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Berodach-baladan meaning

בראדך בלאדן
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🔼The name Berodach-baladan in the Bible

The name Berodach-baladan occurs only once in the Bible. The Book of 2 Kings tells how Berodach-baladan, son of Baladan and king of Babylon, sent a contingent of emissaries to king Hezekiah of Judah to learn all about his miraculous recovery from a deadly illness and associated curious behavior of the sun (2 Kings 20:12, see 2 Chronicles 32:31).

They found Hezekiah not only back up and running, but also more than happy to show them his treasury. The prophet Isaiah informed the king that the Babylonians were going to come back with an army and take all the wealth and people back with them to Babylon (2 Kings 20:17). That seems unappealing at first, but it meant that Jews would rise to serious power in Babylon (2 Kings 20:18), and thus were able to preserve Yahwism, which was obviously the sole reason why there are Jews at all (or Christians, for that matter).

Isaiah tells verbatim the same story (Isaiah 39:1-8) but he calls the Babylonian king Merodach-baladan, which is closer to the original because both literary characters are loosely based on the historical king Marduk-apal-iddina II of Babylon. Most commentators will decree that the M and the B sounded so similar back in the day that Berodach is just an inconsequential variant spelling of Merodach (or Marduk), but that's too easy a way out. Just imagine a Washington Post columnist commenting on George J. Tenet's book At the Center of the Storm by wryly observing that the Iraq War was based on a mere hunch of president George Push. Same thing; no coincidence.

🔼Etymology of the name Berodach-baladan

Though deliberately similar to Merodach-baladan and possibly with Marduk-apal-iddina II in mind, the first part of the name Berodach-baladan starts with the prefix ב, meaning "in" or "by means of":

The second part could be construed to come from the verb ראה (ra'a), meaning to see:

And the final bit looks a lot like the adjective דך (dak), meaning crushed or oppressed:

The second part of our name is the same as Baladan, which both the author of 2 Kings and the Book of Isaiah apply to the father of M/Berodach-baladan. Since none of the inscriptions verify this paternal name, we should recognize it as yet another red herring. It consists of the name Bel, which is identical to the particle of negation בל (bal), from the root בלה I (bala I), meaning to be worn out or worthless:

The second part of the name Baladan comes from the word אדנ (adan), roughly meaning lord:

🔼Berodach-baladan meaning

The name Berodach-baladan looks vaguely like a garbled version of Marduk-Bel-Adonai, but to a Hebrew eye it looked like Crushed Through Seeing: Not Lord.

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