🔼The name Beth-gader: Summary
- House Of The Wall
- From (1) the noun בית (beth), house, and (2) the noun גדר (gader), wall.
🔼The name Beth-gader in the Bible
The name Beth-gader occurs only once in the Bible. It's the name of a town in Judah, founded by Hareph, one of the sons of Hur, son of Ephrathah, the wife of Caleb (1 Chronicles 2:51). Some scholars suggest that this town is the same as Geder and Gederah, but that's conjecture.
🔼Etymology of the name Beth-gader
The name Beth-gader consists of two elements. The first part is identical to the common Hebrew word בית (bayit) meaning house:
The noun בית (bayit) means house. It sometimes merely denotes a domestic building, but mostly it denotes the realm of authority of the house-father, or אב (ab). This ab is commonly the living alpha male of a household, but may very well be a founding ancestor (as in the familiar term the "house of Israel"). The אב (ab) may also be a deity, in which case the בית (bayit) is that which we know as a temple.
In the larger economy, a house interacts with other houses. These interactions are governed by the אב (ab), or "father" and executed by the בנים (benim), or "sons": those people living in the house, irrespective of any biological relation with the אב (ab). The "sons" combined add up to אם ('em), which means both "mother" and "tribe".
The second part of our name is the same as the noun גדר (gader), meaning wall:
The verb גדר (gadar) means to wall up; to build a wall to separate innies from outies, and to check any movement between the two. Curiously, this verb is used predominantly in a figurative sense, i.e. to describe a containment of thoughts, deeds, intentions or developments.
Contrarily, the nouns גדר (gader), גדרה (gedera) and גדרת (gederet) all describe the item built and refer predominantly to literal walls and enclosures such as sheepfolds.
For a meaning of the name Beth-gader, both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names read House Of The Wall. BDB Theological Dictionary proposes Place Of A Wall.