🔼The name En-haddah: Summary
- Fountain Of Joy, Sharp Eye
- From (1) the noun עין ('ayin), which means both eye and fountain, and (2) the verb חדד (hadad), to be sharp, swift or to rejoice.
🔼The name En-haddah in the Bible
The name En-haddah occurs only once in the Bible. It belongs to a village that came to be situated on the western border of the territory allotted to the tribe of Issachar (Joshua 19:21).
🔼Etymology of the name En-haddah
The name En-haddah obviously consists of two elements. The first part is the noun עין ('ayin), meaning spring or fountain:
The noun עין ('ayin) means both eye and fountain, well or spring. This might be explained by noting that the eye produces water in the form of tears, but perhaps more so in that water and light were considered deeply akin (see our article on the verb נהר, nahar, both meaning to shine and to flow). In that sense, the eye was considered a fountain that watered the outward face with water and the internal mind with light. Verb עין ('in) means to eye or regard. Noun מעין (ma'yan) describes a place with a spring.
The second part of our name comes from the following root group:
The verb חדד (hadad) means to be sharp or keen or even swift. Adjective חד (had) means sharp (mostly of swords) and adjective חדוד (haddud) means sharpened or pointed.
The verb חדה (hada) is similar to the previous, but appears to lean more toward keenness, swiftness or even gladness and resonance. In some cases it plainly means to rejoice. Noun חדוה (hedwa) means joy or gladness.
The ideas of sharpness and joyfulness meet in the noun חידה (hida), which means riddle; a verbal exercise meant to sharpen the mind and give joy in the process. Posing riddles was an important element of life in societies that were wisdom-based, which explains the many Biblical scenes that revolve around riddles. The denominative verb חוד (hud) means to pose a riddle.
Note the emphasis on collectivity in these words, as well as the principle of preservation of momentum that underlies both the mechanical process of resonance and social phenomena such as humor, fashion and even language itself.
Note that the second part of our name is identical to either of the roots חדה (hada), but can also be constructed from a feminine form of the adjective חד (had), meaning sharp.
Of course, we can no longer establish why people would name their town in a certain way, but the second part of our name (which serves as the attribute of the part meaning fountain) most likely was meant to reflect happiness. As such, the name En-haddah means Fountain Of Joy.
Other scholars aren't so sure and see more in the rather impossible swift or sharp fountains:
For a meaning of the name En-haddah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Swift Fountain and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes Fountain Of Sharpness.