🔼The name Eltolad: Summary
- God Of The Generation
- From (1) the word אל ('el), God, and (2) the verb ילד (yalad), to bring forth.
🔼The name Eltolad in the Bible
The name Eltolad occurs twice in the Bible. It is the name of a city in the territory allotted to the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:30). But because the tribe of Simeon had no land of its own and was to be dispersed in Israel (Genesis 49:7) this tribe ended up living in cities in Judah. Eltolad was such a Simeonite-Judaic town. When this town is mentioned later, it's simply called Tolad (1 Chronicles 4:29).
🔼Etymology of the name Eltolad
The name Eltolad consists of two elements, the first one being אל (El), either the prominent Canaanite deity whose name became applied to the God of Israel, or the common abbreviation of Elohim, the genus God:
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 first part of our name comes from the verb ילד (yalad) meaning to bear or bring forth. More specifically, it is the word which occurs in the narrative of the Bible only in plural: תולדות (toledot), meaning descendants:
The verb ילד (yalad) means to beget or bring forth — children by both biological parents but also citizens by "mother"-cities and "father"-kings and such — or to produce (things) or bring about (events).
Nouns ולד (walad) and ילד (yeled) mean (male) child; ילדה (yalda) means girl. Noun ילדות (yaldut) means childhood. Adjectives ילוד (yillod) and יליד (yalid) mean "born." Noun מולדת (moledet) means kindred. Plural noun תולדות (toledot) means descendants or offspring.
For a meaning of the name Eltolad, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Kindred Of God, which is curious and apparently euphemistic because it reads Begetter for just Tolad. Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) proposes God Of The Generation and explains this with "God's Race, i.e. descendants of a god".
Jones continues by suggesting that Eltolad was named in the tradition of deriving one's origins from a deity, and refers to Acts 17:28, where Paul quotes Aratus of Tarsus, "for we are also his offspring, the offspring of Jove (Jupiter)". BDB Theological Dictionary does not interpret our name but does confirm that it comes from אל (El) and the verb ילד (yalad) meaning to bear or bring forth.