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Meaning and etymology of the name Keziah

Keziah Keziah

Keziah is the second of three daughters of Job (Job 42:14), the others being Jemimah and Keren-happuch. He also has seven sons but they remain unnamed. These ten children are his second batch, because the first batch perished during the difficult to understand trial of God by satan (Job 1:2). Of his second batch of three daughter is was said that they were the fairest in the land (42:15).

The name Keziah comes from the root group 2056 (qasa I & II):

The verb 2056 (qasa) means to scrape or scrape off. It's used only once in the Bible, in Leviticus 14:41. This verb comes with a few derivatives: qesia (qesia), meaning cassia, a kind of sweet smelling cinnamon powder, harvested by scraping it off from trees. This word too occurs just once in the Bible, in Psalm 45:8, and is identical to our name. The noun maqsua (maqsua) denotes a scraping tool (Isaiah 44:13).

Then there is identical root qasa (qasa II), meaning cornered or set in corners (Exodus 26:23, Ezekiel 46:22). BDB Theological Dictionary reports relations to various cognates, meaning cut off, break off, and a noun that means 'a place where something is cut off or ends abruptly.' This verb comes with a parent noun: miqsoa (miqsoa), meaning a place of corner structure. BDB adds: as place of cutting off.

Linguists probably arrived at the existence of two separate roots by looking at other languages, but these two verbs are really not all that far apart. In fact, scraping occurs at the end of something, not in the middle of it. Job called his second daughter after a sweet smelling cinamon powder, probably not, as Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names cheers "because God had healed him of his sores and trials, and made his latter end to be sweet." Here at Abarim Publications, we're guessing he called her that way because his sores and trials had finally ended. Job gives his first daughter a name that reminds of a dove as much as the sea (see our article on the name Jemima); perhaps deliberately reminiscent of Noah's final survival and arrival at dry land. He calls his two youngest daughters after kinds of powder, perhaps bringing to mind the ashes he once sat in (Job 2:8).

Restoration theology deals with mankind's evolution from the fall back towards something worth keeping around. Of course, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is pivotal in that restoration but perhaps Job's naming of his three daughters illustrates that even though our sin will be cast into the deepest sea and remembered no more (Micah 7:19, Jeremiah 31:34), the past will always be the foundation of the presence.

The name Kezia means Cassia, but it also means It Is Done (John 19:30).



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