🔼The name Ahilud: Summary
- Brother Of That What Was Born, Brother Brings Forth
- From (1) the noun אח ('ah), brother, and (2) the verb ילד (yalad), to beget.
🔼The name Ahilud in the Bible
It's not clear if there's only one man named Ahilud in the Bible, or two. Some sources say two, others say that those proposed two are one. The text of the Bible isn't decisive and the ultimate answer must be that we simply don't know, although it seems likely that the two are one.
All we know is that there is an Ahilud, who is the father of Jehoshaphat who is a recorder in the times of David and Solomon (2 Samuel 8:16 to 1 Kings 4:3), and there is an Ahilud, who is the father of Baana, who is Solomon's deputy in Taanach, Megiddo and Beth-shean (1 Kings 4:12). If Ahilud was somewhat of a big-wig in the early monarchy, his two sons may very well have been too.
🔼Etymology of the name Ahilud
The name Ahilud consists of two elements. The first part comes from the word אח ('ah), meaning brother or friend:
The noun אח ('ah) means brother, or more broadly: a fellow member of a social economic node (a "house") within a broader economic whole.
This word's lavish inclusion in names strongly suggests that the deity was reckoned by this word — in modern times we mostly speak of Our Father in Heaven but in antiquity the deity appears to have also been addressed as Our Brother. The New Testament appears to entertain that dynamic in the tenet that the Word is God's Son, and all who have the Word are godly brothers. Also note the similarity with the verb חוה (hawa), to show, tell, make known.
The noun אחוה ('ahawa) means brotherhood and אחות ('ahot) means sister.
The second part of the name Ahilud probably (or possibly) comes from the verb ילד (yalad), meaning to beget, or bring forth.
The verb ילד (yalad) means to beget or bring forth — children by both biological parents but also citizens by "mother"-cities and "father"-kings and such — or to produce (things) or bring about (events).
Nouns ולד (walad) and ילד (yeled) mean (male) child; ילדה (yalda) means girl. Noun ילדות (yaldut) means childhood. Adjectives ילוד (yillod) and יליד (yalid) mean "born." Noun מולדת (moledet) means kindred. Plural noun תולדות (toledot) means descendants or offspring.
Altogether, the name Ahilud would translate to something like Brother Of That What Was Born, which is curious even to Hebrew standards. None of the sources consulted offers a way out of this conundrum, but perhaps the name Ahilud has to do with the evenly mysterious name לוד (Lud), which is the name of one son of Shem, or the ethnonym Ludim, which descended from Shem's nephew Mizraim.
Ahilud may simply mean Brother/Friend Of Lud/Ludim. This proposal is not all that far-fetched because the feminine name Lydia means Of Lud.
For a meaning of the name Ahilud, BDB Theological Dictionary and NOBSE Study Bible Name List quote Gesenius and read A Child's Brother. Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names), who usually stays close to what Gesenius dictates, suggests the curious Brother Of One Born.
Since the 'brother'-part of our name may very well be considered as an epithet of the Creator, our name may also mean Brother Brings Forth, or Brother Means Progress.