🔼The name Aziza: Summary
- From the verb עזז ('azaz), to be strong.
🔼The name Aziza in the Bible
The name Aziza occurs only one time in the Bible. During Ezra's restoration of Jerusalem and subsequently obedience to the Law of YHWH, a large group of men divorce their foreign wives and their children. Among the sons of Zattu, Ezra mentions a man named Aziza.
It should be noted that God hates divorce for any reason (Malachi 2:16), and even though international marriages were forbidden by God (Deuteronomy 7:3), there are notable exceptions (such as Boaz' marriage to Ruth, the Moabite ancestor of king David and Jesus Christ) and this bizarre mass divorce was not ordered by God; it was the Israelites' own idea (Ezra 10:2-3 and 10:10-11).
Four men, Jonathan son of Asahel, Jahzeiah son of Tikvah, and Meshullam and Shabbethai, oppose the plan, but the exiles won't change their mind and stand shuddering in the pelting rain, figuring they're doing something lofty. Whatever became of the wives and the children after this connubial carnage is unknown.
🔼Etymology of the name Aziza
The name Aziza comes from the verb עזז ('azaz), meaning to be strong:
The verb עזז ('azaz) means to be strong. Adjective עז ('az) means strong, mighty or fierce and adjective עזוז ('izzuz) means mighty or powerful. Nouns עז ('oz) and עזוז ('ezuz) mean strength, might or fierceness.
Noun עזניה ('ozniya) denotes some kind of bird of prey (this word may actually be a convenient import from another language) and noun עז ('ez) denotes a she-goat (this word may actually derive from a verb that means to be wayward or perhaps strong-headed).
Verb עוז ('uz) means to bring into refuge or to seek safety. Noun מעוז (ma'oz) describes a place or agent of safety.
It's not immediately clear what the added aleph is doing at the end of the name, but it may simply be a playful (Aramaic) addition that doesn't change the conveyed meaning.
For a meaning of the name Aziza, both Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names and NOBSE Study Bible Name List read Strong. BDB Theological Dictionary does not translate.