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Meaning and etymology of the Hebrew name Ezekiel

Ezekiel (= Jehezkel) Ezekiel

The name Ezekiel is assigned twice in the Bible. The lesser known Ezekiel is a priest in the time of King David (1 Chronicles 24:16). In English Bibles this man is often referred to as Jehezkel, but in Hebrew his name is identical to the famous Ezekiel. And the famous Ezekiel should be called Jehezkel as well, because that's how this name is pronounced. But we're used to Ezekiel, so Ezekiel it is.

The famous Ezekiel is the author of the Book of Ezekiel, and a major prophet of Israel who lived and worked among the exiles in Babylon. A curious detail is that the name of Ezekiel the prophet is mentioned only two times in the entire Bible, in Ezekiel 1:3 and 24:24. To compare: the name Isaiah is mentioned 53 times and Jeremiah a cool 145 times.

The name Ezekiel is a compound of two elements. The second part is el (El), the common abbreviation of Elohim.

The first part comes from the verb hazaq (hazaq), meaning to be or become strong or courageous. This word is most commonly used to admonish soldiers to be strong (1 Kings 20:23, 2 Samuel 10:12), but it may also be used to indicate a 'strong' or severe famine (Genesis 41:56). The enigmatic 'hardening' of Pharoa's heart is reflected by this verb (Exodus 7:13), as is the 'making sure' that no blood remains in meet for consumption (Deuteronomy 12:23).

This verb's derivatives include the noun hazaq (hazaq, 636a), meaning strong, mighty, hard (Joshua 14:11, Exodus 10:19); hazaq (hozeq), meaning strength (Psalm 18:2); and hozqa (hozqa), meaning force (Isaiah 8:11).

The name Ezekiel means God Strengtheneth (BDB Theological Dictionary), God Strengthens (NOBS Study Bible Name List), or Strength Of God (Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) God Strengthens or Strengthened By God.

Two other names that also come from this verb are Hizki and Hezekiah.



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