🔼The name Gederothaim: Summary
- Two Walled Enclosures, Double Set Of Blockades
- From a double plural of the noun גדרה (gedera), wall.
🔼The name Gederothaim in the Bible
The name Gederothaim occurs only once in the Bible but it's not wholly clear if it actually is the name of a town, or rather a part of the name Gederah-and-Gederothaim. The text of Joshua 15:36 reads "...Gederah and Gederothaim; fourteen cities and their villages" but when we count the names from Eshtaol to Gederothaim, we count fifteen.
There are several ways to get around this conundrum (and here at Abarim Publications we think we have just proposed the cleverest). Also elegant is the solution of the New International Version, which reads "(or Gederothaim)" in between brackets. Rather lame is Jerome's approach, who simply omitted the name Gederothaim in his Latin Vulgate. Most modern translations simply print what the text says and hope that no one will do the math.
🔼Etymology of the name Gederothaim
Ultimately, the name Gederothaim 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.
The name Gederothaim is rather curious. It appears to be a masculine plural (or rather dual) on top of a feminine plural. Perhaps the feminine plural denotes an enclosure made of several walls, and the masculine plural serves to denote multiple enclosures.
For a meaning of the name Gederothaim, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Two Sheepfolds and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has Tow Folds or Two Fortified Places. BDB Theological Dictionary does not translate our name but does list it under the noun גדרה (gedera), meaning wall.