🔼The name Abinadab: Summary
- The Father Is Generous, My Father Is Noble, Father Of Liberality
- From (1) the noun אב ('ab), father, and (2) the verb נדב (nadab), to willingly give.
🔼The name Abinadab in the Bible
The name Abinadab is assigned three times in the Bible, all in the same era:
The first Abinadab we meet in the Bible is the man from Kiriath-jearim who is assigned to keep the Ark of the Covenant in his house (1 Samuel 7:1), after it comes back from the Philistines, and after its brief stay in Beth-shemesh where 50,070 die when some take a look inside it (1 Samuel 6:19). Abinadab's son Eleazar is consecrated to guard the Ark. The Ark of the Covenant would stay in Kiriath-jearim for twenty years, which was such a long time that 'the house of Israel lamented after the Lord' (1 Samuel 7:2).
Much later, king David decides to move the Ark of the Covenant to Israel's capital Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:2) and Abinadab's two other sons Uzzah and Ahio are in charge of the cart. When Uzzah touches the Ark to keep it from falling, God strikes him dead (6:7). Disheveled and angry, king David leaves the Ark in the house of Obed-edom of Gath.
Other Abinadabs are:
🔼Etymology of the name Abinadab
The name Abinadab consists of two elements. The first element is the familiar word אב ('ab), meaning father:
The noun אב ('ab) means father, but describes primarily a social relationship rather than a biological one. That social fatherhood was the defining quality of the community's alpha male, the one around whom all economy revolved and from whom emanated all instructions by which the 'sons' (בן, ben) operated. It's unclear where this word אב ('ab) comes from but the verb abu means to decide.
The second part of the name Abinadab comes from the Hebrew verb נדב (nadab), meaning to willingly give, incite:
The verb נדב (nadab) means to give, donate or volunteer, and by implication to be noble. From it derive the noun נדבה (nedaba), freewill offering, the noun and adjective נדיב (nadib), generous or noble, and the noun נדיבה (nediba), generous deed.
For a meaning of the name Abinadab, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads The Father Is Generous and BDB Theological Dictionary proposes My Father Is Noble. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names offers Father Of Nobility or Father Of Liberality.