🔼The name Zillah: Summary
- Shadow, Bell
- From the verb צלל (salal), to ring or be dark.
🔼The name Zillah in the Bible
🔼Etymology of the name Zillah
The name Zillah comes from the not so very positive verb צלל:
There appear to be at least two verbs צלל (salal): one means to ring like a bell, and the other means to be or become dark. How or whether these two relate isn't clear and ultimately up to anyone's poetic palate.
Noun צלצל (silsal) means a whirring or buzzing. The exact same noun צלצל (silsal) describes a fish-spear or harpoon and the highly similar noun צלצל (selasal) denotes a whirring locust. Plural nouns צלצלים (selselim) and מצלתים (mesiltayim) denote musical percussion instruments such as cymbals. Noun מצלה (mesilla) means bell.
Frequently used noun צל (sel) means shade or shadow and is often employed to describe the transitoriness of life (a mere shadow). Noun צלמות (salmawet) literally means the shadow of death and denotes a distressful and deep darkness.
A possible third identical verb צלל (salal) means to sink or submerge, although it may very well derive from the previous.
The meaning of the name Zillah may include any of the above. Both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names derive our name from the second verb צלל (salal), meaning to be or grow dark, and read Shadow. BDB Theological Dictionary does not translate the name Zillah but does list it under the verb that means to be dark.