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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Ab (2)

(אָב , father), occurs as the first member of several compound Hebrew proper names, e.g. (See ABNER), (See ABSALOM), etc. not as a patronymic (See BEN), or in its literal acceptation, but in a figurative sense, to designate some quality or circumstance of the person named; e.g. possessor of or endowed with; after the analogy of all the Shemitic languages (Gesenius, Thes. Heb. p. 7; in Arabic generally Abu-, see D'Herbelot, Biblioth. Orient. s.v.). (See FATHER); (See PROPER NAME). Hence it is equally applicable to females; e.g. (See ABIGAIL) (as among the Arabs; comp. Kosegarten, in Ewalds Zeitschrift fur die Kunde des Morgenlandes, 1:297-317). In all cases it is the following part of the name that is to be considered as the genitive, the prefix אב being "in the construct," and not the reverse. (See ABI)-.