🔼The name Eltekon: Summary
- God Makes Straight, Founded By God
- From (1) the word אל ('el), God, and (2) the verb תקן (taqan), to make straight.
🔼The name Eltekon in the Bible
The name Eltekon occurs only once in the Bible. It's mentioned as one of a cluster of six towns in the hill country of Judah (Joshua 15:59).
🔼Etymology of the name Eltekon
In names אל ('el) usually refers to אלהים ('elohim), that is Elohim, or God, also known as אלה ('eloah). In English, the words 'God' and 'god' exclusively refer to the deity but in Hebrew the words אל ('l) and אלה ('lh) are far more common and may express approach and negation, acts of wailing and pointing, and may even mean oak or terebinth.
The second part of our name appears to derive from the verb תקן (taqan), meaning to make or become straight:
The verb קנן (qanan) isn't used in the Bible but it appears to tell of the weaving of many strands into a dynamic and interlocked network. These strands may be reeds and twigs that a bird weaves into a nest, or it may be acts of trade and routes of commerce that together combine into a bustling economy. Noun קן (qen) means nest, and verb קנן (qinnen) means to make a nest.
Verb קנה (qana) means to obtain, i.e. to acquire or in some instances to create. It's the regular verb for a commercial purchase. Noun קנין (qinyan) describes an item acquired (or created). Noun מקנה (migneh) means cattle (as unit of commerce). Noun מקנה (miqna) means purchase or purchase-price. Noun קנה (qaneh) denotes some herb on a stalk, or any rod, reed, branch- or stalk-like item (in this sense, a plant "acquires" its branches).
The verb קין (qyn), which isn't used in the Bible, occurs in cognate language with the meaning of to fit together, fabricate or forge (often of metal things). In the Bible occurs only the noun קין (qayin), meaning spear. Note that our modern word "franchise" comes from a word that meant spear, and originally denoted a free man, i.e. one who had the authority to bear arms, own property and thus conduct trade. The earliest republican government of Rome was called curia, literally spear-bearers, and the link between bearing a spear or other such ceremonial weapon and a senatorial government (a government by tribal elders) appears to have been pretty much globally understood throughout history.
Noun קינה (qina) denotes a kind of sad poem; a dirge or lamentation, which both had to be fabricated and could, presumably, pierce a person's soul like a spear (which is an obvious Biblical figure of speech; see Luke 2:35). The denominative verb קונן (qonen) means to do a dirge, which could be either to chant or compose one.
The verb תקן (taqan) means to make or become straight.
For a meaning of the name Eltekon, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Founded By God and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes God The Foundation.
These sources apparently feel that they should interpret the verb תקן (taqan) according to its Chaldean twist, which means to found or provide with a base rather than to make straight as it does in Hebrew. Here at Abarim Publications we don't find that necessary, and would translate our name with God Makes Straight or God Sorts Out (after Ecclesiastes 12:9).
BDB Theological Dictionary does not suggest an interpretation of this name and lists it alphabetically (not even under אל, El or אלהים, Elohim).