🔼The name Gederah: Summary
- From the noun גדרה (gedera), wall.
🔼The name Gederah in the Bible
The name Gederah occurs only once in the Bible. It's the name of a city that came to be situated in the territory allotted to the tribe of Judah. It's possible that the name of this town was Gederah-and-Gederothaim because the "and-Gederothaim"-part is mentioned right after Gederah, and there were supposed to be fourteen towns-and-their-villages but there are fifteen names given (Joshua 15:36).
It's also possible that David's administrative officer Baal-hanan the Gederite (1 Chronicles 27:28) came from this town. Some scholars believe that Gederah is the same as the Canaanite city of Geder, which was conquered by Joshua (Joshua 12:13).
🔼Etymology of the name Gederah
The name Gederah comes from the noun גדרה (gedera), meaning wall:
The verb גדר (gadar) means to wall up; to build a wall to separate innies from outies, and to check any movement between the two. Curiously, this verb is used predominantly in a figurative sense, i.e. to describe a containment of thoughts, deeds, intentions or developments.
Contrarily, the nouns גדר (gader), גדרה (gedera) and גדרת (gederet) all describe the item built and refer predominantly to literal walls and enclosures such as sheepfolds.
For a meaning of the name Gederah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Sheepfold (the noun גדרה, gedera, is indeed sometimes interpreted as such; Numbers 32:24). Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes A Wall. BDB Theological Dictionary forgoes translating our name but does list it under the noun גדר (gader), meaning wall.