“And I came to the exile community that dwelt in Tel Abib by the Chebar Canal, and I remained where they dwelt. And for seven days I sat there stunned among them” EZEKIEL 3:15 (The Israel Bible™)
Yechezkel goes to the Israelite captives at Tel Abib near the Chebar River. Before he delivers his message of doom, however, he simply sits with them for a week, empathizing with their suffering before sharing the divine message. The name Tel Abib has been linked to the Akkadian “mound of the flood,” mentioned in ancient Babylonian sources, so called because it was flooded by the Euphrates River. The great irony is that the name of the city of the exiles has become the name of modern Israel’s shining metropolis, Tel Aviv (תל אביב), which in modern Hebrew means ‘the hill of spring.’ The name for the city was borrowed from the title of Nahum Sokolow’s Hebrew translation of Theodor Herz’s Altneuland, ‘Old New Land.’ It was chosen because the word Tel, a mound covering ruins of ancient settlements, conjures up images of that which is ancient, while the word aviv, spring, implies that which is fresh and new.