Semitic word root √ṣbˀ

tags:  Semitic word root · etymology   —   by Gerry · Oct 2018 · 386 words

The root √ṣbˀ refers to things that are added or joined together.

Bands, groups, troops of people

Akkadian ṣb = groups, bands of people

In Akkadian, ṣāb was the generic prefix for any unit of people that was joined together for administrative purposes. Very many designations used this prefix.

𒂟 ṣābu : (able-bodied) man, soldier, (plural) people, soldiers / troops, hosts — Akkadian (AAF)

Hebrew ṣbˀ = bands of people, warfare

In Hebrew, the meaning of troops as “joined people” extended into the general meaning of “war”.

צבא tsaba : gone to war, mustered, perform, served, serving women, wage war, war — Old Hebrew (Strong)

צבא tsaba : army, battle, combat, forced to labor, hardship, host, service, trained, war, warfare — Old Hebrew (Strong)

Animals with antlers

Animals with joined antlers, such as gazelles or deer, were named with the √ṣb root.

Akkadian ṣb = gazelle

ṣabītu : gazelle — Akkadian (AAF)

𒈦𒁕 ṣabītu : a gazelle; medicine: gazelle-excrement (part of body as an ingredient); (designation of snakes / fish) — Akkadian (AAF)

Hebrew ṣb = gazelle

צבי tsebi : gazelle, gazelles — Old Hebrew (Strong)

צביה tsebiyyah : gazelle, gazelles — Old Hebrew (Strong)

Aramaic ṭb = gazelle, deer

The Aramaic variants are written with Ṭeth, to reflect a different dialectic pronunciation. The word is clearly the same though.

טבי ṭby : mature gazelle, deer — Aramaic (CAL)

ܛܒܝܬܐ ṭbytˀ : deer, mature gazelle — Aramaic (CAL)

Capturing, seizing, possession, litigation

In Akkadian, taking possession is also seen as “joining” things.

Akkadian ṣbt = seize, enclose, take possession

𒁳 ṣabātu : to seize, to arrest, to capture; to engage in litigation; to bind, set, enclose; to take possession repeatedly; to equip, provide; to install, put in place; to ignite; to settle; to be seized; to seize one another, litigate — Akkadian (AAF)

ṣābitānu : a captor, one who seized / took possession — Akkadian (AAF)

ṣabtu : captured, taken; prisoner; put to work; received (goods); drawn-up (tablet) — Akkadian (AAF)

ṣibittu : captivity, imprisonment; capture / possession; a basin / an enclosure for irrigation; procedures; disagreement (?) — Akkadian (AAF)


Akkadian ṣbt = magnet

ṣābitūtu : magnetism — Akkadian (AAF)

šaddānu ṣābitu : magnetite, lodestone / loadstone, a magnet (?) — Akkadian (AAF)

Interest, receivables

Akkadian ṣbt = holding, gripping, interest on loan

𒈧 ṣibtu : (addition =) interest (on a loan); “processus paillaris” on a liver; a tax on cattle; an appendix on a tablet — Akkadian (AAF)

ṣābitu : a recipient; (a tool for gripping); holding, magnetic — Akkadian (AAF)

tags:  Semitic word root · etymology