🔼The name Hashbaddanah: Summary
- Thoughtful Judge
- From (1) the verb חשב (hashab), to think up or devise, and (2) the verb דין (din), to judge or govern.
🔼The name Hashbaddanah in the Bible
The name Hashbaddanah occurs only one time in the Bible. Hashbaddanah is mentioned among the men who stood on the left hand of Ezra, while he read the Law and others explained it and translated it from Hebrew to Aramaic (Nehemiah 8:4).
🔼Etymology of the name Hashbaddanah
The name Hashbaddanah consists of two elements. The first part of our name comes from the verb חשב (hashab), to think up, plan or devise:
The verb חשב (hashab) means to think but instead of mere musing or theorizing this verb emphasizes mental activity with a practical (synthetic, technical or artistic) purpose in mind: to think up, to plan or devise.
Noun חשבון (heshbon) describes the entire library of artistic and technological knowledge. Noun מחשבה (mahashaba) denotes a thought, a plan, a device, an artistic object.
The second part of our name appears to derive from the verb דין (din), meaning to judge or govern:
The verb דין (din) means to judge or govern. It's an old verb that mostly describes the authority of a naturally superior (because that person is wiser, stronger, older, etcetera) in contrast to the governing done by a formal government (by politically favored and appointed officials).
The noun דין (dayyan) describes one such a leader, and noun דין (din) describes anything pertaining to primitive governing: a judgment, plea, complaint, contention. Noun מדון (madon) literally describes a "place or judging" and is synonymous with the contending that goes on in such a place. Noun מדונה (medina) described the jurisdiction of one judge, and became the word for province.
For a meaning of the name Hashbaddanah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Thoughtful Judge and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has Thought In Judging. BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't offer an interpretation of this name.
Note that the thoughtfulness that the verb חשב (hashab) describes emphasizes some kind of practical result rather than contemplations on theoretical situations. A judge of Israel, in that same sense, did not so much contemplate past actions in retrospect, and put perps in jail as part of his conclusions, but aimed to sort present conditions in expectation of future returns. A judge of Israel had a preventive role rather than a corrective one, and aimed to combine the skills of people into collectives and companies where they could shine most.