🔼The name Zeeb: Summary
- From the noun זאב (ze'eb), wolf.
🔼The name Zeeb in the Bible
There only one man in the Bible with the name Zeeb (which is really disyllabic: Ze'eb), and he was a king of Midian who, on account of Israel's continuous flirtations with ungods, was able to invade and ransack Israel for seven years, together with his three royal buddies Oreb, Zalmunna and Zebah, and of course their combined armies of 135,000 "sons of the east" (Judges 8:10).
After these seven years, YHWH called Gideon, son of Joah the Abiezrite, who mustered Israel's depleted forces of 32,000 men, then sent 31,700 of them home again and engaged the enemy with 300 men and some kitchenware. The Midianites panicked and self-destructed. Their kings Oreb and Zeeb were captured by the troops that Gideon had sent home and were decapitated; Oreb at the Rock of Oreb and Zeeb at the wine press of Zeeb (Judges 7:25).
Gideon and his men pursued the remaining 15,000 Midianites and their two kings Zalmunna and Zebah, and when they caught up with them, Gideon ordered his young son Jether to kill the two renegade monarchs. When Jether declined, Gideon rose and did it himself. Thus ended the occupation of Israel by Midian, and Israel was undisturbed for forty years after (Judges 8:28).
🔼Etymology of the name Zeeb
The name Zeeb is identical to the noun זאב (ze'eb), meaning wolf:
The unused verb זאב (za'ab) probably meant to despise, frighten and drive away (it does so in other languages). Noun זאב (ze'eb) means wolf, and contrary to its romantic status in our modern world, in antiquity the wolf was archetypal for all that's cowardly, sneaky, deceptive and thieving. Wolves were to ancients what rats are to moderns.