🔼The name Adaiah in the Bible
The name Adaiah is applied to quite a few men in the Bible:
- Adaiah of Bozkath, the father of Jedidah, the mother of king Josiah (2 Kings 22:1).
- One mentioned in a Levite genealogy, about halfway Asaph and Gershom the son of Levi (1 Chronicles 6:41).
- One of the sons of Shimei of Benjamin (1 Chronicles 8:21).
- A son of Jeroham, mentioned among the kohanim who returned (1 Chronicles 9:12 and Nehemiah 11:12).
- Two men from the family of Bani who divorced their foreign wives during the purge of Ezra. One is actually called Adaiah (Ezra 10:29), the other עדיהו (Adaiahu — v39).
- A son of Joiarib, son of Zechariah of Judah mentioned among the re-settlers after the return from exile (Nehemiah 11:5).
🔼Etymology of the name Adaiah
The name Adaiah consists of two elements. The final part of the name is the appellative יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which in turn are abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton יהוה, YHWH, or Yahweh.
The first segment of the name Adaiah comes from the Hebrew root group עדה, which is used all over the Bible. There is no way to be entirely sure which of the many members of this root group this name was made from. But according to various transliterations that history preserved for us, the name Adaiah sounds more or less like it came from the first two of the following:
It's by no means certain what the original designer of the name Adaiah meant to say with this name. It may mean Yahweh For Ever, or it may mean Congregation Of Yah.
But most commentators prefer the meaning of ornaments or to deck oneself. NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Yahweh Has Adorned. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has Ornament Of The Lord, and BDB Theological Dictionary suggests Yah Has Decked Himself.