🔼The name Sabteca: Summary
- Encircle Depression
- From an otherwise unused verb סבת (sabat), to beat or break.
- From (1) the verb סבב (sabab), to turn or encircle, and (2) the verb כאה (ka'a), to be disheartened.
🔼The name Sabteca in the Bible
🔼Etymology of the name Sabteca
This name starts out the same as the name of Sabteca's brother Sabtah, namely with the word סבת, which doesn't occur in Hebrew. Neither NOBSE Study Bible Name List nor BDB Theological Dictionary propose any interpretation of these names, but the valiant Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) suggests relations with an Arabic verb that transliterated into Hebrew characters would form סבת. And that Arabic verb means to beat or to break.
To a Hebrew audience that is unaware of Arabic roots, the name Sabteca may seem to have something to do with the verb סבב (sabab), meaning to turn or encircle:
The verb סבב (sabab) describes a going in a circular motion: to turn, turnabout, turn into or to encircle. Nouns סבה (sibba) and נסבה (nesibba) denote a turn of affairs. Adverb סביב (sabib) means surrounding, circuit or round about. Nouns מסב (mesab) and מוסב (musab) describe that which surrounds (i.e. a wall).
To make matters worse, the name Sabteca ends with כא (k-a), the meaning of which can also not be retrieved. A word that may come close is the verb כאה (ka'a), meaning to be disheartened:
The verb כאה (ka'a) is a rare verb that describes to be disheartened. The even rarer adjective כאה (ka'eh) means cowed.
In Hebrew the name Sabteca doesn't mean anything. But a creative reader/ listener might hear in the name Sabteca a meaning of Encircle Depression. Alfred Jones proposes a curious Beating; curious because he gives the shorter name Sabtah a longer meaning.