The name Jonadab in the Bible
There are two Jonadabs mentioned in the Bible and both of them are also known by the expanded form Jehonadab (or actually, the name יונדב, Jonadab, is a contracted form of יהינדב, Jehonodab):
- The first Jonadab we meet is a son of Shimea, a brother of king David (2 Samuel 13:3). He is a friend of Amnon, David's son, and he encourages Amnon to lure sister Tamar by saying he's sick. Amnon does so and ends up raping his sister. This Jonadab is called Jehonadab in verse 5.
- Jonadab two is a son of Rechab, and he rides with Jehu on his killing spree of the sons of Ahab and the priests of Baal (2 Kings 10:15). In the days of the prophet Jeremiah, this Jonadab is remembered as a leader and legislator of the Rechabites (Jeremiah 35:6). Jeremiah brings him a message of God in which He wonders why the Rechabites listen to Jonadab but not to Him. This Jonadab is called Jehonadab in half of his appearances in Jeremiah.
Etymology of the name Jonadab
The name Jonadab / Jehonadab consists of two parts, the first part being יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which in turn are abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton; the name of the Lord: YHWH.
The second part of the name Jonadab comes from the verb נדב (nadab), meaning to incite:
For a meaning of the name Jonadab / Jehonadab, NOBSE Study Bible Name List proposes Yahweh Is Bounteous. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads The Lord Gave Spontaneously. And BDB Theological Dictionary suggests Yah Is Noble or Is Liberal or Hath Impelled.