🔼The name Tibhath: Summary
- From the verb טבח (tabah), to slaughter, butcher.
- From the verb בטח (batah), to trust or feel safe.
🔼The name Tibhath in the Bible
The name Tibhath occurs once in the Bible. It's the name of one of the cities which king David conquered from the Arameans of Damascus who came to the aid of the also defeated king Hadadezer of Zobah (1 Chronicles 18:8). From the cities of Tibhath and Cun, David levied a huge amount of bronze, which king Solomon would later smelt into the bronze laver, pillars and utensils of the temple. The same story occurs in 2 Samuel, but in that account, Tibhath and Cun are called Betah and Berothai (2 Samuel 8:8).
🔼Etymology of the name Tibhath
The names טבחת (Tibhath) and בטח (Betah) have three letters in common, and Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) insists that the name Tibhath is really Betah-plus-ת, with the first two letters transposed for some reason. Hence Jones takes the name Tibhath from the verb בטח (batah), meaning to trust or feel safe:
The verb בטח (batah) means to trust, feel safe or be confident. Noun בטח (betah) means safety or security. Noun בטחה (beteha) means trust of trusting. Noun בטחון (bittahon) means confidence or trust. Plural noun בטחות (battuhot) means security or safety. Noun מבטח (mibtah) describes the act of confiding or the object or state of confidence.
But to those who feel that the commonality of the letters is really coincidence, or else a playful reference, the name Tibhath looks like it came from the root טבח (tabah), meaning to slaughter:
The verb טבח (tabah) means to slaughter or butcher, mostly simply in the food-prep sense. Noun טבח (tebah) means a slaughtering or a slaughter. Noun טבחה (tibha) denotes that what is slaughtered. Noun טבח (tabbah) originally meant butcher or cook, but since a company cook apparently often doubled as guard, or perhaps because guards also executed perps, this word mostly came to mean guard or bodyguard in Biblical times. This word's feminine version, טבחה (tabbaha), describes a female cook (and probably not a female bodyguard). Noun מטבח (matbeah) denotes a place of slaughter, a butchery.
For a meaning of the name Tibhath, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Slaughter, and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has Security. BDB Theological Dictionary does not interpret our name.