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Chapter 21 - Hephzibah

"Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate; but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married" (Isaiah lxii, 4). The name Hephzibah--or, as it might be written, Hafzbah--conveys a very distinct idea to any one who has lived in the East, and calls up a string of familiar words all containing the same root hafz, which signifies "guarding" or "taking care of," such as hafiz, a protector, muhafiz, a custodian, as in the word muhafiz daftar, a head record-keeper; or again, hifazat, custody, as bahifazat polis, in custody of the police; or again, daim-ul-hafz, imprisonment for life, and other similar expressions.

All words from this root suggest the idea of "guarding," and therefore the name Haphzibah at once speaks its own meaning. It is "one who is guarded," a "protected one." And answering to this there must be some power which guards, and the name of this power is given in Hosea ii, 16, where it is called "Ishi." "And it shall be at that day, saith the Lord, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and thou shalt call me no more Baali."