🔼The name Zebul: Summary
- Honoring, Lofty Abode
- From the verb זבל (zabal), to exalt or honor.
🔼The name Zebul in the Bible
There's only one man named Zebul in the Bible. He was the ruler of the city of Shechem when Abimelech, son of Gideon, was the evil ruler of Israel (Judges 9:28). Zebul allowed the bravado of a man named Gaal to escalate into a full-fledged insurrection, which was subsequently pummeled down by Abimelech and his troops.
Zebul proceeded to drive Gaal and his family out of Shechem, but what Zebul hadn't counted on was that Abimelech didn't stop there. He besieged Shechem and ended up slaying the citizens and burning the elite in their temple of El-berith.
🔼Etymology of the name Zebul
The name Zebul is identical to the noun זבל (zebul), meaning elevation or lofty abode, derived from the verb זבל (zabal), meaning to exalt or honor:
The verb זבל (zabal), means to exalt or honor and occurs only once in the Bible. Noun זבל (zebul) occurs five times and refers to some lofty abode which is designed to honor the occupant.
For a meaning of the name Zebul, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Hesitation, which is either a mistake (for habitation) or else quite difficult to defend. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes Habitation. BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't offer an interpretation of the name Zebul but does confirm that it is identical to the noun זבל (zebul), meaning Elevation or Lofty Abode.