🔼The name Rechab: Summary
- Driver, Controller
- From the verb רכב (rakab), to utterly control.
🔼The name Rechab in the Bible
There are two or three men named Rechab in the Bible:
- One of the two sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, who were military sub-commanders in the army of king Saul (2 Samuel 4:2). This Rechab and his brother Baanah murdered and decapitated Ish-bosheth, son of Jonathan, son of Saul and took his head to David at Hebron. David was not amused and had both men executed (2 Samuel 4:12).
- The most famous Rechab is the son of Hammath the Kenite, the father of Jehonadab and the patriarch of the Rechabites (רכבים). Though not Israelites by descend, the Rechabites formed a well-known sect within Judaism and vowed to not drink wine, live in cities or even cultivate lands (2 Kings 10:15, Jeremiah 35:2).
- The father of Malchijah, who was the official of the district of Beth-haccerem during the resettlement years after the return from Babylon (Nehemiah 3:14). Since he held some official position and knew enough about architecture to repair Jerusalem's Dung Gate, his father was probably not the previous Rechab. Had he been, he would have broken his family vows and would probably not have been known as a "son of Rechab," but rather as the "defected son of Rechab" or something to that extent.
🔼Etymology of the name Rechab
The name Rechab comes from the verb רכב (rakab), which has to do with control or driving animals or chariots:
The verb רכב (rakab) essentially means to utterly control or take utter control over, and is used to describe the riding of animals such as horses and camels, but mostly riding and controlling chariots. The derived noun רכב (rekeb) literally denotes something driven or controlled, such as the heavy millstone of an industrial grinder, but is mostly used to describe chariots.
Other derivations are: the noun רבכה (rikba), a driving; the noun רכב (rakkab), driver; the noun רכוב (rekub), (God's) chariot; the noun מרכב (merkab), literally "place/agent of driving". This word is used to describe anything from a seat or saddle to the whole of an army's chariotry. The noun מרכבה (markaba) denotes a single chariot.
For a meaning of the name Rechab, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Rider, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has Horseman and BDB Theological Dictionary proposes Band Of Riders.