🔼The name Dodai: Summary
- Lovely, Beloved Of Yah
- From (1) the verb דוד (dwd), to love or fondle, and possibly (2) יה (yah), the name of the Lord.
🔼The name Dodai in the Bible
There is only one man named Dodai in the Bible. Dodai the Ahohite had charge over a division of 24,000 men of David's army (1 Chronicles 27:4).
Many scholars believe that this man is the same as Dodo the Ahohite, the father of Eleazar, one of the three super-mighty of David's mighty-men, but that's by no means certain (2 Samuel 23:9).
🔼Etymology of the name Dodai
The name Dodai comes from the verb דוד (dwd), which probably means to love or fondle:
The root ידד (yadad) has to do with love, and that mostly in the affectionate, physical sense. Adjective ידיד (yadid) means beloved or lovely. Noun ידידות (yedidot) means love, as in "a song of love" and noun ידידות (yedidut), meaning love in the sense of beloved one.
Curiously, an identical verb ידד (yadad II) means to cast a lot and instead of being kin to the previous, it appears to be related to the verb ידה (yada), which originally meant to cast but which evolved to mean to praise.
That our root has to do with physical fondling and love-making is demonstrated by the verb דדה (dada), which means to move slowly. Noun דד (dad) denotes a women's nipple or breast specifically as object of one's husband's interest.
Unused verb דוד (dwd) probably meant to gently swing, dandle, fondle. Noun דוד (dod) or דד (dod) means beloved or loved one, and may also describe one's uncle. The feminine version, דודה (doda), means aunt. Noun דודי (duday) literally means a "love-bringer" and describes a mandrake. Noun דוד (dud) refers to a kind of pot or jar (perhaps one that was rocked or stirred?).
It may or may not be that the noun יד (yad), meaning hand, also has something to do with this root.
The letter י (yod) upon which our name ends, may either create an adjective (love-ly), a possessive form (my love), or may be a remnant of יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which in turn are abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton יהוה, YHWH, or Yahweh.
For a meaning of the name Dodai, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names takes the final י (yod) to be a remnant of יהוה and reads Beloved Of The Lord.
Neither BDB Theological Dictionary nor NOBSE Study Bible Name List interprets this name.