🔼The name Jedidiah: Summary
- Beloved Of Yah
- From (1) the verb ידד (yadad), to love, and (2) יה (yah), the name of the Lord.
🔼The name Jedidiah in the Bible
Solomon's father, king David, had stolen Uriah's wife Bathsheba, got her pregnant, and subsequently had Uriah killed. The male child that Bathsheba bore died after seven days, as foretold by Nathan. The next child of David and Bathsheba was named Solomon.
🔼Etymology of the name Jedidiah
The name Jedidiah is a combination of two elements:
The second element of the name Jedidiah is יה, which is the commonly accepted abbreviated form of יהוה, which is YHWH, the Name of the Lord.
The first element of the name Jedidiah comes from the verb ידד (yadad), meaning to love:
The root ידד (yadad) has to do with love, and that mostly in the affectionate, physical sense. Adjective ידיד (yadid) means beloved or lovely. Noun ידידות (yedidot) means love, as in "a song of love" and noun ידידות (yedidut), meaning love in the sense of beloved one.
Curiously, an identical verb ידד (yadad II) means to cast a lot and instead of being kin to the previous, it appears to be related to the verb ידה (yada), which originally meant to cast but which evolved to mean to praise.
That our root has to do with physical fondling and love-making is demonstrated by the verb דדה (dada), which means to move slowly. Noun דד (dad) denotes a women's nipple or breast specifically as object of one's husband's interest.
Unused verb דוד (dwd) probably meant to gently swing, dandle, fondle. Noun דוד (dod) or דד (dod) means beloved or loved one, and may also describe one's uncle. The feminine version, דודה (doda), means aunt. Noun דודי (duday) literally means a "love-bringer" and describes a mandrake. Noun דוד (dud) refers to a kind of pot or jar (perhaps one that was rocked or stirred?).
It may or may not be that the noun יד (yad), meaning hand, also has something to do with this root.
Since the Hebrew word for hand is יד (yad), the name Jedidiah resembles a meaning of Hand (in) Hand (with) The Lord. The author of Deuteronomy makes a playful reference both to the name Jedidiah and the similarity between the verb to love and hand-hand (or else, Nathan seems to refer to Deuteronomy). In Deuteronomy 33:12 Jacob blesses his youngest son Benjamin with the words, "May the beloved of YHWH dwell in security by him who shields him all day; he dwells between his shoulders".
For the meaning of the name Jedidiah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Beloved Of Yahweh. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Beloved Of The Lord.