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Plowing through History from the Aleph to the Tav

Topics Definition of Hebrew Names


By Jeff A. Benner

The Hebrew name Rebekah, also spelled Rebecca, is written as רבקה (riv’qah) in the Hebrew Bible. This name is related to only one Hebrew word, the noun מרבק (marbaq, Srong’s #4770), which means "stall."

And belonging to the woman is a calf of the stall (1 Samuel 28:24)

…and he will go out and spring about like calves of the stall. (Malachi 4:2)

The verbal root of this noun and the name Riv’qah is רבק (R.B.Q), is not found in the Biblical text. However, this root is found in other Semitic languages and means "to tie fast" or "secure," just as a calf is "secured" in the "stall."

While some translations of the name רבקה (riv’qah) has been suggest to be "ensnarer" or "tied firmly," but I believe that a better translation would be "secured."

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