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Jetheth meaning

יתת
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🔼The name Jetheth in the Bible

The curious name Jetheth is assigned to only one man in the Bible. In Genesis 36:40 and 1 Chronicles 1:51 he is mentioned among the chiefs of Edom who are the descendants of Esau, who was the son of Isaac and also the brother of Jacob.

🔼Etymology and meaning of the name Jetheth

The name Jetheth is curious because there's nothing in Hebrew that looks like it. That means that this name probably came from another language. Its original meaning, however, has been lost, and all we can guess at is what the name Jetheth might have meant to a Hebrew audience.

The valiant Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) refutes the claim of "others" who propose that the name Jetheth has to do with the verb נתן (natan), meaning to give (see the name Nathan), and points towards יתדת (ytdt), the plural of the word יתד (yated), meaning peg, as used in for instance in Exodus 38:20. Hence Jones confidently reads Strengthener.

However, this word meaning peg features the letter daleth, which is too strong to just drop out without a good reason. Jones assures the reader by stating that daleths are known to disappear, and argues his statement by giving an example of a Hebrew word without a daleth that came from a word with one. But after perusing various dictionaries, the Abarim Publications Editorial Team sadly concludes that neither of Jones' example words occur in the Bible.

A word that does occur is הות (hut), meaning to shout at or to assail:

Perhaps our name was recognized as a shortened version of this form תהותתו and understood as Shouter.

Another verb of this special form is מותת (motat), meaning to slay or kill, from the root מות (mut), meaning to die or kill. The letter mem of this verb, however, is harder to lose than the he of the verb that means to shout or assail.

For untraceable reasons, NOBSE Study Bible Name List translates this name with Subjection.

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