🔼The name Zoan: Summary
- Low Region
- Itinerant, Moving About
- From an Egyptian phrase meaning low region.
- From the verb צען (sa'an), to move about.
🔼The name Zoan in the Bible
The name Zoan belongs to a prominent city of Egypt, which may even be the same as Tanis, says BDB Theological Dictionary. Numbers 13:22 tells us the curious detail that Zoan was built seven years after Hebron, which strongly suggests that both Hebron and Zoan are more than just ancient cities.
The Psalmists refers to certain proverbial wonders that were performed in the field of Zoan, but doesn't explain which those were (Psalm 78:12 and 78:43). The prophet Isaiah, on the other hands, insinuates that at Zoan there must have been an important and successful center of learning of some sort, but, as is the case with any kind of learning that's not in synch with Truth, the highest wisdom of Zoan is foolishness to YHWH (Isaiah 19:11-13) and the shame of everybody who hopes for help from Egypt (Isaiah 30:4).
🔼Etymology of the name Zoan
The name Zoan appears to be a Hebrew transliteration of the Egyptian original, which in turn consisted of two words that together meant Low Region. But the way the Hebrew scribes spelled this name makes it seem as if they associated it with the verb צען (sa'an) meaning to move about:
The verb צען (sa'an) means to move or travel, specifically of nomads.
The name Zoan probably meant Low Region in Egyptian but in Hebrew it appears to mean Itinerant or Moving About.