🔼The name Hazar-gaddah: Summary
- Village Of Fortune, Rift Town
- From (1) the noun חצר (haser), village, and (2) the verb גדד (gadad), to cut, invade and expose.
🔼The name Hazar-gaddah in the Bible
🔼Etymology of the name Hazar-gaddah
The name Hazar-gaddah consists of two elements. The first part is the same as the noun חצר (haser), meaning village:
The verb חצר (hasar) relates to the first visual manifestations of a gathering or emergence of some sort: to begin to cluster or gather or emerge.
The noun חציר (hasir) means grass, which is the first plant to sprout after, say, a fire. Noun חציר (hasir) means leek (a bigger version of grass) and חצצרה (hasosra) means trumpet, i.e. the perhaps leek-like instrument with which a gathering of humans is instigated.
The noun חצר (haser) denotes a hamlet or settlement or loose, rudimentary federation; the initial beginning of what some day might become a village or even a city. Noun חצר (haser) refers to an enclosure in the architectural sense, or even a court in the sense of it being a place where people loosely gather.
The second part of our name appears to be derived from the verb גדד (gadad), meaning to cut or invade, or particularly from the name Gad, a god of fortune:
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.
This second part of our name is actually a feminized form, which is curious. Perhaps the locals devised a feminine counterpart of the familiar deity Gad: Gaddah, or Lady Luck. And perhaps they named their city after a feminine form of the word for fortune (which in Hebrew is perfectly allowed) to avoid having people associate it with Gad. And perhaps the word גדה was a perfectly established noun that meant, say, "a cut" or "a furrow" or "a crevice," but which simply never made it into the Bible, and so we don't know about it. There's really no telling.
For a meaning of the name Hazar-gaddah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Village Of Good Fortune, and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has the similar Village Of Fortune. BDB Theological Dictionary does not interpret this name but does list it under the noun חצר (haser).