🔼The name Zaphon: Summary
- North, Storage Place
- From the noun צפון (sapon), north, from the verb צפן (sapan), to hide or store.
🔼The name Zaphon in the Bible
🔼Etymology of the name Zaphon
The name Zaphon is identical to the noun צפון (sapon), meaning north, which derives from the verb צפן (sapan), meaning to hide:
Verb צפה (sapa) speaks of covering, whether a literal covering of an item with an overlay like gold or the figurative covering of watchman's surroundings by his watchful gaze. In cognate languages this verb also means to hope.
Noun צפיה (sippiya) means lookout post and noun מצפה (mispeh) means watchtower. Noun צפוי (sippuy) means plating, noun צפית (sapit) means rug or carpet, and noun צפת (sepet) refers to the plated capital of a pillar.
Verb צוף (sup) means to flow or float on top of something else. Noun צוף (sup) describes a honeycomb, or rather the structure of hexagonal cells upon which honey floats. Verb צפה (sapa) means outflow.
Verb צפן (sapan) means to hide or store up. Nouns צפין (sapin) and מצפון (maspon) describe a mass of predominantly static wealth. Noun צפון (sapon) means north, as for unexplained reasons the Bible considers the north a place of gathering. Noun or adjective צפוני (seponi) means northern or northern one.
Verb שפן (shapan) isn't used in the Bible but in cognate languages it means to hide. Noun שפן (shapan) describes a kind of cud-chewing, rock-dwelling animal with no divided hoofs, commonly (rather oddly) interpreted as rock-badger or Coney (rabbit).
For a meaning of the name Zaphon, NOBSE Study Bible Name List goes with the root-meaning of the verb and reads Concealed. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has North and adds to that North Wind. Where Jones obtained the wind-part is not clear and it's certainly not implied by the Hebrew of our name. BDB Theological Dictionary does not interpret our name but does confirm that it is identical to the noun צפון (sapon), meaning north.