🔼The name Tappuah: Summary
- Love Apple
- From the noun תפוח (tappuah), a kind of aphrodisiac fruit.
🔼The name Tappuah in the Bible
There are two locations and one man named Tappuah in the Bible. Tappuah the man was a son of Hebron, who was a grandson of Caleb of Judah (1 Chronicles 2:43). The name of this man is spelled תפח, all other occurrences are spelled תפוח.
Then there was a Canaanite town and surrounding territory named Tappuah, the king of which is listed among the defeated kings of Canaan (Joshua 12:17). It's not clear where this kingdom of Tappuah was located (and scholars disagree), but here are the candidates:
- When the lands were divided and assigned, the border between Manasseh in the north and Ephraim in the south ran through a town and lands of Tappuah. The town was assigned to Ephraim but the lands befell Manasseh (Joshua 16:8, 17:8). There was also a town called En-tappuah, which seems to have been a satellite village to the north of Tappuah (Joshua 17:7). BDB Theological Dictionary suggests that this Tappuah may also be the same as Tiphsah mentioned in 2 Kings 15:16, but there's no evidence for this one way or the other.
- A town in the territory of Judah, which was situated south of Ephraim (Joshua 15:34).
🔼Etymology of the name Tappuah
The name Tappuah is identical to the noun תפוח (tappuah), which denotes a kind of sexy apple:
The verb נפח (napah) means to blow or exhale forcefully, either in a very positive (to animate) or a very negative way (to mock). Noun מפח (mappah) means a breathing out. Noun מפח (mappuah) describes a bellows. Noun תפוח (tappuah) denotes a kind of fruit or fruit-tree, which was clearly known for its aphrodisiac qualities.
The verb פוח (puah) means to blow or exhale to a point of exhaustion or complete deflation. Noun פיח (piah) describes soot, which is what's left when a fuel is completely exhausted.
For a meaning of the name Tappuah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Apple and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has Apple or Fruitful In Apples. BDB Theological Dictionary does not translate our name but does confirm that it is identical to the noun תפוח (tappuah).