🔼The name Gedaliah in the Bible
There are five people named Gedaliah in the Bible:
- The son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, and Babylonian instated governor of Judea (2 Kings 25:22). He was slain by Ishmael, son of Nethaniah. Note that this name is most often spelled with the final waw: גדליה (Gedaliahu), which is really the same name.
- One of six sons of Jeduthun, who played the harp and prophesied during the time of David (1 Chronicles 25:3 and 25:9). In these two instances, our name is spelled with the final waw as well.
- One of the brothers of Jeshua, son of Jozadak, who had married a foreigner and who divorced her during the purge of Ezra (Ezra 10:18).
- A son of Pashhur who was among the small group of counselors that advised king Zedekiah to execute the prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 38:1).
- The paternal grandfather of the prophet Zephaniah (Zephaniah 1:1).
🔼Etymology of the name Gedaliah
The name Gedaliah consists of two elements, the final bit being יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which in turn are abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton יהוה, YHWH, or Yahweh.
The first part of our name comes from the verb גדל (gadel) meaning to become strong or great:
For a meaning of the name Gedaliah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Yahweh Has Made Great. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes Magnified Of The Lord. And BDB Theological Dictionary has Yah Is Great.