🔼The name Ben-deker: Summary
- Son Of A Piercing
- From (1) the noun בן (ben), son, and (2) the verb דקר (daqar), to pierce.
🔼The name Ben-deker in the Bible
It's not clear whether Ben-deker is a personal name or not. The Septuagint, Vulgate, King James and JSP translations don't think so and speak of the "son of Deker" (or Dekar), whereas the Darby, Young, ASV, NAS and NIV translations print Ben-deker, or variations thereof.
But Ben-deker or (less likely) the son of Deker was one of twelve officials who worked for king Solomon, stationed all over his kingdom. Ben-deker held sway over Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth-shemesh and Elonbeth-hanan (1 Kings 4:9).
🔼Etymology of the name Ben-deker
The name Ben-deker consists of two elements, the first one being the familiar Hebrew noun בן (ben), meaning son:
The noun בן (ben) means son, or more general: a member of one particular social or economic node — called a "house", which is built upon the instructions of one אב ('ab), or "father" — within in a larger economy (hence: the "sons of the prophet" are the members of the prophet-class; the prophets). This noun obviously resembles the verb בנה (bana), to build, and the noun אבן ('eben), stone.
Our noun's feminine version, namely בת (bat), means daughter, which resembles the noun בית (bayit), meaning house. Sometimes our noun is contracted into a single letter ב, whose name beth comes from בית (bayit) and means "house" as well. As a prefix, the letter ב (be) means "in." The word for mother, אם ('em), is highly similar to that of tribe or people, אמה ('umma).
The second part of our name comes from the verb דקר (daqar), meaning to pierce or thrust through:
The verb דקר (daqar) means to pierce or thrust a person fatally through with a sword or spear, or figuratively with hunger. Noun מדקרה (madqara) means a piercing.
NOBSE Study Bible Name List's entry for the name Ben-deker appears to treat only the deker-part. NOBSE declares him to be the father of the official, and translates his name with Piercing, Mattock (while the mattock is not associated with this verb; the sword is). Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) works off the older translations and reads Thrusting Through for Dekar. BDB Theological Dictionary does not offer an interpretation of our name but does list it under the verb דקר (daqar), meaning to pierce or thrust through.