🔼The name Azmaveth: Summary
- Death Is Strong
- From (1) the verb עזז ('azaz), to be strong, and (2) the noun מות (mawet), death, from the verb מות (mut), to die or kill.
🔼The name Azmaveth in the Bible
The name Azmaveth is remarkably popular in the Bible. It's assigned to:
- One of David's Might Men, called the Baharumite (1 Chronicles 11:33) or the Barhumite (2 Samuel 23:31).
- A Benjaminite who is the son of Jehoaddah, son of Ahaz (1 Chronicles 8:36).
- One of David's royal officers who was the son of Adiel (1 Chronicles 27:25).
- Then there is an Azmaveth listed among the exilic returnees, mentioned by Ezra (2:24); Nehemiah calls him Beth-azmaveth (7:28), which typically looks like the name of a town. And both Ezra and Nehemiah place names of towns on their lists (Bethel and Ai, Kiriath-arim, Jericho, Hebron), so it's not clear whether the Azmaveth of Ezra 2:24 is a man or a town.
- On top of everything, Nehemiah makes mention of a town called Azmaveth in Nehemiah 12:29.
🔼Etymology of the name Azmaveth
The name Azmaveth consists of two distinct elements. The first part of the name comes from the 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 Azmaveth comes from the grim verb מות (mut), meaning to kill:
The verb מות (mut) means to die or kill. Nouns מות (mawet), ממות (mamot), and תמותה (temuta) mean death. In a theology that operated perpendicularly upon that which worshipped life, death was venerated under the names Mot and Mawet.
The noun מת (mat) is a word for man, and particularly a man capable of combat and exerting death.
For a meaning of the name Azmaveth, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Death Is Strong. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Strong To Death, i.e. a warrior. BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't offer a translation.