🔼The name Hadarezer: Summary
- The Majesty Is Help, Helpful Honor
- From (1) the verb הדר (hadar), to honor, and (2) the verb עזר (azar), to help or support.
🔼The name Hadarezer in the Bible
According to some Hebrew manuscripts, the name Hadarezer belongs to Aramean king of Zobah who was defeated by David (2 Samuel 10:16, 1 Chronicles 18:3). The book of Kings tells the same story, but in all versions of that account this king is called Hadadezer. The names Hadarezer (הדרעזר) and Hadadezer (הדדעזר) look quite alike to an untrained eye and some scholars insist that this discrepancy is due to a scribal error on the part of the Chronicler. For a brief discussion of this outrageous claim, see our article on the name Hadadezer.
🔼Etymology of the name Hadarezer
The name Hadarezer consists of two elements. The first part comes from the verb הדר (hadar), meaning to honor or adorn:
The verb הדר (hadar) means to honor, adorn or glorify. Noun הדר (heder) means splendor or glory. Noun הדר (hadar) means ornament, splendor or honor. Noun הדרה (hadara) means adornment or glory.
The second part of our name Hadarezer comes from the verb עזר (azar), meaning to help or support:
The verb עזר ('azar), means to help or support, and is often used in military contexts, or to describe God's proverbial help. The nouns עזר ('azar) and עזרה ('ezra) both mean help. A much rarer but identically spelled noun עזרה ('azara) means enclosure and comes probably from an other root.
Of the sources we routinely consult only Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) recognizes Hadarezer as a unique name (and not a text error for Hadadezer). Jones translates our name with Majesty Of Help.
Here at Abarim Publications we like to propose that the name Hadarezer is a deliberate alteration of the name Hadadezer in the same way that the name Eshbaal was turned into Ish-bosheth. The name Eshbaal means Man / Fire Of Baal and to hide the reference to Baal, it was turned into Ish-bosheth, meaning Man Of Shame. Via the same mechanism, the name Hadadezer (Hadad Is Help) was turned into Hadarezer, meaning The Majesty Is Help, with the Majesty-part referring to the God of Israel. That made the name Hadarezer of the same vein as the names Eleazar and Eliezer.