🔼The name Shobal: Summary
- Flowing Wavy
- From the verb שבל (sabal), to undulate.
🔼The name Shobal in the Bible
There are two or three different men named Shobal in the Bible:
- One of seven sons of Seir the Horite (Genesis 36:20), who became one of the chiefs of Seir (Genesis 36:29).
- The firstborn of Hur, son of Caleb, son of Hezron of Judah (1 Chronicles 2:50). This Shobal became the father (which means founder) of Kiriath-jearim.
- A son of Judah according to the Chronicler (1 Chronicles 4:1), although this Shobal is probably the same as the previous one.
🔼Etymology of the name Shobal
The name Shobal comes from the root שבל, which probably means to flow in a wavy way:
The unused verb שבל (sabal) probably means to extend or go forth in a wavy fashion. Noun שבל (shobel) denotes a kind of flowing garment. Nouns שבלים (shibbelim) and שבלת (shibboleth) either refer to a flowing stream or to ears of grain. Nouns שבול (shebul) and שביל (shebil) mean way or path.
For a meaning of the name Shobal, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Flowing. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names, curiously, omits the name Shobal. BDB Theological Dictionary offers no interpretation but does list it under the root שבל.