🔼The name Azgad: Summary
- Strength In Invasion, Strong Fortune
- From (1) the verb עזז ('azaz), to be strong, and (2) the verb גדד (gadad), to cut, invade and expose.
🔼The name Azgad in the Bible
There's only one Azgad in the Bible. He's listed among the family heads who return to Jerusalem and environs along with Zerubbabel (Ezra 2:12). Ezra reports him to have come with 1222 family members (among whom Johanan, son of Hakkatan — Ezra 8:12), but Nehemiah counts 2322 (Nehemiah 7:17). Azgad is also listed among the leaders who sign Nehemiah's statement through which Israel binds itself to the service of YHWH (Nehemiah 10:15).
🔼Etymology of the name Azgad
The name Azgad consists of two recognizable elements. The first part of the name comes from the Hebrew verb עזז ('azaz), meaning to be strong:
The verb עזז ('azaz) means to be strong. Adjective עז ('az) means strong, mighty or fierce and adjective עזוז ('izzuz) means mighty or powerful. Nouns עז ('oz) and עזוז ('ezuz) mean strength, might or fierceness.
Noun עזניה ('ozniya) denotes some kind of bird of prey (this word may actually be a convenient import from another language) and noun עז ('ez) denotes a she-goat (this word may actually derive from a verb that means to be wayward or perhaps strong-headed).
Verb עוז ('uz) means to bring into refuge or to seek safety. Noun מעוז (ma'oz) describes a place or agent of safety.
The second part of the name Azgad is identical to the name Gad and comes from the verb גדד (gadad), meaning to cut, invade and expose:
The verb גדד (gadad) describes making an invasive cut, mostly in order to expose something valuable. Noun גדוד (gedud) may describe an invasive band of raiders, or more general: a cutting, a furrow. Noun גדודה (geduda) means a furrow or cutting. Noun גד (gad) appears to describe the exposed treasure and may be used to describe a physical fortune, plain luck or a state of felicity.
Verb גדה (gada) also means to cut. Noun גדה (gadda) refers to a river bank. Noun גדי (gedi) describes a young animal, but mostly one that was either just slaughtered or soon will be.
The name Gad is commonly translated with Fortune, but more correct would be Harrowing Fortune. Preceded with the word for strength, this marvelously beautiful name seems to reflect what James writes, "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance" (James 1:2-3).
For a meaning of the name Azgad, BDB Theological Dictionary reads Gad Is Mighty. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Strong In Fortune. And NOBSE Study Bible Name List offers an unusually creative Fate Is Hard.