🔼The name Zippor: Summary
- Bird, Goat
- From the verb צפר (sapar), to shriek or to leap.
🔼The name Zippor in the Bible
In Numbers 22:4 and 23:18 this name is spelled צפר, but everywhere else it's spelled צפור.
🔼Etymology of the name Zippor
The name Zippor comes from either of the verbs צפר (sapar):
The most fundamental meaning of the unused verb צפר (sapar) appears to be to skewer or pierce through, whether by fear, a shrieking sound or a sharp point. From this verb comes the often used noun צפור (sippor), which is a common word for bird and appears to refer to birds' signature piercing shrieks.
Then there is the noun צפירה (sepira), which apparently denoted a kind of head gear, like a crown or diadem, but which also served as a symbol for looming doom. Noun צפרן (sipporen) means finger nail or stylus point.
However, there is another verb in cognate languages, which is identical to the previous and which means to leap. From it stem the noun צפיר (sapir), which describes a kind of goat, and צפרדע (separdea'), which means frog.
The regular form of the name Zippor is the same as the noun צפור meaning Bird. NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Sparrow. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Little Bird. But these distinctions are really not represented by the name Zippor. In fact, the name Zippor may very well derive from the verb that means to leap, and mean Goat.