🔼The name Shaveh: Summary
- From the noun שוה (shaweh), a level plain, from the verb שוה (shawa), to be level with.
🔼The name Shaveh in the Bible
It's not wholly clear whether Shaveh is a Biblical name or not, although from ancient times the various translations in general seem to think so. Among the exceptions is the Lutheran translation of 1545, which uses the German "Felt" (= field).
The name or word Shaveh occurs in Genesis 14:17, where Abraham meets Melchizedek in either a field or else a place named Shaveh. The text reads: "in the valley [of] shaveh, which is the valley (same word) [of] the king".
Translations tend to choose to see Shaveh as a name also because it would correspond with the name Shaveh-kiriathaim, which occurs in Genesis 14:5, and which Luther translates with "[in dem] Felde Kiriathaim".
🔼Etymology of the name Shaveh
It is assumed that the name Shaveh comes from the verb שוה (shawa), meaning to be like or agree with. Its derived noun may indeed describe a level plain:
The verb שית (shyt) means to give, set or place firm. Noun שית (shyt) refers to occupational garb, the dress upon which the profession stands. Noun שת (shat) describes a national foundation; whatever a nation is set on. Noun שית (shayit) collectively describes a kind of plant (perhaps a bottle tree?).
Noun שת (shet) probably also derives from this verb, and appears to refer to human buttocks. It's not often emphasized but our buttocks truly signify our species (apart from our brain). No other animal has buttocks like man, and this handsome feature allows humans to trot literally for days. Given time, humans can outrun pretty much any other animal (including horses and antelope.)
The noun שי (shay) may or may not be related to the previous verb. It denotes a devotional offering made to the Temple by foreigners.
The verb שאה (sha'a) means to roar loudly, and that with destruction in mind. Noun שאון (sha'on) describes the roaring sound of wild waters or armies converging. Noun שאוה (sha'awa) denotes a devastating storm. Nouns שאיה (she'iya) and שאת (she't) mean ruin.
The unused verb שוא (shw') clearly must have meant something similar to the previous. Noun שוא (shaw') means emptiness or nullification. Nouns שוא (shw'), שואה (sho'a), שאה (sho'a), משואה (mesho'a) and משאה (mesho'a) mean ravage, ruin and desolation. Noun תשאה (teshu'a) denotes a sound, probably loud and accompanying destruction.
Verb שוה (shawa) means to be smooth and hence to agree with or to be like. Noun שוה (shaweh) describes a level plain.
Either this same verb or an identical other one means to set or place, and is clearly similar to שית (shyt).
Noun שה (seh) denotes a sheep or goat. This word appears to be like our word "head" as it describes a unit of whatever flock or herd. This noun is sometimes spelled alternatively as שי (shay).
Verb שתה (shata) means to drink. Nouns שתי (sheti) and שתיה (shetiya) mean a drinking. Noun משתה (mishteh) describes a place of or occasion of dinking: a banquet feast.
For a meaning of the name Shaveh, both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names read Plain. BDB Theological Dictionary does not interpret our name but does list it under the verb שוה (shawa).