Mez'ahab (Heb. Mey-Zahab', מֵי זָהָב, water of gold, i.e., of a golden luster; Sept. Μαιζοώβ, but omits in Chronicles; Vulg. Mezaab), the father of Matred and maternal grandfather of Mehetabel, which last was wife of Hadar, or Hadad, the last mentioned of the early Edomitish kings (Ge 36:39; 1Ch 1:50), B.C. considerably ante 1619. "His name has given rise to much speculation. Jarchi renders it, 'What is gold?' and explains it, 'He was a rich man, and gold was not valued in his eyes at all.' Abarbanel says he was 'rich and great, so that on this account he was called Mezahab, for the gold was in his house as water.' 'Haggaon' (writes Aben-Ezra)

'said he was a refiner of gold, but others said that it pointed to those who made gold from brass.' The Jerusalem Targum of course could not resist the temptation of punning upon the name, and combined the explanations given by Jarchi and Haggaon. The latter part of Ge 36:39 is thus rendered: 'The name of his wife is Mehetabel, daughter of Matred, the daughter of a refiner of gold, who was wearied with labor (מִטרדָא matreda) all the days of his life; after he had eaten and was filled he turned and said, What is gold? and what is silver?' A somewhat similar paraphrase is given in the Targum of the Pseudo-Jonathan, except that it is there referred to Matred, and not to Mezahab. The Arabic version translates the name 'water of gold,' which must have been from the Hebrew, while in the Targum of Onkelos it is rendered 'refiner of gold,' as in the Quaestiones Hebraicae in Paralip., attributed to Jerome, and the traditions given above; which seems to indicate that originally there was something in the Hebrew text. now wanting, which gave rise to this rendering, and of which the present reading, מֵי, mey, is an abbreviation."

Bible concordance for MEZAHAB.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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