Ichabod (אִי כָבוֹד meaning inglorious in Hebrew) is named by the Books of Samuel as the brother of Ahitub[1]. Ichabod is also identified by the Books of Samuel as having been the son of Phinehas, and as having been born on the day that the Ark was taken into Philistine captivity. His mother went into labour due to the shock of hearing that her husband and father-in-law died and the Ark had been captured. The identity and name of his mother is not given, and she is said to have died shortly after having given birth to him, and having named him.

In the masoretic version of the Books of Samuel, his name is said to be a reference to the fact that the glory is departed from Israel, either in reference to the death of his father, or of Eli, or a reference to the loss of the Ark. The Septuagint, however, states that his name was a complaint: woe to the glory of Israel. The Codex Vaticanus Graecus 1209 refers to him as ouai barchaboth, i.e. as I Bar Chabod - I, son of Chabod or No, son of Glory. According to textual scholars[2], this section of the Book of Samuel, the sanctuaries source, derives from a fairly late source compared with other parts, and hence this justification of his name may simply be a folk etymology.

While Ichabod is barely mentioned in the current text of the Hebrew Bible, the fact that Ahitub is referred to as the brother of Ichabod, rather than as son of Phinehas (or of anyone else), has led textual scholars to suspect that Ichabod was once seen as a far more significant individual, although the reasons for his importance are no longer known[3]. Some scholars have argued that Ichabod may be the historic figure underlying the biblical Jacob, having first concluded that both Jacob and Ichabod are corruptions of Jochebed/Jocabod, meaning yahweh is the [divine] glory[4].

Related Uses and Cultural References

  • Ichabod is the name of a song by the band Th' Legendary Shack Shakers
  • Ichabod, Ichabod / The glory is departed is a line from Robert Browning's poem Waring, 1842 [5].
  • Ichabod and I is the title of British band The Boo Radleys' 1990 debut album.
  • Sincerely, Ichabod is a song by post-hardcore Christian band: Project 86
  • The Ichabod is also the mascot of Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. The school is named after Ichabod Washburn, who gave the school $25,000 upon his death.
  • Ichabod Crane, main character in the Washington Irving tale, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
  • "Ichabod" is the title of a poem by writer John Greenleaf Whittier and recounts the fall from glory of Daniel Webster
  • The Myth of Ichabod is an early Discordian text which claims that excessive pattern recognition is the origin of religion. It is also known as The Myth of Starbuck, but the protagonist is called Ichabod. [6]
  • Ichabod is the name of a furry yellow bear-like character who appears throughout the book Dr. Seuss's ABC along with what seems to be Ichabod's younger brother (named Izzy?). Ichabod's name is revealed in line "Ichabod is itchy." Characters who look like Ichabod appear in other books by Dr. Seuss.
  • Ichabod is one of the sorceress Theagan's children in the fantasy series Deltora Quest, written by Emily Rodda.
  • In C. S. Lewis's The Pilgrim's Regress, two different chapters (ch. 5 of Book I and ch. 6 of Book II) are entitled "Ichabod". Both involve the departure of a false glory.
  • In The Friendship Algorithm, an episode of CBS series The Big Bang Theory, one of the main characters, Penny, refers to another character, Sheldon, as Ichabod (most probably due to Sheldon's eccentric behavior resembling that of Dr. Seuss's character also called Ichabod).
  • Ichabod is the code name for a headless Adobe (tm) Flash player that is used by some major search engines to change states in flash and retrieve text content. [7]
  • Ichabod is the non de plum of a freight train artist in the United States

References and Notes

  1. Part of the series on the
  2. Jewish Encyclopedia, Books of Samuel
  3. Jewish Encyclopedia
  4. Cheyne and Black, Encyclopedia Biblica
  5. Waring - Robert Browning
  6. The Myth of Starbuck - Wikisource
  7. Ichabod is Working - technoracle

This article incorporates text from the 1901–1906 Jewish Encyclopedia, a publication now in the public domain.

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