🔼The name Aridai: Summary
- Freely, My Freedom, Free Enough
- From (1) the verb ערד ('arad), to flee or be free, and possibly (2) the particle די (day), sufficient or enough.
🔼The name Aridai in the Bible
The name Aridai occurs only once in the Bible. He was one of the ten sons of Haman, who lived in Persia's winter capital Susa, and who were killed by the Jews after Haman's holocaustic intentions were foiled (Esther 9:9).
🔼Etymology and meaning of the name Aridai
The name Aridai is probably Persian and shouldn't be expected to mean anything in Hebrew. BDB Theological Dictionary suggests that our name may "perhaps" be a transliteration of the known Persian name Haridayas, which means Delight Of Hari, but also declares the text "very uncertain". Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) suggests our name to mean Magnus, Preaclarus (Great, Excellent), but also forwards a possible relationship with the Persian name Airyadao, meaning Digna, Dans (Worthy, Giving) or even Aryaday, which means Donum Ariae (Gift Of Ari)
A Hebrew audience, on the other hand, might have linked the name Aridai to a cluster of names that modern scholars find difficult to explain, and which may have to do with the root ערד (allowing the letter א to alternate with the ע, which sometimes happens):
The verb ערד ('arad) doesn't exist in extant Biblical texts but in cognate languages it means to flee or be free. A derived noun, ערוד ('arod), refers to the wild ass, and does occur in the Bible.
Verb רוד (rud) means to wander or roam restlessly. Noun מרוד (marod) means restlessness or homelessness.
The letter י (yod) upon which our name ends could be construed as the mark of an adjective, and the name Aridai could be reckoned to mean Freely. The final yod is also used to create a possessive form, which would give Aridai the meaning of My Freedom, or a cheerful My Wild Ass (ignoring the obvious fact that anything feral isn't possessed).
The final י (yod) could also be explained to come from the substantive די (day), meaning sufficient or enough (justifiably assuming that ארד plus די would assimilate into ארדי):
The particle די (day) means sufficiently or enough and implies an abundance. It often occurs joined with prefixes.
Hence the name Aridai also means Free Enough or Sufficiently Free.