& Meaning •
Meaning and etymology of the name Jedidiah
The name Jedidiah is mentioned only once in the Bible, and that is curious because it is the name which the prophet Nathan gave to Solomon (2 Samuel 12:25).
Solomon's father, king David, had stolen Uriah's wife Bathsheba, got her pregnant, and subsequently had Uriah killed. The male child that Bathsheba bore died after seven days, as foretold by Nathan. The next child of David and Bathsheba was named Solomon.
The name Jedidiah is a combination of two elements:
The second element of the name Jedidiah is , which is the commonly accepted abbreviated form of , which is YHWH, the Name of the Lord.
The first element of the name Jedidiah comes from the verb (ydd), meaning to love. This verb seems kindred to the verb (dod), meaning to sway, fondle, love, and which is also the source of the name David).
None of the sources report an etymological relationship but Isaiah seems pretty confident in using these words in parallel: "I will sing now to my well-beloved () a song of my beloved ()" (5:1).
According to HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, the basic meaning of the derived word (a noun according to HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament ; an adjective according to BDB Theological Dictionary) (yadid), 'is "one greatly loved" by God or by man.' Instances of this word are found in Deuteronomy 33:12, Psalm 127:2, Psalm 60:5, and Jeremiah 11:15.
Another derivation of this verb is the noun (yedidot), meaning love song, as used in the title of Psalm 45. This wonderful word is grammatically equivalent to the plural of the word , and bears the literal meaning of 'loved ones.'
And while we're at it, the word (yod) means hand, according to HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament in the sense of the instrument 'used to perform functions of man's will,' hence the many proverbial usages of hand (be in one's hands, stretch forth the hand, laying on of hands, etc). In John 14:15 Jesus says, "If you love Me, keep My commandments," which ties directly into the will of God, which in turn is often depicted as the hand of God (Ezra 7:9, Job 27:11, 1 Peter 5:6).
Ergo: the word (dearly beloved) looks like twice (hand); hand-hand.
The author of Deuteronomy makes a playful reference both to the name Jedidiah and the similarity between the verb to love and hand-hand (or else, Nathan seems to refer to Deuteronomy). In Deuteronomy 33:12 Jacob blesses his youngest son Benjamin with the words, "May the beloved of YHWH dwell in security by Him who shields him all day; he dwells between His shoulders."
For the meaning of the name Jedidiah, NOBS Study Bible Name List reads Beloved Of Yahweh. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Beloved Of The Lord.
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