🔼The name Tahath: Summary
- Beneath, Support
- From the word תחת (tahat), under, below.
🔼The name Tahath in the Bible
There are two to four different men and one town named Tahath mentioned in the Bible. Tahath the town was one of the stations of Israel during the desert years. This Tahath was situated between Makheloth and Terah (Numbers 33:26-27).
The men named Tahath are:
- A descendant of Gershom through Kohath and Korah; descendants of Levi, the third son of Jacob and Leah. This Tahath is mentioned both in 1 Chronicles 6:24 and 7:37, although some scholars believe that these are different men. Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) for instance places them 380 years apart.
- One or two sons or descendants of Ephraim, son of Joseph, the eleventh son of Jacob and first of Rachel (1 Chronicles 7:20) The Chroniclers is notoriously unclear about who is actually whose son in a biological sense. This is probably because the Hebrew language considers all descendants of someone his sons. But he mentions the name Tahath twice and then talks about Ezer and Elead who were killed by Gadites. This grieved old man Ephraim for "many days" but when he found strength he went into his wife and fathered another passel. It seems therefore that Ezer and Elead are not the last ones of a line of seven generations but biological sons or perhaps grandsons of Ephraim. To confuse matters even further, the Book of Numbers mentions the sons of Ephraim, doesn't mention Tahath and speaks Tahan (Numbers 26:35). The Chronicler mentions Tahan among the sons that Ephraim fathered after the deaths of Ezer and Elead (1 Chronicles 7:25).
🔼Etymology of the name Tahath
The name Tahath is the same as the word תחת (tahat), meaning under, below or nether:
The common noun, adverb and preposition תחת (tahat) means beneath or under, and often expresses a balance between a load and its support rather than a mere burden or lower position.
Adjective תחתון (tahton) means lower or lowest, and adjective and substantive תחתי (tahti) or תחתית (tahtit) means low, below or lowest.
For a meaning of the name Tahath, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Station, which is really quite imprecise.
Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has a more proper (at least where the name of the location Tahath is concerned) and reads Depression.
BDB Theological Dictionary does not interpret the name Tahath but does list it under תחת (tahat).