works and is mimicked by processes such as the making of wine from mushed grapes or perfume from mushed flowers. It also occurs as nuclear fusion in stars, and the Bible's many similes featuring stars and minds strongly suggests that the ancients knew more about the universe than was previously surmised.
Derived noun אהל ('ohel) describes a place where minds merge. It is the common word for tent (and thus the Tabernacle; a.k.a. the Tent of Meeting) but may also refer to a general settlement or habitation. Denominative verb אהל ('ahal) means to pitch or make a tent.
The second element is the suffix י (yod) which creates a possessive form of the word it's suffixed to; in this case the word ohel.
The third element is the particle ב (be) meaning in:
Prefix ב (be) means in, within or by means of.
And the fourth element is the feminine pronominal suffix ה (he), meaning her.
For a meaning of the name Oholibah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads My Tent Is In Her. BDB Theological Dictionary appears to leave out the central yod and proposes Tent In Her. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Tent Of The High Place (for Aholibah).