🔼The name Gaddiel: Summary
- God Is My Fortune
- From (1) the verb גדד (gadad), to cut, and (2) the word אל ('el), God.
🔼The name Gaddiel in the Bible
The name Gaddiel occurs only once in the Bible. Gaddiel is the son of Sodi of Zebulun, who represented his tribe in the team of spies that Moses dispatched to investigate the promised land (Numbers 13:10). He was one of the ten who came back with unfavorable reports and died because of that (Numbers 14:37).
🔼Etymology of the name Gaddiel
The name Gaddiel consists of two or rather three elements. The first part of our name is the same as the name Gad, and comes from the verb גדד (gadad), meaning to cut or invade:
The verb גדד (gadad) describes making an invasive cut, mostly in order to expose something valuable. Noun גדוד (gedud) may describe an invasive band of raiders, or more general: a cutting, a furrow. Noun גדודה (geduda) means a furrow or cutting. Noun גד (gad) appears to describe the exposed treasure and may be used to describe a physical fortune, plain luck or a state of felicity.
Verb גדה (gada) also means to cut. Noun גדה (gadda) refers to a river bank. Noun גדי (gedi) describes a young animal, but mostly one that was either just slaughtered or soon will be.
The second element is the letter י (yod), which in this case probably serves to create a possessive form out of the first part: my gad.
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.
For a meaning of the name Gaddiel, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Gad (Fortune) Is God. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes Troop Of God. And BDB Theological Dictionary has El Is My Fortune.