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Meaning and etymology of the Hebrew name Hadassah

Hadassah Hadassah

There's only one person named Hadassah in the Bible. It's the Hebrew name of Esther. This name occurs only once, in Esther 2:7: "...and he [Mordecai] was bringing up Haddasah, that is Esther, his uncle's daughter..."

Scholars agree that the name Hadassah is a feminized form of the word hadas (hadas), meaning myrtle. The myrtle is a perennial shrub with white flowers that were used for perfume. Since this plant is quite common in Palestine, the Bible uses the myrtle a few times symbolically (Isaiah 41:19, 55:13). Most notable is the Zechariahan scene of the horsemen who stand among the myrtle trees (Zechariah 1:8). The myrtle is also mentioned as one of the plants from which the returned Israelites made their huts for the feast of booths (Nehemiah 8:15).

BDB Theological Dictionary, NOBS Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names unite in rare agreement and read Myrtle for the meaning of the name Hadassah .



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