🔼The name Zebah: Summary
- Victim, Sacrifice
- From the noun זבח (zebah), sacrifice.
🔼The name Zebah in the Bible
There's only one person named Zebah in the Bible and he is one of four Midianite kings who, for seven years, helped themselves to Israel's harvest (Judges 6-8). This went on until YHWH called Gideon as judge, and he famously ran the Midianites off with a mere 300 men (Judges 7:8).
Kings Oreb and Zeeb were caught and decapitated by locals, but kings Zebah and Zalmunna took chasing (Judges 8:5). When, after some ado, Gideon and his men finally captured Zebah and Zalmunna, they were duly executed (after some more ado; Judges 8:21).
🔼Etymology of the name Zebah
The name Zebah is identical to the noun זבח (zebah), meaning sacrifice:
The verb זבח (zabah) means to slaughter or sacrifice. Noun זבח (zebah) means a sacrifice; both the act of sacrificing, and the creature sacrificed. Noun מזבח (mizbeah) literally means "place of slaughter" and is the word for altar.
See the full dictionary article for a close look at altars in the Bible.
For a meaning of the name Zebah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Victim, Sacrifice. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names also proposes Sacrifice, and explains that with "i.e. devoted to Moloch," but this is conjecture. BDB Theological Dictionary does not interpret our name but does confirm that it is identical to the noun זבח (zebah), meaning sacrifice.