🔼The name Oholibamah: Summary
- Tent Of The High Place
- From (1) the noun אהל ('ohel), tent, and (2) the noun במה (bama), high place.
🔼The name Oholibamah in the Bible
There are two or three individuals named Oholibamah (some translations say Aholibamah) in the Bible, although not all scholars would see it that way. See for a discussion on who is who our articles on the names Anah and Horite. The Oholibamahs of the Bible are:
- The daughter of Anah and granddaughter of Zibeon the Hivite (Genesis 36:2). She married Esau, the son of Isaac and Rebekah and brother of Jacob, the patriarch of Israel.
- The daughter of Anah and granddaughter of Zibeon the Horite (Genesis 36:25). This Oholibamah's great aunt was called Timna, the daughter of Seir the Horite and sister of Zibeon (Genesis 36:22). Timna was also the name of the concubine of Eliphaz, the son of Esau (Genesis 36:12).
- A chief of Edom, the nation that sprang from Esau (Genesis 36:41). It is by no means certain that this chief Oholibamah was not the same as the wife of Esau. One would expect the Bible to strenuously stress this fact if Edom indeed had its female chiefs, but perhaps the Bible does. There's also a chief Timna (Genesis 36:40).
🔼Etymology of the name Oholibamah
The name Oholibamah consists of two elements. The first part is 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 part of the name Oholibamah comes from the noun במה (bama), meaning high place:
The noun במה (bama) is of unclear pedigree and it describes high places such as mountain tops or ridges. High places were much in vogue to serve as places of worship, and control over them was essential for control over a land by military force.
For a meaning of the name Oholibamah, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names, NOBSE Study Bible Name List and BDB Theological Dictionary read in rare agreement Tent Of The High Place.