The name Shab•tai comes from the word She•vet (see below) and Sha•vat (to stop activity, sit) and its derivative Sha•bat (Sabbath), but it is also related to the Roman god, Saturn, which gave its name to the seventh day, ‘Saturday.’ It creates a kind of a circle where its beginning has not been established. If the planet is called in Hebrew Shab•tai because it is so distant that its orbit is not detectable and it may be considered as a She•vet (fixed) planet, then we have a ‘pure’ Hebrew name. If it’s named after Saturday, then it is after a holy day that came from a pagan god.
Sadly, holiness and the defiled are often forcefully connected. For example, any historian or archaeologist knows that under any ruins of a church or a synagogue they’ll almost certainly find older ruins of a pagan temple or a shrine. Transitions between cultures and religions are also coupled with “carried-over” names and traditions.
In the last few days we’ve been looking at earth from high above — we covered the Hebrew names of the planets and the stars that were known in ancient times and are still in use today. The planets were roughly divided in ancient times (and nowadays by the IAU, the International Astronomical Union) into two types: the Fixed stars and the Moving stars. The moving stars category includes our seven Solar System planets. They are called in Hebrew (in plural form) Koch•vey Le•chet. The singular is Ko•chav Le•chet. The word ‘le•chet’ means ‘going’ or ‘walking.’ In Biblical Hebrew, ‘le•chet’ is considered an Infinitive Absolute — the very basic, nucleus form of a word or concept. It is, hence, the core word for ‘moving.’ In fact, the mere English name, ‘planet,’ comes from the Greek name, πλανήτης (planetes), which means ‘moving about’ (something like ‘moving back and forth’).
The other group was named by the IAU ‘the Fixed Stars.’ In Hebrew, they are called Koch•vey She•vet. The singular is Ko•chav She•vet. The word ‘she•vet’ means ‘sitting’ or ‘being settled.’ In Biblical Hebrew, ‘she•vet’ is also considered an Infinitive Absolute — the very basic, nucleus form of a word or concept. It is, hence, the core word for ‘stationary.’ Of course, our current understanding is that nothing is really fixed in outer space, but because of the great distance of these stars from Earth (A•retz) they look as though they were stationary (She•vet).
The IAU indeed, changes its definitions from time to time as the science of Astronomy develops, but we still count seven planets in our Solar System and still call them ‘moving stars,’ both in Hebrew and English since from the Biblical era to today.
Some of the planets perhaps were not known during the biblical era and do not have
Hebrew names (Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto).